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 Live review - Turisas at Sheffield Corporation 2nd March '08

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123 Newbie

Posts : 62
Join date : 2008-07-31
Age : 26
Location : West Yorkshire, UK

PostSubject: Live review - Turisas at Sheffield Corporation 2nd March '08   Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:10 am

The time: sometime after 10pm on a Sunday night, 2nd of March 2008. The place: Sheffield Corporation, a small but comfortable venue located in the back streets of Sheffield (UK). Mathias 'Warlord' Nygård looks over to Violinist Olli Vänskä and Bassist Hannes 'Hanu' Horma in amazement, while the frenzied crowd rowdily chants "Turisas!". Not sure if he is being entirely honest when he says how impressive the crowd are, but Warlord does seem quite genuinely surprised. Turisas are well known for their on-stage presence and wild gigs, but tonight was simply awe-inspiring. Both the support bands, Alestorm and Norther, put on spectacular performances, however, Turisas owned the evening.

The show was opened by the ‘True Scottish Pirate-Metal’ pirates, Alestorm, at around ten to eight. They played a magnificent set, and started the very first mosh pit of the night. Unfortunately it didn’t last for long, but the crowd still head-banged and sang along faithfully. In my personal opinion they were the best of the two support acts although I do bet many people who were there also would disagree with me. One problem for Alestorm was that their keyboard was barely audible over the roar of the crowd and the bellow from the guitars. Being one of their most important instruments played, it meant that only half of the music could be enjoyed to it's fullest. Of course this didn’t stop them from entertaining the audience with their Pirate singing and outstanding musicianship.

Next up were the ferocious Norther. Also originating from Turisas’ home country, Finland, they caused another mosh pit that effortlessly bet Alestorm’s earlier attempt. Norther was probably the heaviest (metal-wise) band there; being mostly death metal rather than ‘folk’ or ‘battle’ metal. The topless lead vocalist snarled through the songs and shredded impressively on the guitar, while the more melodic singer/guitarist and bassist sauntered across the stage as if they owned it. Which they pretty much did, until their demise and the beginning of the raucous chants for Turisas.

Waiting for Turisas to come on stage was absolute torture. They kept everybody waiting in terrific agony, watching the roadies and technicians make sure everything was ready to be blown away. There were technical difficulties, I found out later. The crowd had to occupy themselves by repeatedly yelling “Turisas!” or “Battle! Metal!” every couple of minutes. A sort of game started; where half of the audience would shout “Battle!” and the other half would reply with “Metal!” This was done numerous times throughout the night and was good fun, but nothing could ease the excruciating wait for Turisas to raid the stage. Finally, our wait ceased as Turisas stormed onto the stage one by one.
First arrived Drummer Tude Lehtonen and Bassist Hannes Horma, shortly followed by Olli on his Violin, and then Warlord (lead vocals); Jussi Wickström (Guitar) and 17 year old Netta Skog, the temporary replacement Accordion player for the missing Lisko. They quickly kicked into the first song of the night, ‘The Dnieper Rapids’, which was shortly followed by ‘To Holmgard And Beyond’, ‘Portage To The Unknown’, ‘Court Of Jarisleif’, ‘Miklagard Overture’, ‘Rasputin’ and ‘One More’. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the exact set list. What I do remember though is the sheer amazement and admiration of seeing them live at long last. The crowd went wild. Everyone was jumping around, moshing and head banging to the majestic music being blared out through the venues speakers. It was a great time, they are undoubtly one of the best live bands I have ever seen, and I am no gig virgin. The atmosphere was intense and powerful; Turisas’ performance was exceptional!

They may have had no props to decorate the stage with (apart from the ‘Varangian Way’ banner behind the drum kit), but Turisas still looked very realistically ‘Viking’ with their probable sweltering-hot costumes. The audience also added to the authenticity with their own Viking horn hats and swords and matching Turisas war paint. But a gig is not always about the sight of the show, it’s about the band’s presence on stage and the mood of that night and the enthusiasm of the audience. A slightly unusual event there was just after a song, possibly ‘Rasputin’, I can’t quite remember sadly, but suddenly Warlord started singing “La la la la” and getting the audience to join in with him, while Olli and Hannes (from Who I saw) bobbed up and down in time. It was an alike tune to a well-known song called something like ‘Sway With Me’. Whatever it was, it wasn’t any of Turisas’ released work that I know of. From just being there, I found out that Warlord and Olli seem to be pretty humorous. Warlord could be in the middle of a speech but then would suddenly say “Err, I forgot what I was talking about” in his deep, sexy, Finnish voice, which got a few laughs. While introducing the rest of the band, he completely missed out Olli. Instead Warlord said (indicating Olli): “Some of you will already know this guy. He likes his fame!” Also, just before the Encore while it was just he and Netta on stage, Nygård shouted backstage “Can I have my f--king band back?” They may have grown up in Finland, but Warlord and Olli certainly speak very fluent English which is praiseworthy on it's own. Another highlight of the show was Olli Vanska’s “F--k the guitar solo!” speech. He started off trying to tell a joke about a Finnish band with a Violin solo and a band with a guitar solo, but only to end it with “Does anyone know how the joke ended? Because I’ve forgotten! ”, and then listening to the audience’s replies. He successfully persuaded the entire room onto his side of the argument, violin solos overrules guitar solos. Olli then demonstrated his talented violin playing with an artistic solo. Even if you do believe that violins are for pussies, you’ve got to admit that that guy can skillfully shred the violin into a proper weapon of metal!

Overall I think that the gig was fantastic. Turisas are probably the best live band I have seen (so far). It may not have been the craziest of gigs, but it was rather rowdy. The only disappointment was the seemingly shortage of songs, and no chance of meeting the gifted musicians afterwards. Only 2 out of 12 songs off their ‘Battle Metal’ album were played (‘Battle Metal’ and ‘One More’), and that album contains some pretty impressive music. Although ‘To Holmgard And Beyond’ was played from their 2007 album ‘The Varangian Way’, some of the other major songs off it, such as ‘Cursed Be Iron’ and ‘Five Hundred And One’, were missed out. However, this may be because Turisas weren’t actually touring for any album this time round and didn’t want the set-list to be similar to last year’s tour that promoted ‘The Varangian Way’.

Sadly, the night came to an end with the encore as the impatiently anticipated ‘Battle Metal’. Turisas are a band that I will never forget seeing in a long time, if I am ever to forget seeing them at all! There are some bands that, when you’ve seen them once, there’s not really any point to seeing them live again. But Turisas are definitely not one of those bands. I’d love to see them again soon, and find out what Lisko is like on stage and whether or not they get any extra medieval props. If you like your metal, Folk; battle; or neither, Turisas are a band that is worth seeing beyond a doubt. You may find out you quite enjoy the Finnish Viking experience!
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Live review - Turisas at Sheffield Corporation 2nd March '08
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