Joulu on taas

Raskasta Joulua – Jäähalli, Helsinki; December 2nd, 2023

It was that time of the year again and I consider myself lucky to have caught a show of Raskasta Joulua in Helsinki. For almost 20 years Finnish Metal singers and their guests have performed (mostly) Finnish Christmas songs in December and it’s nothing short of amazing.

When I planned my trip to Tampere to see Poets of the Fall I knew I was going to be in Finnland for the weekend and checked if Raskasta Joulua would take place anywhere I’d be able to get to. Helsinki, of course, was the perfect place. Traveled there in the morning, spent some time at a cafe, relaxed at my hotel and finally went to the venue. The trams were delayed, but that turned out to be lucky. when I arrived an hour before the doors open, only six people were ahead of me. I easily scored a spot in front row and finally warmed up a little. The venue being Helsinki’s ice hall and a hockey match having taken place the previous day, it was actually quite cold.

The show started at 8 and for 2.5 hours we got to hear beautiful Christmas songs, metal style. It was joyful, it was fun and I even got a little emotional from time to time. We got amazing performances, we got fireworks and we got to hear great singers. There was a break after 45 minutes, but then they pulled out all te stops.

Now I can’t tell you much about the setlist, not even which songs were played, but I can tell you they all sang their hearts out, every member of the awesome band got a moment or two in the spotlight and all the singers shone brightly. They looked like they were having a great time too.

Erkka Korhonen and Tuomas Wäinölä showed their amazing guitar skills, Tuomas always playing next to a fan so his hair was blown back. Mirka Leka Rantanen played all the drums, including a huge gong, Erkki Silvennoinen played a steady bass and Vili Robert Ollila took care of all the jeys while head banging too.

On vocals we had Antony Parvianen, Geoff Tate, Petra Gargano, Ville Tuomi, Pekka Heino, Marko Hietala, Tommi Salmela and Tony Kakko. All of them were fantastic and tamed up in different constellations to sing together. while walking off and on stage they often high fived or fist bumped and generally there was a lot of show of mutual appreciation, giving each other space and watching each other play. Antony Parvianen had a lovely fanboy moment towards the end when he stood in front of the stage, filming Geoff tage with nothing bt awe written on his face. ❤️

I loved everything about it, from the song selection to the fireworks and even did my best to sing along, when we were asked too, even though I had no clue what I was doing. It was a wonderful evening and the perfect way to start the Christmas season. Thank you, Raskasta Joulua, I had a blast.

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