Sonata Arctica – Matrix, Bochum; April 19th, 2014
It had been a while since I’d last seen Sonata Arctica and as they were playing close by I figured I should go, even though I had no clue what their latest album was like. They had been quite entertaining the last time around. The only other thing I remembered that even though I wasn’t terribly early, it was easy to get to front row, because there were only few people waiting. What I had forgotten was that the last concert was on a weekday. Thus, when I arrived there was already a good line and I had to settle for a spot 4 rows back with the tallest guy in the room standing two rows in front blocking my view of center stage. Oh well, I could look over his shoulder, but I should have chosen a spot further to the side…. Did I enjoy the concert anyway? Sure, but it did not blow me off my feet. It was nice though and that’s good enough for me.
Support act Trick or Treat from Italy were not really my cup of tea, but they were rather simpatico and fun to watch. They goofed around quite a lot, twisting and turning on the spot, playing with a rubber guitar and wearing “duck hand” gloves for ‘The Duck Song’. They also covered Cindy Lauper’s ‘Girls just wanna have fun’ and did a great job in getting the audience going. Unfortunately the sound at the venue wasn’t the best so I had trouble understanding much of the lyrics for either band. That usually doesn’t matter when you are a fan and know what they are singing anyway, but otherwise it’s a bit strange and left me feeling I was missing out on something.
Sonata started shortly after 9:00 pm and I soon realized I could not remember many f their songs. Some sounded vaguely familiar, but I wasn’t able to say which one sI knew. Small wonder, I had not listened to their music in ages. It didn’t matter though, they were in a good mood and fun to watch. The sound didn’t get any better though, thus I couldn’t make out much of the lyrics. The fans didn’t have that problem and sang along anyway. 🙂
I recalled that last time, frontman Tony was quite talkative, but this time he mostly just told us the name of the song without telling lengthy stories. It was a pity, because he is quite the storyteller. However, he did announce that this was their 15th anniversary tour and that they had played in Bochum for the first time 14 years ago. ‘My Land’ was a song they had already played then. Later, I think it was for ‘Cloud Factory’, he told us about their hometown Kemi, an industrial town and he mentioned it would have been a good setting for s Springsteen song. That reference made me smile of course.
It took some time for me to get into it, but I did enjoy being there, moving in tune with the music, clapping along, raising my hands like everyone else. I also enjoyed watching people around me – they loved being there and some were very much lost in the music. 🙂 Especially some of the older songs led to much cheering and of course the audience sang with the band when asked to do so. Sonata seemed to be in a good mood as well. I saw many smiles from them that night. Watching them play was fun – they hardly ever stood still, except for the drummer of course. Even the keyboarder didn’t stay in one place, making full use of the keytar he carried.
It was a good concert, but did not take me over as much as some others do. One moment that got stuck in my memory was this: A girl in front row apparently wasn’t feeling well and sat down on the floor. Immediately there were two security guys checking if she was OK. Tony watched all this from stage, but instead of just going on with the show he looked at her full of concern and handed over a bottle of water. He kept looking over for while to make sure she was OK. Very caring and not something every band would do.
They played for a good hour before hey went int encores and gave us three more songs. It felt a bit short, but I hadn’t expected anything longer. For 90 minutes Sonata rocked the house and that was all I could have asked for. Too bad I wasn’t in the right mood to fully enjoy it. I’m sure it was worth it for any fan though – they all seemed happy as they walked out. 🙂 Will I go see them again? Most probably yes, but preferably at a venue with better sound.
The Wolves Die Young
Losing My Insanity
In The Dark
What Did You Do in the War, Dad?
White Pearl, Black Oceans…
I Have a Right
Kingdom for a Heart
Wolf & Raven
Don’t Say a Word