Tuesday, August 13, 2013


This concert was absolutely amazing. It was everything I was expecting and more. After meeting with the band, I went back outside, picked up some dinner quickly and went back to waiting in line. It was a split between two different experiences, almost as if I had gone home and come back the next day to see the actual concert. My two friends arrived and joined me in line and before long we were inside the venue.

I'd like to thank Starkill for putting me and my friend on the guestlist (I really got a lot of free stuff at this concert), which was quite a different experience. I'm pretty sure we were the only names on the guest list and it allowed me to bring a third person. After we were inside we went straight to the merch booth and I bought a Time I shirt for a friend that couldn't make it. All the Wintersun merch was awesome. Buy some if you're going to any of the other shows.

Starkill was up first and man did they get the crowd going. They had a huge amount of energy, constantly getting everyone to chant and throw up horns. It also didn't hurt that their songs were catchy and translated really well to a live performance. The crowd quickly woke up after only the first song and everyone was running, jumping and moshing right away. The Opera House is usually spotty for sound quality, with some concerts sounding really good and others just a mish-mash of sounds. The only problem I really noticed with Starkill was that their guitars were a little quiet, but that was turned up a couple songs into the set. It's a good thing too, because they have a bunch of crazy solos. New Infernal Rebirth and Wash Away the Blood With Rain were my two favourite performances. Overall they were my second favourite performance of the night and they definitely took away a significant amount of my energy (more on that later).

During one of their awesome solos.  
Arsis was up next. They're the only band I didn't listen to prior to the concert and sadly, they'll remain that way. They gave a decent performance but the aforementioned Opera House sound quality came back to bite them. The drums were way too loud and it drowned out most of the other instruments. It also didn't help that they had very little consistency in their songs. I don't know if it was just because I was watching it live, but it felt like every minute or so in a song they'd just switch up the riff to something completely different. I didn't know what tempo to headbang at for half the time, and that is just a terrible feeling. Their frontman looked like he was about to die for the majority of the performance. He was completely drenched in sweat and managed to make his guitar and the floor around him slightly more shiny. I checked out a few of their music videos before the concert and let's just say that this guy looks a lot older without his long hair. I swear, he looks like a father. That being said, kudos to him for giving his all. Even though he was sweating so much, he never missed a beat and managed to scream out every word with the same power. Arsis' bassist was also a great guy. He was constantly jumping around and climbing up on the amps at the front of the stage.

Just shredding and sweating away.
I was really excited for Fleshgod Apocalypse to come on. Apart from releasing an awesome new album in a couple days, they brought along an opera singer on the tour just to add to the sound. They have such a great blend of brutality and beautiful symphonic elements. Unfortunately, the Opera House struck again. All the sounds were just blended together and I could barely hear any of the vocals, guitar or piano. It's a shame because they brought along an actual piano to play on, not just a keyboard. The opera singer was drowned out for most of the set, but she actually sang along to every single song so that's a bonus. She shined during the clean vocals sections where she sang along with the bassist (and the crowd!). I was afraid the drums would overpower everything, but they drastically reduced the sound so that even the blast beats were a bit quiet. Don't get me wrong, they still put on a great show, but the sound was all a little off and it's really unfortunate that it had to happen to these guys. There were still many moments where just the symphonic parts were playing and it created such an epic atmosphere. Crowd favourite song The Violation was also beyond awesome. The moshpit was probably one of the most brutal I've seen and the band loved it, encouraging everyone to join in the fun. Fleshgod managed to finish on a high note with The Forsaking which sounded really good live. It was a great choice on their part. Oddly enough, none of us managed to take a decent picture of Fleshgod, but here's the best I could find.

It was a crowded stage when these guys were on.
And then there was Wintersun. The last thing they said to me during the soundcheck was "enjoy the show" to which I replied "as long as it's as good as last time". I forget who in the band said it, but they responded with "it'll be better!" and "well, it'll be longer". I couldn't agree with them more, their set was both longer and better than the previous time they visited (which I thought would be impossible to top). Jari started it off filming the crowd cheering with his (or someone else's phone), which you can now check out on Youtube, and then the band went straight into Sons of Winter and Stars. The crowd was nuts for the entire set, singing along to every single lyric of every single song. Especially great was everyone humming along to the main riff of Land of Snow and Sorrow.

Luckily enough, I was able to get (and keep!) a nice spot just a couple rows back from the stage. I was out of the way of the mosh pit, but it was still pretty crazy. Everyone was crowd surfing and jumping and singing and pushing every which way. I loved it. I loved it so much that halfway through Wintersun's set I completely ran out of energy. I have never been so exhausted in my life but I stayed at the front the entire set. I was just unable to sing along to most of the songs or jump around too much. As much as I loved the concert, I was actually kind of hoping they wouldn't come out for an encore just because I was so tired. Luckily, they played everything before they left the stage.

Jari and the rest of the band were so nice, always saying how great it was to be playing for us and pointing at different things in the crowd (like the huge Finland flag one girl brought). Afterwards they all came to the front of the stage to shake the crowd's hands and throw a bunch of souvenirs at us. Before the final song, Jari asked us what we wanted to hear and was met with a few "Time II" shouts and one guy who really wanted them to play Sleeping Stars. He kept yelling out the song title throughout the set. They never played it. They did manage to play every single other song in their repertoire though except for Sadness and Hate. Seriously, they played every single song except for two. They even played The Way of the Fire which sounded great live and made everyone really excited for Time II. There was even room for a Teemu solo and a part of a song that reminded everyone that there are actually good bands to come out of Canada.

Sound issues aside, this was a great concert. It seems like every concert I go to just keeps getting better and better. If this keeps up, I won't be able to walk for a week after the next one! Both of my friends (who admittedly haven't been to many concerts) loved it and asked when the next band I'm going to see is in town.

I want to thank Wintersun again for the amazing VIP experience and Starkill for the free tickets and getting on the guest list. I'll never forget this night.

-Zombie Viking


  1. You forgot to mention the very brief YYZ cover. I thought that was an amazing touch.

    1. I didn't want to spoil it for future concerts as they were still on tour when this was posted, haha!