Yes, again saw an Amorphis-gig, but this time it felt rather different. There were changes and even surprises on the setlist, besides this gig happened to be close to my birthday, so why not to celebrate it with live music perform as well.
When I found out that they are going to do an autumn tour in Finland, at first I was thinking that I don't bother to see a gig this time, as the latest couple of gigs where I have been at, were lacking "that something". I'm not saying that they weren't good gigs but they did suffer of the same generic set list and song choices. However there was an exception as well, as one of my dreams came true; in April they did come to my hometown, at last! This gig in a small rock bar felt quite a special one to me, due to such a rare chance and intimate atmosphere (which was due to a small venue, the capacity of this rock bar is about 300 persons) - besides I finally managed to be in the photo with Tomi K as well.
Yet I have to admit that it was pity that I missed their special gig in Savonlinna last July, where they played Eclipse in it's entirety and also some other rarities. It was mainly due to money- and time issues, in July I rather went to Ruisrock festival for the first time in my life and payed that ticket price.
This time the gig started with Hopeless Days. Next ones were Silver Bride, Narrow Path and The Smoke - so it was pretty much normal kind of beginning for an Amorphis-gig. Yet Esa played quite a atmospheric Pink Floyd-ish guitar part as an intro for The Smoke. But when it comes to guitar playing style, Esa actually could be kind of Finnish counterpart for David Gilmour, with a little heavy twist though.
Then it's always a moment of joy, when my all-time favourite Amo-song is played live (and that certainly doesn't happen every time). But this time Brother Moon sounded even better than before, since Esa played the intro with authentic acoustic guitar and also Tomi's vocals sounded great on this one.
From Tales from the Thousand Lakes Black Winter Day was included on the set, even though I would have prefer Drowned Maid over it. But Black Winter Day is not a bad choice either, after all it's one of these Amo-classics; and fitting for the current season.
Then it's always a good thing when something from Elegy is played - there was Against Widows, but something more surprising from the same album was coming up after it. Weeper on the Shore is a song that they have never played during the time when Tomi Joutsen has been the frontman, so it was a true rarity on the set. Rarity indeed - when Sande started to play the keyboard intro, some drunken man in the audience was wondering aloud; "what song is this one?". I have always liked this song a lot, so it was really interesting to hear how it would sound with Tomi's vocals. Pasi Koskinen's voice on the original version is one reason why this song sounds like it sounds, but I must say that also this version with Tomi was magnificent in it's own way!
This band seems usually cheerful, but to me it seemed like this time they were in even more joyful mood. At least the sympathetic guitarists Tomi K and Esa were grinning to each other almost constantly, and so was Sande as well behind his keyboards. Well, Tomi K seemed the most joyful of them all, being all smiles during the whole gig - I think that he made a little smile even at me. Though behind the drum kit Snoopy was looking rather serious like Neil Peart at least, hehe.
It was nice to hear also Silent Waters for a long time, same with Weaving the Incantation and Majestic Beast.
But before encore it was turn of quite a moving moment, as this time they played a new, different arrangement of My Kantele. It was kind of mixture of all the three versions; original electric version from Elegy, acoustic reprise, and re-recorded version with Tomi's vocals from Magic and Mayhem-collection album. Esa and Tomi K were playing acoustic guitars, while Tomi was singing beautiful clean vocals. Little by little the perform started to grow "flesh on the bones"; drums came along and eventually electric guitars, with the last verse of growled vocals, and then the song was finished with a melodic guitar solo. Impressive arrangement, if you ask me.
Encore started with Skyforger-intro, and after it there was another moving moment. I have always loved also From the Heaven of My Heart, because at the same time it's intriguingly delicate and beautiful yet powerful song. So it was great to hear the live version after a long time, besides Sande and Esa played the full intro with keyboards and guitar.
Next one was The Wanderer and the last song was - not so surprisingly - House of Sleep. So the gig was finished, but to me this was the best Amo-gig during the latest two years, due to the changes and surprises in the set and the overall feeling during the gig. Somehow the entire atmosphere took a grasp of me, reminding me of the feelings that I had when I was recently discovered the band and saw my first gigs six years ago. And it was great to realize that sometimes those feelings of novelty can be back.
Set list (not in particular order)
Circle (Shades of Grey)-intro
Brother Moon (with acoustic intro)
Weeper On the Shore
Black Winter Day
Weaving the Incantation
My Kantele (a new arrangement)
From the Heaven of My Heart (full intro)
House of Sleep