Last Tuesday, March 7th, Lisbon hosted a great Power metal show: Sonata Arctica + Striker + Triosphere. It took place in the new venue Lisboa ao Vivo. Around 300 people welcomed the three bands. Each one of them with their own style while sharing something in common: their passion and devotion. A detail which made it a magical evening.
Before Sonata Arctica and Striker, the first band playing was the Norwegian Triosphere. They introduced their performance with “My Fortress” and “Steal Away The Light” from the last album “The Heart of the Matter”. Returning then to 2010 with “Driven”, a more progressive song from their album “The Road Less Travelled”. There was a minor technical problem with Byberg’s guitar sound which was initially lower than the rest, but was quickly solved by the end of the first couple of songs. Their music is impressive and consistent with captivating melodies, chilling choirs, memorable riffs and solos that came alive with the strong voice of bassist Ida Haykland. Sometimes aggressive, reminiscent of the queen of metal Doro Pesch.
They said goodbye with the unforgettable single “The Heart’s Dominion” from the last album, in which Bergersen jumped off the stage to be able to play his solo closer to the audience. It was a short but awesome set.
The overwhelming Striker entered the scene full of energy and vitality, shining with an impressive and captivating stage presence. Striker demonstrated that it’s not just the talent that matters, it’s also the complicity between the musicians that works very well as a band. These guys are “crazy” and never were standing. Tim Brown and his excellent technique was definitely a highlight. So didn’t take long to conquer the audience while being a funny guy, always smiling and sticking his tongue out towards the fans.
The Canadian Speed metal band was celebrating a decade of existence, so they played a balanced set based on about two tracks of each album. They also included “Born to Lose” and “Former Glory” which are part of the latest Striker album “Striker” released last month by Record Breaking Records. The audience was very enthusiastic about the band that undoubtedly performed the best show of the night. In the last song they asked the public to sing with them “Fight for your life”. The irreprehensible performance leaves no doubt when describing Striker in a single word: Power!
A set of blue lights moving around the stage during the “No More Silence” intro spread a little magic in the room… Finally the most expected band came. The Finnish Sonata Arctica! Led by Tony Kakko they received quite a good initial reaction! The stage was adorned alluding to the last album “Ninth Hour”. There was a mountain in the background and the contrast of the utopian and dystopic scenarios of nature versus the industrialized city. This was emphasizing the whole message of the album: the need for change to end the destruction of our blue planet and take action on social and environmental problems.
The show began just like the new album begins: “Closer to an Animal” connected to “Life”. Everyone sang along the choruses. The setlist featured songs from the new album like the already mentioned and more. “Fairytale”, the fantastic “Among The Shooting Stars”, and the semi-ballad “We Are What We Are” couldn’t be missing. Going back to the old songs they introduced classics like “The Power of One” and “The Wolves Die Young”, the sad ballad “Tallulah” from the album Silence, “Full Moon” from the album Ecliptica. The interaction with the fans was great and Tony Kakko was always as close as possible to the fans. Sonata sounded very tight as a band, showing that all these years do wonders to a group who has fantastic instrumental skills.
“I have a right” from “Stones Grow Her Name” served as an encore along with “Misplaced “and “Don’t Say a Word”. The concert ended with the already known “Vodka”, which is already a closing ritual for the live shows of the band.
For many people the live performances of Sonata Arctica are starred by Tony Kakko; There is a bit of truth in this stigma. Kakko’s stage presence and attitude creates a kind of intimacy with the audience. This makes their performances special and totally compensates for the times when the clean vocals fails and doesn’t fully integrate with the melodies. But what is important to mention is also the merit and skills of the other musicians who make the musical compositions discharge emotion. Specially Viljanen and the wistful keyboard melodies of the virtuous Henrik Klingenberg who add sweet melancholy and fantasy to their songs.
As usual Tony Kakko and the band thanked the audience and said goodbye with a typical group hug.
At the end of this fantastic evening it was still possible to meet the two opening bands Triosphere and Striker. All members were very friendly towards all those who wanted to be with them.