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Once upon a rainy Sunday, the Finnish bands Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum and Ensiferum had made their way to the Grünspan in Hamburg.
I´ve made my way to the venue earlier than the rest of the fans, so that I still had some spare time to sit down with ex-Turisas accordionist Netta Skog, who has been replacing Emmi Silvennoinen on this tour - this interview will follow soon.
The queue of fans in front of the venue started appearing and growing pretty late, but who can blame anybody in such a weather situation - but the hardcore fans were not deterred by this, they couldn´t care less as their main focus was the front row. Nevertheless, they were happy when the doors finally opened to have them conquer their spots.
This evening full of great music was opened up by OMNIUM GATHERUM - and even though the crowd was not yet that big, the mood was surprisingly good. It still required animation to get the party going, but after a while it was clear that either there have been some big fans hiding in the audience, or people just got excited that easily. This audience sucked up the band´s energy quickly and also showed it openly. The band itself rocked the stage as if it was all or nothing - and this is something that´s always lovely to see, even though the music might have not been to everyone´s taste.
The fans were rocking on with INSOMNIUM - with one difference, as the band was lucky facing a filled venue now and thus the audience got going far easier, onme could observe that they were sucked up in the music and power. Flying hair, fists in the air - the band and the audience alike, and animating of the fans was not necessary at all. The music and the gig as a whole were enjoyed by the audience, and this was clearly visible on those happy faces of the band as well as of the audience - the gig found a happy but sweaty end.
ENSIFERUM then turned the Grünspan into a sauna, in which you (as you had no other chance) had to endure fully clothed, and you were even moving around - simply because there was no way to go through this concert without moshpits, headbanging or fists in the air. The performance of the guys and tour-accordionist Netta Skog simply made you go along, so that no leg or arm remained unmoved - and this is how you recognize a great concert. The setlist contained a nice and diverse mix of the “classics” of the band, which were celebrated as if they were ultimate hits, and also newer and very new pieces - but also those were just celebrated a lot. Songs like “From Afar”, “Little Dreamer”, “Unsung heroes” or “Victory Song” of course had to be part of the concert.
A surprising highlight was set by the instrument-change just before one of the encores: Janne Parviainen took over the bass, whilst you found Markus Toivonen behind the drums, Petri Lindroos grabbed a guitar and Sami Hinkka dared to play Netta´s accordion. This change was caused by Netta Skog trading in her instrument for sunglasses, rocker-cap and microfone - she presented a cover of the Judas Priest song “Breaking the law” to a stunned crowd which celebrated this nice surprise.
All in all it was a concert where you were clearly able to see the fun on stage, infecting the crowd to go along - the enthusiasm was visible and sensible everywhere, and thus it´s not been a surprise that the audience needed not to be told to go wild.
More photos at www.facebook.com/carinaullmannphotography