The (not so) Last Amazing Finns

On the night of April 11th while attending a concert headlined by the Finnish metal band Sonata Artica in Chicago, I learned a valuable lesson. Sometimes you can enjoy a performance from a band you don’t know so well and isn’t one of your favorites more than you love seeing one of your favorite bands. Sonata Artica wowed me that much. They don’t just play good music (they play a catchy, melodic style of metal with clean male vocals), Sonata puts on a show. They’re entertainers.
Before going into Sonata Artica, I must give some credit to opening acts because I actually enjoyed them as well. First PowerGlove played. To quote someone around me in the audience “this is the kind of music you are ashamed to tell your friends that you like.” PowerGlove played songs from old-school video games like Mortal Combat and Mario. They’re somewhat nerdy with silly costumes and backdrops, but the crowd loved them. Next Mutiny Within came on. I think their music is pretty generic when it comes to metal, but the singer did crowd surf and run through the audience while singing so the act wasn’t completely unmemorable. In reality, I just wanted to see the Finnish men so as the stage crew set up for Sonata, I pushed a little closer…
Like I mentioned earlier, Sonata Artica shattered my expectations. I had seen them a year and a half ago opening for another Finnish band, but didn’t remember them being this good. Tony, the lead singer, interacted so well with the crowd—instigating mosh pits, telling jokes and funny anecdotes between songs. Think traditional rock concerts and you’ll have a good idea of the energy level and atmosphere of the show. I, unlike the majority of the people around me who screamed along with every word, couldn’t identify most of Sonata’s songs and didn’t have the best view of the band, but neither dragged me down. I found myself screaming to the deafening melodies and jumping to the raw energy. Sonata played a mixture of songs from all of their albums including songs that they hadn’t played for a long time. Of the songs I recognized, they played “Don’t Say A Word”, “Juliet”, “Paid in Full” and “Full Moon”. My favorite song they played was “The Last Amazing Grays”. It’s a pretty song about things growing old that really struck an emotional cord. I’d say Sonata Artica was one of the best shows I’ve been to in a year and not just because they are Finnish.

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