LET’S END OUR CAREER WITH WELL-KNOWN CLASSICS, NEWER SONGS AND AN OCTOPUS-PRINT GUITAR.
One of the first gigs of 2017 was at the same time the last gig for Amoral. After being active for over twenty years, the band ended their journey in the metal scene – but ended it in a spectacular way!
On my way to Tavastia and during the first minutes spent in the venue, I’d been thinking so much about Amoral leaving the scene for real, that I didn’t even notice how empty the place was. Quite confused, I decided to wait and see if people would actually start showing up, and half an hour didn’t really change anything. Ten minutes left to showtime, and (at last!) people were standing here and there, yet what one could call a proper crowd was nowhere to be seen. Needless to say, the balcony was completely empty, with just a few people on the stairs.
Considering the fact that a talented and respected live band was about to play their last concert ever, the audience didn’t seem nostalgic nor overly excited. Almost as if there were just regular, curious gig-goers rather than dedicated fans.
Just as expected, the show included both the old and the newest stuff from Amoral, as well as former band members joining the final performance. Another thing worth noting was the unusual introduction to the event, a truly eclectic combination of vastly different songs. No doubt that such a beginning was intriguing, although it could have been much better if the sound was working properly (it was clear that not everything with the sound was adjusted and ready for the intro and the first two songs).
Luckily, technical problems were fixed early enough to enjoy the songs played by the latest lineup with, among others, Ari Koivunen’s clean vocals, former frontman Niko Kalliojärvi on backing vocals and guitar, and Ben Varon, this time with a guitar covered in octopus print instead of his characteristic tiger-patterned gear.
I was glad to see the band having a good time onstage in general. Niko did a brilliant job entertaining the audience and interacting with them as much as one can. Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that Ari Koivunen, who’s just as talented as Amoral’s previous vocalist, was, in a way, tired (or maybe sad about the band ending their career, who knows?)
After the first songs, the atmosphere got even more thrilling. Amoral’s stage line-up welcomed former vocalist Matti Pitkänen and Ville Sorvali who used to play the bass for the band (the latter musician reminding me about upcoming Moonsorrow tour). At the same time, Niko focused on growling vocals when performing songs from the older albums (while Ari exited the stage for a while), accompanied, of course, by him jumping around the stage, grinning and, apparently, genuinely enjoying the band’s final gig. Amoral’s earlier frontman was energetic to the point of being bubbly! It was clear that the bond between band members was still strong – and so was their interaction both amongst each other and with the audience. The surprisingly small ‘crowd’ got more enthusiastic thanks to the band encouraging to sing along, chant and clap (but sadly not to throw horns).
Listening to Amoral classics sung by both Pitkänen and Kalliojärvi surely made a fantastic impression. Their voices together were excellent; this combination of harsh vocals was more than powerful! As if to underline how entertaining and loud this part of the concert was, the lighting transformed to being even more dynamic and spectacular (oh, and don’t forget the smoke effects!)
The audience’s curiosity and attitude changed with the lineup. With Niko leaving the stage (only for a couple of songs, of course) people suddenly seemed less excited then they were just a moment before. The important thing was that even though the audience had less enthusiasm, the band stayed just as passionate as from the very beginning of the gig (which is a real achievement during such a long and meaningful evening). You don’t always see that much dedication onstage.
Speaking of the unbelievable energy Amoral had during that memorable gig, not all of the performed songs were fast and insanely energetic. One of them, which was also among the last songs played, had a serene, acoustic opening. With all of its melancholic mood, the song could easily be a proper goodbye hymn for the band. Not to sound overly depressing, Amoral ended their last show returning to heavier songs and catchier melodies with more powerful riffs.
The next part of the gig turned out to be its last. Special thanks for the support during their career and every band member appearing on the stage again (not only the newest lineup but former Amoral musicians as well) could mean only one thing: not only the concert was over, but so was the band’s activity.
The evening in Tavastia was definitely an unforgettable one. And as if the entertaining goodbye gig wasn’t enough, seven albums and more than two decades of musical career speak for themselves and have made Amoral a band impossible to forget.
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Photography by Lady Enslain