Ensiferum

Roskilde - 2013

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Ensiferum stood for delivery of the pagan part of metal at Roskilde 2013, and just as many others of the ones we had seen, they stood to deliver it in the Odeon tent. This place had already proved to be a gathering point of metalheads here at the Danish multi-genre festival, so hopes were high as we stood and waited in the early afternoon heat.

“Good morning Roskilde, are you awake to get the party started?”
- Petri Lindroos (vocals/guitar)


There was a problem though, and it manifested already during the intro song Symbols – just as it was about to finish, all of the speakers to the left (seen from the crowd) went silent, and as this hadn’t been dealt with successfully when the band came on and began playing, the guitars were completely inaudible when standing on that side and the entire thing sounded very hollow. So far, not off to a good start...
The quality of the sound grew considerably during the second song, Guardians Of Fate, though, as they now got the speakers working again, and even though it never fully reached audio nirvana we at least got something acceptable that delivered the songs to us.
What the show lacked in quality from the soundguy, it made up for in plenty from the guys on stage though – even at an early hour such as this, the whole band was performing admirably! Petri Lindroos and Sami Hinkka took turns with firing up the crowd between songs, but it was more the action they, most of them anyway, let fall during the songs that really made the difference – Emmi Silvennoinen was windmilling hard straight from the start (with her hair you dirty bastard!) and Hinkka was as wonderful a performer as always, whereas Lindroos, Markus Toivonen and Janne Parviainen took the whole performance idea a bit lighter. Toivonen did warm up a bit through the course of the concert though, and during Twilight Tavern he could even be seen doing some dance moves!

“Alright Roskilde, I know it’s early but who’s up for a beer?”
- Sami Hinkka (bass)


There weren’t many dance moves in the crowd that inhabited the warm tent, but beers were consumed and loud roars of appreciation did rise on occasion, something that told me that it wasn’t too early for the show after all. Well, that and the fact that there was quite a nice a nice amount of people present, especially taking the hour into account.
The energy wasn’t completely gone though, when Lindroos called out for a moshpit to accompany Retribution Shall Be Mine it didn’t take long for a large body of fans in the middle of the crowd to respond by violently yet happily smashing into each other.
Some sing along singing also occurred, like the mighty “de dedede, DE DEDEDE!” in the set finishing Iron, but mostly people enjoyed the show in their own calm manner.

In the Metalmoments camp, it was definitely Lunah Lauridsen who took most to the show, naming it the top Ensiferum show she had witnessed, whereas I myself enjoyed it but wasn’t completely moved by the Finns effort. I have seen them do better, but honestly, I have seen them do much, much worse as well, and this show definitely ranks in with the better half of concerts I have seen by Ensiferum.
As a note of interest, I would like to point out that when acquiring provisions at the bar shortly before One More Magic Potion (with its For Whom The Bell Tolls snippet), I noticed that the sound was far better out there, far behind the tent the band was actually playing in. Go figure...

Setlist:

Symbols
In My Sword I Trust
Guardians Of Fate
From Afar
Burning Leaves
One More Magic Potion
Retribution Shall Be Mine
LAI LAI HEI
Ahti
Stone Cold Metal
Twilight Tavern
Victory Song
Iron

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