Copenhell - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

As the day had taken a bad turn at some point (yes Dying Fetus, I’m talking to you), I was now looking forward to seeing the Finnish alcoholics in Korpiklaani turning things around and bring back some of the festive feeling to the Copenhell festival.

Oddly though, the band seemed calmer than what I had anticipated, and this was reflected in the crowd as well (or was it the other way around?).
Me, I’m used to massive dance-moshing and long conga-lines when this band is playing, but here the largest part of the crowd was merely standing still and watched – this is not necessarily the best way to enjoy Korpiklaani. I myself wasn’t getting completely into the feeling either I’m sad to say, but this I blame on the fact that the first half of the set consisted mostly of songs I didn’t really know. I love this band, and will see them live as often as I can, but the fact is that they have released a crazy amount of albums considering their life-span, and I have only begun to scratch the top of all of their recorded material.
It wasn’t bad though, that’s not what I’m trying to say.
The band seemed happy even with their less than usual prancing about, and there was a clique of people in the middle who tried to get the party started by jumping along to the music and throwing applause at the band.

Then out of the blue, there was a shift in the atmosphere. It happened after the new (to me at least) violinist, Tuomas Rounakari, got to prove his worth by playing a shamanistic violin solo where all the other members of the band left the stage. The solo was good for him, because up till that point he had come off as tremendously serious and a bit stiff compared to his band-mates, but now when he had some time alone with us, the facade, intentional or not, fell apart and we got to see him smile, and finally we got the impression that he also enjoyed being here playing for us.
When the rest of the band returned, there was as I mentioned a different atmosphere about them, and when they led us into the speedy and joyful Vodka it suddenly dawned on me – what had been missing was alcohol! Korpiklaani as an entity had simply been too sober in the beginning, and that’s why things hadn’t really caught on in that massive way that only they know!
Well, I can assure you that this was remedied now, and not only had the band gotten something inside the vest, the rest of the set was actually also solely revolving around that one subject that makes any party worth its name – yes, it’s alcohol again!

“What the fuck are you doing, this is heavy metal?!”
- Jonne Järvelä (vocals/guitar)

This apparently prompted the audience to kick back a few more as well (exactly where they got them from I cannot say, because I never noticed a decline in the number of people watching the band), and this in turn loosened up the party even more, and now we had a regular full throttle Finlandia fest, just the way we like it!
It would seem from the quoted comment however, that Järvelä wasn’t completely in agreement with the wave that the audience performed for the much appreciated Happy Little Boozer, but on the other hand he also cracked a smile which reached from ear to ear as he said it, so I doubt there were any hard feelings.
So, after a somewhat timid start, Korpiklaani took the reins of this drinking session and pulled home another well-deserved win for the Finnish outback. The festive mood was definitely back again at Copenhell!

Setlist (incomplete):

Solo (Rounakari)
Wooden Pints
Happy Little Boozer
Beer Beer

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