Copenhell - 2023

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Fridays are often associated with partying and drinking, so what band would you say incorporated the spirit of Fridays the most? If you answered Korpiklaani, you’d be absolutely right!
Yes, after 11 years, it was time for the wild clan to return to our concrete festival grounds and like there was no tomorrow. There was of course, but Korpiklaani would not be part of it…

The show began with a taped violin intro, and while dark clouds were gathering in the skies and the wind was picking up, it was still nothing of the speed of the circlepit and the following dust cloud that rose up to meet its paler kin on high.
Yes, the Danish fans were kicking off hard, but so was the band. The set opened with a deadly trio of party favourites from the band; A Man With A Plan, Wooden Pints, and Happy Little Boozer. With a start like that, how could they not incite action on the grounds?
The best part of this was that the band was equally up to the task. All of the musicians were happily traversing Helvíti, and among them I noticed a surprising yet familiar face. It took me a minute to get that the new (to me) violin player was none other than Olli Vänskä, formerly of Turisas (which I instantly missed when making the connection), who replaced long-time member Tuomas Rounakari in 2021. Vänskä seemed to fit right in here in his new home.
The band even powered through when the wind picked up so much that parts of their stage dressing fell over and the backdrop flew up and tried to envelop poor Samuli Mikkonen - not that such trivial matters slowed his drumming in any way!

No one was more alive than Jonne Järvelä however, as he was so alive and flew across the stage, fully engaging with the crowd wherever he was. This of course only pushed the crowd party even further, and in turn we saw wave after wave of crowd surfers or a huge circle pit - the poor overworked security officers took it in stride however, and performed their duty with a smile on their faces.
As per tradition, there was also a dance train longer than a midsummer’s day, and interspersed into all this frey, someone in the crowd had brought large beach balls which were diligently pushed around - and again, the security personnel were happy to help when it occasionally ended up on the wrong side of the fence.

Korpiklaani delivered a highly lively show that I enjoyed every minute of, and a setlist of well-worn classics mixed with several songs that at least I’m not too familiar with in their live sets. Some new favourites for me were definitely the highly catchy Sanaton Maa, the reggae vibed Leväluhta, and Ennen, the latter which I once again recognised as a cover of sorts from something else but wasn’t able to place it till much later - it was of course Got The Time by Anthrax!

I have nothing but good words for this show, and can only hope that Korpiklaani becomes a more frequent guest in the future, and that they keep bringing this kind of party. This was the strongest Korpiklaani show I’ve seen in a long time!


A Man With A Plan
Wooden Pints
Happy Little Boozer
Sanaton Maa
Ievan Polkka
Pilli On Pajusta Tehty
Beer Beer
Vesaisen Sota

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