Metalcamp - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

“You might remember us from yesterday, we were completely fucking wasted!”
- Jonne Järvelä (vocals/guitar)

Living like Korpiklaani for a single night at a concert might cause permanent liver damage to a healthy, normal metalhead – now imagine the damage caused by letting these whackos loose on a week-long party like Metalcamp! I think you can guess the result. Or actually, I’m not sure you can, I’m not sure anyone can...

“I had a real problem with alcohol. I couldn’t find the fucking bar!”
- Järvelä (vocals/guitar)

It was apparent however that the band had gotten a good, liquid breakfast before entering the Main Stage of Metalcamp as the first band for us this nice and sunny day.
To begin with, I was a bit surprised by the line-up; only once had we seen the new violinist, Tuomas Rounakari, play with the band, and already he too had been replaced it would seem! Well, not completely, as it turned out he only had a stand-in for this show, Tero Hyväluoma from Snecka and Freak, and he did a very god job of filling the violin-shoes, and even got to play a solo at one point!
The rest of the band looked very happy straight from the start as I mentioned above, and it soon enough became apparent that there was a certain someone who had probably looked a little bit deeper into the Vodka bottle than his band-mates; Järvelä was at the top of his game when the show started, but he quickly took a turn over the top, and then it was a pretty fast ride downhill... Already in the third song of the gig, the Hector cover Juodaan Viinaa, guitarist Kalle ‘Cane’ Savijärvi had to help out in the vocal department, a chance he got to repeat later on in the set as well for Happy Little Boozer, as Järvelä this time completely left the stage in his confusion, only to reappear a short while later now dragging his guitar behind him on the floor and falling over occasionally... I suppose it was to his luck that so much of the set this day was instrumental songs...
Järvelä also spoke some Finnish between songs, but as no real explanation followed suit, I guess he just forgot that no one was likely to understand a word of it; still, the English sentences he fired away also told of the state he was in, as he said Kipumylly was about the pain in the ass it was to get up to get to the tour bus.

“The next one is very hard for us...”
- Järvelä (vocals/guitar)

I understand the above can be read as though the show was a complete disaster in the vein of something Spinal Tap could have done, but as the festival already had seen its Spinal Tap moment with Machine Head, Korpiklaani was only amusing, and at all the times when Järvelä pulled himself together (or possibly just drifted into contact with himself), both he and the show as a whole worked very well.
The large crowd in front of the stage knew exactly what this was all about at least, and it didn’t take long for a giant dance to take form, and further down the line the crowd also continued the “security stress test” introduced by Kataklysm earlier on, where the name of the game was to get as many crowd surfers over the security fence as possible in as short a time as possible. I’m sure you can imagine the breath-taking scene, especially if you have been to a Korpiklaani show in the past!
Back up on the stage we were now nearing the end, and the final song of the day, Rauta, saw Järvelä change his guitar for a bowler hat (the same one he uses in the video for said song I suppose), and a helper entered on the percussion, but I had no idea who this person was... The party also reached its peak here, and when the song was done the air was instead filled with the appreciative voices of the many fans present. So loud was the shouting that even long after the rest of the band had left, Järvelä was still standing around, basking in the glory of a performance well executed. Well, that or he was just too drunk to find his way out, either one is as likely as the other I suppose.

“We are the scandals!”
- Järvelä (vocals/guitar)

The last time I saw Korpiklaani, at Copenhell in Denmark, the band had struggled with a slow start which they had to work hard to better throughout the gig. This had not been the case here, in Tolmin the party was in full blast straight from the start, and except for a bit too many instrumental songs for my taste, this gig gave me exactly everything I want out of a Korpiklaani gig. They aren’t the best band in the world, but damn it, when they perform like this I am powerless against their charm, and I don’t mind in the least!


Ievan Polkka
Journey Man
Juodaan Viinaa (Hector cover)
Solo (Hyväluoma)
Spring Dance
Happy Little Boozer

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