Pumpehuset, Copenhagen - 2015

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Korpiklaani, purveyor of premium Finnish folk metal, were out and about, swinging their legs again.
Some two and a half years after their last visit to Pumpehuset, they now returned with a new album in their backpack.

The Copenhagen crowd was already good and warm after a well-played support gig by our very own Heidra, so there was no hesitation about partying when Korpiklaani took the stage. Already in the pre-recorded intro people were happily clapping along to the music, and as the musicians came in, a roar of excitement was added on top of the applause. I noticed that Korpiklaani had a new violin player, but from what I gather, he (whomever he is, I haven’t been able to find any info on him) is only a live stand-in for Tuomas Rounakari, who was away for unknown reasons.
Unknown was actually a common theme of the night, in that dear Mr. Jonne Järvelä didn’t speak to us. As in, basically not at all. Not a single word during the entire gig from what I remember. Fair enough, I’ve always been a spokesperson for putting the music first, but a healthy mix would have been appreciated. Maybe naming the new man on stage, naming a song or two, anything really would have been nice. However, it seems like Järvelä is slowly but steadily cutting down things to do, as he once again didn’t play any guitar either, and Kalle ‘Cane’ Savijärvi took over on vocals as well shortly in Juodaan Viinaa.

The energy level of the band was all the way on top though, as we have come to expect from this orchestra. Everyone was lively, moving about, and having a good time on stage. The new violin was a good fit for the band, and seemed secure and confident as he lashed one fast fiddle melody out after another. You must hand it to the band, they have a great sense in finding new members, even if they are only, as I suspect here, temporary.
Another thing you have to hand to the band, is that the further into their career they get, the more varied they make their sets. I admit, many of the songs they played I don’t know, or don’t know very well, but it was easy to detect more variations to tempo and style than what I remember from the old days, where it was mostly a swinging dance party from start to finish. Hell, they even played something where my first thought was to shout Slayer at the top of my lungs! Sumussa Hämärän Aamun is obviously not a cover, but the sound of that intro lies close enough as to quickly draw a connection between the two.

Of course, the dance material hadn’t been left out either, and there were even two instrumental songs played, all to the delight of the crowd who danced, jumped, and headbanged away, completely forgetting that this actually was something as uncomfortable as a Monday.
The response the band got was really good throughout the concert, but the biggest cheers came, not surprisingly, with the very few live-staples of the band at the very end of the show. Not that the band are low on making live-staples, but they weren’t much for playing them this evening – still, Vodka, Wooden Pints, and of course Happy Little Boozer went straight into our mead-filled hearts and guts, rounding off what can mostly be considered a huge success of a show.
I say mostly, because even though the tempo was high throughout, as was the energy level and the good atmosphere, I couldn’t help but feel a stealthy entrance of the thought that this was also a little bit generic for the band. There really wasn’t anything that made this concert different in any way from the previous or coming ones, nothing to tell us that they were happy to be here to play, as contrary to just being happy to play.

Even so, I am mostly positive. Musically, there was nothing to complain about, and I was standing with a big smile on my face for the better part of the show as well. A few more classics would have been nice, and as mentioned, a bit of talking, but other than that, Korpiklaani delivered on all accounts.


Viinamäen Mies
Journey Man
Pilli On Pajusta Tehty
Petoeläimen Kuola
Sumussa Hämärän Aamun
Minä Näin Vedessä Neidon
Kylästä Keväinen Kehto
Wooden Pints
Happy Little Boozer
Juodaan Viinaa (Hector cover)

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