Metalcamp - 2011

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

In complete opposite of the day before, there really wasn’t much music which interested me on the Wednesday of Metalcamp this year; or to put it in another way, there was only one band which was a must-see for me, and that was Wintersun.

Wintersun went on at half past ten in the evening on the main stage, and all I could think of at this point was “thank god they finally gave this band an evening slot”. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Wintersun play at a festival while it was dark outside before. Ok, so the gig at Metalfest earlier this summer had him playing at dusk when the light was changing, but other than that it has always been bright afternoon slots, and the darkness became the band.
So after the same kind of mixed pre-recorded and live performed intro as on the aforementioned festival, the band went straight into Beyond The Dark Sun and the enormous crowd was nearly blown away – literally! What happened was that someone in the sound-tower had obviously found the volume switch, so all of a sudden the sound was incredibly, near intolerably, louder! It was in fact so loud I could feel my ribcage moving by the pounding of the drums.
This certainly didn’t work to the bands advantage, but luckily the sound mix was still acceptable so we just had to bear it out while hearing some great tunes. I don’t know if this was also the reason for the lessened activity or not, but the moshpit was surprisingly small considering the vast amount of people who were present. On the other hand, crowd surfing was suddenly more popular than ever before, and it was clear that people still had a good time.

As did the members of the band I would like to say. The performance in itself was a more calm than I had expected, but far from boring, and Jari Mäenpää was happy to chat with the audience between songs.
At one point someone threw an inflatable beach ball which ended up on the stage, and this was cause for some amusement within the band as the members (except Kai Hahto for obvious reasons) played around with it for a little between themselves before they kicked it back out into the crowd.
Still, there was love for Hahto even though he was partially hid behind the blurry air which was his hands working the sticks, and this love was most visibly represented by a guy standing close to me with his shirt off – he had a large hear painted on his chest with the name Kai written inside of it!

It’s not exactly like Wintersun is unknown at Metalcamp; in fact they have quite a nice history together what with this being the bands third visit to the paradise-like place.
The first time around their set consisted wholly of songs from the Wintersun album, the second time we were introduced to the coming album by a few seconds of noise (I’m not sure if it was actually part of a song, or the band just having a bit of a laugh), and finally this time they had brought along an entirely new song! The Way Of The Fire was its name, and if you want closer details as to how it sounds you can always check out my review of Wintersun’s gig at Metalfest. Or listen to it yourself at YouTube, which I believe many of this days visitors had done; the singing was at least far more intense than what should have been possible for a song no one had ever heard before, so thank God for technology!

Well, speaking of technology… That’s one thing that’s never really been a friend of this band now is it, and this concert would prove to be no exception from this rule, sadly.
I have already mentioned the monstrously loud volume, and you know that when something is far louder than the speakers can really take it doesn’t end up sounding very good. Not only this, but by the time the band was playing Death And The Healing some guy decided it would be fun if we could only hear the bass; thus all other things nearly disappeared while the bass suddenly went way up in volume, not exactly adding anything positive to the already messed up sound we were getting.
They pulled themselves a little bit together after this (not nearly enough though), and yet in the final song of the night, Starchild, the problems were there again; this time it was the clean guitar parts which were completely gone for some reason…

So, with all these problems I cannot for the life of me say that this was the best Wintersun show I have ever seen, but I would like to say that the atmosphere and the energy coming from the band still managed to make it highly enjoyable, and I’m glad I saw it.
One little tip to the band though; if your rehearsed set doesn’t quite fill the entire time you have on stage, please put an extra song or two in instead of leaving almost 10 minutes early. Take good advantage of the great slot you have been given!


Beyond The Dark Sun
Battle Against Time
Sleeping Stars
Winter Madness
Death And The Healing
The Way Of The Fire

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