Monday, September 4, 2017

Summer Days 2017:August

Our 2nd month of summer shows was mostly outside of Finland. In September we only have a show in Israel and the Radio Rock Cruise so I’ll let you know about them later when I do my fall update that covers everything…or at least most of a lot of things that’s been going on…we’ll see about that later.Be that as it may:

4.8. & 5.8. Wacken Open Air, Germany & Skogsröjet, Sweden.

We started the month with the biggest and greatest heavy metal festival, Wacken Open
Air.  As usual we flew to Helsinki the night before, this time we had to go to Oulu (around1,5 hours by car) to get a reasonable flight, spent the night at the hotel and got going towards Hamburg in the morning. Nothing new here, and nothing to see either ;-)
Our slot was a nice afternoon thing on one of the main stages, which of course was nice. The time at the festival was quite restricted for us because we had a 0445 lobby call in the morning to fly to Sweden, nevertheless we met a lot of familiar faces, did our show and a signing session and then we were on our way back to the hotel. In the evening we had dinner and tried out the hotel sauna as well.

The next morning was of course horrible, as you can imagine. We did however drag our bones to the flight, and upon arrival in Stockholm it was time for a 2 hour van ride to our hotel. Luckily we had the whole day to rest and in the evening we left for the festival. I was told that the Röjmyre village where the festival is held, only has around 800 people of which half were working as volunteers on the festival….which also was essential for the survival of the village. I guess you learn something every day. Our backstage was in a small school and the whole festival had this homegrown-feel to it. Which was nice and everything worked smoothly so no complaints here. We had a short signing session and a late night slot at 0100, the last band at the festival if I understood everything correctly. The next day it was once again an early start, vanride to the airport, changeover in Helsinki and then in Oulu we jumped in the car and drove home. 

12.8. Runnirock, Finland

Our next stop was a quick deal in Iisalmi, just around 4 hours by train from where we live. In the afternoon Tommy & I got on the train, arrived at around 2100 in the evening, walked to the hotel (which was a really nice one and booked only for the bands & festival staff for that weekend). Had some dinner, went to the festival and did the show, this time it was around 0000, then back to the hotel, evening/night-snack and the hit the bed. At 0900 our train back home left and in the afternoon we were back at home. This was probably the fastest festival for us this summer. BTW, for those of you who haven’t
discovered or been exposed to the wonders of , this summer we’ve been playing pretty much the same songs that we had in our setlist during the spring with the addition of Paid in Full, 8th Commandment and Black Sheep. For all I know that’s pretty much the stuff we’ll be doing for the last few shows this year…and in 2018 when we’re back on the road, we’ll have to renew the set to keep ourselves and you guys happy !!
Any suggestions what you’d like to hear, let me know and I see what I can do.

18.8. & 19.8. Summer Breeze, Germany & Rock Heart, Czech Republic

Another run that starts with an overnight stay in Helsinki. We left on Thursday evening and continued on to Germany on Friday morning. At the Summerbreeze festival, I think the festival itself turned 20 years and our label Nuclear Blast had their 30 year anniversary or something so it was basically one giant meet and greet with a lot of familiar faces. The show was kinda ok but somehow I had trouble getting the gist of it , it was probably just in my head but it felt weird. Anyways, we ended the night with some steaks at the hotel and then got ready for an early wake-up call to fly to the Czech republic. We quickly swung by the hotel to drop our stuff and then proceeded to the festival, for a change of pace, the airline managed to lose our guitar and bass cases so that was of course exciting ;-) The did turn up just before the show, so all good in that department, the only problem was that my Vortex-keytar didn’t work, the light went on but nothing happened. As we were running late I decided to say, fuck it and just play the show with my Kronos, which of course worked out well but I was pissed since I couldn’t move around even a little bit. (This of course isn’t the problem with Silent Voices for example since we play small venues and on top of that the material is so complex that I need both of my hands for most of the stuff).

A few days after this incident I did get a pic from my tech, showing that the Vortex was actually broken inside. (the midi wiring had been yanked out of the motherboard).

Our trip back home from Czech republic did however go ok and with that we had some days off to prepare for the last festival this month.

26.8. Czad Festival, Poland
One-offs in Europe are a bit of a shitty deal since we live up north and the connections
really suck. Yeah I know, whiny whiny whiny little bitch. At the moment we’ve been out every weekend for two months so I have the right to complain a bit. Anyways, Friday night and on to Helsinki for the airport hotel, early Saturday we flew to Poland and went to the hotel to drop off our things (10min break) and then to the festival to rock out. A pretty good show it was indeed ;-) afterwards we got back to the hotel for some drinks, the next day we didn’t have to leave until 1600 hours so we spent the day sitting outside in the sun (keep in mind that our weather back home is already getting quite shitty)….in the evening we flew to Helsinki and went straight to bed since we arrived around 0100, the next day we flew home at 1400, talk about shitty connections.

Now we’re getting ready for the last trip of this year (actually the second to last, but the last one isn’t public yet…I think). We’re playing our first show in Israel in a few days and then it’s off to the Radio Rock Cruise with our friends from Stratovarius, Children of Bodom and Lost Society, among others…




  1. DREAM THIEVES!!!!!!!!!!!
    Sorry, you said suggestions for setlist, couldn't help myself ;)
    Would that be possible, like, at all? I could die happy once I've seen that live, so pretty please with (vodka-infused) cherries on top? Any bribes you want, you can have them. If you're sick of Killepitsch, I'll think of something else. Please? :D

    Gosh, sucks that your keytar broke down :/ At least it was during a one-off show, and you didn't need it again right the next day.

    Got a question for you: When you have these layovers in Helsinki, are you allowed to leave the airport, or just to the airport hotel? Need to plan a trip to Levi next year (friend is getting married) and there's the option of a 16 hour layover, which would be nice to take if we could get to see Helsinki a bit without paying extra flights :D

    Enjoy Israel (that's gonna be a long-ass flight with a lot of time for whining :D) and have a great time over there!

    Take care,

    PS: Can you or HPR tell me when the physical stuff for KS2 will be out? :)

    1. During the layovers in Helsinki we usually stay at the aiport hotel but of course you can head to the city if you want....for the KS2 thing you'll have to check with HPR.

  2. I think it's amazing how you'll be going "all the way down there" (Israel)- quite an exotic location, and i bet you're quite curious and excited to visit that place for the first time! Am curious to hear where the very last show will be revealed to be, & wondering when you'll start working on the next album too!- any news about that yet?

  3. Hi Henkka,

    What a great performance in Poland!
    I believe that you liked the atmosphere here ;)

    It was worth to stay almost a hour under the stage to see all the band (thanks for the man who saw us after the performance).

    I'm very happy, that you signed my copy of The Ninth Hour but you're the only who I haven't took photo with :( . I think that you've ran away too fast :D

    If you were in Poland with Sonata Arctica once again, I would try to take a picture with you :D


  4. "A few days after this incident I did get a pic from my tech, showing that the Vortex was actually broken inside. (the midi wiring had been yanked out of the motherboard"

    Whoa. Intentional? Or do you think just normal wear and tear from travel and use? I see a lot of that where I work. Computers tend to fall apart often when people move them. Sucks man. Seems like everything else is well enough.

    1. I don't think it was intentional, probably just the airline dudes slamming the cases while loading. Not the first time stuff brakes mysteriously while flying.

  5. Hello, Henkka! i would like to hear Cinderblox again, Breathing, For the sake of revenge, Gravenimage, Blood!, Running lights and of course Till Death's Done Us Apart. Sorry for my primitive english! greetings!

  6. Exciting news regarding that setlist change. What about some more Silence? I'd love to see Last Drop Falls back in the setlist as well as Sing in Silence, never heard them live. And False News Travel Fast would be epic :)

    Thanks for giving us the opportuinity to give you some ideas!

  7. The last one? Please, tell us!

  8. 9.11. we are sailing?

    1. Yeah the last one is a cruise in November ;-)

  9. Hei, the misery ois ihana kuulla, what did you do in the war dad, ja last drop falls ja kaikki on kyllä ihania. See you 9.11. laivalla?!

  10. Hi Henkka!! Well two songs I never had the pleasure to hear live and that really would make me scream/cry/make a weird little dance (not necessarily in this order) if I ever have the chance to are "Caleb" and "It Won't Fade"... yep, Unia is still my favourite album. I remember you played Caleb in São Paulo in 2008 but I wasn't a SA's fan yet so those two songs would be a dream-come-true thing. Of course there are other songs I'd die to hear live but I know they're a big no-no right now and these two alone will make me happy enough... Wish you and the guys all the best. See ya!

  11. Great suggestions for songs y'all, I bet some of those will be in the setlist during the winter tour in Finland.

  12. Ihanaa! Kiitos tiedosta (9.11.)!, Toivottavasti pääsen mukaan! Tuiskulaan ainakin, on ihan naapurissa. Kiitos kivasta blogista! Kaikkea hyvää sinulle ja koko bändille! Ootte kaikki niin huippu tyyppejä ja kaupanpäälle huippu musaa! En jaksais arkea ilman teitä! Sydämelliset kiitokset!

  13. Hello Henrik! Thank you for telling us about the summer fests :) Yes, sometimes there can be different unexpected things, but luckily you've always managed to solve them! And this tour has been an absolute record holder in the amount of gigs and everything that goes with them! I take my hat off to you, guys, for your professionalism and devotion to what you do!.. I had a dream were you told me that there was a magazine about Sonata Arctica available for purchase. It had two parts. Well, I do not know how to interpret it, but, maybe in future there can be one? For example, a mag that will go with the DVD. Especially as there is the 20th anniversary of the band soon. That would be great! And maybe that book about Sonata Arctica (in English) can be reprinted? I am sure there are people willing to buy it, but currently only a Finnish version is available. I wish you a good time full of rest! Enjoy your holidays!

  14. Rarely/never played and some of your best songs IMO:
    Fly With the Black Swan, Everything Fades to Gray, Ruins of My Life, Boy Who Wanted to be a Real Puppet, Truth is Out There.
    Also why not bring back Pariah's Child gems Blood & What Did You Do in the War Dad?