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CHILDREN OF BODOM - Jyväskylä (photos Tampere)





After touring around Asia and Europe for two and a half months, Children of Bodom finally brought their I Worship Chaos World Tour back to their home base, playing five shows for the domestic Hate Crew. Musicalypse went to Jyväskylä’s Paviljonki on December 11th, 2015, to see if the band was still able to stir up chaos even with a lengthy tour behind them.


It was like a second Christmas when I finally received my copy of Children of Bodom’s new album, I Worship Chaos. The bands ninth studio album was released in the beginning of October, heading straight to number one in the Finnish album chart. The album exceeded my expectations and thus I was more than ready to see the band performing their new songs live.

The third Christmas came when the band announced that they would be playing five gigs in Finland. The first gig in Helsinki was part of their tour with Lamb of God and Sylosis. As you may or may not have heard, due to the unfortunate events in Paris, Lamb of God decided to cancel the rest of their European tour. Children of Bodom, however, carried on and played the remaining gigs with the British thrash band, Sylosis. Four other shows in Finland were supported by Medeia and Ensiferum, both of whom have been touring with Children of Bodom in the past. Though I would have wished for some “newer" bands supporting Bodom, at least I was certain that Medeia and Ensiferum would most probably get the crowd ready and excited for the night’s main act.

Interesting detail in this Finnish tour was that the venues had gotten bigger compared to previous events. Instead of performing in places like Pakkahuone or Lutakko, Children of Bodom hit the stage in Tähtiareena in Tampere, Paviljonki in Jyväskylä, and SuperPark Areena in Oulu, all of which are places for organizing fairs and congresses of all kinds. I personally have very warm memories from seeing Children of Bodom in Pakkahuone in Tampere, so attending a show in a congress centre did raise some mixed feelings.

Arriving at Paviljonki in Jyväskylä took the edge off of my excitement and not in a good way. After the doors were opened, the crowd would walk through a big hall with the cloak room and merchandise table, past the café and candy counter to the next big hall with the actual stage and alcohol-serving area. For a moment I was not sure if I was about to attend a metal gig or an office conference where sitting on tables and enjoying beverages from the bar was the main entertainment whilst some cover band would play familiar tunes on stage without anyone really paying attention. There was less than 10 meters between the stage and the fence of the no-minors area. I could already imagine most of the crowd just standing with beers in their hands without really giving a damn about the band(s). All-in-all, the venue was a huge disappointment even before the first band of the evening had started their set. The milieu was gloomy and simply did not feel inviting. To put it briefly, Paviljonki did not give me a good first impression.




The night started with Medeia’s 30 minute set. Last time we saw them on stage was in Nummirock 2014, right after their new vocalist Frans Aalto had joined the band. The gig left me with controversial feelings. Medeia was on stage the same way I remembered them from last time I saw them – lots of moving, jumping, and all-around devotion to the music and audience. No unnecessary breaks but full speed from the beginning to the end. However, the venue just did not work for them. Even though the audience was almost surprisingly big considering it was still early and only the first of three bands performing, the crowd did not really give Medeia the welcome they might have deserved. The band would have thrived in a smaller club venue but was not big enough to fill the fair hall of Paviljonki.



The atmosphere and genre changed quite drastically when one of Finland’s biggest folk metal bands, Ensiferum, took over the stage with their battle songs. The beginning of the gig might have been a bit slow but during Ensiferum’s set the audience finally started to show some signs of liveliness. Hearing older favorites like “One More Magic Potion" and “Lai Lai Hei" certainly gave the crowd the kick they needed. Throughout the gig, a few enthusiastic fans asked the band rather loudly to play their song “Iron," which was finally heard as the last song of their set list. This proved to be a topnotch choice since the song is rather famous for its certain part which evokes the crowd to sing – or rather shout – along “tättä-dä-dää." This part was practiced beforehand with the band so when the time came, the audience in Jyväskylä gave their contribution to the gig. Ensiferum delivered a solid gig which got the crowd warm and ready for the headliner.


Finally, it was time for the evening’s main performer. The gig started with “Are You Dead Yet?" and “In Your Face," which were perfect songs to get the crowd excited and shouting along the choruses. Children of Bodom played a nice range of songs from all of their albums except for one – for some reason nothing was heard from Relentless Reckless Forever, which I found a bit surprising. Those preferring the older material got pampered with songs like “Lake Bodom," “Everytime I Die," and “Hate Me!"

Being the I Worship Chaos World Tour promoting Bodom’s new album, it was a bit of a disappointment that the band chose to play only three songs from the aforementioned record. The songs heard were the title track, as well as “Morrigan" and “I Hurt." There’s nothing to complain about regarding those particular choices, but I personally would have hoped for more new songs. Then again, with bands like Bodom who have a long career and so many good albums and songs to choose from, it most probably gets difficult to compile a setlist that will satisfy the fans whether they prefer the older or newer material. Still, I hope in the future they’ll add some other songs from I Worship Chaos to their set list.



Towards the end, the crowd managed to pull off some pretty good moshpits, but throughout the gig I could not shrug off the feeling that the audience did not quite give their all, even though the bands on stage were trying their best. Although to be fair, the audience did sing along quite nicely to “Hate Crew Deathroll," which for me is “the" Bodom song. Hearing the fans shouting “we’re the hate crew, we stand and we won’t fall" carries that special something… a feeling of unity perhaps.

The evening’s hit parade got its perfect ending with encore songs “Needled 24/7" and “Downfall." The latter is one of the regulars on Bodom’s setlist and guaranteed to make the crowd go wild. After the encore, there was one happy and exhausted looking band on stage when the outro song, Beastie Boys’ “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)" started playing. After this, there was one more gig to go on this tour before their well-deserved break.


When it comes to the overall performance of the band, the Bodom guys deserve a solid 8/10. From my point of view, the long tour did not seem to affect the performance but the audience could have been a bit livelier. One has to also acknowledge the great job Antti Wirman has done as a substitute second guitarist. The rumors are that the new guitarist replacing Roope Latvala, who left the band last spring, will be revealed in the beginning of next year, an announcement I bet many are eagerly waiting for. Hopefully Children of Bodom will do a couple of summer festivals in Finland as well so that we’ll get to see the new guy in action as soon as possible.




Setlist:

1. Are You Dead Yet?
2. In Your Face
3. Morrigan
4. Halo of Blood
5. I Hurt
6. Everytime I Die
7. Bodom Beach Terror
8. Hate Me!
9. Lake Bodom
10. Blooddrunk
11. I Worship Chaos
12. Angels Don’t Kill
13. Silent Night, Bodom Night
14. Hate Crew Deathroll
15. Bodom After Midnight

Encore:

1. Needled 24/7
2. Downfall


Text: Essi Nummi | Ed: Amy Wiseman

Photos: Eliza Rask, Tampere 2015



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