Stream Of Passion, Helsinki, Nosturi 19.01.2007

Event: Stream Of Passion: European Tour
Written by: .mrt
Published: 04.02.2007

Galleries:

Stream Of Passion - Nosturi, Helsinki, Finland, 19.01.2007 by Ivor (18)
Table of Contents
1 Finns
2 Nosturi
3 Warm-up
4 Song By Song
5 Meet And Greet
6 Set List
7 Conclusions
8 Links

1 Finns

Greetings to our northern metal-friends.

Finns have two music genres well covered. First being tango, as they hold annual "Tangomarkkinat" (tangofair or tangofestival in English) contest, where they crown their "Tango King" and "Tango Queen." The second is metal. Maybe it's just me, but I'm a bit more fond of the latter.

It came to me as a surprise later in the night (as I was planning to cruise the city until the earliest ferry to Tallinn comes) that Finns have rather weird nightlife - some guy was playing saxophone in the street corner, other was drumming in the middle of the night (Friday-Saturday night 3 AM). We saw it while on the way from a closed pub to the only known open place at that time - McDonald's. It was even more depressing in Finland than in Estonia because people were throwing their garbage just off the table to the floor. I guess that's why they call it "junk-food."

But let's rewind back to the beginning of the evening...

2 Nosturi

The name of the place is Nosturi - "crane" as the mechanical device in English. Don't know where the name came from but it might have something to do with the big harbour crane next to the building... perhaps... definitely.

It seems to be quite a popular place to hold music events in Helsinki. If you go to a concert in Helsinki, chances are good that it is held there. Outside it looks much bigger than the inside would let you presume.

Technical specs say that Nosturi can manage up to 900 people, so it's not a large venue. I can't say that the place was half-empty (or half-full, to all you optimists out there), but I think 90% of the max capacity is pretty close to the truth. So you could go get a beer quite easily and not upset too many people by bumping into them; but who had the time to get a beer with that incredible music? Frankly to say, it was the closest thing to an ideal gig that I've seen. But more about that in a moment.

3 Warm-up

Metal-nation as Finland is, there are quite a lot bands to choose from for a warm-up artist. So they decided to choose two. But a couple of days before the concert it was announced that the number would be cut in half - Lullacry was cancelled as one of the warm-ups.

You can read in their forum (in Finnish), that for the personal reasons, Stream of Passion needed to start an hour earlier. So the Helsinkian group couldn't fit into the schedule anymore.

So first who came on the stage, was Silentivm (as they like to write themselves). I must say, I didn't know anything about those Finnish goths but it seems the band has been together since 1995. To all trivia fans, it is also the year Ayreon's first album "The Final Experiment" was released. Silentium's debut album on the other hand was released four years after.

I can't say their music is my "thing" as I thought the female vocalist over-acted while trying to produce rough death metallish-noises. Still, they had a couple of good pieces in the mix. A couple of people in the front were throwing hands in the air but I'm not sure if it was for the performance or for the vocalist Riina Rinkinen for losing the shoulder strap of her top in the middle of the act.



After the show, as I listened some of their samples, I can say that their studio performance is definitely worth checking out.

4 Song By Song

Stream of Passion made their "trademark entrance" with "Spellbound." Davy beginning with the beat, Alejandro beginning with the melody on keyboards, enter Johan to fulfill the rhythmics with bass guitar, Marcela joins declaring with her goddess-like voice: "I'm ready, with my eyes open wide." I can feel how everyone in the building takes Marcela literally: "Follow my voice and feel the pull."

Spellbound is an outstanding example why people call this music "progressive." It builds up slowly and powerfully, climaxing as Arjen and Lori enter - this wall of music overwhelms you. Each instrument is perfect by itself, but the sum of them is something much, much more.

Next we go into year 2004, "The Human Equation" and one of my favorite tracks from it - "Day Fourteen: Pride". Marcela and her little sister Diana replace the vocals of James LaBrie (Dream Theater), Eric Clayton (Saviour Machine) and Magnus Ekwall (The Quill).



From there we smoothly go to "Passion", where the band's name originates from. Lori gets to show her "girly guitarplay" as she likes to call it with the solo. She's crying with a pink Fender HM Strat today. Incredible speed she pulls off on that fine piece of equipment.

Same story goes to "Wherever You Are." Marcela's and Diana's voices complete each other and while not singing, they're headbanging full-time as it's one of those cool pieces that just demand you to.

Diana comes next to Marcela for the next song, "Computer Eyes," as they submit their vocals to a beautiful duet. From the Ayreon album "Actual Fantasy" this demands Arjen's solo. But we also get a nice duel with Arjen and Lori as they combine their melodies in the end with perfect harmony. It sounds even better by SoP than original.

The heavy version of the "Valley of the Queens" continues the beautiful duet of Marcela and Diana. If You remember it was originally sung by Anneke van Giersbergen of The Gathering. In studio this required at least three tracks from Anneke side by side, but the Bovio sisters manage it perfectly. This is a special song also because Marcela conjures out her violin and manages an instrumental duet into this song - with Arjen.



"So You feel like going crazy? That's the right song for it," comments Marcela about the next piece. "Haunted" features another sample of Lori's virtuosity and again we have a demand for headbanging. Marvelous track.

As with the first Stream of Passion tour, we are presented with a special guest who in this case is Robert Soeterboek, best known perhaps from Star One and Actual Fantasy. Only it seems that something has happened to Robert's voice as he seems to struggle with every note. Still we have one of the best pieces from Star One (which is inspired by an underestimated sci-fi western "Outland" starring Sean Connery) - "High Moon." That completely new cover song as there are no releases of it anywhere. Not on the album, not on the singles, not on the live DVD. Hope they put it on the next DVD or single.

Marcela announces that next song is for singalong. It's the "Deceiver," but she actually means "Songs of the Ocean" from Star One as they have merged the two songs together for SOP's live performance. To tell you the truth, I listened to "Deceiver" the other day from the album and I was rather surprised to not hear the "Songs of the Ocean" as part of the song. But after couple of seconds I of course remembered. Anyway, the whole Nosturi is shouting to fill the silence left by the band. Now that's a singalong.

Tenth song takes the tempo down with "The Human Equation's" "Day One: Vigil" from where we go straight to "Day Three: Pain" where Marcela and Diana manage another beautiful duet even without "the real Rage" / Devin Townsend-like growling.



Next one is another surprise track previously not published by SoP - "To the Quasar" from the "Flight of the Migrator." I think they did only the latter, heavier part of the song - "Quasar 3C273" - but it was great. Lori went on to another magnificent solo that drives the whole crowd just bonkers.

After this spectacle Arjen manages a Finnish thank you - "Kiitos." Kiitos right back at ya, double time.

We continue with couple SOP originals like "Open Your Eyes" and "Out in the Real World".

At last we enter the Electric Castle - "Castle Hall", where Robert returns to the stage to sing the part of "Barbarian" (originally by Jay van Feggelen) with recovered voice.



I guess I don't have to tell You how everyone was jumping up and down yelling: "Shades of the dead are sliding on the wall / demons dance in the castle hall!"

Now the band decides to take a break and some serious encores are initiated. Finally Alejandro returns first as he needs to start with "Into the Black Hole." Marcela joins with her beautiful violin to play the main theme. Robert takes the leading vocals on that one and manages quite well considering he has Bruce Dickinson to match. Personally I must say, that backing vocals of Marcela and Diana could do much better in this case, if they where whispering. They seem a bit cacophonous together on that one.

One of my favorites with Live-SoP is that they like to merge songs the way that makes your hair stand up when you recognize the sudden transformation - in this example Black Hole becomes "Cold Metal" of Ambeon and finishing with the ending of Black Hole again. I'm checking to see if I'm still on the ground level as the serious headbanging around me (me including) has driven me a bit off-balance.

The crowd is beyond wild as Arjen summons the overture of "Day Eleven: Love" out of his black Gibson Explorer. This song is special in the sense that it has the most vocals involved - even Alejandro stars as Fear (originally by Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth). Davy finishes with an impressive drum solo that lasts a considerable amount longer than on the live DVD. Thanks Davy!



As the second encore ensues with a not-so-traditional "who-oo-uu-oo-uuh" transforming to "we want more" I can say that most hands available in the house are in the air dragging the band back.

When the band returns once more Arjen announces that they're going to continue the SoP tradition of doing cool heavy coversongs with Gary Numan's synth pop hit "Are 'Friends' Electric" from the year 1979.

This evening's grande finale was the muse - "Calliopeia." Seems that the muse had inspired also the crowd to add their encore "who-oo-uu-oo-uuh" to the mix. It was awesome. I saw Johan smiling broadly to the initiative.

5 Meet And Greet

After the show, 15 minutes or so, the band (with Diana and Robert) came in the front of the stage to talk to the fans, take pictures with them and sign autographs. Most wanted were of course Marcela and Arjen. While I was trying to get Arjen's autograph, my good friend Ivor had the chance to talk to other members of the band.

This was supposed to be a "low budget" tour as the lightning was local and probably other little details also. Lori had missed the "good" lightning but they were happy to be on the road nevertheless.

6 Set List

1. Spellbound
2. Day Fourteen: Pride
3. Passion
4. Wherever You Are
5. Computer Eyes
6. Valley of the Queens
7. Haunted
8. High Moon
9. Deceiver/Songs of the Ocean
10. Day One: Vigil
11. Day Three: Pain
12. To the Quasar
13. Open Your Eyes
14. Out in the Real World
15. Castle Hall
Encore 1
16. Into the Black Hole
17. Day Eleven: Love
Encore 2
18. Are 'Friends' Electric (Gary Numan cover)
19. Calliopeia

7 Conclusions

I think I can speak for everyone in the venue when I say that the concert was awesome. Every musician gave their performance 110%. And the crowd was one of the best I've seen - enthusiastic, non-violent, "all in", really enjoying the show. Many of the people, including me, were singing along.

Stream of Passion is not your average band - lead guitar (Lori) comes from Sweden; lead vocals (Marcela) and keyboards (Alejandro) from Mexico; drums (Davy), bass (Johan) and of course Arjen are from Netherlands. So they don't have the time to rehearse together until a week or so before the tour when they gather to Arjen's, but they can rehearse their personal instruments. They got together by the initiative of Arjen and well - the result is one of the best bands in the melodic metal scene.

I'd like to thank my fellow Streamers Ivor and Ago for accompanying me to the concert of my life. Also I'd like to thank the best audience I've ever been among. And of course, big thanks to great musicians Marcela, Lori, Davy, Alejandro, Johan, Diana, Robert and Arjen.

Hope to see You all soon again!

Stream on!
Martti

8 Links

Stream of Passion: http://www.streamofpassion.com
Silentium: http://www.silentivm.com
Venue, Nosturi: http://www.elmu.fi
Organizer, Korroosio: http://www.korroosio.fi

You can read about the Helsinki gig from Davy's perspective from SOP's tour diary:
http://www.ayreon.com/streamofpassion/tour/sop_2007.html#3
Lullacry forum topic (concerining the cancellation):
http://www.lullacry.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=678&forum=3&6


 
Guest article disclaimer:
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.




Comments

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Lioncourt - 05.02.2007 at 11:50  
Very nicely written and quite interesting for those who have not been in Finland and also for us who live here. It is nice to know what other people think of this place.
Unfortunately you are right about Nosturi. Many of the more popular bands go there even though it is very small. It is a shame that we do not have a venue like Teatria in Oulu. We do have the Cable Factory and the Hartwall Arena but they are not mainly for gigs.
I was there myself. I filmed the gig of Silentium.This was the first gig of Stream of Passion I had been to. I am quite new to the music. I like some songs of Ayreon, but unfortunately I must say that this is not my cup of tea.
Anyway, great review!
Promonex - 05.02.2007 at 13:58  
Calliopeia at the end of the set, that's how it's ought to be. I hated them for wasting this awesome track after three or four songs already on their last tour. And I hate them even more for not coming to Germany on this tour

Anyway, great review, very pleasant to read.
Ivor - 05.02.2007 at 20:32  
Indeed, the concert was great, it was great experience again to go see SoP abroad, although much nearer this time. I love the band and the way they perform. Martti describes it all very well. And Nosturi is actually pretty neat place, small but neat. However, the whole experience doesn't beat my trip London, especially the atmosphere at The Borderline club -- now that was almost magical.

Still, I'm pleased we could go to Helsinki with Martti and Ago and I'm grateful to them for that. Until the next concert trip together!

I.
Promonex - 06.02.2007 at 00:29  
I guess by now you count yourself lucky not to have considered going to a UK gig again, don't you?
Ivor - 06.02.2007 at 09:30  
Hehe, you do get the point. Although, when the Helsinki date was announced I considered going to UK because Helsinki date was set exactly so, that I wouldn't have made it back in time to go to vacation, the bus was supposed to leave early enough. I dropped the UK idea because it was too expensive at that point. Luckily, vacation plans changed, I got extra half a day and going to Finland became an option and later a reality.

I.
.mrt - 07.02.2007 at 00:55  
One other thing I forgot to mention in the review. We bought the tickets about 2-3 days before from Tallinn's Stockmann, as it happens they sell Finland's "Lippupalvelu" ("ticket service" would be the translation) tickets, fortunately. But we ran into a bit of a problem at first.

It seems that it is usual for at least Nosturi to sell tickets in two categories - for all ages and under 18 years. The salesperson told me that they had only the latter left. My reaction, of course - wtf?!

But it turned out good as the salesperson made a long distance call to Finland and found out that it's ok to sell the tickets to adults too. Only if anyone should make a big number out of it, then we were supposed to show some ID. As it turned out, noone was interested and it was fine by me.

FYI: Nosturi has two bar counters that are in the "adult" section. One upstairs and one in the back of the floor section. I guess it's practical, because people aren't drinking where the fans are jumping around in front of the stage.
Lioncourt - 07.02.2007 at 21:33  
You do not have a separation of the drinking space and the audience space?
Ivor - 07.02.2007 at 23:04  
No, if you put the question that way. But then again, usually there's the age limit. Although, I must say that even if there is no age limit, alcohol is sold (not to underaged tho) and people can go anywhere in the area. Which makes it a mess imo, especially for big gigs and festivals.

I.
Lioncourt - 07.02.2007 at 23:22  
Well we have the same thing for big festivals ofcourse.
.mrt - 08.02.2007 at 09:48  
Right.. Come to think of it then exactly - we have the age limit. Underaged just cannot get in into smaller events. Festivals are open to everybody.
Friend of mine told me about his younger pal who wanted to get into Steve Vai's concert in the Rock Cafe couple of years ago and almost couldn't because he was underaged.
Kallu - 24.02.2007 at 00:24  
I laughed so hard when I read about the guy drumming in the night, HE'S A CLASSIC! I threw a coin to him just an hour ago haha

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