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amorphis introBackstage, Munich, Germany
30th January 2019
Amorphis - “Queen Of Time” 2019 World Tour

It’s been nearly three years ago, that AMORPHIS played in Munich during their “Under The Red Cloud” tour. By then everyone agreed that it had been of the best shows ever. When the band announced a gig in Munich during their “Queen Of Time” tour I rushed for the tickets. The current tour is a co-headliner-tour with SOILWORK plus JINJER and NAILED TO OBSCURITY. Such a line-up for a normal ticket-price was a real bargain and AMORPHIS has a solid fan base in Munich, of course the show was sold-out.

Due to the daily traffic jam in Munich I was pretty late (doors were opened by 17:30). The lines at the entrance were rather short compared to other events but when I entered the “Werk” the air was already hot and stale, it’s always the same when the location is sold-out. So it was time to start “standing in the lines” at the cloakroom, the bar, and the restrooms and after the show it’s always the other way around. (You get used to it.) I was looking for the merch but I couldn’t find it in its usual place (this only happens when the Backstage is packed to the roof). JINJER and NAILED TO OBSCURITY had already finished their performances and the stage was rebuilt for SOILWORK. The band got started by app. 8 p.m., that felt really strange because that’s the time when the support starts the show when it is a single-headliner show. The crowd was moshing and dancing in the pit from the beginning of the show, the stroboscopic lights were overdosed (to my taste) the mix was not up to my expectations and I wanted to preserve my energy for AMORPHIS, so I decided to leave for the annex, get a drink and have a look at the merch.

amorphis crowd

Surprise! AMORPHIS won laurels in advance in Munich - the “Girly” tour shirt was already sold out, before the band had been on stage. Thanks to a guy who had found one of the solid arm-chairs and agreed to my sitting on the backrest I enjoyed a fantastic show of SOILWORK with a very good view, because in the annex the sound mix was absolutely perfect. Then it was time to get up and “fight” for a place with a good view. There was some space in the pit, but I wanted a good view. When the stage was build up, I was amazed that AMORPHIS obviously had considered the problem that people standing in the crowd or in the back of the hall might not see what’s going on. Instead of video-walls, they had opted for solid platforms for the drums and the keyboards linked by stairs, plus three smaller platforms at the centre stage. Drummer Jan Rechberger was the first to come on stage, greeted cheerfully by the crowd and AMORPHIS opened the show with ‘The Bee’ followed by ‘Golden Elk’. They won over Munich from the first riff.

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Vocalist Tomi Joutsen addressed the audience several times during the evening, a rather rare thing for bands from Finland. When you looked looking at the faces of the musicians you could see that they enjoyed seeing the rocking crowd. ‘Sky is mine’ caused the first mosh and dance pit, Keyboarder Santeri Kallio meanwhile enjoyed some of red-wine and smiled happily. ‘Sacrifice’ is a song everyone who is a bit in AMORPHIS music, can sing and the audience joined in without be asked for it. By then I found myself thinking “Could the evening get any better? This is already more than amazing!” Yes. It could! ‘Message in amber’ proved that Tomi Koivusaari cannot only play the rhythm-guitar perfectly. His grows still perfect. Then Santeri Kallio started the intro of my favourite song from ‘Under the red cloud’ and Tomi Joutsen told us ‘Silver Bride’. I marvelled at Esa Holopainens fantastic guitar-play and it seemed that Olli Pekka Laine playing the bass-guitar never left the band for what seemed to be an eternity. The lightshow illuminated the “thunder of the hammer” the thundering bass-guitar and guitars perfectly. This is one of the rare occasions I really appreciated the frequent use of stroboscopic lights in a metal show. Tomi Joutsens voice effortless switched between brilliant clear singing and heavy dark growls. Yes guys, my neck reminded me of all the head-banging the next day...

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A smiling Tomi Joutsen obviously enjoyed the rocking crowd and praised us by “You really know how to behave in a metal show!” The reward for rocking and moshing Munich is rare, very intense and hard version of ‘Bad Blood’. If there was a “cool down” in this show, it might have been ‘Wrong direction’. Tomi moved to the background climbed up the stairs to the drum set and performed most of the song turned away from the audience that left me focussing on Esa and Olli. ‘Daughter of hate’ is a fantastic track from the new album and lets you marvel at the skills of every single musician on stage. Then it is time for a brilliant solo of Santeri Kallio. ‘Heart of the giant’ and Tomi Joutsens made very frequent use of the platforms posing like a metal-god. The next song was dominated by the audience. ‘Hopeless Days’ can be called a “classic” on AMORPHIS setlist and it seemed that the band was really impressed, for the audience was not only ready to perform the chorus, but sang the lead vocals as well. “How does the band want to top the fantastic atmosphere they already created?” I asked myself. Could be only a song from ‘Tales from a thousand lakes’ (the album that will have its 25th anniversary next year)...

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‘Black Winter Day’ was the answer. It was the only song from ‘Tales from a thousand lakes’ on the setlist and it sent a sparkle to the eyes of everyone. Raised fists, banging heads, smiles in everyone’s faces were the reward for the band. Then the band left us behind in what felt like a sauna. The crowd cheered and asked for more. AMORPHIS encore was a blast. ‘Death of a King’ was the first of two encores. Tomi J. introduced “Esa Holopainen on the guitar” who played a fantastic solo, then asked the crowed to shout the chorus and Munich happily answered the request. ‘House of sleep’ followed suit of course with the big crowd choir. Tomi and Esa addressed the audience and told us, that this been the best and loudest show so far. I hope AMORPHIS will keep that in mind and come back soon. Meanwhile I will count the days until the Metalfest in Pilsen takes place, for the previous day it was announced, that AMORPHIS will perform there.

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I left the hall being sure of a sore neck and a creaky voice tomorrow and congratulated myself on having attended one of the best AMORPHIS shows so far, although the sound-mix could have been better (the instruments sometimes dominated the clear voices).

Setlist
01. The Bee
02. The Golden Elk
03. Sky Is Mine
04. Sacrifice
05. Message In An Amber
06. Silver Bride
07. Bad Blood
08. Wrong Direction
09. Daughter Of Hate
10. Heart Of The Giant
11. Hopeless Days
12. Black Winter Day
---
13. Death Of A King
14. House Of Sleep

Rating
Music: 10
Performance: 10
Light: 10
Sound: 8
Total: 9.5 / 10
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