15th December 2019
Children of Bodom - “A Chapter Called Children Of Bodom” - Support: Wheel
I had to swallow hard, when I left Helsinki Ice Hall that night, “A Chapter Called Children Of Bodom” was over and I still couldn‘t grasp, that a band I‘d been listening to for almost 20 years vanished from my life tonight…
< I arrived at Jäähalli a lot earlier than on Friday and still the lines were significantly longer. It seemed that the entrance and the cloakroom were terribly understaffed. There were long lines at both merch tables and the event-shirts sold so fast that only very large sizes were available when I made it there. People seemed to have the desire to buy as many keepsakes as possible and many things sold out during the evening.
When WHEEL came on stage, the Ice Hall was not even filled to a quarter. WHEEL are a band from Helsinki that released their first album, ‘Moving Backwards’, in February 2019. Their style is somewhere between Progressive Rock and Grunge and somehow they sound like TOOL a bit. The band was hiding in hoodies and the front and the only lights that illuminated the stage were the backlights, a challenge for the photographers and the audience. The sound mix was unbalanced and I asked myself why WHEEL who admitted that it was their largest gig so far, had been chosen as support. Slowly the venue filled up, it seemed that the support has not a big name in Helsinki, yet and people preferred to stay outdoors.
Children of Bodom
When WHEEL were on stage, you could see that CHILDREN OF BODOM had hidden an enormous stage-set behind them and I was curious if they would use pyro and special effects for their last show. The media had not been warned that there would be pyro, when we entered the media pit and there was none the whole evening. CHILDREN OF BODOM had decided to play the last show the way they had done most of their shows in the past. We had only three songs to take photos and since the lights were rather dark, it would have felt like a funeral for me if there had not been Alexi‘s amazing guitar play, Jaska’s powerful drumming and Janne’s excellent keyboards.
CHILDREN OF BODOM played together like they did for an eternity, joking and posing together. So far, there were no cracks in the bands surface visible, they really behaved like professionals. One scene will stay in my memory forever: Alexi went up to Janne’s keyboard podium and Janne lay his arm around Alexi’s shoulder. Although the band had broken up, it seemed that friendship still prevailed. The setlist was a rough ride through all the bands milestones and the show ended way too early for my taste. The audience partied and head-banged like they’ve always done and it seemed everybody had the goal to party with the CHILDREN OF BODOM for one last time. It was a wonderful party and it seemed the CHILDREN OF BODOM enjoyed the party a lot. Every member of the band had plenty of space for their solos and they all gave their best, too make this night an unforgettable one.
I will miss “Kiitos!” in Alexi’s raspy voice exceedingly and I hope he and Daniel will be coming up with something new very soon. ‘Needled 24/7’ marked the end of the regular set and CHILDREN OF BODOM left the stage. Immediately choruses started calling out “Bodom! Bodom” and demanding the encore, boots were stomped and raised and it became really, really loud in the Ice Hall. The CHILDREN OF BODOM came back on stage for the encore one last time, you could see many people in the crowd swallowing hard. Alexi saw an enormous Mosh-pit, when he asked the crowd for one and then it was time for the last head banging. Alexi briefly thanked Janne, Henkka, Daniel and Jaska and left the stage pretty fast, followed by the other band members.
No one was ready to leave the venue, the applause lasted for minutes, and choruses asked the band to come back, boots were stomped again. Then Jaska came back. All the microphones had been out of tune already and it was obvious, that this had not been planned. Jaska was greeted with loud choruses and applause, and when the techs had a micro in tune, Jaska told us what the band and the audience meant to him. His emotions overwhelmed him and when he had regained composure he told us “I will miss you guys!” Jaska left the stage accompanied with one of the loudest applause and cheering of this night. Still people were not ready to leave the pit. One of the techs came on stage and distributed the setlists one last time, while tears streamed down his face, when he left, the crowd applauded for him as loud as for Jaska.
People had tears in their eyes, applauded and demanded that the band comes back on stage, even when the outro was over. This lasted for more than 10 minutes and even then people only reluctantly left the Ice Hall. It had been a fantastic gig and CHILDREN OF BODOM had shown us, what we were going to lose by playing one if their best shows ever. The show didn’t need any special effects, the members of the band, their skills and the music were so amazing, that this was the best special-effect they had ever used. Thank you guys! You were always controversial, it’s always been a rough and bumpy ride with you... but at the same time it has always been a blast!
01. Under Grass and Clover
02. Platitudes and Barren Words
03. In Your Face
04. Shovel Knockout
05. Bodom Beach Terror
06. Everytime I Die
07. Halo of Blood
08. Are You Dead Yet?
10. I Worship Chaos
11. Angels Don’t Kill
12. Follow the Reaper
13. Deadnight Warrior
14. Needled 24/7
15. Hate Me!
16, Hate Crew Deathroll
17. Lake Bodom
19. Song played from tape: (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!) (Beastie Boys song)
20. Song played from tape: Main Titles from the HBO Miniseries Band of Brothers (Michael Kamen song)
Total: 9.5 / 10
All Pictures by Munich Vampire