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Monday, 23 November 2009
LKA, Stuttgart, Germany
Sonata Arctica - Flag in the Ground Tour Tour 2009, Support Acts: Delain, Winterborn

SONATA ARCTICA's latest album called ‘The Days of Grays’ was released on September 16th 2009 in Finland and September 22nd in the USA and since then the band is on tour. On the European Tour they’re followed by WINTERBORN (also from Finland) and DELAIN from the Netherlands. This report is about their concert in the LKA in Stuttgart. 666 Tickets exactly had been sold, so that had to be a good sign.


The Show started with WINTERBORN from Finland. WINTERBORN was founded as heavy metal band at the end of 2004. The second album is titled ‘Farewell to Saints’ and most of the tracks they played tonight are from the album. The crowd unfortunately was not easily to convince, because they played hard and fast and together with DELAIN and SONATA ARCTICA the mixture here in Stuttgart didn’t work that well. When they went down after 30 minutes, the main part of the crowd seemed to be relieved, although the band wasn’t that bad at all.


After a real short break, DELAIN appeared on stage and it was interesting to see and hear that Charlotte did a bigger step forward from the release of their new album ‘April Rain’ released March 30, 2009. DELAIN is a Dutch symphonic metal band. The band was founded by the ex-keyboardist of WITHIN TEMPTATION, Martijn Westerholt who left WT in 2001 when he suffered from Pfeiffer's disease. He started DELAIN in 2002. The band started recording the debut album in July 2005, after they had signed a contract with Roadrunner Records.

Music & Performance
Charlotte showed that she can also sing ‘The Gathering’ without Marco from NIGHTWISH and that her voice has been approved. Tonight, her vocals were clear and to the point, even when they used some background-vocals. Also the harmony in the band seemed to be really good. The mixture of the songs was DELAIN´s best of, also including their new single ‘Stay Forever’. Charlotte was dressed very sexy in a leather corsage and fitting skirt. The rest of the band was standing in the background and the most invisible man of the show was unfortunately Martijn. It seems like he was hiding a bit. DELAIN played 45 minutes and used every minute to show that the band is on a good way to a place in the Dutch front row of bands.

01. Invidia
02. Stay Forever
03. The Gathering
04. Go Away
05. Virtue and Vice
06. Shattered
07. Control the Storm
08. Nothing Left

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Light: 7
Sound: 9
Total: 8 / 10

Sonata Arctica

All fans were now lucky that SONATA ARCTICA didn’t cancel this show. Due to a heavy infection of his vocal chords, Tony Kakko had to visit a hospital in Budapest. The shows in Graz (18th Nov 2009), Vienna (19th Nov 2009) and in Munich (20th Nov 2009) had to be cancelled but are rescheduled now. SONATA ARCTICA is a Finnish power metal band from the town of Kemi, originally assembled in 1995. Their later works (most remarkable are: ‘The Days of Grays’, ‘Unia’ and a few tracks on ‘Reckoning Night’) contain some elements typical of progressive metal. They are on tour to support their new album from September 2009 till May 2010 all over the world. With four gold disc awards and multiple sold-out tours SONATA ARCTICA has got its hands tightly attached to the history of Finnish metal music - and more will definitely be achieved in the future!

Music & Performance
The show started with the hit from the new Album ‘Flag in the Ground’. Tony’s vocal chords have been treated really hard, but you couldn’t hear it at all in this song. So the band had a perfect start and the fans were on their side from the beginning. The Songs were mixed very well and on a hard, fast track followed a more quiet song. Sometimes his voice seemed to fade away a bit but the rest of the band managed good to hide this fact. Also the sound guy did a brilliant job trough the whole evening; there was no single mistake, no roaring or over boarded tone to hear. Henrik Klingenberg on his keyboard and Elias Viljanen at the guitar had the opportunity to play a longer solo and show their talents. So the rest of the band could take a break and relax and recover for a moment. Most impressive was the Man on the Drums, Tommy Portimo. He was smiling the hole evening behind his set and played easily and technical fast, correct to the point. Unfortunately he had no solo part. Funny was the QUEEN cover they played, when all fans clapped their hands and sung along as loud as they could.

Due to his infection Tony didn’t act that much on stage, but he didn’t show if he was tormented or not. He had a scarf wrapped around his trout and was completely concentrated to his vocals and not to become to cold. Only for the photographers he did some nice posing. Also did the other members, except Henrik and Elias which showed up a lot in front of the stage. The scenery on stage was putted into a red dominant light, but a real lightshow was not given. The front boxes were designed like ice cubes with the SONATA ARCTICA Logo and the stage and instruments were dressed up with the new ‘Flag in the Ground’ design. The show was running 90 minutes and it was a party with good music for all the fans. They showed their respect to Tony’s bravery and no one had to go home disappointed.

01. Everything Fades to Gray (Intro)
02. Flag in the Ground
03. Paid in Full
04. Caleb
05. The Last Amazing Grays
06. As If the World Wasn't Ending
07. Full Moon
08. Last Drop Falls
09. Juliet
10. Keyboard-Solo / Guitar-Solo
11. Replica
12. 8th Commandment
13. We Will Rock You (Queen cover)
14. In Black and White
15. Don't Say a Word
16. Vodka
17. Everything Fades To Gray (Outro)

Music: 9
Performance: 7
Light: 7
Sound: 9
Total: 8.1 / 10

All pictures by Kira Appelt

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