May 24th – OSAKA, JAPAN, Shisaibashi Soma – PHOTOS HERE
Japan cried out, “give us metal!”
The music gods heard the cry and did not disappoint.
They sent Suomi Feast.
This three-date tour is in its eighth year of bringing Finnish metal bands to Japan. Suomi Feast 2018 brought popular artists: Turisas, Beast in Black, S-Tool, Frosttide, Mors Subita and Noumena.
The first date took place in Osaka, at Soma a live house (Japanese for live music venue) popular with both locals and touring artists. It’s a great venue but there was no doubt about it, Soma was too small to contain so much metal in one space.
For six magical hours, Finnish metal transformed the normally quiet and reserved Japanese fans into fist-pumping, sword-waving (Yes, sword-waving. Because you need swords for battle metal) music maniacs. Wearing t-shirts from Tuska, and bands such as Wintersun, Insomnium but also e.g. Eluveitie, the Japanese pulled out their horns and threw themselves into the Feast.
Starting with Noumena and finishing with Turisas (photography-wise), each of the bands warmly greeted the audience in English. They spoke of their time in Japan and thanked the audience with “arigatou” (Japanese for “thank you”, the ed.). They also promised they would return again. The fans responded cheering loudly and waving Finnish flags.
Course by course, the relentless pulse of double kick-drums and catchy guitar rifts drove the fans into a frenzy. Only short MC breaks in between songs gave a moment of recovery.
Usually the audience caught the catchphrases introducing the next song, however sometimes there were small language gaps.
For example, when Turisas vocalist Mathias Nygård asked, “Do you guys like to drink?”
The crowd responded, “Yeah!”
When Matias continued asking, “So where’s your beer,” while holding up his Asahi for a toast, the audience clearly didn’t understand the question leaving a momentary awkward silence and the ‘warlord’ drinking alone before the crowd returned to crazy.
But despite the difference in language, music speaks across borders and the connection between the bands and their fans was strong. Speaking of language, I heard quite a few “kiitos” (Finnish for “thank you”, the ed.) from the audience too.
Needless to say, the bands themselves were awesome. The wild, screaming guitars, thudding bass, and melodic melodies made my heart pound and shook me to my core, but the overwhelming impression of the night was ‘kindness’.
During and in between stages band members hung out in the crowded halls. I was touched to watch the generosity and kindness of these metal rockers as they interacted with the fans. Not once did I see a single person act coldly or turn away a fan, even when small mobs came asking for autographs and photos. If there were communication issues, the warm smiles shared said more than 1000 words.
In Japan, interaction between the artist and the fans is minimal, so for these metal fans, Suomi Feast was a rare treat.
There was of course merch available; T-shirts, CD’s, and signed goods filled the tables.
Personally, I needed more black in my wardrobe and picked up this Mors Subita tank top. Thanks, guys!
Text & photos: Seri Nieves
PS: A big thanks to the EVP Evoken de Valhall crew for the assistance!
SUOMI FEAST 2018:
May 24th – Osaka, Japan @ Shisaibashi Soma
May 25th – Nagoya, Japan @ Holiday Next
May 26th – Tokyo, Japan @ Shinjuku Blaze