16.04.2019 @ Z7 Konzertfabrik Pratteln, Switzerland
Music from the North with two Finnish bands once again attracts a big crowd and on a Tuesday, and everybody is in party mood.
Punctually at 20:00 h Arion, who landed the support slot for the Battle Beast tour, begin their show. Those guys from Helsinki have come far since their good impression at the local Eurovision Song qualification contest 2013. They are still young and include a lot of influences into their Power Metal. A bit more experience to add quality to their music and they will surely grow even further. You can notice that they are nervous facing a big venue and a huge crowd, but then they obviously enjoy every second of it. They are all smiles and deliver a great performance, singer Lassi Vääränen as well as guitarist Iivo Kaipainen and Arttu Vauhkonen on Keyboard during a melody duel, while Bassist Gege Velinov and Drummer Topias Kupiainen keep a solid beat. A great performance of Arion at Z7, they keep the audience happy and have a lot of fun on stage. The only thing to complain about is the sampling of Elize Ryd’s vocals for «At the Break of Dawn» when Lassi could simply have done it live himself. https://www.facebook.com/OfficialArion/
The headliner tonight has been climbing the ladder of success continuously: Battle Beast impressed with singer Nitte Valo before, now with Noora they can even top that. In Finland they have been quite popular, therefore it’s great that they finally show their talent abroad too.
Battle Beast are Disco, Musical and Metal – the songs deliver drama, cliche, catchy hook lines, sing-along lyrics and attractive beats good for a disco hit or a successful musical. Their new album «No more Hollywood Endings» and their first headliner tour truly delivers Hollywood on stage. Besides the outfits that are changed constantly, singer Noora Louhimo impresses with her overall presence. She seems to live on the attention of fans and indeed it is difficult to take the eyes of her powerful performance. When she even starts to dance to the song «No more Hollywood Endings» you wonder if this is a Metal-ABBA-Musical. At some point it is even a bit too much for me when she pushes through, sometimes literally when singing and someone else is on center stage; this could be interpreted as being arrogant.
When all those vocals are indeed live all the time, chapeau, because despite all this action there is no difference between vocal performance quality throughout those 90 min. A unique voice full of power, but for me at some point I am getting tired of those high notes and would have wished for some variety – and I am sure she can deliver that.
As you can notice it is difficult to write about the other people in the band as the front woman dominates it all. Eero Sipilä gives some funny / charismatic announcements and is all smiles, the guitarists Juuso Soinio and Joona Björkroth keep mostly in the background, unless they play a solo – but you can see that they enjoy being on this stage. Keyboarder Janne Björkroth has a special appearance with a specialized cocktail keyboard – so that the Finns can mix a Gin Tonic, or “Lonkkero” (derived from “Long-Drink”, the ed.) on stage. Drummer Pyry Vikki can have a walk in the meantime. The show of Battle Beast is full of action and diverse, you indeed get value for your money, delivered by musicians who are proud to have their first – and definitely not their last – headliner tour. A bit more spontaneity and perhaps less egoistic attitude by the front lady would be appreciated, though.