11

Rocking Thirteenth Day

Sonata Arctica have only ever played in the UK once before, so for a lot of fans this is a very inportant event. Their show last year at Bloodstock 2004 Indoor Festival was stifled by terrible sound. Today, however, the sound is absolutely perfect right from the start. The keyboards are clear and the vocals are audible, two elements that didn't apply to last year. Furthermore, it seems the band knew they had to make up for last year's performance - everyone seems a lot more lively this time around, and Tony Kakko is playing the crowd expertly - inducing chants and generally keeping us entertained.


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Furthermore, Sonata displayed some music brilliance that isn't apparent on record. Most of the songs had at least one deviation in it - a change of lyrics, added choruses, longer solos, and an impromptu cover of the chorus of Kiss' "I Was Made For Loving You", part way through "8th Commandment", put in for no reason except to surprise the audience.


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The only minor issue was the setlist. While veritable classics like "My Land", "The Cage" and dynamic new tracks like "Misplaced" and "Don't Say a Word" provided a great show, there may have been too many slower songs. Whilst I must admit to being a big fan of "Broken", it seems odd that Sonata also included "Shamandalie" and "Replica". Furthermore, it seems odder still that they would choose these over essential live tracks such as "Fullmoon" or "Weballergy". However, the inclusion of "Dream Thieves", a track from the "Takatalvi" EP, was an interesting yet successful choice and broke up what was a familiar setlist.


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However, Sonata Arctica played a belting show regardless. The between song banter was entertaining, and what the crowd heard was what the band was playing, not the mistakes of the soundman. A vast improvement on Bloodstock 2004, and an excellent end to the day.


To view all photos taken during this set click here. There are 25 available.