What do you do if you have a ticket for a gig, but you’ve been coughing and sneezing your lungs out for several days and feel like shit? You might decide that it’s better to look after yourself and stay at home. On the other hand, if it’s a band you really really like, and you always have bad luck catching them on their tours, and you’re really happy that you can make it to at least one show of this tour and you’ve worked your ass off to get this afternoon off…
…you might tell your body a nice big “fuck you“, get in the car and drive those 250 km to Lingen, far in the north-west of Germany, to see Amorphis.
Lingen is a small town, and the venue turned out to be tiny – mostly used to host local bands rather than Finnish metal authorities.
One of those local bands (I don’t remember the name, for the better) had the honour of opening the show and they were absolutely awful. Not in the way that I didn’t like their music (generic metalcore, nothing special), but they just played really bad… at least their motivation was high, so maybe in a few years… who knows.
Anyways, just a little bit later Tomi Joutsen’s iconic steampunk micstand was brought on stage and it was time for Amorphis to open with Under The Red Cloud. What followed was a solid set containing not only tunes from the recent albums and ‘hits’ like House of Sleep, but also three songs from the legendary Tales From The Thousand Lakes album.
I didn’t have any expectations regarding sound and lighting in that small venue, but surprisingly, the show looked and sounded pretty good. Especially Tomi’s vocals shone above everything else. He might easily be one of the most skilled vocalists in metal – his growling is the deepest and most brutal that I know, but his clean vocals are excellent as well. Songs like Hopeless Days show his full potential.
It could have been a perfect night, but for some reason the concert didn’t blow me away as much as previous Amorphis shows have. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved every second of it and left as a happy girl, it just wasn’t the full overwhelming gig euphoria. Maybe it was due to my own physical state, although I felt much better during the show (and I wasn’t even the only sick person in the room, as Joutsen performed with his wrist in a plaster cast). Or maybe it was a certain lack of enthusiasm on both sides of the barrier. The dutiful audience made sure to sing along whenever they were asked to, but apart from that there wasn’t much going on, although there was slightly more hair flying around towards the end of the show. The band wasn’t in a bad mood, but to me it was quite obvious that this gig was rather routine for them – hell, I can’t blame them, this touring cycle has been going on for two years now (with the exception of the Eclipse tour in between), and compared to playing Berlin’s prestigious Waldbühne the day before, even if that was just a support slot, Lingen’s little Schlachthof was probably not thaaaat impressive… nevermind, the band made sure to assure us that we were a great audience, and the audience made sure to donate a reasonable amount of clapping and cheering. I just didn’t really feel it. As I said, maybe it was just me… but then again, you can’t expect every single concert to be an otherworldly experience. The more important point is, a band with the skills, the experience and the back catalogue of Amorphis will never disappoint, even on their (or your) less great days. Looking back, I would still make the decision to go to that show, and I would happily attend another one on this tour if it was possible. Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to seeing Amorphis on another tour sooner or later, hopefully with a new album!