Sonata Arctica is my ultimate winter time favourite. It’s like a nice hot chocolate with marshmallows on a winter day to make you feel warmer. I associate this band with snow, wolves, beautiful forests and apparently that’s something that warms me heart up. Despite this “wintry” and cold intro, seeing Sonata in the summer heat was very refreshing. Actually, I do not want to tie them to seasons, they are one of my favourite bands and any time of the year or day I can do with a Sonata Arctica moment.
I was happy to see that Sonata Arctica would play at Metalfest in Pilsen, Czech Republic. They played before Nightwish, at 7pm if I’m not mistaken, and unfortunately I’ve lost my space by the stage at that time and wasn’t able to regain it. There were so many people gathered that moving around was becoming more and more difficult. Sonata Arctica followed by Nightwish is a dream combination for me and it looked like many other people thought the same!
The intro was a playback of The Gallop Can-Can. How cool is it to hear that piece at the metal festival?! I like this bravery and could maybe call it a mischief – that’s actually what I love about metal bands – they like to experiment and are not afraid to seem too silly or too serious. When the band hit the stage they started with Shitload of Money. This is not my favourite song but it in combination with Can-Can it’s a good wake up call to all of those who were getting tired at the end of the day.
The next song was The Last Amazing Grays – it was a great surprise as don’t think it’s been played recently. I remember when The Days of Grays album was released, then the video for Flag in The Ground – those were the times. Nostalgia was eating its way through me at that point.
Then, Paid in Full – another blast from the past! This is one of my all-time Sonata favourites. I was singing along and just having the best time ever.
One of the best surprises was that Candle Lawns, a ballad from the latest album – The Ninth Hour – was played. If I remember correctly it was a live premiere and, seriously, I had tears in my eyes. The lyrics are touching and I’ve found something in them that I can relate to. The melody of that song is also extremely beautiful, go check it out if you haven’t already.
Closer to the end of the show Fullmoon got the crowd moving, dancing, shouting, headbanging – I could see all sorts of joy expressions! I heard people screaming “Fullmoon!” since Sonata hit the stage, that was definitely one of the most anticipated and well-known songs, I love it too!
At all Sonata shows I’ve been to they end the setlist with Don’t Say A Word and that’s another bomb that makes the public go insane (me including)! The lyrics are so powerful, I’d so want to shout them into some people’s faces, urgh! The finishing touch was, of course, Vodka – I love it, even though it seems to be outdated at this point and could be replaced with something different of equal fun levels.
Overall, the band looked happy on stage, the guys interacted with each other, Tony was wearing bright-red colour and was easily noticeable on stage from all possible sides. Great vocals were flowing, guitar riffs energising, drums beating with the audience’s hearts, keyboards speeding and bass hitting the pleasure senses.
One thing for sure is that the setlist was to my liking and hit the spot perfectly. There was a good mix from all latest albums (sorry to those fans of “old” power-Sonata!), a couple of surprises (like Candle Lawns!) and a good live show from the band members. I really had nothing to complain about.
With Sonata it feels like I can remember song lyrics even though I’ve not listened to the band for quite a long time. That’s how much I’ve listened to them in the past. Nowadays my life is much busier than it was before but band still takes takes a special place in my heart and melts the cold out of it.
I’d give this show all 10/10 for great live performance and entertainment, tears of joy in my eyes, throwback songs and great memories I’ll carry with me for all my life. Thank you, Sonata Arctica, and keep up the great job!