I'd like to thank Starkill for putting me and my friend on the guestlist (I really got a lot of free stuff at this concert), which was quite a different experience. I'm pretty sure we were the only names on the guest list and it allowed me to bring a third person. After we were inside we went straight to the merch booth and I bought a Time I shirt for a friend that couldn't make it. All the Wintersun merch was awesome. Buy some if you're going to any of the other shows.
Starkill was up first and man did they get the crowd going. They had a huge amount of energy, constantly getting everyone to chant and throw up horns. It also didn't hurt that their songs were catchy and translated really well to a live performance. The crowd quickly woke up after only the first song and everyone was running, jumping and moshing right away. The Opera House is usually spotty for sound quality, with some concerts sounding really good and others just a mish-mash of sounds. The only problem I really noticed with Starkill was that their guitars were a little quiet, but that was turned up a couple songs into the set. It's a good thing too, because they have a bunch of crazy solos. New Infernal Rebirth and Wash Away the Blood With Rain were my two favourite performances. Overall they were my second favourite performance of the night and they definitely took away a significant amount of my energy (more on that later).
|During one of their awesome solos.|
|Just shredding and sweating away.|
|It was a crowded stage when these guys were on.|
Luckily enough, I was able to get (and keep!) a nice spot just a couple rows back from the stage. I was out of the way of the mosh pit, but it was still pretty crazy. Everyone was crowd surfing and jumping and singing and pushing every which way. I loved it. I loved it so much that halfway through Wintersun's set I completely ran out of energy. I have never been so exhausted in my life but I stayed at the front the entire set. I was just unable to sing along to most of the songs or jump around too much. As much as I loved the concert, I was actually kind of hoping they wouldn't come out for an encore just because I was so tired. Luckily, they played everything before they left the stage.
Jari and the rest of the band were so nice, always saying how great it was to be playing for us and pointing at different things in the crowd (like the huge Finland flag one girl brought). Afterwards they all came to the front of the stage to shake the crowd's hands and throw a bunch of souvenirs at us. Before the final song, Jari asked us what we wanted to hear and was met with a few "Time II" shouts and one guy who really wanted them to play Sleeping Stars. He kept yelling out the song title throughout the set. They never played it. They did manage to play every single other song in their repertoire though except for Sadness and Hate. Seriously, they played every single song except for two. They even played The Way of the Fire which sounded great live and made everyone really excited for Time II. There was even room for a Teemu solo and a part of a song that reminded everyone that there are actually good bands to come out of Canada.
Sound issues aside, this was a great concert. It seems like every concert I go to just keeps getting better and better. If this keeps up, I won't be able to walk for a week after the next one! Both of my friends (who admittedly haven't been to many concerts) loved it and asked when the next band I'm going to see is in town.
I want to thank Wintersun again for the amazing VIP experience and Starkill for the free tickets and getting on the guest list. I'll never forget this night.