Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Sonata Arctica (Neonfly + Pythia) - Birmingham Institute

It has been quiet on the music front so far this year but back with a bang now! Always good to see the Finnish band Sonata Arctica who were touring to after releasing their latest album 'stones Grow Her Name'. Got to the venue nice and early and even had time to have a pint at a posh Brasserie (not my choice I might add). Still managed to get towards the front of the short queue that was forming ensuring getting on the front rails.


The night kicked off with Neonfly. This was my first time seeing them or hearing them, so I had no idea what to expect. Even before they took to the stage the venue was packed with an excited and expectant crowd.Formed in 2008 Neonfly are building a good reputation as a British Metal ban. I was impressed with them actually and in vocalist Willy Norton they have a charismatic frontman.
Emily Ovenden (Pythia)

Next up came fellow Londoners Pythia who I have seen before and were impressed with. I really liked their debut album 'Beneath the Veiled Embrace. They have since followed up with 'The Serpents Curse' which i'm not too familiar with. Have to say I was disappointed with them on the night.Their set lacked energy for me and I find their stage outfits including leather armour strangely incongruent to their music. Maybe it was just a bad night?

Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica)

 Sonata Arctica took to the stage to huge cheers from this capacity crowd. Singer Tony Kakko constantly prowling the stage.
Tonight was one of those gigs where the headliners just make things look easy. They'd packed the place out with their fans, so were always going to go down well, but they still put in everything they had to give the fans the best possible gig. Many of the songs were from the latest album 'Stones Grow her name'. There were also some classics from the archives included; Black Sheep, The Last Amazing Grays, Full Moon, and two of my personal favourites Replica and Don't say a word.

I was really pleased to get not one but two plectrums from guitarist Elias Viljanen, not bad as I reckon he only chucked about six into the crowd.

Elias Viljanen (Sonata Arctica)

  Full Set List
  • Only the Broken Hearts (Make You Beautiful)
    Black Sheep
    Alone In Heaven
    Shitload of Money
    The Gun
    The Day
    I Have a Right
    The Last Amazing Grays
    Paid in Full
    Losing My Insanity
    Don't Say a Word


  1. Your Pythia comments are interesting Peter. A friend, Anthony May, said similar about the costumes and it's one of the things i've always had a problem with. It's as if they've decided to dress up early on and wherever the music takes them they are sticking with it!

    As for the performance, they are hugely erratic. I don't think they spend much time rehearsing together and don't have that many gigs either. Hence you never know how it'll turn out when they get onstage.

  2. Thanks for the comment Tom. For me they haven't kicked on and made the next step up which is a shame.

    As for costumes - Ditch them !!! The other guitarist just looked camp. Either go for it 100% like a Slipknot or Lordi (extreme examples I know) or forget it and concentrate on the music alone.