keskiviikko 24. helmikuuta 2010

Warmen @ Dante's Highlight

The Scythes Of Bodom Blog packed its thermal underwear and travelled to a face-shreddingly cold Helsinki last week, to attend Warmen's 10th Anniversary show at Dante's Highlight.

Inside the downtown venue there is an air of anticipation for this event, only the third live show of the band's career. But showtime is still a couple of hours away and right now, the only sign that Warmen are in the house is a large banner bearing their name, draped across the front of the stage (apparently it was too big to be used as a backdrop on the small stage and will be lowered when the show starts). Hanging beneath it is a second banner, proclaiming the merits of a well-known Finnish beer. Take a quick glance and you could be forgiven for thinking that the two banners are one and that "Warmen ... sounds like Koff"!

On our way to the bar, we discover that there's some Warmen merch available - well, t-shirts, anyway. Design courtesy of Antti Wirman, the text on the back reveals the band's sense of humour:

Nice to know they don't take themselves too seriously!

Just past midnight, the banner falls and the show gets under way, and it's clear from the get-go that Warmen mean to enjoy themselves tonight, launching straight into the instrumental opening track from the new album, Japanese Hospitality and following up with the first of the evening's guest artists, Timo Kotipelto, who joins the band for Eye of the Storm and Spark. The mood onstage is festive; there's plenty of banter between band members, guest

singers and friends in the audience, and the party atmosphere is heightened when, after another Warmen favourite, Beyond Abilities, Jonna Kosonen appears, clutching a bottle of wine and a glass, to perform three songs ... and so it continues, with instrumental classics from the back catalogue interweaved with more songs from the new album, delivered this time by Pasi Rantanen. And then, from the keyboard, Janne introduces the final guest singer: Alexi Laiho, who, as a finale, reprises his 2008 Spinefeast appearance with Warmen, singing Somebody's Watching Me. The audience loves it, and Alexi looks like he's enjoying himself, too.

The crowd wants an encore, but when the band and guests return to the stage it's to stand in line and take a smiling and somewhat ragged bow. Warmen gigs don't come round very often, but when they do, they're well worth the wait. The band's 10th Anniversary has been duly celebrated; it's been a fun night and we're more than happy to applaud them!

Check out footage of Alexi and Warmen performing Somebody's Watching Me here

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