Walking into the smaller of the two stage areas only five minutes before Sinisthra's gig is scheduled makes you wonder whether the whole thing might've been cancelled. There are hardly enough people in there to form a real front row, much less a decent crowd.
But little by little folks start showing up, until the area is at least filled to something around half its capacity.
After all it turns out that the "lack of audience" is a major plus to the show.
I have hardly ever seen a band before that would benefit so much from a small venue. Sinisthra's songs thrive in the intimate club atmosphere, and as much as you may wish them the success they deserve - it could probably never be the same on a big stage.
The set starts off with the epic Closely Guarded Distance, epic not only regarding it's length but also the arrangement. The song definitely asks the listeners full attention. Might not be a perfect opener, though when it much like an in minute detail planned drama play finally reaches its climax, it provides not only me with the first set of goosebumps.
Wouldn't go as far as to say "too little too late", but until that point it clearly isn't the most easy gig to watch.
I have to admit I have never been a huge fan of these 10plus-minutes songs anyway. A good idea for a song doesn't get even better if you stretch it out to infinity. Period.
And this passage before the climax...maybe a little less keyboard instrumentation would've made it even more effective and intense. Tomi Joutsen has one killer of a voice, and especially a part like this doesn't need anything more than just that.
If you ask me.
Not a bad song. Not the best song. A difficult live-song for sure.
But enough with the nagging.
The next two songs, the brand new The Shining Transience and Morningfrail are a lot more easy to digest already and the gig takes a turn for the way better now.
And then there it is. The opener. Eterne.
And it's the f***ing last song of the set!
This would've been the song with the most potential to win over the audience from the start. It is catchy, it has real hooklines...and it rocks.
In the end I can't help but think that the whole gig was a goddamned venturesome thing somewhere between bravery and stupidity.
None of the songs of the first album had made it to the set, and I missed some of them badly, I have to say. To The One Far Away or Fearless Under The Falling Sky are just too good to not play them.
Also, it's always easier to catch an audience with stuff they know.
And finally, already Last Of The Stories Of Long Past Glories took me a few spins until I got a complete hold of it, and the new material seems to be asking even more patience until it decides to really unfold.
Still I have to say, yes, it was an awesome gig.
It seemed like both the band and the crowd enjoyed the cosy atmosphere, technically I couldn't think of anything to criticize and probably, after a few listens to the new album, which is hopefully gonna hit stores at some point this year, I am going to love Closely Guarded Distance in and for all it's complexity.
- cookiemonstress -
Major thanks to Hirmuinen Live Photography for providing these awesome pics!
Closely Guarded Distance
The Shining Transience