Ensiferum & Korpiklaani Bring Folk And Beer To Hollywood

Ensiferum and Korpiklaani
May 6, 2015
House of Blues- Los Angeles, CA

      The annual Paganfest was cancelled this year and fans of folk metal were saddened by the news. Their frowning faces were quickly turned upside down when folk metal favorites Ensiferum and Korpiklaani announced a co-headlining tour to make folk metallers happy and jump for joy. The tour made its first stop at the world-famous House of Blues on the legendary Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California where Pagan metal fans all gathered to see these two folk metal bands, see friends, and of course, drink away the night away with beer and alcohol!
Korpiklaani released their new album Noita on May 5th. They are a folk metal band from Finland whose name means “Forest Clan” in the Finnish language. Their song lyrics are often related to alcohol and partying. Almost all their songs are written and sung in their native Finnish language and while almost all fans have no clue what they’re saying, just the music alone is enough to get people going and get into their music. Korpiklaani came on stage to be greeted by fans as they opened with the first track of the new album, Viinamäen Mies. Aside from traditional rock and metal instruments, Korpiklaani makes use of their folk metal korpsc-18genre by using folk instruments like the violin and accordion. Fans in the immediate floor area could be seen jumping and moshing to the music while fans that preferred to stay away from the floor could be seen hanging out with friends and enjoying their beer and whatever alcohol they could get their hands on. Korpiklaani is a band of few words live as they cut to the chase and just played song after song. Plenty of fan favorite songs made their setlist including Jouney Man, Viima, Metsämies, and Ruumiinmultaa all brought joy to those that came to party it up. During the instrumental Varinpolka, violinist Tuomas Rounakari danced, pranced, and kicked while playing showing he was having such fun. The crowd would clap and dance along to a lot of the songs played as well as sing along to the few words they could understand. When they played one of their most popular songs Vodka, the crowd went crazy as it’s one of their songs that’s sung in English and everyone there knew the song is a perfect drinking song as the lyrics suggest, “Vodka, wipes away your tears! Vodka, removes your fears! Vodka, everyone is gorgeous! Vodka, yeah Vodka!” Korpiklaani finished with Rauta and bid farewell to the fans. The show wasn’t over as fans chanted “Kor-pi-klaa-ni! Kor-pi-klaa-ni!” and the band came out to play the encore song Juodaan Viinaa which translates to “Let’s Drink Booze” and is a cover of Finnish singer-songwriter, Hector. The band bowed as they finished and threw drumsticks and guitar picks into the crowd and left to make way for the headliner.
Ensiferum is another folk metal band from Finland and unlike Korpiklaani, they are more metal-based and have less folk influences. Their name means “sword bearing” in their Finnish language. Ensiferum released their newest album One Man Army on February 20th. Ensiferum’s songs are in English so you’re able to understand them, yet they have harsh vocals most of the time so it can be a challenge making out what they say, but it’s traditional folk metal music. Ensiferum started their set with track number two from the new album, Axe of Judgement. Following that, they played the next track from the new album, Heathen Horde. By now, the crowd was fully pumped as they had waited two years since Ensiferum’s last USA tour. For the third song Into Battle, the beautiful Emmi Silvennoinen whom handles the accordion had come down from her pedestal and came up front to the stage to deliver her dance moves and smiles which was heartwarming. Ensiferum kept the energy up as they played many of their hits like: Warrior Without a War, Victory Song, Unsung Heroes, and Token of Time. As they prepared to play Ahti, singer/guitarist Petri Lindroos ordered that he wanted a LA mosh pit for this song, and the crowd delivered. Lindroos told the crowd he would give LA a taste of 70’s disco which was what LA was known for at the time and the band ensitsc-20proceeded to play the new song, Two of Spades. After the band played Unsung Heroes, bassist Sami Hinkka’s guitar strap seemed to have ripped from place which caused the band to come to a sudden halt from playing their next song. So in the meantime, Silvennoinen kept the crowd entertained by playing a cover of Iron Maiden’s The Trooper on the accordion and the rest of the band soon followed. Once Hinkka’s bass was fixed, the band continued playing folk metal music and the crowd was enjoying themselves as they were jumping, moshing, and the rest were already drunk or getting there. After that, Lindroos told the crowd the next song is for sure a mosh pit song and he wants to see the craziest mosh pit the crowd can muster up and the crowd did so as they played the title track from the new album, One Man Army. When the band finished the show with Victory Song, the crowd seemed sad and wanted the band to come back. They got their wish as the band members came back out, but with a different show in mind. All the band members switched instruments and Silvennoinen came out in a female police officer uniform. This could only mean one thing. As a treat for the LA crowd, Ensiferum played a cover of Judas Priest’s Breaking the Law with Silvennoinen handling the vocals. For the next encore of From Afar, Lindroos orders yet another mosh pit involving running, not walking. The second to last song was the fan-favorite Token of Time and fans could be heard singing along and chanting. For the final song, Hinkka had the crowd do a chant from a Uriah Heep song with them being one of his favorite bands then he, himself, ordered for one last mosh pit while Ensiferum played their final song, Iron. Ensiferum all gathered together, bowed to the fans, and left the stage while the crowd still cheered and thanked them waiting for them to come back real soon.
Review by: Misael Ruiz