Finntroll and Ensiferum at Gramercy Theater NYC


28 feb 2011, 01:53

Sat 26 Feb – Finntroll, Ensiferum, Rotten Sound, Barren Earth

So… Yesterday was the Finnish Metal Tour concert! It was an amazing experience since it was my first concert on General admission (that means no reserved seating). Here it is my little review or actually a blog of the experience.

I got there 2 hours (or a little bit more) before the doors opened and to my surprise there were only a bunch of people there. It seems that Americans don’t like to wait in line too much, or at least not in the cold. I was wearing my leather jacket so I really got to feel the cold in there. Thank God there was a bathroom in a Chili’s restaurant in the same block and people were nice enough to save me the spot in the line. So now you know, if you have to wait in line for an event at the Gramercy Theater in NYC go to pee to Chili’s if you need to.

The doors finally opened at 7:10 p.m.-ish and the venue was small to my surprise, which isn’t bad at all because it makes the concert a little more intimate, interactive and loud. I got in first row (fuck yeah!) pretty easily and didn’t move from there at all throughout the whole concert in order to not lose my spot. The place got crowded fast and there were seats behind too (which I guess it’s good if you’re old, injured, if you’re going with your significant other or just don’t want to bother with the heat of the crowd).

The first band to play was Barren Earth, which to my surprise was pretty good live. It’s a band with a style (kind of) similar to Opeth it seems. Before the concert I hadn’t heard of them but after hearing them live I’m definitely checking them out.

The second band was Rotten Sound, a band. The genre and band are not my cup of coffee (or to be accurate, my glass of Pepsi) but the people in the moshpit definitely loved them.

The third band was my personal favorite of the performing bands, Ensiferum. Funny thing is I didn’t know the correct pronunciation of the name of the band before the concert. In the end the pronunciation of it didn’t differ from the Spanish one (I was worrying about mispronouncing all this time for nothing, yay!). The band was simply amazing and the crowd was very responsive. There were no surprises pretty much in the setlist for the show since they have been performing the same songs in their US performances. The only problem I have with their US setlist is the absence of “One More Magic Potion” which is a fan favorite and one of their most iconic songs. I think it’s a shame that they are not performing it on the US tours but the whole show was excellent and very enjoyable nonetheless. I am totally being a guy for saying this but the keyboard player (Emmi Silvennoinen) was so damn gorgeous that at some points I couldn’t take my eyes away from her <3. Gotta love those European women! The highlights of the show to me were Iron, Token of Time, Twilight Tavern, Victory Song and Lai Lai Hei.

Finntroll closed the show and goddamn!! They were awesome! Vreth kills on live performances, he kills!!! Even though the songs are harder to sing along because of language they make pretty damn sure there’s interaction of the public with their songs. I’m sorry to repeat myself but Vreth’s voice really shines live. I was very surprised and pleased with his performance on stage, and I think that if the people knew the lyrics of their songs they would have been total show stealers. One of the songs I would have loved to listen would be Rivfader, but it was very unlikely since their setlist has been pretty much the same during their whole worldwide tour (they played pretty much the same setlist in Costa Rica a bunch of weeks ago). Highlights of their show was Vreth’s voice, Trollhammaren and all the songs from their recent album Nifelvind.

The show ended and a fight almost started between two guys who were in the moshpit. I got a buzz in my ears for the rest of the night and the whole next day, but that’s to be expected and it was worth it. And unluckily I didn’t get to grab shit that was thrown to the audience :(. A final observation is that I couldn’t hear the voice of the singers that well in front row, but when I saw a video recording of the show on youtube the singing was pretty clear. A guy outside when we waited in line said that he doesn’t like to be in front row and prefers to be a little bit more on the back to appreciate the concert better, so now what he said makes sense to me.

Pictures taken from the show can be seen here (Phone quality pix, sorry :< ):


  • rolle-

    Nice review. In Finland we speak finnish and swedish so it's quite easy to sing Finntroll songs. Ensiferum are better in my opinion, but they both rock. Also my hometown band Barren Earth is great, have not got a change to see them live just yet. They play like doomish melodic death metal. But seen doom metal band Swallow the Sun about 4 times already, the other band singer's in. Cheers!

    1 mar 2011, 22:17
  • hadexo

    Thanks for the feedback! And I'm definitely gonna try at least to learn a bit of the lyrics for Finntroll if they come back to the US again, they were so much fun live! I'll check Swallow the Sun, even though doom is not my thing (I'm more looking into faster paced traditional doom at the moment :P).

    1 mar 2011, 23:08
  • enziguri

    It was a fun show. :) I personally don't show up early for shows because I think the sound sucks up front--the vocals are usually being projected over your head, plus I personally hate being squished in one spot for hours, it makes me claustraphobic. =P Also you know, venues like this are so small that there's a great view everywhere, so I think that's why a lot of people don't show up too early. Also because so many people like to mosh and stuff and you can come in whenever for that. =D

    2 mar 2011, 02:57
  • hadexo

    I didn't know about that sound detail before :(. But being so close and screaming like crazy feels so awesome. Ahhh, hard choices xD.

    2 mar 2011, 03:44
  • rolle-

    It depends on the venue acoustic. In Finland we usually have little venues customized for metal concerts. The best are those dark cellar/bar shows where you can certainly feel the riffs. In open air and festivals it's helluva different. Thanks again for the review, these are rarities in these days... always so fun to read. Btw, I know Swallow the Sun is doom, but they take influences from other metal genres and it's so damn beautifully done. Every single one of their songs is a masterpiece. Usually guys who don't like doom metal will like StS. I highly recommend! Listen from Spotify.

    2 mar 2011, 10:54
  • LordsOfTheStorm

    Saw this tour when they played in Canada. Ensiferum were fantastic, Barren Earth were great, Finntroll didn't have great sound at the show, and didn't play Rivfader, but performed well. Rotten Sound was, well, what you would expect from a grind band. Fast, loud, aggressive, and mosh pit inducing. Reading this review took my mind back to that show! :) Two to three hundred people filling the room with the chorus of Deathbringer from the Sky, lights flashing, heads banging...ahh, *sinks back into great metal memories and dozes off*

    4 jul 2011, 04:07
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