Sonata Arctica

Date: 3rd December 2009
Headline Bands: Sonata Arctica
Support Bands: Winterborn
Venue: O2 Academy Islington
Comments: I got to the gig extra early as last time I saw Sonata Arctica the queue was huge even an hour before the gig. The time went by quickly though as I got chatting to nearby people in the queue who were all rather nice people. From as far away as Exeter, Portsmouth and Malta. We started moving 5 minutes early which was cool. Straight in and I decided to buy the Days of Grays T-shirt which had a space theme to it and looked rather nice. I ended up near the bar on the left hand side.

Winterborn were OK but nothing special. Although still quite pleasant to listen to. I had higher expectations for Delain, which I had already heard some tracks from before thanks to recommendations from friends and Spotify. The lead singer was gorgeous in both looks and voice, and they gave a good performance. There is a chance I will buy their music some time soon. I certainly wouldn't complain if I got to see them again one day.

I knew it. Sonata Arctica came on to the Everything Fades To Gray instrumental which seemed perfectedly made for a gig intro. By now though I was getting stuck behind lots of tall people so I didn't have the best of views. Eventually I abandoned the barside post and shifted right a bit in an attempt to get a better view. They played a good selection of new songs as well as some must play classics. They also had their fair share of keyboard and guitar solos, and even some yodelling at one point just as they started to play Full Moon. At one point the lead singer of support band Delain came on and did a duet with Sonata Arctica which was cool. Sonata's time on stage went in a flash so it was definitely a decent gig, although without any special lights or other effects they were never going to compete with Nightwish last spring.

The encore was fun too. It started to an audience rendition of We Will Rock You, and finished with a decent rendition of perhaps their best song, Don't Say A Word. As that ended I was surprised to hear them playing 'Havanagilah' before they went off. I wasn't complaining!

By the end I was pretty knackered and a bit miffed with people rudely barging past me almost constantly including when I was trying to take pictures and video, as well as tall people getting in the way too. But it didn't detract from a decent gig. Sonata Arctica was well worth a return visit.

The following setlist was posted online after the gig although I'm not sure if the order is correct:

1. Everything Fades To Grey - Instrumental (Intro)
2. Flag In The Ground
3. Paid In Full
4. Caleb
5. The Last Amazing Grays
6. As If The World Wasn't Ending
7. FullMoon (With Yodelling at the start)
8. Last Drop Falls (Charlotte from Delain singing most of it)
9. Juliet
10. Replica
11. 8th Commandment

12. Audience Drumkit / We Will Rock You
13. Black & White
14. Don't Say A Word
15. A bit of Everything Fades To Gray