October 2, 2011, Apocalyptica in Kiev

Next stage of our Apo odyssey and delightful adventure

Reviewed by Halina and Maria

Photos by Elena Jurievna

We were preparing mentally for this gig since April when we had bought tickets. You can imagine our happiness when finally we managed to come to Ukraine, considering everything and everyone was against us, both at work and in private life. We came to beautiful Kiev 3 day prior to the concert, so we had great opportunity to explore the city with our new Ukrainian friends, making photos full of light. Of course, on the first day we discovered the Sport Palace, the place where the gig took place. We have to confess that our friends were quite shocked when they heard we had decided to travel 1000 km for the show.

Meet and greet with the band was planned (surprisingly) in the dark hall. During the meeting before the show, we talked mostly with Paavo. We had prepared a long list of questions for him but, because of lack of time, we asked only few of them. We chatted basically about his favourite classical pieces, difficulties in learning cello and pets, as if we were friends for a long time. Again we had a strong feeling that he was reading in our minds. He always tries to understand the other person... On the one hand he is funny and joking but he likes to talk about serious issues as well. Paavo is very wise, warm and fragile. Again he asked us if the presents we had given to him had been totally for him or he should have shared them with the band. It was so lovely and sweet, completely in his style. Now, we are wondering what does he think about the CDs we offered to him. Maybe next time we will get know. He hug us which made us feel like... on spring meadow we would say (yes, nothing else comes to our minds). He said we had been born with music inside and we should smile more often.

Unfortunately, we had to stop our exceptional conversation because other persons wanted to share thoughts with Paavo and besides Perttu came to us. This time Perttu, angel and demon in one body, was more talkactive and, as always, behaved very friendly. We guessed he was very curious what Paavo got from us in the bag. It was so funny. Obviously he did remember us from Cracow. The conclusion from this chat was quite stupendous and we would like to keep it for ourselves.

In the last moment we had found one chestnut in jacket's pocket and spontaneously we decided to give it to Eicca. He seemed to be quite surprised. Maybe he thought it was a chocolate in the first seconds. We admired his unique scarf, probably made for him by fan. Definitely, he seemed to be very happy chatting with fans.

Time was over and guys had to leave. Only Paavo stayed a little bit longer with us. In the very end we asked him for special note for us in Finnish. He did it writing "iloista syksya" which means "happy autumn". This note became our secret treasure. He waved goodbye to both of us and the door was closed. All people were so excited after the meeting. Honestly, all four guys are the nicest people we have ever met and they treat fans with all respect.

After the M&G, we were able to take place in the first row under the stage, in the middle. Rock band Therapy? played as a support group. We think the audience received them very well but personally, we couldn't concentrate on their music at all, waiting for the most wanted moments. During the technical break we experienced peak tension in our minds. Finally, the magic adventure was started with Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah and, shortly after, guys showed up on the stage with "Quasimodo" (and blue light). For us, the fire was stoked up with "2010" and we were captured at that point.

The concert promoted new album of Apocalyptica but they also performed some old, original compositions like "Grace", "Quutamo" and "Fisheye". During the special acoustic set, they did play "Sacra" and "Nothing Else Matters". Perttu performed his divine, breathtaking solo (brutally interrupted in the middle part by crowd applause it should be played in completely silence). We only missed marvellous "Beautiful" and "At the Gates of Manala" (our personal real black pearls on "7th Symphony"). As always, the audience was singing the lyrics in "I don't care" and "I'm not Jesus". For encore Apo played "I don't care", "Hall of the Mountain King" and... masterpiece "Farewell". Listening to "Farewell" we would hide within the sounds, almost disappear. After this performing one could die in peace.

Guys decided to insert "Katyusha" motive into the "Hall of the Mountain King", causing enthusiastic explosion of joy among the audience. Perttu marched as if he was a professional soldier. Everybody should see him at this moment!

Guys were incredible, again they showed their amazing musical skills, playing with such mastery, for 200%, proving they are exceptional musicians and performers as well. But to tell just "incredible" is definitely too little to describe their phenomenal individualism. We were just thrilled by world class artists and moving music stories. They interacted with the audience in a very friendly, warm manner and gave us enormous dose of pure energy. Guys were in their best form. It was a real pleasure to hear and watch them again live. It wasn't just a memorable concert but a wonderful, divine experience. No one can match hard rock, metal and classical music in the same space as they do. It was so hilarious to hear deep Eicca voice from the stage! Mikko proved again that punk is not dead with his absolutely stunning hairdo. We adored Perttu's golden shoes! During the "Seek and Destroy" Eicca made Paavo a little bit confused by hip movements. Also it was so adorable when Perttu was teasing Eicca bowing on his hair. We assume that Paavo playing on his knees brought lots of joy to everybody. Apocalyptica always has lots of fun on stage sharing their passion with everybody.

This time the drums were not too loud comparing to the our last show on February. The gig went on for about 100 minutes, however for us it was rather like in a flash. We felt so privileged being able to see them live. Their music brought tears to our eyes but also hundreds of smiles, drove us from sublime fury to the deep reflections. We will keep this full of magic concert in our hearts and minds forever and every moments of it is still so precious for us. We wish only we had made better pictures.

There was only one thing we didn't like: stage lights which had too high intensity (especially the red ones) and we were many times just dazzled by them. It was so annoying. When the guys disappeared on the backstage "Ruska" was played as the outro. We love this piece a lot but, in this case, it always means that feast of sounds and happiness is gone and we have to leave the venue. We guess all fans leaving the concert were enjoyed and excited.

After the concert, we were waiting for the band outside. They came out after half an hour. Unfortunately, there was no possibility to talk once more. Paavo shouted loud with charming smile: "Thanks for coming!".

After our catharsis, we came back to the hotel and of course we couldn't sleep at all. In the next day we were in rather sedative mood and we were sad despite we tried to smile, we felt huge emptiness walking through Khreshchatyk Street in Kiev, wondering when and where we will be able to see Apo again...

Apocalyptica, thanks to Your music we can enjoy beautiful things in our lives.

Your music is healing, inspiring, energizing, motivating and ... just crazy. It keeps us still alive, moving to a different space and time. We are strongly convinced that Apollo (ancient God of music) would be very pleased with Apo gig!

Favourite moments (summary): our chat with Paavo, eye contact with Paavo from the stage, Perttu solo, Katyusha motive, Perttu jokes (especially during introduction of the band) and tricks, Paavo comedic acting during the "Seek and Destroy".

We left our sorrows behind. We are looking forward to the next time on the rooftop with Q (we hope before the spring...).

Many thanks for our beloved Foursome and for all Fans in Sport Palace!

Halina and Maria

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