Klubi, Turku - 17 December 2009
And there we were, at Klubi again. The christmas songs of the previous night's Raskasta Joulua gig were still ringing in our ears, when we walked up the stairs to Klubi's "Ilta" room. It's a very intimate little space with a small stage, completely wrong for the Colossal sounds of Leverage, but what's there to do? The bigger room was booked for some other event, and to be honest, with Leverage's still somewhat underground status it would have been too big a venue for them. Well, hopefully one day I can say that "Yeah, I saw them in a small club way back when they weren't selling out arenas"... and hey, I've got the story and the photos to prove it.
The crowd may not have been a big one, but I'm glad to say that it was a dedicated one. Most of the people seemed to know the lyrics to all of the songs, which is quite something since they were mostly from the latest album. The first couple of rows were populated by girls, most of them probably card-holding members of the Pekka Heino Fan Club. By the end of the gig, I'm pretty sure that just about everyone was ready to join the club - the guy's a star, a great vocalist and at home on stage.
While the intro was playing, the guys came on stage through the crowd - not the Grand Opening of the show, but who cares. They soon kicked off the opening track of the new album "Circus Colossus" - The Wolf And The Moon. Now that's a stadium-sized, epic song, but it worked on a stamp-sized stage as well. A couple of older favourites followed, "Follow Down That River" and "Stormchild", but then the band dived deeper into the new album, and played seven songs from it back to back. On most of the gigs, such a thing would've been a disaster, but not on this one. Leverage were obviously "preaching to the converted" who already knew the songs, and besides, with killer tracks like "Rider Of Storm", "Revelation" and "Movie Gods" they could've converted a few non-believers as well. I hope they did.
As the set came closer to the end, we were treated to a couple of songs from the first album "Tides", "Superstition" and "Dreamworld", both of which recieved a great reception. The guys would have been excused for skipping the encore game, but they did leave the stage, again walking through the crowd to their backstage... okay, offstage room. Keyboard player Marko and Pekka soon returned, and played "Don't Keep Me Waiting", the new album's short ballad. Pekka's vocal was stunning as ever, and Marko's keyboard skills are unquestionable.
The rest of the band elbowed they way to the stage again, and another couple of killer tracks from the debut album closed the set very nicely. The bouncy "Twilight Symphony" and "15 Years" were both highlights of the gig, reminding us again what a great album "Tides" is.
Prior to this tour, Leverage went through a personell change. Bassist Pekka Lampinen was replaced by Sami Norrbacka. He is a good addition to the band, bringing in extra energy. He seemed to be all smiles throughout the gig, and why not? He's playing in one of the finest melodic metal bands of today! Not that the rest of the band were moping around, nope... Leverage struck me as a rather happy band.
Leverage's first gig in Turku was a success, and I truly hope that the next time we'll see them on a bigger stage - Ruisrock, perhaps?