After finally seeing Amorphis for the first time at Wembley Stadium in London last year supporting Nightwish, when they walked off the stage I found myself already counting down the days to their headline show in Manchester – and needless to say, it was definitely worth the three month wait.
Coming onstage to rapturous cheers, Amorphis wasted no time in getting things underway with the title track of their brand new album Under The Red Cloud and it got the night off to a terrific start, setting the scene well for what could be expected as the night progressed. Suffering from some technical problems with the vocals in the following song Sacrifice, with Tomi’s microphone not working at all, the crowd took it as an invitation to sing along as loud as they could, practically lifting the roof when the band reached the chorus, and when the vocals finally returned during the second verse, they were greeted with a roar of appreciation.
As well as treating the crowd to plenty of cuts from the new album, Amorphis also paid homage to their back catalogue, first by playing Of Rich And Poor from Elegy, and when it was announced that they were going to play an even older song, it was met with muted applause which caused Tomi to joke that maybe ten people wanted to hear it – however when it was mentioned that it would be a track from their acclaimed Tales From The Thousand Lakes album, it was met with more enthusiasm and Tomi joked that actually twelve people wanted to hear it! Indeed, the way the band interacted with both the crowd and one another was very pleasing to witness; the chemistry between everyone onstage was fantastic and their confidence shone through in their performance.
After ‘finishing’ their set with the ever-popular House Of Sleep, Amorphis once again returned to the stage for a three song encore and penultimate song Silver Bride was perhaps the highlight of the whole night. There’s something rather beautiful about being in a room with people singing along to a song at the tops of their voices and it was a spine-tingling moment, aided by the tightness and sheer energy behind the delivery of that song in particular.
As a whole, it was a fantastic show and it was great to see Amorphis in the headline slot that they belong in. Sure, perhaps the show wasn’t as ‘polished’ as the stadium one in December, but there was no faulting the atmosphere and that’s arguably one of the most important things for a show to have.