June 21st 1997

Nummirock Festival, Nummijärvi

  1. Forever Free
  2. The Kiss Of Judas
  3. Father Time
  4. Distant Skies
  5. Paradise
  6. Black Diamond
  7. Twilight Symphony
  8. Against The Wind
  9. Forever
  10. Visions
  11. Will The Sun Rise?

  12. Speed Of Light

Nummirock Festival has traditionally been the hardest Finnish rock festival of Summer. For totally unknown reason, this year the festival had even techno-acts like Scooter or Alexia, but fortunately the last day, Saturday, was only excellent rock music. Megadeth headlined, and other bands included all the best Finnish metal bands, Amorphis, Tarot, Sentenced, Waltari, Kyyria, and of course Stratovarius.

I didn't watch Megadeth all the way, I find them rather boring live, but left for the small stage to get a good place for Stratovarius show. I don't understand why bands like Stratovarius and Amorphis were on small stage, while Sub-Urban Tribe and Kyyria were on the main stage... Anyway, small stage had better sounds and a lot better atmosphere.

Even during the soundcheck there were already hundreds of people waiting for Stratovarius, though Megadeth was still playing. The audience gave a really loud responce to Timo (Tolkki), Jens and Jörg, who where setting up their gear. And finally, around 23.50 the show started. The sound and mixing was great from the very beginning, especially keyboards were now loud enough. The band played extremely well, and Timo Kotipelto sang better than I've ever heard him before. Father Time could've been the album version, he didn't miss any of even the highest notes. Well, he did sing parts of Black Diamond a bit lower, but overall the whole band was definitely in the top form.

The set list was pretty much what I expected. Mainly all the best fast tunes, but Paradise was a refreshing song to hear live. I found Visions a bit surprising choice, as this was a festival after all, and the time was very limited. Audience was extremely loud, and again during Forever Tolkki let the audience to hum the solo. Stratovarius played 10-15 minutes longer than one hour that they were scheduled to, but I don't complain :-)

After all, I'd still love to see some of the older stuff live as well, but in the end I don't think anyone was left cold. Incredible atmosphere, and the largest audience Stratovarius has ever had in Finland (Visions has sold over 13.000, which is really noticeable achievement for a metal band). One of the most memorable moments was, when Timo Tolkki got a T-shirt from backstage. It said "Grunge is dead", and I couldn't agree more.

This time I even had a camera with me. If there are any good pictures, I'll scan some of them and put to these pages.

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