Live at The Regent Theatre
Los Angeles, CA
September 27th, 2019
Review and photos by Travis Baumann
Korpiklaani are Finnish folk metal heroes that have taken the world by storm, growing their fandom every year with extensive tours and constant additions to musical repertoire Their tenth album, "Kulkija" came out last year and the festive live shows have been raging ever since.
Korpiklaani have two sides to their music, one is a more traditional shamanistic approach to their lyrics and stories, and the other revolves around the mass consumption of alcohol.
I have seen their name translated in two ways as well, the first part, Korpi referring to deep, old woods and Klaani meaning clan or tribe. You can then take that as a shamanistic reference to a clan of deep forest dwellers and I have also seen this simplified to "backwoods clan" which has more of a drinking "hillbilly" vibe so I guess depending on the song, it works either way.
Korpiklaani started as a solo project for band founder Jonne Järvelä but has exponentially expanded into the nefarious group that it is today. Joining Jonne are Kalle "Cane" Savijärvi on guitars, Jarkko Aaltonen playing base guitar, Matti "Matson" Johansson handling percussion, Tuomas Rounakari playing violin, and Sami Perttula jamming on the accordion.
They opened the set with huge smiles on their faces that never faltered (well, except Tuomas on violin... quite a serious fellow he seems to be). The first song up was "Hunting Song" followed by "Sahti". A majority of their songs are sang in Finnish but there are some in English and some that utilize the old Sámic verse.
Transitioning from their more folk themed songs to the first party song of the night, "Land of a Thousand Drinks" brought the raucous crowd reaction that has made many a Korpiklaani fan.
"A Man With A Plan" led into "Let's Drink!" Jonne saw an old friend in the crowd that brought a big smile to his face. He said "This next one is for you, its a pretty old one" as the band broke into "Happy Little Boozer".
Taking things back to the more serious side, they did a number of songs in a row that ranged from the more metal side down to a couple of acoustic songs with a very old world folk feel. They started off with "Kallon Malja" and "Pellervoinen" both from the last album, and then moved on to "Harmaja" from "Kulkija" as well, before taking it back to "Old Tale" from 2005's "Voice of Wilderness".
Sticking with this album for a big fan-favorite, they did "Fields in Flames" before another trio of songs from their latest release with "Aallon Alla" followed by "Kotikonnut" and finally "Henksselipoika".
It was a massive set already but they still had a lot left to go! They played a personal favorite of mine with "Lempo" utilizing the low resonate tones of "yolking" which is similar to Tibetan throat singing ins some ways and followed that up with another crowd pleaser, "Pilli on Pajusta Tehty".
The next two songs of the set came from their debut album, "Spirit of the Forest" with "You Looked Into My Eyes" and the rowdy drinking song "Wooden Pints".
Korpiklaani began acting like they were leaving the stage but quickly broke into their two most beloved drinking songs in a row to rage out the night, "Beer Beer", and "Vodka". These two had the drinks in the air, the mosh pit revolving and a good time had by all.
It was a really impressive set with a huge dose of the new album's material worked into all the classic songs of yarns and tales and beer and booze.
Korpiklaani are a party in band form and really worked up the crowd. I love seeing these guys live and highly recommend them to everyone, whether you are into pagan folk metal or not.
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