11.5.2017 Destrage, The Contortionist, & Periphery @ Tavastia, Helsinki


After all the confusing weather and an endless winter, a little bit of happiness of the supposed spring season came to Helsinki when Periphery brought their tour to a halt in Tavastia on Thursday 11 May 2017, together with other progressive metal bands Destrage and The Contortionist.
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First round was for Italian band Destrage, who released their newest album “A Means to No End” in October.  The venue was quite packed starting from the moment Destrage started to play. The band combines the energy levels of mathcore well with the musicality of progressive metal. Because of this energy, they won over the hearts of the audience right away. After the intro song “A Means To No End”, they dived into their single “Don’t Stare at the Edge”. The combination of both works as a successful opener for the gig. The setlist consisted out of 7 songs, both old ones and new ones. Personal highlight for me was “Purania”. The audience seemed to enjoy the performance overall and I even spotted a moshpit at some point during the gig. It was the first time for me to see Destrage play live and perhaps it’s because of my weakness for everything  that Italy produces and the cheerfulness they radiated onto the crowed, I don’t think it will be my last time.


  1. A Means to No End
  2. Don’t Stare at the Edge
  3. Destroy Create Transform Sublimate
  4. The Flight
  5. My Green Neighbour
  6. Symphony of the Ego
  7. Purania
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Next up – and a bit later than scheduled – on the stage was The Contortionist, an American band from Indiana. Unfortunately for me as a photographer, the lights were not in my favor this time. During the performance I kept thinking, the only thing worse than green lights is red ones and that’s what was on the schedule next (or at least during the time I was in the photo pit).

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Vocalist Michael Lessard has a pleasant voice to listen to and you can see that all of them are good musicians and they are really good at what they do. Starting with both of the “Language” tracks and playing a good chunk of that album, combined with a couple of older songs, they had an overall good performance. Their music is perhaps less energetic than both Destrage and Periphery, so it was also a bit more difficult for the audience to really engage in the show and the band seemed a bit more stoic than the other acts and there was a bit of an unfortunate contrast between them. It was the first time I saw them play live, somehow I ended up being not as much impressed as I would have hoped for, but this might also be because of the contrast and I would like to see them play live with a different setting and other bands to support them, as this also might have affected me. The audience however seemed to appreciate them a lot.


  1. Language I: Intuition
  2. Language II: Conspire
  3. Thrive
  4. Solipsis
  5. Primordial Sound
  6. Oscillator
  7. The Parable

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The crowd was warmed up enough now to take in a band that was expected to put up one hell of a show, so time for Periphery to make those expectations become reality. The band released their latest album  “Periphery III: Select Difficulty” in July 2016.

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Even though a bit later than scheduled, when the band finally hit the stage, the fans erupted into a ecstatic cheering, and sang along with the songs from the first minute. The venue was really packed, it seemed close to a sold out gig, but luckily there was still some room to breathe. From the first minute it is clear that all band members are there for business, they are really professional and very good players, not that anyone was in doubt of that. For me drummer Matt Halpern stands out, with tight but yet passionate playing. Spencer Sotelo has an undeniable great voice, both in clean vocals and in his screams. In general, they connect very well with their audience. Moreover, it seemed like they were having a blast themselves and they seemed touched by the emotions of the crowd.
The setlist was again an interesting mixture of old and new songs. Half of the performed songs came from their newest pearl and a couple of tracks from both “Alpha” and “Omega”. My personal highlight was their single from the latest album “Marigold”. As I looked around me, I think this was the case for many of us. I can speak for myself that I have played this song a lot on repeat during summer 2016 and it was great to finally hear it live. It would have also served nice to close up the show, however they chose for “Lune” as an encore. They announced it as a different song, a love song. And even though perhaps a bit more mellow than the rest of the setlist, it did have a heartwarming effect. While queuing for my coat, I saw many happy faces and smiles. Even though it ended way to soon, it was overall a great night and surprisingly they did bring the sunshine back to Helsinki.


  1. A Black Minute
  2. Stranger Things
  3. The Way the News Goes…
  4. Marigold
  5. Remain Indoors
  6. Prayer Position
  7. The Bad Thing
  8. Flatline
  9. Memento
  10. Psychosphere
  11. The Price is Wrong
  12. Masamune
  13. Encore: Lune

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