The world has reached a consensus in the anxiety around the coronavirus. To brighten up our moods, Finland’s finest cover act TRIO DE FACTO came together for a special, and intimate evening at Semifinal in Helsinki on 11 March 2020. We were there to witness the spectacle.
If you don’t know TRIO DE FACTO, well then… Shame on you. The trio consists out of Esa Orjatsalo, Sami Hinkka, and Mikael Salo, who coincidentally are also members of METAL DE FACTO. Okay, maybe it’s not such a coincidence. TRIO DE FACTO started out as a spin-off of the former band, promoting the band with the message to “make power metal great again.” The three of them conquered Europe in 2018, while on tour with ENSIFERUM. We caught the band twice before, read our report from Nosturi here, and our report from Patronaat here.
TRIO DE FACTO must have been a synonym for making a statement in another lifetime, as the band started off their show with “Paranoid,” and as a result not giving the audience a chance to request it. I felt like I was robbed of an opportunity that I didn’t know I needed in life. The trio introduced the next song “Future World” with a reference to the coronavirus that has been fucking up our lives since the end of December and then continued performing the HELLOWEEN cover with much anima.
The trio would take us to all the corners of the world. Next up was Sweden with the cover of “Twilight of the Thunder God” by AMON AMARTH, which was combined into a medley with “Rose Tattoo” by Dropkick Murphy’s all the way from Boston.
TRIO DE FACTO also promotes local talents as they decided to continue with a cover from a small indie band from the Bay Area, and performed “For Whom The Bell Tolls.” They then continued by claiming they would play a song from a musician in the audience, while reflecting on the grandiosity of this character, then ending up pointing at Papa Wilska at the sound booth. Fixed behind his mixing booth, he didn’t look too impressed, so for the lack of a featured guest, the band invited singer Yannis Papadopolous to join them instead, for a rendition of BEAST IN BLACK‘s greatest hit “Blind and Frozen.”
Since the sponsorship with Martini apparently has sailed, the band focused on promoting a brand that really needs the help nowadays: Corona, and claimed “they would make Corona great again,” after which they continued with a GHOST cover: “Square Hammer.” The spontaneous Martini-song the band has implemented in their European tour, got replaced by a new version of it promoting Corona with its lime twist. The band finished their first set with craftsmanship during “Rondo Alla Turca,” where Salo could show of his skills with the melodica (I wonder what happened to his trademark ukelele), while Hinkka and Orjatsalo swiftly channeled their inner Mozarts.
After a mandatory Corona-beer intermission, TRIO DE FACTO started their second set with “Wasting Love.” The band continued with their best cover as of yet by NAPALM DEATH and played “They Suffer” for us, which definitely was their tightest rendition of the song up-to-date. Next, they would play a cover of their favorite band METAL DE FACTO and thus started playing an acoustic version of their own song “Legionnaires’ Oath,” which included a singalong with the crowd. It sure was no EVERFROST cover, so a bit of a bummer, but what can you do when a band wants to play their own songs.
TRIO DE “medley” FACTO continued with another prime example of how making one song out of two can sometimes be an excellent turn of events. They played the epic “Battle Hymn” of MANOWAR, which flowed beautifully in “Taivas Lyö Tulta” by TERÄSBETONI.
Unfortunately for the band, they couldn’t seem to get rid of singer Yannis Papadopoulos, who by now seems to be the unofficial fourth member of QUARTET DE FACTO. He joined the stage again and tried to snatch the legendary melodica to play and sing along to “Wasted Years” by IRON MAIDEN, which was followed by the energetic “Vodka” by KORPIKLAANI. Shame on Papadopoulos for trying to steal the show from these guys!
With no more songs on the setlist, and someone requesting “Final Countdown” because “Paranoid” had already been played, the band eventually decided to come back with a cover of “More Than Words” by EXTREME with their original TRIO DE FACTO lyrics, ending a cover night in style.
Jokes aside, TRIO DE FACTO means many things, making statements, having fun, creating an atmosphere with the audience where interaction is the most important factor. A lot of the time, the show was tremendously spontaneous, and it was again a lot of fun to be a part of it. You never know when TRIO DE FACTO is going to be around, so if you see them popping up at one of your local bars, make sure to attend one of their unique shows!
- Paranoid (Black Sabbath)
- Future World (Helloween)
- Twilight Of The Thunder God/Rose Tattoo (Amon Amarth/Dropkick Murphy’s)
- For Whom The Bell Tolls (Metallica)
- Blind And Frozen (Beast In Black ft. Yannis Papadopoulos)
- Square Hammer (Ghost)
- Rondo Alla Turca (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) // INTERMISSION
- Wasting Love (Iron Maiden)
- They Suffer (Napalm Death)
- Hunting High And Low (Stratovarius) with excerpts of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven”
- Legionnaires’ Oath (Metal De Facto)
- Battle Hymn/Taivas Lyö Tulta (Manowar/Teräsbetoni)
- Wasted Years (Iron Maiden/Korpiklaani ft. Yannis Papadopoulos)
- More Than Words (Extreme Cover) with original lyrics (Encore)
Interview with messier — “There’s only three of us, so we have to make it count and get the sound as big as we can.”