19.9.2021 Lost Society @ On The Rocks, Helsinki

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Going to concerts nowadays almost feels like it’s some sort of drug. It turns out that the less you go in a year, the more you get a kick out of it when you do finally manage to attend a show again. Moreover, it seems like concerts, nowadays, appear very randomly and you have to grab on to the hype train very spontaneously to catch them. Luckily for us, we managed to catch the right one when LOST SOCIETY posted on their social media that their shows at On The Rocks had almost sold out and that there was going to be a third show. At the last minute, we decided to check out the set in Helsinki centrum on September 19th, 2021. Check out the gallery here.

We arrived quite early to the venue but, there was still quite a queue that had formed to check in to the event, which is probably why the band started playing a little bit later, to ensure that everybody was inside. One thing I immediately noticed around me was the lack of face masks as I entered the venue, and the fact that no one seemed to be doing social distancing anymore. This looked pretty much like a normal show to me, which made me feel quite uncomfortable at times. At around 19:10 the intro song started and the guys got on stage around 19:15. We have seen the band during the summer at Dark River Festival and had hoped they would have changed up their setlist a little bit. Luckily for us, since the set lasted 90 minutes, the band was able to focus mostly on their latest album, No Absolution,” but also included some fan-favorites.

They started out with the energetic “Nonbeliever,” which was quite the beginning to a dynamic evening. I have probably mentioned this a few times before, but this track is just simply meant to be an opener. The fact that the band had just sold out three shows also added to the energy of the song and they were clearly excited to be playing live in front of an audience. “Artificial” followed, which allowed the four-piece to slow down a little bit before a lot of intense tracks. “Deliver Me” is a great song live, with an excellent thrashy guitar solo, although it focuses more on their groove metal sound. I was surprised to see that a mosh pit has ignited in the midst of the audience, even though I thought it would be a bit awkward considering the venue had organized the show in a way that every person present was able to sit – there were tables and chairs on the floor. However, the crowd had mostly decided not to use them. The thrash metal extravaganza in “Hollow Eyes” from their “Braindead” album was a good follow-up to continue to the heavy and intense atmosphere, which meant a lot of people from the audience were headbanging as if their lives depended on it.

It’s no big secret that the band has been frustrated by the Finnish government and how they have handled the pandemic situation’s death sentence to the cultural sector, so the next song therefore was semi-dedicated to the government: “Blood On Your Hands.” The next part of the setlist has pretty much become my favorite section of a LOST SOCIETY show: before the band dives into their classic “I Am the Antidote,” the two guitarists, Samy Elbanna and Arttu Lesonen, usually show off their skills in something of a solo battle. Elbanna even had a wardrobe change, to make the audience pay attention, and had added a white beanie to his outfit, which later on was stolen by drummer Tapani Fägerström who wore it as a balaclava, while filming the audience’s reaction. There was a fun part during the solo section where Elbanna decided to be a one-man band and was playing drums and guitars simultaneously – perhaps the start of a promising solo career! Soon after, the highlight of the show for me started an offset of heavy yet slow headbanging with “I Am the Antidote.”

The band disappeared from stage and Samy Elbanna was flying solo during the start of “Into Eternity,” which included a backing track to add in the beautiful cello parts provided to the studio version by APOCALYPTICA. I swear that I someday want to see the cello metal band join LOST SOCIETY on stage with this track, however, I guess we have to be satisfied with the backing track for now. After the first verse and chorus, the band kicked in with their distorted instruments to finish together. The band picked up the pace again with “My Prophecy,” after which a funny moment came when Samy Elbanna decided it was time for a cover, in our case “Highway to Hell.” It took Arttu Lesonen a tiny bit of effort to get the riffs right at the beginning, which was amusing because, throughout the rest of the show, he plays much more intricate things with such ease. After the track was over, Elbanna mentioned how sometimes you do things you instantly regret and this track was one of those things. That may be, but it was a lot of fun to witness a spontaneous moment like that on stage.

After the funny intermezzo, the band played two more intense songs from “No Absolution”: “Pray for Death” and “Outbreak (No Rest for the Sickest),” after which they disappeared from the stage. Luckily for us, they came back for more and started off their encore with “Riot,” to which the audience had to shout along loudly. If you ask me, we did pretty well, and hopefully we were the loudest out of three evenings – but you know the artist, you’re never loud enough. After pretty much screaming our lungs out in “Riot,” the band ended their set with the title track of their latest album, “No Absolution.”

Altogether, this was a classic LOST SOCIETY show with as much energy as we are used of the guys. The new songs might not exactly be super new anymore, but I bet there were at least a couple of people who hadn’t heard this material live yet. The stage was updated to the cover art off their last album, with an impressive floor mat that fitted the band’s style. Other than that the stage was pretty minimal, but then again, LOST SOCIETY doesn’t need any gimmicks to deliver an incredible set.

Setlist

  1. Nonbeliever
  2. Artificial
  3. Deliver Me
  4. Hollow Eyes
  5. Blood on Your Hands
  6. Solo Battle
  7. I Am the Antidote
  8. Into Eternity
  9. My Prophecy
  10. Highway to Hell (AC/DC cover)
  11. Pray for Death
  12. Outbreak (No Rest for the Sickest)
  13. Riot (Encore)
  14. No Absolution (Encore)