Founded in 2012 by a bunch of 17 year olds, Arion has come a long way since then. With new singles such as “At The Break of Dawn” and “Unforgivable”, they have made us wait with anticipation for their upcoming second album. We still have to wait a little while longer, but we did get a chance to see the band play live at Semifinal, Helsinki on 28 February 2018.
I personally had never seen Arion before, I had heard of them though and my expectation were quite high, as everyone so far has been praising them a lot. Could they really live up to my already high expectations? They most certainly did. Already quite early on I was witness of their nimble musicianship and amazing energy on stage.
Vocalist Lassi Vääränen‘s voice sounds even more powerful than on the singles and overall his presence as frontman of the band is very impressive. What else is impressive and to be frank quite intimidating at times, is the talent of guitarist Iivo Kaipanen, which shows especially in his swift guitar solos. Bassist Gege Velinov has the impression of really enjoying to be on stage, as he can’t stop smiling, which is quite infectious. The band has clearly grown even more than when they first started out, but yet they seem to have the impression to be quite down-to-earth and relaxed on stage. The setlist mostly consisted out of old songs, “Out Of The Ashes”, “I Am The Storm”, but also had some room for new ones, an example the recently released and very emotional “Through Your Falling Tears”. No song too old, no song too new, the fans seemed to enjoy every moment and every second of the show.
“At The Break of Dawn”, which is perhaps their biggest hit soon followed and Elise Ryd was audible on tape. While I would be interested in one day hearing a live version without Elise whatsoever, the tape didn’t bother me at all. In a way it shows even more with what precision the band plays, because they have to keep track of timing and Lassi Vääränen‘s voice blends perfectly with Elise Ryd. The song sounded even more energetic than the already pumping single.
Last but not least it was time for “Unforgivable”, my personal highlight of the evening. I have been quite addicted to the song for a while now, but have been very curious on how it would sound live. The venue exploded completely by the first notes of “Unforgivable”, people got really excited, hence someone shouting “Vittu tää on hyvä biisi” in the middle of the song, which roughly translates as “Fuck this is a great song”. I couldn’t personally agree more, but would like to generalize the statement to make one about the whole evening: “Vittu tää on hyvä keikka“!
For the last weeks I have been going to quite many gigs and every time I have a feeling that the band I just saw playing raised the bar a little higher. It keeps me wondering if Finland just has that magical atmosphere to bring gigs up to the next level. With this rhythm of how things are going, 2018 is going to be a good year, filled with a lot of great moments and a lot of surprises and yes, this gig was part of that. Job well done, Arion.
Check out more photos here!