21.9.2018 Kotipelto & Liimatainen @ Bar Ihku, Helsinki


21 September seemed to be a popular day with all the booking agents as many bands were playing the same night in different venues scattered across town. One of the events organized that evening was the acoustic set of Kotipelto & Liimatainen in Bar Ihku. I’m a fan of Stratovarius, Cain’s Offering, as well as old Sonata Arctica. So, the decision was made fast.


The show was set in a very mainstream nightclub where I otherwise would not set foot. It was a bit ironic to see so many metalheads in a club like this waiting for the duo to play their set, as well as some people who were probably partying beforehand because it is their favorite club. The crowd, therefore, was mixed, but as soon as the set began the audience had only eye for the two performers.


They started off their set with “I Surrender”, a Rainbow cover. Truthfully, I hadn’t done much research into what they were going to play, but I was assuming we could expect songs from “Blackoustic”. I was surprised that there were a couple of more tracks incorporated there, both covers and original material.

My personal highlights were, of course, their own material. The first one being “Black Diamond”, the acoustic version of that song is even more powerful and emotional than the original and almost made me tear up. “I Will Build You Rome”, a cover from their project Cain’s Offering, was another highlight for me. I remember the music and the moment moving me very much and losing myself in the evening, an angry fan tapped me on the shoulder as I forget to clap along with the rest of them. This made me smile. The devotion of all the people gathered was noticed by the band. The evening did not only conclude with a lot of great songs performed, but also by the humor of the band interacting with the audience and a drunk stranger excited by the duo.


Whether playing “Hunting High Or Low”, “My Selene” or “Killed By Death”, the beauty about this project is that these guys are friends who like to play songs together. The enjoyment of acoustic shows with this kind of an intimacy makes them genuinely happy and excited. I exited the venue with a smile on my face, and I’m sure many of us shared the same feeling.