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Tony Kakko

After enduring 3 opening acts, that could hardly hold a flame to the headliner Sonata Arctica, the Finnish power metallers took stage and got a big ‘hurrah’ from the audience. This particular U.S. tour was to promote their new album Unia. They are no strangers to the U.S. audience having toured there before, also having sponsored a NYC listening party in April for the new album.

So few frontmen carry the genuine conviction of Tony Kakko. Unlike most, he not only pulls off live what you hear on the records, he brings out your inner inner fragile child. Put him up against the best. He exemplified this with his audience rendered version of “We Will Rock You” towards the end of the show.

The audience did not seem to be upset about the fact that Jani Liimatainen was not there to play guitar, because permanent replacement Elias Viljanen certainly was able to pull it off without a hitch, not seeming at all inexperienced with the material. The audience seemed really receptive of the newcomer.

Their setlist was fairly balanced and definitely quenched the audience’s desires. However fans of Reckoning Night would have been disappointed to find that only the single “Don’t Say a Word” was played off of that album.

“Black and White” played without a single flawed note, and “Paid in Full,” was sung in a way that surpassed the studio recording. The performance of “Victoria’s Secret” was beyond inspired. That seemed to be the moment when everyone in the house started singing along at once.

The only song that perhaps did not sound as full as it should have been was “Caleb.” That song has a lot of powerful movements and pace switches and not all of them were hit with the enthusiasm that song deserves.

Without hesitation, all of those from USA Progressive Music who attended the show were impressed by the excellent showmanship that Sonata Arctica portrayed that night. They can rock our house anytime!


1. In Black and White
2. Paid in Full
3. Victoria’s Secret
4. Broken
5. 8th Commandment
6. Tallulah
7. FullMoon
8. Caleb
9. Black Sheep
10. It Won’t Fade
11. Gravenimage
12. San Sebastian
(audience as drums song)

13. My Land
14. Don’t Say a Word
15. The Cage/Vodka Song

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