Live Coverage || Korpiklaani, Turisas, Trollfest @ Essigfabrik, 24/3/2019

I remember the frenzy when Korpiklaani announced the Wayfarers & Warriors tour back in August of last year, as part of their world tour to promote their latest album, "Kulkija". For fans of the folk/pagan/party metal subgenres, this extensive European tour -also featuring compatriots Turisas and Norwegian noisemakers Trollfest- was like a very early Christmas present and I knew it would be one I shouldn't miss. 

The city of Cologne was particularly cold on that day (at least for me, a southern softie, locals were in tees) but the atmosphere inside the venue was more than warm and welcoming. Trollfest's stage was decorated with colorful balloons (which we all knew would eventually end up in the crowd). I must admit I wasn't familiar with the band before I saw them so when a couple mixed intros sounded, and I saw the first grown man in a dress and tutu, I honestly didn't know what to expect. By the third song, which by the way was a Britney Spears cover, I was vibing hard with a huge grin on my face. I think I have a new favorite live band sorry Backtrack!
My beloved Turisas was up next. Warlord and Savior Nygård and his group of bandits were in a particularly good mood and seemed to effortlessly keep up with the party that Trollfest started by playing fan-favorite hits (the absence of "Miklagard Overture" still hurts) and getting the crowd to sing and cheer along. To be completely fair though, the lovely lot was partially overshadowed by violinist Caitlin De Ville, who was filling in for Olli Vanska. Caitlin was restless, as she showcased her amazing skills and agility while headbanging and jumping all over the place. Despite their energy, the set ended in the most unexpected way; an encore consisting of acoustic performances of "The March of The Varangian Guard" and "For Your Own Good".
Headliners Korpiklaani walked on stage with a confidence like they owned the place -and after the first few notes, they most certainly did. As I mentioned, the band was promoting "Kulkija", so the point of focus was pretty much expected. My only previous experience with Korpiklaani was the Wacken Open Air live stream in the summer and I was more than excited to witness their show.The sound and lights were excellent and the band took full advantage of the fact. In all this mayhem, keeping fans off their feet is one thing. Making sure that the party turns into a riot requires actual skill and the Finnish are veterans. Enter the trolls and Jesper of Turisas to perform "Beer Beer/Bira Bira/ØI ØI". It's safe to say this tour went out with a loud bang. The wayfarers and warriors came, saw and conquered Essigfabrik.

All pictures courtesy of Dearohwell photography.

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