Original Portuguese version here: http://www.backstageforum.com/t4604-reportagem-turisas-gwydion-hard-club-2011-11-27
» But the real festivities started with the Finns, who visited us for the first time. “Marching” right away with “The March Of The Varangian Guard”, band and crowd showed a great complicity and the night was promising. Mathias Nygård, a.k.a. Warlord, proved wrong the myth that Nordic people are cold and shy – very talkative, extremely nice and funny. Even before the second song, and after saying thank you in Portuguese, he started three times the little speech about how felt good to be there, when the dates in May didn’t work out. With so many interruptions, everybody laughed when he said he thought he was NOT drunk enough and grabbed a Super Bock.
Always screaming, dancing and raising their arms in the air – whether in clenched fists or synched clapping hands – the audience was as restless as the band, whose energy overflowed.
After “Take The Day!” (one of my favourites and that I was glad to see how well it works live), Warlord said the following song would probably makes us think about eyepatches and parrots on the shoulder, but it had nothing to do with it. “Forget about Johnny Depp for a while, this is ‘Hunting Pirates’!”
Then it was time for Olli Vänskä to address to the audience, saying that now there was no need for moshpits, crowdsurfs, surfpits (!) or any of those “funny things” we used to do. And if we had a lighter, it might be useful. He offered us a violin solo, somewhat melancholic, but definitely beautiful.
“Where’s my Super Bock?” asked Warlord when he returned to the stage. And when he found it, he made another question, this time regarding the football match of Futebol Clube do Porto that had been on a few hours earlier. When most of the crowd yelled a loud “yeah!” in reply to “did you win?”, Warlord surprised us by pointing at keyboard player Robert Engstrand and saying he had been at Dragão Stadium watching the game! It seems that Robert is crazy about football so he took the chance, leaving the rest of the band worried that he might not return in time for the concert.
“Stand Up And Fight”, the latest hit of the band, should have been the last one before the encore but the band didn’t leave the stage. Instead, drummer Tuomas Lehtonen and Olli began beating the rhythm of the next track, while Warlord asked, as it was sunday night, who was willing to dance. And the cover of BONEY M‘s “Rasputin” turned Hard Club into a… peculiar disco.
This was the last show of the tour and after three weeks in a grey United Kingdom, drinking terrible coffee (“it was disgusting!”), when heading to Spain and Portugal the weather had gotten better and now they didn’t want to go home, where they would have to open their way through the snow for the following six months. They had huge fun in those 47 dates but all good things had to come to an end, like that show. So he wanted us to scream the title of the final song really loud, so they would take that warmth with them for the mentioned six months. Of course he wasn’t satisfied (singers never are at the first try), saying that scream wasn’t enough not even for the first week. After three or four “BATTLE METAL!” we managed to achieve the six months.
In the end, they embraced euphorically, as in a kind of “mission accomplished”. Someone had thrown a Portuguese flag during the concert, that Warlord had spread over the drum set. Along with Robert, they raised it and danced in small circles. Their satisfaction was visible and I believe that Warlord was being honest when he said it had been their first time in Portugal but certainly not the last. We’ll be waiting for them.”