All on board, it’s party time! The Night Flight Orchestra live at Tavastia, Helsinki 17.5.

Author John Wins - 22.5.2024

There are some projects that were born spontaneously and soon gained fans around the world. The Night Flight Orchestra is a beautiful example with their legion of fans always supporting the band, no matter where they go (or fly). Last weekend Helsinki welcomed Captain Black Beard’s plane for a show featuring the best of their AOR and classic rock through the six albums released so far.

Friday night started at 20:30 when St. Aurora brought the mix of post-hardcore, alternative and metalcore to the stage of the legendary Tavastia. With intense energy from start to finish, the band had a good number of fans present singing together. The next encounter in their hometown will be at the Tuska Festival!

When the clock showed 21:30, it was time for the party to start! “Midnight Flyer” already showed the harmony and quality of the band, made up of 8 musicians. Great vocals by Björn “Speed” Strid, despite the audio mix still being a bit muffy. The groove of bassist Mats Rydström with drummer Jonas Källsbäck for “Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough” and the catchy melody of “Divinyls” were a good start to create a connection between band and audience, where both parts were having tons of fun.

With the audio already very clear in “Living for the Nighttime” and “Burn for Me”, it was possible to perceive more details of keyboardist Joel Selsfors’s excellent performance. The night continued with a very humorous and smiling stage presence from the flight’s Captain, always asking fans to bring their dancing shoes before each song.

The excellent intro to “The Sensation” not only features very well done work from The Aeromanticas aka backup singers Anna Brygård and Åsa Lundman, but also shows a tight band, always enjoying what they’re doing. The party atmosphere continues in “Gemini”, with a beautiful solo by guitarist Rasmus Ehrnborn, a known face from Soilwork.

The ballad “Something Mysterious” is preceded by a brief speech by Speed, saying that it is one of the most beautiful ballads he has ever heard. During “Josephine” it was interesting to look around and see all types of fans present in this disco club atmosphere, from headbangers to fans of pop music, where the most important connection is the love for a positive and pleasant vibe while listening their favorite music.

“Satellite”, a single released in 2019, does not have the same strength as the rest of the setlist, but the percussion of Sebastian Forslund for “Paralyzed” regained the show’s vitality plus the groovy vocals by our Captain. When yellow lights colored the stage, it was time to pay tribute to someone who is no longer part of this flight. “The Last of the Independent Romantics” was performed as a tribute to guitarist David Andersson, founder of the band alongside Björn. With an emotional performance, the vocalist looked up sending kisses, as Andersson’s presence is still very present not only in both of his bands, but forever in his life.

The encore began with “White Jeans”, adding more energy as some fans jumped in excitement. “Stiletto” from the album Skyline Whispers was a good warm-up for the grand finale, that came with “West Ruth Ave”, in which the well-known conga train is performed by many fans and takes over the hall, attracting people, smiles and lots of laughs while the band continues to have fun on stage.

After the last beat, the band finished with the traditional photo with fans in the background, leaving a happy crowd behind after 15 songs of an energetic performance. The feeling that remains is that few bands within the rock/metal scene manage to bring this kind of live experience to a show, a genuine connection of happiness between the artists and audience. If you have the chance to have your dancing shoes nearby when The Night Flight Orchestra arrives in the closest city, don’t miss it, as it’s the kind of music that deserves to be celebrated, no matter where the final destination might be.

You can listen to THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA‘s latest album “Aeromantic II” here: