While other people celebrate Vappu, the Finnish carnival, wildly and raucously, we were more attracted to the rather gloomy Graveyard Party at Gloria on this May Day Eve. There were balloons here as well but they were rather kept in subtle black appropriate for the occasion and props like a real coffin, provided by a priest, were also at the ready just in case – great then, let´s get started…
Friday April 30, 2010
It all began with a lot of smoke, which was blown not to the stage but towards the crowd for a change, hmm, why not? And if the smoke wasn´t already enough, seconds later Black Light Discipline sent their hard but very accessible industrial beats exactly the same direction, to the dear mourners. Somehow the band managed to find exactly the delicious, creamy middle of electro, metal and rock, respect! Live, however, it leans a bit more towards the metal side and before you even know it you find yourself dancing merrily into May! For that you don´t even need any go-go girls, who for this show were appointed to the stage to visually accentuate a couple of songs. By far more interesting, at least for me, were the Slipknot reminiscing moments when the band was supported by two percussionists at the beginning and the end of the set.
The songs presented tonight came, of course, mostly from the band´s debut album Empire but also some brand new material like the latest single Aggressor and for the grand finale the Placebo cover Bitter End and made it onto the setlist. And there would´ve almost been a bitter end to this graveyard party because a seemingly rather vacant-minded person suddenly stood on the stage and seconds later was lying in front of it, where he remained for minutes – dead still. Only paramedics who came running got the young man back onto his wobbly legs and then hopefully into a hospital. Everything turned out to be alright!
Shortly after Neuroactive from Tampere, Finland stimulated the acoustic nerve of the party goers further with their synth pop a la Depeche Mode. The visual nerve, however, had some time to relax because there wasn´t much more on the stage to see than a man, a computer and a microphone.
Apropos visual nerve: you could not help noticing all those lovingly placed details of Party paraphernalia. The organisors had really worked hard on the overall design, and upstairs you could even have your coffin-souvenir photo taken. Cool! Because of the mentioned accident there was a half-hour delay, otherwise the program kept going smoothly on both days.
Before live-acts and in-between, well-known Djs like Will Power took the stage, and Bobo´s Loco Carneval acted as hosts. Loco indeed – those friendly and sympathetic guys had a painful-to-watch habit of playing with staplers and injection needles…
Punctually for Diary Of Dreams the hall filled up, many had come just to attend their show.
This band, founded in 1989, can indeed be called an Electronic/Goth institution. Well, I´m no expert but style- and soundwise (reminds me of Sisters Of Mercy or The Cure) I´d define them as Dark Wave. And they write real ear-candy, too, for example the opener „The Wedding”, which I even knew! Singer Adrian Hates impressed with his voice, charisma – and plain outfit. After a 1,5 h set including hits like „Menschfeind” the enthusiastic audience still wanted more and called the Germans back on stage even twice.
After this good dose of melancholy the female British DJ The Ting made people dance to rough Techno beats. Who had not collapsed yet, because of either exhaustion and/or alcohol overdose, or who had not headed home yet (like me) could round off the first party day with DJ Alek Szahala. (KW)
Saturday May 1, 2010
After a cold and rainy picnic and a surprising view on the sunset, we immersed into darkness also on the second evening of the Graveyard Party. While still in the coat room I noticed the last notes of DJ ErilaZ.
The Finns Throes of Dawn provided real graveyard atmosphere just a few minutes later. They played their new album “The Great Fleet of Echoes” from the beginning until the end. Wafts of mist were creeping across the stage and over the coffin, and slowly into me. Sad, dark and slow clear voices, accompanied by powerful, cheerless guitar-sound and melancholic melodies from the synthesizer reached my ear like echoes from the dark.
Approximately one hour later I was reminded that I am still alive and sensitive to pain. GP-organizer DJ Proteus was announced by the host, who fixed paper frazzels into his face and on his belly with the help of a staple gun. Maybe he wanted to demonstrate a possibility to close coffin lids? Another possibility would have been the hammering sounds accompanied with hard beats and rhythms, which were mixed by DJ Proteus. Nevertheless, he revived the dancing and fidgetting crowd on the dancefloor. And also the DJ himself heated up the atmosphere behind his desk.
Hanzel Und Gretyl from the USA raised the last from the dead. Vas und Kaizer von Loopy played an incredibly loud, powerful and hammering sound. I was deeply impressed by Vas’ dark growls. I really started to worry about how many days she will be without voice after this gig. But then it was interrupted by the melody of “Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit” (Cheers for sociability). We could only sway left and right upstairs on the balcony, while Kaizer shared some bottles of beer with the fans of the first row. The show continued after a “Eins, zwei, drei, Prost, Kippis”-shout with full energy.
The crew around the stage got their hands full to set the knocked over microphones. The lyrics – as far as they were not predominated by the bass – were very easy, partly even in German. The audience chanted them, except one guy. There was someone next to me, who actually fell asleep. Probably in the past his parents have read him Hansel and Gretel bedtime stories way too often.
Apparently, also others had to go to bed early and tried to catch the last regular busses after this gig. The keen remains still had to exercise themselves in patience, since Turmion Kätilöt from Kuopio could start after some delay around 2 o’clock because of some technical problems.
And even then the show did not take off right away. Anyhow, one attractive guy – showing his bare chest – was invited onto the stage to get us hooked. He volunteered as dartboard, which was some kind of birthday present of Turmion Kätilöt for him. The dart arrows really stuck in his back. Fittingly, Turmion Kätilöt started the concert with “Verta ja lihaa” (blood and flesh). They really rocked the masses and also played their new single. However, we really had to wait almost until the end for lead-singer Spellgoth finally dropping his latex-top. He was immediately forced to drop also his pants, but he first pretended to be coy and claimed that he anyway had had nothing to show. But after a beer shower into his trousers he was wet enough to drop them at last.
For the grand finale, there was one volunteer from the audience who got introduced more closely to MC Raakka Pee and his whip. Although I was really happy not do stand in the first row, it was by far the best concert of this evening.
After a drink along with the sound of aQi & Shades we passed into the cracking dawn. (GK)