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Myötätuulirock Festival 2008

When you hear Vantaa you think of airport, that´s all the fourth biggest city of Finland seems to have to offer. Twice a year, however, the neighboring city of Helsinki can attract a little more attention with music festivals, thus the Ankkarock festival takes place traditionally in August and in June mostly Finnish music can be heard at the Myötätuulirock festival. Last year still blessed with sunshine, this year organizers and fans weren´t so lucky weather-wise and thus the visitor numbers probably fell a little short of the organizer´s expectations. Nevertheless the MTR is a small but lovely festival, which, with its diverse line up this year, had something to offer for the whole family.

After iRonica the kids from RA entered the MTR stage. They are regarded as the youngest band in Finland with a record deal. Their Finnish songs rocked the still rather sparsely scattered crowd and despite their age they were already celebrated like the big boys. RA are definitely one of those bands of which you will hear a lot more in the future. (SM)

For some time now, not much was heard from the Charon guys, only rarely the play gigs nowadays. One can only hope that this is only the calm before the storm and soon they will release a new album. It would be sad if a band that has so much great music to offer got lost in the Finnish band jumble. Charon played a super show and performed their best songs like “Colder” and “In Trust Of No One”. (SM)

Unimpressed by the “Finnish summer” were Stam1na in terms of action and attitude. Still there wasn´t so much goofing around going on, as like e.g. last time in Tavastia, the four appeared as KISS in full masquerade… Live those guys are always fun anyway, and they definitely managed to warm up the crowd with their Thrash Metal, despite the worsening weather conditions. (KW)

No fire, pyro, exotic dancers or any other extras, only some war-painted Varangians, that´s how Turisas passed in triumphal procession through Vantaa. Apparently the God of Thunder was sufficiently worshipped before the show, the God of Drizzle, however, hadn´t been appeased and so it was quite chilly and one envied the band their furry costumes. Violinist Olli Vänskä tried to create some heart-warming sounds with his instrument and with “One More” and “Holmgard And Beyond” the crowd eventually sang and danced itself warm. Of course, the band also played their “fucking disco” song “Rasputin” with which the audience was divided into the clans “Arne” and “Berta” and had to compete against each other in an acoustic “wall of death”. Always entertaining! (KG)

Hardcore Superstar can claim to be the first foreign act playing at the MTR, ever. The festival approached an international level this year for the first time. And either Swedish summers are not much better, or those guys had heated underwear – but I felt rather like shivering than screaming in ecstasy, seeing half naked drummer Magnus – a Tommy Lee lookalike, btw. The invitation “Scream For Me” wasn´t necessary, the audience kept spirits high throughout this energetic show of Jocke & Co. Their last CD wasn´t too exciting for my taste, but live those guys are simply great! (KW)

Teräsbetoni , the Finnish metal warriors, who just recently took part in the Eurovision Song Contest, are back in Finland. With their Finnish lyrics they immediately saing their way into the hearts of the crowd and even though the rain was now pouring down on people´s heads mercilessly, they audience stayed. Songs like “Metallitotuus” and their Eurovision song “Missä miehet ratsastaa” were sang along devoutly by the crowd. Even though they didn´t emerge victorious in the contest, they still seem to have won the battle. (SM)

Frozen to the bone and wet – could The 69 Eyes really save the day? Indeed, they could. First, there were a lot of tracks from my favorite album “Blessed Be”, e.g. “The Chair”, “Framed In Blood”, “Brandon Lee” – and later also “Gothic Girl” among the encores. Second, despite the thinned audience the band offered a full-scale show, as if it was a US arena. And even Timo Timo´s mohawk withstood the rain… Still this “Best Of” program (a.o. Lost Boys, Perfect Skin, Rockers and a great cover of “LA Woman”) wasn´t flawless, guitars and Jyrkis vocals sounded sometimes out of tune. But everybody who endured the miserable weather until the very end could – like me – walk home with a smile on the face. (KW)

Interactive photo gallery, or click on it and enjoy via Flickr:
Charon1 Kopie


In the spring still on Pagantour with Turisas in the States and now Ensiferum are already back on Finnish stages. However, the bands scheduled for this festival Sunday were either glam rock bands, teen idols or elderly rock legends and so “the sword bearers” were definitely the heaviest band of the day and had to play at a very “unchristian hour”, at noon. Clad in blue-white skirts, Petri Lindroos and his men played their folk metal melodies for all who were brave enough to listen. The crowd was halfway amused but at this early hour the atmosphere just isn´t right. Next time later and with more mead in the system. (KG)

With Malice in Wonderland the first of the three glam rock bands that were supposed to get the young, female crowd drooling on this Sunday, entered the stage. For all those who are not so attached to this genre, the following picture arose: shades, leather pants, make-up, bleached hair, brainless lyrics, gooey singing and posing without a pain barrier. For everyone else, the Norwegians probably were a glam rock dream in blonde. Whether you like the genre or not, the band in any case, still has to work on their material and especially their vocals. (KG)

The guys from Uniklubi are definitely a must-see in today´s line up because there´s no other finnish-singing band in the scene that has more charm. The girls in the first rows were already eagerly awaiting them and greeted the band with screeching and applause. Uniklubi are once again note-perfect and it´s fun to watch the guys on stage. Varied song writing leaves no time for boredom – fast and soft-slow songs sweetened the otherwise a bit gloomy-looking afternoon. (SM)

Long gone are the days when Ari Koivunen played shows as the newly chosen winner of the Finnish Idols contest. Today Ari is one of the most popular Finnish musicians. Those who thought that the girls at the Uniklubi gig were already screaming loud, was proven totally wrong because when Ari entered the stage the screaming level raised 10-fold. With some covers and his own songs he knew how to convince despite one or the other wrong note. Ari appears fragile onstage and still very young but you can clearly see that he enjoys what he is doing and simply gives his best. (SM)

Negative then completed the glam rock “threesome” with their motto “Let´s fuck” (see speaker box in the photogallery). At the beginning, however, nothing was happening, at least for singer Jonne, who sang with might and main but, apparently, the mic had a different opinion. But it didn´t matter much cause the crowd more than willingly took over the vocal parts for him. Even if you don´t really like the band as such the songs are catchy enough to attract the attention of passive bystanders and also because of the interaction with the audience the band comes across as very likeable and charming. It´s noticeable, however, that they become more and more similar to their idols Hanoi Rocks, and that perhaps not only on a musical level. (KG)

are Finnish Pop-Rock dinosaurs, which was obvious by the much higher age average of screaming fans in the front rows, and the fact that everybody – even metalheads – could sing along almost every line in every song. “Tia Maria” or “Rakkaus On Lumivalkoinen” are even familiar to non-Finns, if they were occasionally confronted with Finnish Karaoke experiences. (KW)

Sturm und Drang were the only band that used special effects at their show. The guys are no strangers in Germany and the rest of Europe anymore and thanks to the tour with their Finnish fellows of Apocalypica they surely could win over some new fans. With just 16 years they already top most of their colleagues who are a lot older. And even though André´s voice isn´t live as deep and rocky as before and he sometimes is a bit off-key, one still has to give him credit for this performance and the pressure he has to endure. A good show with the right selection of cover songs. (SM)

As old Purple/Rainbow Fan I had been looking forward to Back To Rainbow: Graham Bonnet & Joe Lynn Turner The band consisted mainly of Yö members and had a flawless performance, yet not the singers. I still wonder how on earth Graham Bonnet could even attempt to cover Metal God Dio (“Stargazer”) … yet his own Rainbow-Hits, like “All Night Long”, sounded pretty cool. Mr. Turner appeared as very likable and with a lot of humor, entertaining the audience with anecdotes, and he sang like a young god. Naturally, “Dead Alley Driver”, “I Surrender”, “Can´t Happen Here”, “Street Of Dreams” and the reference to his days with Deep Purple “Perfect Stranger” and “Burn” (with a pretty tipsy guest singer Ari Koivunen) had the audience go nuts. But after the second encore block and a slightly chaotic All-Star-Line Up “Long Live Rock´n´Roll” the show and the festival was over. (KW)

And peace returns to Vantaa… For more visual impressions check the photogallery!

text & photos Kathleen Gransalke (KG), Sandy Mahrer (SM), Klaudia Weber (KW)


Kathleen Gransalke

Editor for Reviews - translations, reports, photos - - - Favorite genres? - Punk, Rock, Death Metal, Mathcore - - - Favorite bands? - Coheed & Cambria, Black Dahlia Murder, Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon