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Myötätuulirock Festival 2010

More rock than ever – that´s the motto of this year´s MyötätuuliRock festival. Why this decision was made is not quite clear because there are already quite many rock festivals happening all the time everywhere in Finland. And thus, also the line up consists mainly of the standard guard of Finnish rock music amongst them, however, a couple of new faces and some you haven´t seen for quite some time. In addition, the programme was spiced up with three foreign guests, from the States and Sweden. But now without further ado, off to the sports park in Hakunila, Vantaa…

Friday, 18.6.2010

Doom Unit
The guys of Doom Unit had the privilege to open the festival. The band successfully released their debut album “Cross The Line” last year and today they come across way better than at our last encounter at the Helsinki Metal Meeting in February. Outdoors the band sounds just a lot better and you can even hear singer Jape´s voice. The guys manage to get some of the few people already here to headbang and thus, they put everyone into the right mood for the three-day rock festival that had now officially started. (SM)

No idea how often I have seen this band live already but they were never able to convince me as much as they did today. The songs sound a lot more rock-y thanks to the great sound here and also vocally, Aaro puts down a masterly performance. Well played and sung songs that get into every cell in your body and won´t let your feet stand still. Who would´ve thought that this band could become one of the highlights of this festival? At least for me! (SM)

With Viikate we get served a very interesting Finnish specialty. Metalrock influenced by Finnish tearjerkers of the 50s, in addition well-sounding lyrics in the language of the country. It really doesn´t matter that you don´t understand a word because the lyrics nestle nicely up against the music. The band also doesn´t need a lot of preparation before a gig because according to frontman Kaarle Viikate the music comes straight from the heart. And so the only things to do are, putting some gel into the hair, a casual shake hands and than off to the stage to delight the crowd with cheerful but also melancholic music and some jokes in between. (KG)

The elderly guys once again belong to the Finnish festival summer like Kotiteollisuus and Korpiklaani. Because their new album turned out to be rather weak, the expectations for today´s gig were not very high. But luckily Tarot remembered some of their old songs as well and with them managed to get the crowd excited for Ensiferum and Exodus. (SM)

Those men haven taken many stages near and far but today they are on a foray in their home country once again. In recent times the sword bearers are visually and vocally supported by actual sword bearers in the form of Aleksi Parviainen (Malpractice, Reversion) and another savage, unknown to me. Now the chorus´ sound almost like a whole horde of Vikings. In front of the stage the songs are shouted along recklessly in true battle mood and even I join in with a hearty “Lai Lai Hei”. (KG)

The only guests that had to travel from afar were the Americans of Exodus who slowly initiated the departure of the crowd from the festival area. However, there was much delay because, as it seemed, everything had to be just perfect – the soundcheck took a perceived eternity. Oh well, if you can call yourself founders of thrash metal then you can certainly afford that. And thus, the still attending, enthusiastic fans have a lot more time to make themselves heard with “Exodus, Exodus” shouts. When the band finally entered the stage, there´s thrashing, bashing and shouting as far as the ear can hear. A brutal ending of the first festival day! (KG)

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Saturday, 19.6. 2010
The second festival day already starts at high noon and lasts way past midnight. Stamina or as they say in Finland, sisu, is in high demand because the weather forecast didn´t bode very well for today…

The Milestones
This band is influenced by a lot of 70s bands like The Allman Bros, AC/DC and Bad Company. I´d say that one or the other country star also had some influence. What you get in the end are rocky songs that here and there sound a little bit like country and with which singer Olavi Tikka shows off his mouth organ skills once in a while. Tikka also has a very unique voice with a high recognition value that gives the sound a certain something. Taken the fact that it is still so early, many rock fans have already made it to the gig and they seem to like it, too. (SM)

Los Bastardos Finlandeses
What enters the stage now looks pretty much like a real biker club – not only because of the biker steering rod that is attached to the drum kit of El Bastardo Grande. The elderly guys, all of them clad in leather, deliver a fine set of Tito & Tarantula style rock only far better. An awesome performance – I can only recommend this band to every old rocker because the Finns and their English-speaking singer have a lot to offer. Solely a little communication problem between singer and crowd had to be solved by Mr. Grande maybe because the crowd was still too tired to be able to understand a foreign language. (SM)

The warrior souls of the North deliver one hit song after the other. The setlist is simply awesome – besides some news songs, the band, of course, also plays one of their most popular ones “Worrior Soul”. Singer Ilja Jalkanen proves once again that he´s a great vocalist and that he possesses a broad vocal range. Once in a while he´s a bit off-key but it somehow still fits with the rest of the music. Mikko Salovaara wows the crowd with his guitar skills. While the other guys of the band seem a bit more relaxed, Ilja paces around the stage non-stop. (SM)

Unfortunately, there´s little to find out about Diablo when you don´t speak Finnish. Only that the band was formed in the late 90s and since then has released five albums, the last one dating back some time already. Whatever might be the reason that this band is rather unknown in Central Europe one thing is clear; in Finland they are very popular. You could say they are the Finnish version of Metallica and I like them much better than the Americans. However, watching them gets a bit boring after a while because the band prefers to stay put rather than move around much. (SM)

With Mokoma the curse of the second festival day in the form of constant rain starts. But the crowd isn´t deterred by a few rain drops and simply goes ballistic. This comes as no surprise as the band has cult status here in Finland. With their harsh Suomi Thrash and here and there some more ear-friendly tunes the band delivers a solid set. In the end the crowd is completely soaked and not only because of the rain. (KG)

What´s a better way to kick off a show then with the party song “Vodka”. It takes effect right away with the crowd and most probably the booze consumption increased significantly at that very moment. Shortly before the concert, it started to rain again and thus many retreated to one of the few shelters. But Korpiklaani always deliver the same show, no matter where, when or in front of how many people they play – in the faces of singer Jonne and guitarist Cane there´s a constant smirk and the guys on violin and accordion are more or less motionless. All in all a fun performance with the best songs of the band. (SM)

Swallow The Sun
By name, Swallow the Sun are exactly the right band for today because it really seemed like the sun was swallowed somehow. And already with the intro there´s some more acoustic rain showers – the bigger part of the crowd cant bear it any longer and seeks out warmer and more dry zones of the festival area because with STS you don´t get the opportunity to mosh yourself warm or even dry. The gloomy doom metal rather invites you to listen carefully and bang your head very slooooowly. Nevertheless the band plays a good gig that most of the festival goers only observe from a distance. (KG)

More Suomi metal is offered by Stam1na and similar as with Mokoma you can let it all hang out and that´s exactly what the crowd is doing enthusiastically. Wet feet, freezing hands – who cares? Lots of action is guaranteed in front and on stage, as always with Stam1na. (KG)

Monster rock is a thing of the past, now we have Dino Rock. With a lot more cute costumes than the guys of Lordi Hevisaurus take the stage as a surprise act. And not only their outfits are cute but their stage names are, too – there´s Herra Hevisaurus on mic, Milli Pilli on keyboard, Riffi Raffi on guitar, Muffi Puffi on bass and last but not least Komppi Momppi on drums.
Who really hides under those costumes is not revealed at MTR either but the show of the rocking dinosaurs is very entertaining with pyro, an (American) Indian dominatrix, a pirate and a soon-to-be-rock star tiny tot in full Kiss gear who rocks out with his kid´s guitar. The audience goes absolutely bananas but somehow the people can´t decide between wall of death and circle pit or conga line and couple dance. Everything´s possible with this gig! (KG)

The second festival day is then concluded with another costume spectacle – Turisas set foot on the pretty battered battle field and start off right away with “To Holmgard and Beyond”, shortly after, it´s followed by the standard shout along song “One More” and also the Black Sabbath cover “Supernaut”. Also here there was some fire at the edge of the stage that provided some short-lived warming of frozen extremities. And also Warlord Nygård had to remind the crowd over and over again that even though it´s cold, late and wet we keep our tails up! But because of the fact that there´s no Viking blood running in my veins I have to succumb to the weather conditions and make my own personal “Varangian Way” home. (KG)

Sunday, 20.6. 2010
With a runny nose we tackle the third festival day, which is supposed to bring out a lot more sun and most importantly no rain. Still, a cold wind makes you think of gloves and scarf even in summer…

Reckless Love
The first question that comes to your mind when you see this band is, how many cans of hairspray do they need for one gig? Not to mention the make up. Sometimes it is just too much! Musically, Reckless Love play something along the line of Europe or the early hair metal bands. Those who like this kind of music will take much pleasure in those dolly-like guys, too. (SM)

There´s no English info about this band anywhere but those who like typical Finnish pop rock with a rough voice should definitely check them out. They have quite a few good songs that sound nice but those two first bands are not really my cup of tea and I think there could´ve been a better choice. (SM)

Peer Günt
The next band is already around since the late 70s. After a longer break and changes in the line up, mastermind Timo Nikki decided to give the band another go in 2006. The last album was released in 2009 and from it they, of course, played a couple of songs. The band is able to get the crowd excited and the review comment from 1986 is still true today: “When Peer Günt are playing, people are flying around and trees come down”. (SM)

Royal Republic
Then we´re getting a royal treatment with the first Swedish band of the day. Royal Republic catch my eye first with their chic hairdos and outfits that remind a bit of The Hives. Afterwards it becomes pretty clear that the guys mean serious business because in contrast to the rather worn out crowd the band gives it their all, they perform with a lot of dedication and play their so far biggest radio hit “All Because of You” already at the beginning of the gig. The plan seems to work out because little by little the audience is persuaded to get a little closer to the stage to cheer for the band a bit more effectively. (KG)

Suburban Tribe
Old hands in the show business are Suburban Tribe who entertain the crowd next. And what would the band be without their front lunatic Ville Tuomi? As usual in sloppy look and showcasing his infamous onstage antics (beer can headbutt and a friendly Good Morning at half past six in the evening) he lets his inner “manimal” run free on stage. But apart from that the catchy rock songs of the band are just perfect to sing and dance along on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Especially older material like „Watching you“, „Frozen ashes“, „Oil and Water“ and „If only“ makes you shake your booty. As encore then “Silent Rain”, which can be much more enjoyed today, under dry conditions. (KG)

Before the headliner hits the stage there´s some more Sweden power and it comes straight from the rock band Mustasch. Those four guys try to put the audience into the right mood for the last band but it only works occasionally. Unfortunately, the vocals are not exactly brilliant and sound pretty off-key most of the time. And thus, we can only hope that it´s soon over and that Amorphis will come out and play. (SM)

With Amorphis the final stage of the MyötätuuliRock festival was entered. Quite many people were still sticking around to watch and most importantly listen to the Kalevala rockers. Without bells and whistles the band expertly played their “longest set of the summer” and focused, with their setlist, mostly on the “usual suspects” including „House of Sleep“, „Alone“, „Silent Waters“ and „Silver Bride”. Even though we had planned to call it a day a lot earlier to avoid the run on the public transportation, we simply couldn´t leave and were easily persuaded by Tomi Joutsen and co to stay a bit longer. (KG)

And now for something completely different…the official MTR „Tongue Acrobats“ competition and, drum roll, please…here are the lucky winners:

1. Ville Tuomi (Suburban Tribe) for “most creative use of his tongue during a vocal performance”
2. Zachary Hietala (Tarot) for the „Sharpest tongue on display”
3. Markus Toivonen (Ensiferum) for “Most educative demonstration of Viking shock tactics”

Taken together, the line up of the festival was good only Sunday was a bit weak but then again there was a really nice surprise on Saturday with Hevisaurus. In contrast to two years ago there was only one stage this time, leading to longer waiting times but this was really not a problem. Even though the whole area was a bit smaller than the year´s before, it still seemed way too big. It´s unclear whether the organisers anticipated more people or whether it was intended that way. Apart from that a cosy festival that welcomes kids, too.

text & photos Kathleen Gransalke, Sandy Mahrer


Sandy Mahrer

Fresh Act editor, reports, reviews, photos - - - Favorite genres? - Hard Rock, Heavy Metal and Pop-Rock etc. Less Death, Black, Grind Core