Concerts Music

Concert review: Motley Crüe at Kaisaniemi (Helsinki). 07/06/2012

Legendary American rock band Motley Crüe visited Helsinki and FREE! Magazine had to be there to let you know how it went! Personally, I had a special motivation to see them, because they are basically one of the few big bands I still had not had the chance to review live. They were scheduled to play two years ago at Sonicsphere in Pori, but a huge storm made them cancel the show (a polemic decision, becasue others such as Alice Cooper or Iron Maiden stayed and played, but well, let´s not enter into that).

Motley Crüe

So there I was, two years later, ready to enjoy their show without cancellations in a week where Helsinki had seen 3 days ago another huge event with the Sonicpshere concert happening on Monday, and then this Rockin Helsinki festival organized on thursday. Although being organized on a working day, assistance was pretty good, although not a totally sold out. Also weather turned to be sunny and nice (during the morning it seemed that it would be cloudy and rainy), which helped to keep the spirits up.

Before Motley, a couple of bands to warm up and please the crowd. Honestly I arrived a bit late and paid more atenttion to getting beers in the drinking area than listening to Crashdiet, but during their 40 minutes of show they seemed to entertain the audience and displayed good high energy. They already seem to have a good fanbase in Finland, so all good for the young Swedish band.

After a pause, another Swedish band hit the stage, the quite well known in Finland Hardcore Superstar. I had had the chance to interview them and see their gig in Tampere a few years ago, and once again they did not dissappoint. They seemed pretty comfortable with the audience and enjoying playing in Finland, and although they did not have much time to play, they gave a solid show where of course they could not miss in their setlist classics like Dreaming in a Casket or the ending Don´t Celebrate Sundays.

About the organization of the festival, I had to say that had pros and against. The place is certainly great to organize concerts at Kaisaniemen Puisto, just a few metres away from the main railway station of Helsinki. Super easy to reach by transportation. But although held in a park, basically there was no chance to sit on benches or on the grass, and the queues to order drinks were long beyond exhasperation. Besides, organizing big shows in the centre has another downside: you cannot make any noise after 22:00. If the concert is starting as scheduled, that should not be a problem, but the point is that Motley Crüe entered the stage almost half an hour later than scheduled, at around 20:30. So that means they only played for one hour and a half.

Press pass

And how was the show? Well, I have mixed feelings about it. The beginning was promising, starting with one of my all time favorites Wild Side, with 2 sensual girls on both sides of Vince Neil. But once the show was advancing, I kind of had some moments a feeling that I would not have expected, and it is feeling a little bit bored in some parts of the concert. The setlist was good, and I really felt goosebumps with some classic songs like Dr. Feelgood or Girls, girls, Girls, but I still could not get rid of the feeling that the band was not connecting with the audience and was just there to complete their short setlist and leave. Audience was actually behaving quite cold, maybe cause the sun had set, or maybe cause there was not much of special effects, no fireworks, etc to warm the show. The biggest feature on that side is the classic 360 degree drum set of Tommy Lee turning around during his solo, and the invitation to join to a young female Finnish fan to sit there with him for a few seconds.

I don´t know, maybe I would have enjoyed the show more at an indoors arena with more pyrotechnical effects, or maybe Motley is (expectingly) not as wild as some years ago, with no more Jack Daniels bottles appearing and being drunk magically on stage… It was nice to see them once in a life, but for an audience that pays more than 60 euro for a ticket, enjoying such a short show of 1:30 hours with no encore after they had cancelled their previous visit to Finland felt like too little. I honestly almost enjoyed more watching Hardcore Superstar than the main headliners…

Motley Crüe. Setlist at Kaisaniemen Puisto 2012

Wild Side
Live Wire
Too Fast for Love
Saints of Los Angeles
Shout at the Devil
Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)
Looks That Kill
Piece of Your Action
Primal Scream
Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room
Drum Solo
Dr. Feelgood
Girls, Girls, Girls
Home Sweet Home
Kickstart My Heart

Concerts Music

Concert Review. Rammstein at Hartwall Areena. Helsinki. 15/02/2012

Sometimes you go to a gig and you feel that you did not get what was worthy the ticket. This is not the case with Rammstein. The Germans visited Finland again, and gave proof of why they are nowadays one of the most amazing bands in the world to see live.

It does not matter if you speak and understand German or not. They have been able to connect with the international audience not singing in English, which is already a merit that not so many bands can be proud about, and the theatrical perfomance that accompanies their show is just outstanding. I can just imagine how difficult must be to rehearse their tours before starting. That is Rammstein, a band with a solid career that entertains you song after song while their music makes elevate your feet from the ground almost unconsciously.


During this Made in Germany Tour, they just played safe shooting hit after hit of their already 17 years of career together. But the schenario was up to the challenge. The band appeared from one lateral side of the arena with the band walking slowly, holding both their flag and the Finnish flag. Without losing time in speeches to the audience, frontman Till Lindermann and his boys just went straight to business to play amazing song after amazing song: Sonne, Keine Lust, Asche zu Asche, Mutter, Du Reichst so Gut… The Germans sound and act still as powerful as when they astonished the worldwide audience with that already far in time classic live concert Live Aus Berlin. Of course it could not be missed in the setlist their most popular hit Du Hast, whose chorus was shyly chanted by the Finnish audience when Till lent them the micro.

If the audience was a bit cold, excepting the first rows of unconditional fans, the band did not let the temperature drop, coming for a first encore crawling all over the bridge (and that short trip had members of the band humping on each other and getting whipped included) that linked the main stage with a smaller stage in the middle of the arena, ready to perform Bück Dich with Lindermann soaking the first rows in water with a fake penis. And that is what Rammstein is about, powerful catchy music, fireworks, masculinity with muscular Apollonian bodies displayed, sense of humor and sexuality mixed in an explosive cocktail.


The big surprise of the night came at the start of the second encore, when Rammstein was joined at the stage by Finnish cello virtuosos Apocalyptica to play together an amazing version of Mein Herz Brennt.

More classics like Engel or Amerika delighted the audience, with the band putting the cherry on top of the cake with Pussy to finish a rounded concert. Well, more than the cherry, we could say that putting the cream on the cake, because Lindermann took control of a giant mobile cannot painted like a penis that bathed on foam half of the areena. Is there any better way of making the audience reach a climax at the end of a live perfomance?

You can love them or hate them, but in my personal humble opinion, if you want to see a band that offers something unique, raw, powerful and provocative in the rock scene nowadays, you should not miss this tour. Rammstein is still a must see live!

Rammstein & Apocalyptica. Helsinki. 15/02/2012

Concerts Music

Concert Review: Deep Purple at Hartwall Areena. Helsinki. 07/12/2011

Deep Purple visited the Finnish capital performing together with the Frankfurt Philarmonich Orchestra, a pre-Christmas gift that no real rock fan could miss!

I had seen the band some years ago in Madrid, and one of my first most vivid memories is remembering singer Ian Gillian wearing a horrible hawaian t-shirt… Well, this time Gillian just appeared onstage together with the rest of the members of Deep Purple in a more normal t-shirt, eager to please the Finnish audience.

It was the first time in my life that I assited to this kind of combo of rock band playing together with a philarmonich orchestra, and my feelings at the end of the concert were mixed. The name of the current tour is “Songs that Built Rock”, and certainly, when the band starts to play tunes that have forged the history of rock like Highway Star, Woman from Tokyo or Strange Kind of Woman, you fully realize that you are facing a piece of music history live.

Deep Purple

However, the general arrangements for the concert left me with a bit of “cold” feeling. Hartwall Areena is a cold place by itself to hold a concert (a venue where usually ice hockey matches are held). All the audience was sat, so nobody would stand up, and the organization, although polite and helpful, was as usually happens in events organized in Finland, too tight following the rules. Even at some point Gillian talked to the audience to say that he did not mind if they were taking pictures of the band, when some security person recriminated a spectator. The audience was in general lacking passion and non-reactive, and maybe during the setlist, there was an abuse of too many solo parts by most of the members of the band guitar solo linked to keyboard solo linked to a drum solo…

About the interaction with the philarmonic orchestra, it left some epic moments like when guitarist Steve Morse makes a duel with his guitar against the director of the orchestra holding his violin, or when the string section fully supported the classic Perfect Strangers, the only song that really moved me all over the show, sounding extra powerful. But in some other moments, the show turned to be too slow and lacking rythm. All in all, I have to praise the attitude of the members of the orchestra, that for some moments seemed to be having more fun onstage sharing moments with Deep Purple than the audience of the concert themselves. Of course, another peak of the night is when Steve Morse started to tease the audience playing some famous riffs to finally start the archifamous one for Smoke on the Water, undoubtedly one of the riffs that is forever inserted in rock history.

Deep Purple came back to the stage to perform a short bis including more classics like Hush or Black Night. As I said, if you are a truly fan of the band or a truly fan of rock music, you will enjoy the novelty of watching them perform together with an orchestra. But I miss a bit more of the “chaotic and wild” feeling that a rock concert should be about…

Deep Purple´s Setlist – Hartwall Areena. 2011

Highway Star
Hard Lovin’ Man
Maybe I’m a Leo
Strange Kind of Woman
Rapture of the Deep
Woman From Tokyo
Contact Lost
Guitar Solo
When a Blind Man Cries
The Well Dressed Guitar
The Mule
No One Came
Keyboard Solo
Perfect Strangers
Space Truckin’
Smoke on the Water

Black Night

Deep Purple plays “Perfect Strangers” at Hartwall Areena

Blogs Concerts FREE! Blog Music

Monster Magnet at Tavastia. 13-11-2011. Pics & Video

Monster Magnet
Monster Magnet
Monster Magnet
Monster Magnet
Monster Magnet

Monster Magnet – Space Lord at Tavastia 2011

Concerts FREE! Blog Music

The Jayhawks – Pics & Video. Tavastia gig. 14/08/2011

Monster Magnet
Monster Magnet
Monster Magnet
Monster Magnet
Monster Magnet

The Jayhawks – Two Angels at Tavastia 2011

Concerts Music

Rihanna – On the Beach Helsinki 15.08.2011

American super star Rihanna visited Helsinki for the joy of thousands of fans, many of who had already enjoyed a long weekend of good music at Flow festival in the Finnish capital.

Of course it is not easy to arrange the perfect date for a concert, but maybe the date was not the most appropiated one to hold an “On the Beach” festival at “Hietsu” beach in Helsinki. The 15th of August in Helsinki is almost like autumm time in South Europe, and what should have been a parade of bikinis and swimsuits turned into the audience wearing jackets and gloves to fight the cold wind that beats on the shore of the Finnish capital. There were missing some bonfires around to warm the atmosphere.

Rihanna in Helsinki

Even though the climate was not the best for a summer festival, still some brave members of the female audience have the courage to step into the water and refresh themselves dancing while waiting for Rihanna to step on the stage. Her presence was scheduled at 21:30, but the American did not appear on stage until 1 hour late, another misfortune for many people who had to work next day (tuesday) and could not even wait to see the end of the gig.

All in all, the Finnish fans are patience, and the charisma of Rihanna made them soon forget the awaiting. Rihanna started the concert using heavy artillery to put everybody to dance with hits like Only Girl (In the World) or Disturbia, and the young teenagers of the first rows turned crazy. Rihanna was moving from one side to another of the stage dressed with tight purple shorts and a green jacket, easy to be spotted even by the last spectator on the beach, very well accompanied all over the show by professional dancers. Special mention for the amazing riffs of Nuno Bettencourt, the ex guitarist of Extreme that puts a rock touch during the current Rihanna´s tour. The acoustic on the beach was good, but there were quite a few moments during the show where the volume of the music and micro bounced considerably up and down.

Rihanna in Helsinki

There was also some time for romanticism in the middle of the concert with ballads like Unfaithful or Hate that I Love You that made the couples to melt in hugs instantly to pass again to more danceable rythms with Don´t Stop the Music or Rude Boy, ending the first part of the show.

The artist came back to the stage to perform a couple more of songs, putting the cherry on top of the cream with the archifamous hit Umbrella. The fireworks announced that the cold summer night in Helsinki had been flown by a great show where Rihanna displayed all her charm and magnetism going through her discography. A good concert that could have been memorable if organized 1 month ago in a weekend day. Time for most of the audience to rush home and get a few hours of sleep before the alarm clock was sounding on tuesday morning.

Rihanna – Helsinki – 15.08.2011

Concerts Music

Review: Foo Fighters concert. Helsinki. Kalasatama. 26/06/2011

The first and only time I had seen Foo Fighters in concert, I was not pleased. It happened at Provinssirock in 2008. We had had a few too many beers during and after the interview with Black Lips before we headed to the main stage of Provinssi, that was totally crowded. So I am not sure if the beers were to blame, or having to leave before the end to catch the last train, but I noticed the concert there lacking spark and rythm.

So I was curious to see them again, and luckily, my opinion changed drastically.

But before the American band, there was a long evening of good rock at Kalasatama, in Helsinki. I arrived too late, and could see only the couple of final songs of Von Hertzen Brothers, one of the most reputed Finnish rock bands. At least, time enough to enjoy their superb song Let Thy Will Be Done.

Weather was nice, and although the date chosen for the concert was not the best, Sunday of Juhannus, with many potential fans still on holidays or on their way back to Helsinki from the summer cottages, still the assistance was great, with more than 25.000 souls gathered there.

Michael Monroe

After a break in the VIP area to have a cold beer, time to see Michael Monroe. The ex- Hanoi Rocks has rock in his veins, and a wide experience to please the audience. Showing his excellent physical state, he jumped and run all over the state, pleasing a surprisingly young crowd; many teeangers and new generations that still enjoy with good rock and rock, seconded in his band by another Finnish legend, Sami Yaffa.

Third band were the Scottish Biffy Clyro. An unknown band for me before the gig, but actually they left a great impression in the Finnish audience. Their mix of ballads and more powerful metal is an audience pleaser, and exactly the kind of shot that the crow needed to warm up while waiting for the big event of the night, Foo Fighters!!!

Biffy Clyro

Dave Grohl and his comrades really gave this time a solid perfomance. Even when the quality of the sound was not always the best, some reverberation problems on stage, and even when Dave´s voice was pretty damaged at the end of the show becasue of so many screams, he still looked relaxed and having fun on stage. They also had time to pay homage to Michael Monroe, who was not losing detail of the concert on one side of the stage, playing for him some riffs of Hanoi Rocks´classics.

Foo Fighters gave a well rounded tour to their discography, dropping like bombs one hit after another, like The Pretender, My Hero, Learn to Fly or Monkey Wrench, with an audience that did not stop jumping and cheering. the special wink to the Finnish came when Dave appared alone on stage to dedicate them Wheels (“I like to play this song here because you always sing it back to me” he said to the crowd), and continued on acoustic with the first halp of Times Like These, with the band joining him later for an apotheosic end of the song.

Dave Grohl

Maybe due to time constrictions, because in the centre of Helsinki there are very strict laws about noise at night, the band dedicated themselves less to talk to the audience and more to rock. Dave explained that they prefered not to come back for encores, and just to play straight while there was time. He politely thanked the people for supporting them all these years, while joking “We used to suck, but not anymore!” “As far as you come to the concerts, we will continue making albums!”, and headed to a mindblowing end of the setlist with Best of You, the cover of Queen´s classic Tie Your Mother Down, and the emotive and touching Everlong, a cherry on top of the cake.

A well rounded show, and a long slow walk from Kalasatama to Helsinki centre for the thousands of people who assisted. It was all worthy!

Photos: Antonio Díaz

Dave Grohl

Foo Fighters´setlist. Helsinki. 26/06/2011

Bridge Burning
The Pretender
My Hero
Learn to Fly
White Limo
Cold Day in the Sun (Taylor Hawkins on the vocals)
Long Road to Ruin
Stacked Actors
Monkey Wrench
Let It Die
Times Like These
Young Man Blues (Mose Allison cover)
All My Life
Skin and Bones
Best of You
Tie Your Mother Down (Queen cover)

Dave Grohl

Concerts Music

Review Gogol Bordello concert in Helsinki at Kulttuuritalo. 12/06/2010

There is no doubt that Gogol Bordello has been able to gather a good legion of fans during last years, due in great part to the charisma of their vocalist Eugene Hütz. This fact is also noticeable in Helsinki, where the venue, being the concert originally projected to happen at Tavastia, had to be moved to Kulttuuritalo to hold a bigger audience.

Actually, it would have been much better in a smaller venue with a more “underground” tone, like Tavastia or Nosturi. Kultturitalo looks very cold to hold concert that are not about classical music, and besides, the acoustic there usually sucks.

Gogol Bordello

We arrived on time to see the opening band Devotchka, and I have to say that although I enjoyed their music, it is not the kind of band that suits for opening a Gogol Bordello gig. Their music turned to be too slow and “intellectual”, but the audience was receiving it quite coldly.

After going for a couple of beers, during the start of Gogol Bordello concert, one could have imagined that had been magically moved to a different venue. The place was crowded, and the audience got totally crazy during the opening song Tribal Connection. Hürtz is a magician when about connecting with the public, and Gogol Bordello, with his catchy mix of ska, punk and gypsy riffs and their multicultural and multilingual messages, turned this cold venue into a big party, with the people singing and jumping like there is no tomorrow, enjoying especially in classics like Wonderlust King or American Wedding. I don’t know about the people sitting behind on the seat rows, but it is almost a crime to go to a Gogol Bordello show and not to be in front of stage jumping like crazy, although a few teenagers took that to the extreme of thinking that every riff was worthy of acting like being in the middle of a mosh pit in a death metal concert, and turned to be a bit annoying for the people close to them.


Hürtz invited some fellow Finnish musicians to join him on stage, and all together ended a very long encore, that resumed the concert in more than 2 hours of great music and fun. Audience really got back the price of the ticket, with Eugene having no problem in staying a few more minutes on stage greeting people and shaking hands.

Gogol Bordello gave a very consistent show, transmitting the message of a band that has fun on stage, and make people have fun with them. You cannot ask for more than that when assisting to a gig!


1. Tribal Connection
2. Not A Crime
3. Wonderlust King
4. My Companjera
5. Last One Goes the Hope
6. Trans-Continental Hustle
7. Immigraniada (We Comin’ Rougher)
8. Break the Spell
9. Raise the Knowledge
10. When Universes Collide
11. American Wedding
12. Lela Pala Tute
13. Start Wearing Purple
14. Sun Is On My Side
15. Ghost Riders in the Sky
16. Mishto
17. Baro Foro / Undestructable

Photos: Andriy Kozyura

Concerts Features Music

Review Tuska festival 2010

Text by Maila-Kaarina

The first day of the biggest metal festival of Finland came out and all those who attended had to be ready for something really big: 34 bands, 8 hours a day from 2-4 of July. Do you think it´s easy? Well, I say it´s not! Specially under a boiling sun and average temperature of 28 degrees Celsius which means a lot when talking about Finland and its very dry air. But I am not complaining, opposite! This is exactly the kind of tough days all metalheads would love to have.

But now let´s talk about rock because this is why I´m here for!

The 2 first bands of the day were Barren Earth on the Sue Stage and The Arson Project on the Inferno Stage, since I had to choose one and Barren Earth really caught my attention, I apologize to The Arson Project ´s folks but I could´t watch their performance.

BARREN EARTH – 13:45, Sue Stage

Barren Earth was my starting choice and they got on stage punctually at 13:45 giving me absolute no remorse for choosing them. Since the gates were opened at 13:00 and it was Friday, I really thought they would play for almost nobody. I was quite surprised to see the opposite, the entire venue wasn´t yet crowded but many people ran to see Barren Earth and every minute they seemed to get the attention of more and more people. It is a very good band playing progressive death metal with some folk influences (nothing exaggerated) and some psychedelic moments where the atmosphere of the songs may recall even Pink Floyd. Another very interesting thing about this Finnish band is that the line-up is formed by former members of very important bands such as bass player Oli-Pekka Laine (Amorphis) and guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö (Kreator), Janne Petillä (guitar) and Marko Tarvonen (drums), both coming from Moonsorrow, vocalist Mikko Kotamäki from Swallow the Sun and keyboard player Kasper Måterson, who also makes good clean vocals.

Mikko sings guttural and clean and has a very powerful voice, songs are full of punch gathering very heavy moments with melancholic and atmospheric keyboards. Barren Earth was able to really set me up and connect all the audience to the right mood of Tuska. Everybody who watched them surely enjoyed a very professional, well played and heavy concert. In my opinion, together with Insomnium (review coming soon), Barren Earth is one of the big promises of the Finnish metal to achieve worldwide recognition.

Check them out!

TESTAMENT – 14:30, Radio Rock Stage

At 14:23, almost 10 minutes before the scheduled time for the concert, the audience was already screaming TESTAMENT, TESTAMENT, excited waiting for the kings of thrash to set fire in Kaisaniemi park. And they did it! At 14:31 Paul Bostaph was the first to get on stage saluting the audience pointing the drumsticks to the air and getting loads of loud screaming. Then Eric Peterson, Greg Christian, Alex Skolnick and Chuck Billy came starting what I considered the best concert of the entire festival among the 20 concerts I saw at Tuska Open Air.

”More than Meets the Eye” from their most recent album The Formation of Damnation (2008) opened the concert followed by the classics ”The Preacher” and ”The New Order”, both from The New Order album (1988). Then it was time for ”The Persecuted Won´t Forget” also from The Formation of Damnation and another classic from the same 1988 album introduced by Chuck Billy: ”You guys have to show us that you have improved since the last time we were here, you have to show us that you Practice what you Preach!”, next song to be played. One curiosity is that in the band´s bio it´s written that The Formation of Damnation can be considered as The New Order´s young sibling but even sharped and heavier. Listening to this beginning of concert mixing songs of these two albums you can assure it, they complete each other perfectly.


Testament was able to make us forget the strong sun frying our backs and heads in front of the main stage showing a great performance full of presence and charisma coming from all members who didn´t stop moving any moment. Eric Peterson and Chuck Billy are responsible for Testament´s legacy since without them everything would have been over when Greg, Louie and Alex left the band years ago, and now, more than 20 years later, it´s great to see them together again with almost the original line-up – only the drummer Louie Clemente didn´t come back and with all my respect to Louie´s work, I am not crazy to complain since Paul Bostaph is JUST one of the best drummers of the world (and this is not only my personal opinion). Eric Peterson´s guitar is pure pressure and Alex Skolnick is just not able to play average, he´s always much more than anybody can expect with his different way of playing, particular guitar timbre and wonderful solos abusing of jazz scales without losing the essence of thrash metal. Greg Christian cannot be left behind in these comments since his fast fingers and great slap suit Paul´s double kick perfectly.

Some more songs? ”Over the Wall”, ”Henchmen Ride”, ”Disciples of the Watch”, ”Into the Pit”, offered by Chuck to ”the guy with the pink hat”, actually mentioned by Mr. Billy at least 3 times during the concert, almost becoming a Tuska Celebrity. D.N.R (Do not Resuscitate) and the last piece of this amazing concert, The Formation of Damnation bringing the biggest moshpit I´ve ever seen started by Chuck with words that for a moment made me a little scared (I forgot for some seconds that I am in Finland and here these things work because people usually understand the meaning of the word LIMIT).

Chuck divided the audience in two and said to the right side: ”I want these guys over here to kill those guys over there!” – pointing to the left side – ”And those guys over here to kill those guys over there!” – pointing to the right side. ”Wait!” everybody obeyed and at this moment I kept my camera, pen and notebook in my purse and was sure that I wouldn´t be able to escape from that moshpit even if I wanted, it was to late to run… Paul Bostaph started the drumming and Chuck said the words: ”NOW KILL, KILL, KILL, KILL”. The moshpit started and many, really many people got in it but to my surprise, nobody pushed those who wanted to stay out. My scared face changed to smiling in a blink and this was a very special moment bringing back some of the best memories of my life, and if I weren´t wearing high-hill boots I would have gotten in that moshpit with no lack of doubt forgetting that my teens were over many years ago…

Just to finish, I started my journalistic career in a Testament´s concert during the reunion tour in Brazil, in 2006. I´ve been a fan since 1989 and they never ever disappointed me.

Hail Gods of thrash!

INSOMNIUM – 15:30, Sue Stage

After Testament´s perfect concert I was so excited that I thought of having a break, drinking something and resting for 45 minutes in the press area just thinking about the best moments and maybe starting to write my review before Tarot´s concert. These are those moments when giving the wrong step and braking your face are so easy to happen…but it´s good that it didn´t this time. Photographer Jussi Ratilainen had already told me about Insomnium and made really curious about the guys so when I met him backstage we just headed for Sue Stage to check the boys out. Missing this concert would have been really something to regret. The band is very professional and surely deserves to be heard and known by every metal fan in the world. One more band to get into my hall of ”Finnish metal pride”.

The band was formed in 1997 and the lineup counts on Niilo Sevänen (vocals/bass), Ville Freeman (guitars), Ville Vänni (guitars) and Markus Hirvonen (drums). Insomnium music shows us the scent of the melodic Scandinavian death metal spiced with some old school doom metal influences and also some thrash metal, which for me is really a plus since most of the bands of this style nowadays spice their music only with Gothic and epic stuff not leaving space for something rawer. I feel a lot of difference when watching bands who are proud to be influenced by the old school styles and are able to still sound new and unique, there is more passion in the way they play and we can feel the music much deeper. It was a pity that their concert lasted only 45 minutes ´cause everybody was really into it and surely willing for more.

Niilo has a powerful voice and looks quite wild on stage with all his headbanging, actually the entire band has a great stage presence and made most of the audience headbang and scream. The guitars are played with a lot of punch and personality and we can feel the influences of Paradise Lost (Shades of God, Icon and Draconian Times, no new stuff), My Dying Bride, Dark Tranquility but also something of Metallica from the Black Album era, and I don´t know if I´m crazy or what, but something of Iron Maiden also came to my mind although there is nothing related to Maiden on their music.

So, after Insomnium´s concert I was really delighted and almost sure that the first day of Tuska Open Air would bring me the best sequence of concerts of all days, even though that was just the beginning.

TAROT – 16:15, Radio Rock Stage

Resting? Who said this word? I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E! Right after Insomnium I just headed for the main stage (Radio Rock) to watch my 4th show of the day, 6th of the festival – as mentioned, Sue Stage and Inferno Stage played simultaneously.


Precisely at 16:15 Tarot got on stage and I was really curious to see them alive. Hietala brothers´metal band (yes, Nightwish´s Marcu Hietala and his brother Zachary) I´d say is one of the most competent in Finland and maybe, among those that have already a good place in the mainstream, one of the best of the moment. Best of the moment sounds quite weird when the subject is Tarot, a band that has been around since the early 80´s having Marcu Hietala (voice/bass), Zachary Hietala (guitar) and Pecu Cinnari (drums) together since then and 6 albums released. But music business is never something fair and achieving a place in the sun is always hard. Although the band has never been unknown in Finland and had quite good moments in Japan (they have albums released only there), only now the doors of the world are really opened to this great band. Besides Marcu on vocals, Tarot counts on another lead singer, Tommi Salmela, who also plays the sampler. This vocal sharing makes the music even richer since Marcu´s and Tommi´s voices suit perfectly and both have a great vocal range.

Tommi has a very good singing style and his voice reminds me very different stuff and hard to put together such as Bruce Dickinson, Ozzy Osbourne (Bark at the Moon mainly) and some real rock n´roll stuff as Lynyrd Skynyrd. Difficult to understand? Well, you have to check it out…

Marcu Hietala is always that great guy everybody feels like having a beer with. As a big fan of his playing and singing – actually I prefer Nightwish a thousand times now because he sings more (oops, maybe I´ve just lost some readers but I´m not a big Tarja ”owl” Turunen ´s fan, sorry) – is very nice to watch him doing his thing as the leader of his band. He sings A LOT and his charisma in undeniable.

Tarot songs are definitely metal in the European, most precisely Scandinavian, way of doing it but the hard rock influences are very strong, specially if we think of bands like Deep Purple (Coverdale era), Journey and Survivor. But don´t think the band is old fashioned, NO WAY! Important to mention the presence of the keyboard player Janne Tolsa (that Korg CX3 is something I really envy), great musician. Tarot did a very special performance at Tuska Open Air, opening the concert with ”Sleep in the Dark”, followed by their biggest hit ”I Walk Forever” and a big surprise, a choir led by the crazy conductor Mika Ryhänen, who uses a whip instead of a baton. This choir got second place on the TV show ”Clash of the Choirs” in Finland, and Marcu was their leader in the competition. They were part of the concert for around 6 songs and made a big difference to the performance. ”Satan is Dead”, ”Crows Fly Black”, ”Tides”, ”Calling Down the Rain” – one of the best moments of the concert and I don´t know if it was coincidence or not, but exactly in this song the bouncers started to sprinkle water in the audience, exactly as if it were raining since it was very hot and sunny – ”Hell Knows”, ”Pyre of the Gods”, ”Rider of the Last Day” and ”Traitor” were the pearls of this very good set list and excellent show. Tarot rules!

PAIN – 17:45, Sue Stage

One more band in the row, the Swedish Industrial Metal band which is actually one more project of the talented workaholic musician and producer Peter Tägtgren (Hypocrisy), the man who never sleeps, and if he does, he is probably able to split himself in two. Peter is that kind of person who is always doing several things simultaneously and only at Tuska, we could see him on stage with Pain and Hypocrisy, his main project and excellent melodic death metal band.

One very interesting thing is that Pain sounds very different from all things we are used to seeing coming from Tägtgren. It isn´t so heavy as his usual projects more backed to death and black metal and grind core. Pain has even something of pop and is a band you can easily listen to on rock radios and sing along the songs, the music is not actually underground although it´s very deep with lyrics that you should pay attention and think about. Peter Tägtgren knows the formula and never gets lost, he chooses the path, builds the way and will not walk unnoticeable, one of the big names in which concerns to music in our era who will surely leave a very big mark in rock history. Pain sounds great and is not at all a cliche band.

They played on Sue Stage right after Tarot, at 17:15, and the tent was so crowded that I could barely watch the band (my height doesn´t help much in these situations) but of course I could listen and stayed there during the entire concert trying to get a piece of look. ”Supersonic Bitch” was the first song followed by Dancing With the Dead, one of my favorites, written by Peter after the experience of having his heartbeats stopped for a couple of minutes during the same name album production. ”Zombie Slam” came next and is also a very good song in which the atmosphere reminds me a mix o punk rock with Sisters of Mercy, full of very different vocal styles. Actually this is a big plus in which concerns to Pain´s songs. There is a vast range of vocal styles from Guttural to more melodic, more punk, more Gothic, none of the songs sound the same. ”Walking on Glass”, ”It´s Only Them”, ”End of the Line”, ”I´m Going In”, ”Monkey Business”, ”On and On”, ”Don´t Care”, and of course the encore, ´cause nobody wanted them to leave the stage: ”Same old Song”, one of the moment´s radio hit in Finland and most played video clips in the music TV channel, ”Shut Your Mouth”, and pity, the end…

Pain´s concert at Tuska Open Air really left me with that ”I want more taste” in my mouth and this is a guy I really have to meet and talk someday.

The entire band that played with Peter deserves all congrats, excellent musicians who made everybody have fun and get wasted in the music.

Check them out and feel the pain!


Last band of the day, one of the projects of the Canadian musician and music producer Devin Townsend, bringing a debut concert to Finland, performing songs of the conceptual album Ziltoid the Omniscient with the entire story on video during the show.

Devin Townsend

Devin got known in music world in 1993 when he toured and recorded the vocals on Steve Vai´s album Sex & Religion. With Ziltoid the Omniscient, he brings the audience an incredible show full of interaction and a very funny and intelligent story. Ziltoid is a 4th dimensional alien who has come to Earth to beam messages in the shape of videos and music. Ziltoid can bend time but to do it he requires the perfect fuel: the finest black coffee beans that can be found only in Planet Earth. It´s a great concert and this interaction audience/video/Devin is quite of an experience. It isn´t a concert for headbanging or screaming, it´s a performance to be watched and enjoyed. Townsend is a very charismatic guy and performs full of body expression and eye contact. His voice is powerful and he also has a great voice range doing several vocal styles without losing the tone even once.

To know more about Ziltoid the Omniscient you can check out his MySpace profile but really, watch the videos, they are great and funny. I recommend.

The second day of Tuska Open Air was also the hottest of the last 50 years in Finland. All day long the sun was shining and the temperature was over 30 degrees Celsius, so watching the concerts placed on Sue Stage and Inferno Stage was quite hard (Inferno stage mainly).

The first band of the day started at 13:45 at Sue Stage and it was the Finnish metal band Blake, inspired by the 70´s style riff tradition, showing some blues and progressive roots in spite of the modern and post 90´s style which can be much more felt here. I didn´t watch the concert but got quite curious after listening to very good comments coming from the audience, and although their style doesn´t catch me that much, they seem to have done a great concert. If you are interested in checking them out, the homepage address is . I also missed the death metal band Sotajumala ( and Torure Killer (, this one I actually tried to watch but Inferno Stage was like a real hell on fire. The temperature under the tent was probably over 40 degrees Celsius and there was quite a lot of people, I just couldn´t handle it.

HYPOCRISY – Radio Rock Stage,15:50

Time to watch my first concert and really begin to enjoy one more true metal day with the Swedish death metal band HYPOCRISY, the main project of Peter Tägtgren, before mentioned on the day one review part II with the band PAIN (

Hypocrisy is formed by Peter on guitar and vocals, Mikael Hedlund on bass and Horgh on drums. Its master mind Tägtgren, who lived many years in Florida, was inspired by the best in the style: (bands like Morbid Angel, Deicide, Death and Obituary). Well, if you think of Hypocrisy also as being the main project of the man in charge for producing some of the best bands in the world in which concerns to death and black metal, such as CHILDREN OF BODOM, DIMMU BORGIR, THERION, CELTIC FROST, DARK FUNERAL, DESTRUCTION and IMMORTAL, you would probably agree that words mean nothing here. YOU HAVE TO WATCH AND LISTEN TO UNDERSTAND and I promise! Enjoy it!

Hypocrisy is at the moment the best death metal band in my opinion and they did an excellent concert at Tuska Open Air. My mistake here? Not to follow the set list as I should have. To be really honest I haven´t been a Hypocrisy fan for a long time, I got curious about them after reading Peter´s bio, which I was studying for an interview he was supposed to give me at Finnish metal expo in February of this year (which unfortunately didn´t happen due to technical problems before their concert FXXX!), but as far as I remember, Hypocrisy played some great stuff as “Pleasure of Molestation”, “Fire in the Sky”, “Let the knife do the talking”, a love song according to Peter´s words (NOT!), Warpath, Eraser, most of the songs of the album Catch 22 and Penetralia. It was a perfect start and a great concert.

Check more about Hypocrisy:

CROWBAR – 16:15, Sue Stage

Just THE BEST concert of the day and one of the top 5 in the entire Tuska Open Air for me. Showing what they were there for, frontman Kirk Windstein gave the order: “Hey Finland, I´m 45 and have been doing it for 25 years so, can you scream a little bit louder ´cause I can´t hear you very well?”


Of course everybody obeyed this metal veteran from New Orleans and his band formed by Steve Gibb, also on guitar, Pat Bruders, bass, and Tomy Bucklet, drums, a bunch of guys who know exactly what it means to play heavy and loud. They kick ass absolutely!

Crowbar is one of those bands I consider a big inequity for never being well known all over the world. They´ve been around for over 20 years, have 8 records released, one DVD and a long list of concerts all over the world. The only pity here is not to see them on mainstream charts.

Their music is a combination of heavy styles with a lot o thrash metal and hardcore influence and in this concert they dedicated songs to Peter Steele, Type o Negative vocalist who passed away at the beginning of this year, and of course, to our forever metal god Dio (R.I.P.). The concert lasted 45 minutes and all of us in the audience asked for and wanted more but unfortunately it wasn´t possible due to the festival tight schedule. It was impossible for me to follow the set list since I was really packed in the crowd and didn´t have how to take a note. Couldn´t find it on the net either, sorry…

Crowbar rules!!!

Check them out and promote their work!

Next concert, Devin Townsend Project, the only artist to perform in two days of Tuska but with different concerts, on the first day with Ziltoid the Omniscient ( ) and on the second day playing a varied set list of his career. The concert was ok but I don´t have much to add here.

SURVIVORS ZERO – 18:00, Sue Stage

Finnish modern death metal band Survivors Zero was my next choice and once more a good one. Although I´ve heard a lot about them, a quite popular band in the scene, I hadn´t heard them before and enjoyed quite much. Vocalist Tommi Virranta screams very well and the guitars of Sami Jämsen and Janni Luttinen are full of power. My highlight here, though, goes to the drummer Seppo Tarvainen who kicks that double kick in a way that I was paying attention more to him that anyone or anything else during the entire concert. Excellent! Bass player Tapio Wilska also did an excellent job and Survivors Zero deserves the attention given. One more Finnish band to kick ass in the world of metal.

Check them out:

KAMELOT – 18:45, Radio Rock Stage

Ok, now it´s time to lose some readers and start to have some people hating me, of course among 12 headliners there would be one or two that I just CAN´T say good things about for several reasons…
I am not taking my personal taste in consideration here and this is really how I work whenever I write about a band: impartially, but dear reader, this one was not good, not at all, and I mean Kamelot.


I was deeply disappointed since Kamelot has an admirable work, very good line-up formed by top musicians and for many years in summer festivals has been a band I have only read good things about. I apologize here but however Roy Khan was extremely kind with the audience and sang very well, for me the concert was slow, with no punch, no emotion, and totally feelingless. Bad is not a fair word for a band counting besides Roy on Thomas Youngblood, lead guitar, Sean Tibbets, bass, Casey Grillo on drums and Oliver Palotai on the keyboards but that black heavy outfit under that 32 degrees Celsius sun cool the band´s feeling off. Nothing to say…

OVERKILL – 19:45, Sue Stage

Remorse, repent and sadness are the words that should permeate these next lines. I MISSED OVERKILL!!!! And if you already hate me for saying those words about Kamelot, now you should just torture me before killing. Overkill has been around since 1985, playing the real and truth thrash metal which I so deeply love. I had the opportunity of being 10 meters away from them, watching the concert in the front row and what happened? I just didn´t see them.


After watching Kamelot my back started aching so bad that I had to sit for a while. End of story…please hit me!

And if by any chance you don´t know what I´m talking about, check them out!

NEVERMORE – 20:45, Radio Rock Stage

Last band of the evening, another one I was really expecting: NEVERMORE.

Warrel Dane is one of my idols not only for his voice but for all work he´s done in the name of heavy metal since the 80´s with Sanctuary, then with Nevermore and his solo career, which I consider even better than the bands. Very good composer and lyricist, together with Jeff Loomis, a real guitar hero, Jim Sheppard on bass and Van Williams on drums he is the leader of this great band. Important to mention the presence of another guitarist, Attila Vörös, from Hungary, who is touring with the band this year.


But ok, I said before that I know how to be impartial and put my personal taste aside while writing a review, so here I am ensuring my words talking about this band I love: the concert was feelingless and quite disappointing. Most of the words I wrote about Kamelot would be suitable here and not even god nor the devil know how hard it is for me to say that.
No good…

Photos by Jussi Ratilainen

Concerts Music

Review Greenday Helsinki concert. 9 June, 2010.

Going for first time to see Greenday live was a kind of sentimental experience for me. Greenday and Offspring were those bands that introduced me and my friends to punk rock (or at least the softer side of punk rock). Being honest, although I own their latest album 21st Century Breakdown, I have not paid them any special attention through the last years. And being also honest, I was gladly surprised with their performance in Helsinki. I dare to say that it is the best gig I have seen so far this year, so it is a real pity that en the end several thousand of tickets remained unsold. At least the first 2/3 of the concert, where the band was powerful, fun, with a great sound and very interactive with the audience.


Greenday invited people from the first rows to share the stage singing, jumping from the stage, kissing, hugging… even the most tender moment was when singer Billie Joe Armstrong got on his knees to declare his love for a little Finnish child who got scared with the fireworks around. Armstrong did not lose the chance to fire the audience with water guns or throw t-shirts with air guns 100 meters away. And of course, among the interaction, a great collection of tunes. After 15 years not visiting the Finnish capital, the band was feeling like they owned something, and they went full steam to make the audience happy. Classics like Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Longview, Basket Case… and also time for teasing the fans with covers like Ironman from Black Sabbath, Highway to Hell, Sweet Child of Mine, Hey Jude, Shout (where the band appeared disguised, with drummer Tré Cool switching positions with Armstrong and stealing the show with a very funny dance).


The only thing that I would have changed is not playing the acoustic part of the show at the end in the second encore, reserving for example some more powerful classic for putting the cherry on top of the cake. All in all, Greenday showed during the almost 3 hours of an amazing show that they know how to connect with their fans (at least with those who can forgive them to have switched to more commercial melodies), and make it worth the money spent on the ticket.


1. Song Of The Century
2. 21st Century Breakdown
3. Know Your Enemy
4. East Jesus Nowhere
5. Holiday
6. The Static Age
7. Give Me Novacaine
8. Are We The Waiting
9. St. Jimmy
10. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
11. Hitchin’ A Ride
12. Welcome To Paradise
13. When I Come Around
14. Brain Stew
15. Iron Man/Sweet Child of Mine/Highway to Hell Remix
16. Jaded
17. Longview
18. Basket Case
19. She
20. King For A Day
21. Shout/Hey Jude Remix
22. 21 Guns
23. Minority

24. American Idiot
25. Jesus Of Suburbia

Encore 2:
26. When It’s Time
27. Wake Me Up When September Ends
28. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

Concerts Music

Review AC/DC. Tampere concert. 1 June, 2010

AC/DC was basically the biggest band in the world that I still had not had the chance to see live. So it was a double pleasure when I could finally check them out in Tampere. For those of you who know a minimum of rock history, there is no need of presentation: AC/DC is probably the biggest hard rock band in the world nowadays. After they visited Helsinki the previous year, it was now time for Tampere to enjoy the visit of the legendary aussie band. Ratina stadium was almost fully packed, but not totally sold out. Probably the combination of the high ticket prices, the current economical crisis and the fact they were one year ago in Finland had to blame for those empty seats around the stadium. In any case, Tampere paid good respect to its reputation of rock city, with the streets turned into a big rock party. AC/DC fans with t-shirts all around, and even hundreds of people with no ticket took advantage just to sit close to the stadium and enjoy a beer and good weather.

AC/DC Tampere

The concert was programmed to start at 20:30, but it finally kicked off at 21:10. Although the official name of the tour is “Black Ice Tour”, the band has been clever enough not to abuse playing songs from the last album, but melting a few perfect in the setlist with their classics. All in all, most of the people who go to see AC/DC expect something like this, and among the audience you could spot many parents with their children (who had the famous devil horns on their heads), so an AC/DC concert has now become a kind of family event, when the youngest of the families can also listen for first time to some of the most classic tunes in the history of rock.

Classics like Back in Black, Thunderstruck, You Shook me All Night Long, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap were heating up the atmosphere until guitarist Angus Young provoked the climax with his famous strip tease during The Jack, ending up showing not his butt, but his AC/DC boxers. Obviously Angus together with singer Brian Johnson lead the show, while the other 3 members are in the background. The formula gets repeated concert after concert and it works. It is pretty clear that they cannot perform at a physical level exactly the same than 2 or 3 decades ago, but for musicians who have more than 60 years of age, it is still amazing to see them running from one side of the stage to the other. The main stage was connected by a corridor with a secondary smaller platform located almost in the centre of the stadium, which in my opinion was pretty wasted during the show. The musicians seldom came close to it, and only in the end Angus fully used it while getting crazy and crawling on the floor while playing the riffs of Let There be Rock.


After a short pause, the Australians returned to the stage for an encore with the unmistakable Highway to Hell, one of the biggest anthem of rock history, and the cherry on top of the cake with For those About To rock and the symphony of cannonballs that explode after every line of the song.

It was maybe a little bit too short concert, I would have not minded 20 or 30 minutes more of good rock, but being realistic, you cannot expect much more than what the Australians can offer nowadays. They still can put together a hell of a show, and outcome many of their younger rock fellows when giving a concert. As I said at the beginning, watching AC/DC is a kind of once in a life experience to be told to your grandchildren, so if you still have chance to see them during the current tour, go for it!


Rock N’ Roll Train
Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be
Back in Black
Big Jack
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Shot Down in Flames
Black Ice
The Jack
Hells Bells
Shoot to Thrill
War Machine
High Voltage
You Shook Me All Night Long
Whole Lotta Rosie
Let There Be Rock


Highway to Hell
For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)

Concerts Music

Review Efterklang concert in Tallinn – 08/04/2010

Efterklang is a generous band. Before even starting their set at Von Krahl, they showered their love of Tallinn upon the audience, instantly putting everyone at ease. The tension that had built up before the sold-out show, as the crowd waited to hear Efterklang, gave way to a positive energy that fueled the band. They are dynamic performers, and most (if not all) of the band members are multi-instrumentalists. A talented bunch, and I’d happily go to several of their shows during this tour (come back to Tallinn, Efterklang!).


The new album, Magic Chairs, is strong and beautiful. And the live performance of those songs added an extra dimension. My personal favorite on the album and during the show was Modern Drift (which you can listen to on the band’s website: Give it a listen, and then imagine it live and ten times better. Or get thee to one of their shows (, as they’ll be touring through August.

Aside from the enthusiastic performance, the two highlights of the show were the unveiling of a new light system (something you’ll just have to see in person) and watching the bassist climb from the stage up to the balcony where he waded through the crowd, stopping right in front of me before he began clapping to add a bit more electricity to the set. I admit I was slightly concerned that the balcony railing would not hold his weight during the climb. Fortunately there were no catastrophes, and it was easily the best concert I’ve been to this year. I have a feeling I’ll be saying that even in December.

Efterklang performing Full Moon at Von Krahl

Concerts Music

Review Metallica concert. Tallinn 18/04/2010

Many people were as excited to see the opening bands, Gojira and Fear Factory, as for seeing Metallica itself. The legendary American metal band had given their last concert in Tallinn 4 years ago in front of a massive audience of 90.000 souls, but this time, it was going to be something different, in a close stadium, Saku Areena, with the 360 degrees stage in the middle.

Metallica Tallinn

And actually, although the set list they played 4 years ago was amazing, I enjoyed this concert more. The stage gives the chance of much more proximity with the band, and you always have a member walking around in front of you. Honestly, I am not much into Gojira and Fear Factory, so although obviously part of the audience was very pleased, and other part felt like their style was quite different from Metallica, I dedicated myself to the healthy sport of sipping a cold glass of beer.

I have to say also that I have not paid much attention to their latest album Death Magnetic, so although it is a great comeback for the band, and made the audience vibrate at the beginning with tracks like That Was Just Your Life or The End of The Line, for me, the really exciting moments were when they played classic tunes like Harvester of Sorrow, Fade to Black, Sad but True, One or Master of Puppets. Unfortunately, opposite to their gig in Riga, they did not play For Whom the Bells Toll, but this was compensated with The Unforgiven, a very special song for me, because it was basically the one that introduced me to Metallica when I was a teenager.

James Hetfield was especially talkative with the audience, and the all the band in general seemed to be happier on stage than in previous occasions, probably a result of the success they have achieved with Death Magnetic. The lightning and special effects all through the concert were matching perfectly, not going over the top, but just helping to create an unique atmosphere, and even the sound quality was better than expected.

Antonio at Metallica concert

As it was to be expected, the band left the stage after Enter Sandman for a great encore with the cover from Misfits Last Caress, Whiplash and the ending Seek & Destroy. At the end, hundreds of guitar picks thrown to the audience (I got 2 of them luckily for my personal collection), and even Lars Ulrich stayed a bit longer talking to the audience and reading a poster some fans have written for him.

In general, the band sounded powerful and left a good taste to the fans. For some moments, I would even say that at the start of a couple of songs they were even a bit sloppy, but that was actually not a minus, but a feeling that you were listening to a more authentic band that enjoys facing the fans. Maybe they do not create masterpieces like in their first period, but certainly, no one can´t deny that Metallica can still give a hell of a live show!


1. That Was Just Your Life
2. The End Of The Line
3. Harvester Of Sorrow
4. Ride The Lightning
5. Fade To Black
6. Broken, Beat And Scarred
7. Cyanide
8. Sad But True
9. The Unforgiven
10. All Nightmare Long
11. One
12. Master Of Puppets
13. Blackened
14. Nothing Else Matters
15. Enter Sandman


16. Last Caress (Misfits cover)
17. Whiplash
18. Seek & Destroy

Concerts Music

Rammstein concert in Riga. Review.

This review should have had the title “Rammstein concert in Tallinn”. 2 weeks ago, I had everything planned and arranged to go to the Estonian capital when suddenly a stomach flu left me spilling my guts out, and totally destroyed the chances to go anywhere (and not only me, the virus affected to half of my job mates at the office).

Luckily, the Germans were playing 1 week later in Riga, relatively close from Tartu, and I convinced my Finnish friend Ilkka to come from Helsinki and drive to our destination of glory and rock.


Rammstein must have been on the top 3 of the bands that I still had never had the chance to check live and really wanted, so it was worth the effort; although I cannot really thank the promoters from BDG-FBI. They procrastinated in answering my emails, and gently denied me any press ticket, apart from not answering anything when I proposed farther collaboration for reviewing their events. How many publications do you have in English focused on culture and entertainment in the Baltics? I suppose that it must be more rewarding to sit all day at the office checking Facebook and Orkut than trying to do a good work. But well… if I start to talk about incompetent people in promoting and events management positions in Finland or Estonia, I would never reach to the point of talking about the concert….

Arriving in Riga became a little odyssey due to the heavy snow falling. After 3 hours of driving from Tartu, we encountered traffic jams everywhere, a lot of police and ambulances running from one place to another, and 4 or 5 small car accidents around the Latvian capital. The city seemed to be receiving a summit from the World Bank instead of a rock concert. Some of my Estonian job mates mentioned later that the car accidents were due to them being 6-toed Latvians, but I will remain impartial about the sticky subject ;)

But what it is true is that the organization of the concert in Latvia was awful. We encountered another more annoying queue for accessing the parking or Riga Arena, which turned to be full. Luckily, driving a few hundred meters away, a friendly Russian guy left us parked in his parking for just 2 Lats. We did not have Latvian cash, so gave him 5 euro. The E-Tickets that I had pursued in Internet worked (thanks god) and then I encountered the longest queue for a male toilet that I have ever seen in my life. So I decided my kidneys should have to wait until the end of the gig. With the traffic jams, we missed the first band, so accessed directly to see Rammstein show in an ultra packed standing up area of the arena. And when I say packed, I mean packed. Organizers again fucked it big time. There should have been easily at least 200 tickets less sold out there. We were at the bottom, very far from the stage, and we already could hardly move, a situation that I had experienced before just when being near the first row close to the stage. It is a miracle that not more people got into fights there or fainted. Chaotic!

Rammstein Till

The concert started with Rammlied, but being honest, the first 4-5 songs were closer to a nightmare than being a joyful event. I was literally feeling like a sardine in a box and very far from the stage with no chance to advance or move. Not helping that the old Murphy´s Law about taller guys always standing in front of you in a concert, and me being not the tallest in the world, made me literally almost break my neck to try to see something of what was going on stage. Latvian guys for your information are not the shortest of the world, so it does not help when you have a fucking basketball team in front of you.

The cherry on top of the cake is that there were no screens on the sides of the stage. For a band with the category that Rammstein has, and with tickets whose price started at 50 euro, a small fortune in Estonia or Latvia, I did not understand this either. What is the point to create amazing pyrotechnic effects on stage when half of the audience is not going to be able to see a shit if they are not in the first rows or in the seating places?

Luckily and wisely, we moved to one side that was a little less packed, and enjoyed some of my favorite tunes like Keine Lust! or Weisses Fleisch. The middle part of the concert was a bit boring from my point of view, it always happens the same when a band I like releases a new album, I always think that they should not play so many of the new songs. For example, Frühling in Paris could have perfectly been erased from the setlist, while it was an absolute pity than songs like Spielt Mein Klavier, Du Riechst so Gut or Azche zu Azche were missed.

Undobutedly, the end of the concert was the best, with amazing tunes like Links 1-2-3, the unavoidable and always awesome Du Hast and the catchy Pussy. A great end that was followed up by an encore with Sonne, the surprising Haifisch (I was not expecting the keyboardist “Flake” surfing the audience on the inflatable boat with this one, but with the classic Seamann, which I think would have been still much better, and Ich Will for closing the first encore.

While it seemed that everything would be over, and more than 1 person in the audience started to exit, the band still gave an amazing present performing a second mini-encore with Engel, with a huge and beautiful white angel on flames displayed on the stage, that finished the show; a great end for a concert that left me a bitter sweet taste due to the chaotic organization.

Concerts Music

Swedish Backyard Barbies at Tavastia

The popular Swedish rock band will play at Tavastia Club in Helsinki the 23rd of January.
For more information and buying tickets for the show, visit: