Provinssirock 2007

{mosimage}Provinssirock
2007
was supposed to be the festival of the three queens, but one of them
didn’t show up. Amy Winehouse, the last diva on top of the charts, canceled
her performance just a few hours before she hit the stage on Sunday. Without
Amy, Tori Amos on Friday and Patti Smith on Saturday reigned over Seinäjoki.

Fashionably
late, Tori Amos appeared on stage in front of an enthusiastic crowd that packed
the big tent, excited in anticipation. As in her last album, American Doll
Posse
, the singer played different roles. In the first act of the show, it was
Pip, brunette, rocking and sexy. Then it was Tori, long haired redhead,
elegant. The setlist was mostly based on American Doll Posse, but the fans
received these new songs as instant classics, shouting and singing along. The
performance was intense, with Amos showing off her strong charisma and
arrogance.

Due to an
unfortunate tour schedule, at the same time as Tori’s show, Flogging Molly had
their particular Irish party going on. On the other side of the festival area,
people jumped and danced the drunken lullabies of Dave King and his band. A
combination of traditional Irish music and Californian punk, Flogging Molly’s
music is much about passion, celebration and fun. One must be deaf and blind to
avoid being uplifted by the fiddle-driven punk with great melodies and stories.
A really good time.

{mosimage}But if
someone is meant to represent punk, that one is Patti Smith. She turned 60 last
December and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year,
but she still maintains a defiant attitude. Her voice sounded strong, she
gesticulated to underline the lyrics and ranted about the environment
preservation while a Palestinian flag rested on top of the amplifier during the
whole show. She sang classics like Space
Monkey
, Free Money and the crowd
favorite Because the Night. In her
latest album, Twelve, Patti Smith covers some great rock hit and so she did in
Seinäjoki: Gimme Shelter, Soul Kitchen, Are You Experienced? and even Lou Reed’s Perfect Day and also Smith’s peculiar arrangement of Nirvana’s
Smells Like a Teen Spirit that is transformed into an acoustic jazzy ballad. But
in spite of being a solid show, there was a certain feeling of laid back
performance, lacking the wildness that those songs need. Energy was kept in the
can and it wasn’t until the last song (Rock
‘N’ Roll Nigger
) when the band sounded loosed and at full speed.

The other
great concert on Saturday was supposed to be Velvet Revolver. The crowd was
really into it and the excitement of seeing three ex-Gunners on stage was high.
It’s great to see Slash and Duff McKagan perform, but there is something wrong
with this band. The who seems flat and lame. It is like a movie with a bad
unbelievable plot. Perhaps it is the singer Scott Weiland and his excessive
attitude. Or perhaps it is just the lack of chemistry or really good songs, but
Velvet Revolver’s performance provokes indifference and the feeling that
nothing great happened.

This year’s
edition of Provinssirock had fewer visitors than expected. The last minute
changes, cancellations and the schedule conflicts of the big names create many
difficulties for a festival that needs to start working to organize a top class
30th anniversary programme next year.

Photos by Eduardo Alonso