TUSKA OPEN AIR 2017 – Day II – Helsinki, Finland

TUSKA OPEN AIR 2017 – Day II – Helsinki, Finland

Day 2 started with death metal from Sweden under the name of Lik. Unfortunately, some fresh news made me unable to focus, so I spent both that and Avatarium‘s concert fighting to gather my thoughts together and build back my good mood. The fact that I received a big size Eeyore from a random stranger totally helped and led to a lot of ass related jokes. Later on I even offered some extra entertainment to a group of people who would sit down on a sofa and whom I asked if they want to hold my donkey while I go pee. When I returned, they were hugging and petting it. The day did get better.

Impaled Nazarene on the main stage gave me some good wake up kicks with their punkish like dark metal. And like someone mentioned, a band like that would maybe fill in a small venue outside Finland. But it must be rewarding to see a good amount of crowd gathered in front of a festival main stage and rather early in the day. They offer a Satan raising ritual, during which the vocalist makes good use of his evil make up and bloody mouth. But they don’t seem to hold the crowd’s attention awake all the way to the end, as it gets emptier and emptier when people head towards the tent stage and start chanting for Mokoma as soon as the main stage goes silent (speaking of which…Tuska had made an anniversary video which was played on the screens of the main stage. And then an intelligent person decided that the same video, which is like 5 mins log or more, should play just after the concert of the main stage ends…ignoring the fact that the tent stage is supposed to start at the same time and thus covering the first song of the concert inside the stage and making it a cacophony if you’d be too far away from the stage. Glad someone with more intelligence advised against that and it didn’t last for too long). The only annoying part with watching Mokoma in FInland is that you have no idea what they are saying, unless a kind Finn bothers to explain you. And it doesn’t make any sense either way. But this band surely gets the crowd going, and they rely on that energy to also go bananas on stage and give it all and even more during their 45 minutes performance.

I haven’t watched all that performance though as Throes of Dawn was up next on the little indoor stage. Ah, what a perfect moment this was in my day full of too much extras on the non musical plan. The dark and progressive metal played by these Finns was very very soothing, with its slow and lazy starts that slowly but surely built up to an explosion of sounds and an insane atmosphere with some references to classic Floyd tunes and solos, but its own personality at the same time. I can’t say I saw what happened on stage as I closed my eyes and let my mind be carried away by the melodies. I thank Throes of Dawn for the lovely journey. Afterwards, as some of the friends in the group recommended ‘Sleep of Monsters’, I went back to the tent stage to see what it is all about. And what a nice surprise that was. The stage was packed since this band has quite a lot of members and it took me a while to figure out what am I listening to. It was again music leading to a certain atmosphere, but more gothic in a way – maybe the female vocals had a say in that – and things felt more occult and obscure. Altogether I got the feeling of almost catchy tunes, certainly enjoyable that I’m surely gonna check out again and see how they sound outside of the concert context. I am glad I followed my friends’ suggestion.

SOILWORK Live @ Tuska Open Air 2017
(Photo: Jesse Kämäräinen)

Back on the main stage and another Swedish act, this time the melodic death Soilwork which seems to have been appreciated by a good part of the audience, since it got slowly full in front of the stage, even if I think that’s also when the rain decided to start. Unfortunately, they somehow didn’t manage to keep up the energy and the intensity they had during the first songs. Can’t really tell what was missing, but the stage chemistry was not as good as the previous times I saw them. So I went back to our bench inside the tent and due the fact that more and more people gathered under the tents, it was impossible to follow more of the concert. It wasn’t easy to make much out of the Electric Wizard doomish hell either. I feel sorry for being too lazy to get closer to the stage and listen closer to the sound, but since they also seemed to have a show well hidden by smoke, I preferreded to catch parts of the tunes from a distance and have a hard time saying if it was a good or bad performance.

AMORPHIS Live @ Tuska Open Air 2017
(Photo: Jesse Kämäräinen)

Amorphis it’s a band I’ve seen quite a few times at Tuska, and even more times outside Tuska. And I don’t complain, they’re good musicians and have some tunes that I simply adore. But in the context of a rainy day and personal stuff, I was not having the same excitement for their concert as I should have and it took me quite a while to bother to get closer and pay attention to it – but even so it was hard not to notice the huge amount of pyros they launched during the concert. I’m glad I did it when they played Against Widows and especially My Kantele. Despite it not being a cheerful tune, this song is very soothing and brings me to a good mood, plus it did have a great sound as I guess maybe the wind has calmed down and it made it easier to enjoy the concert from afar.

HIM Live @ Tuska Open Air 2017
(Photo: Jesse Kämäräinen)

It takes special strength from my side to focus on a Triptycon concert, and since I was lacking it, I didn’t bother. Also the main stage was about to fill up with hits from everyone’s youth and goth times, since HIM was closing the day with one of the performances of his farewell tour. The crew setup two heartagrams as backdrop and this was probably the fanciest setup on stage. The whole concert was under the sign of simplicity and was mainly focused on the music. Not even HIM himself bothered with any of the goth looks from back in the days. He had a rather elegant attire and most important, a constant smile and he was full of joy. And even most important, he had an amazing voice. With very rare moments when he attempted an extra scream at the end of a verse or so, every of those old familiar deep voices à la Type’O’Negative were perfectly matched tonight. I am one of those who has no clue what HIM has released since MTV stopped being about music, so I didn’t find much joy in the unfamiliar songs. But those I knew were alsot hose that my group of friends knew and we were all 15 all of a sudden, dancing, singing – so surprising to remember the lyrics of tunes you haven’t heard in years. It surely was a successful concert, without too many superstar impressions. The band delivered their material with joy and skills and then left the stage without wasting time on comebacks and useless breaks and ‘please applaud for me to come back’ breaks and so on. It was really stylish of them and if this is their farewell, we thank them for the music so far and wish them well.