One day before the Finnish Independence Day, on December 5th, local radio station Radio Rock invited their listeners to the icehall to celebrate the day with a Radio Rock Finlandia concert including an award ceremony. The line up promised an interesting mix of Finnish bands and especially Mokoma and Amorphis lured people to the venue at an unusually early hour. But it was rather a music marathon with altogether 10 bands. The only question I asked myself all the time was: How do Negative as headliners fit into this concept? I should be proved right but more about this later. Maybe the guys from Radio Rock just wanted to see some flying panties, who knows…
Apulanta entered the stage first and the venue filled slowly. The guys in their grey suits warmed up the crowd nicely. The pyroshow did us good because you had the feeling you would almost freeze to the icy floor, it´s an icehall after all… After exactly half an hour they said goodbye to a happy crowd. My verdict as an Apulanta-beginner: could have been a bit longer.
But Kotiteollisuus were already at the ready. One great thing about the Radio Rock Show was that there were two stages which were build right next to each other so that the transition between gigs was fluent, without breaks for setups and annoying soundchecks! The short waiting time was then still shortened further with a backstage interview by Jussi 69 who spoke to Kotiteollisuus frontman Hynynen in a toilet disguised as a dressing room. Perkele! Then he was already on the stage in his kilt. For some he´s a “furball”, for others he´s the sexiest man of Finland. The performance was good and Mister Hynynen was chatty as usual, teasing his crowd. At that point one really wished for a Finnish company because the Finnish-speaking crowd seemed to be very amused.
YUP didn´t really fit into the concept. People went for pee or cigarette breaks. Things looked a little different with Diablo. After a rather dull beginning they warmed up and the crowd seemed to like it. But they can definitely do better.
After enjoying a short break and awarding the Radio Rock prize which went to Nightwish and was accepted by Marco Hietala, Teräsbetoni entered the stage. Well, power metal really isn´t my cup of tea and I still don´t know where the men are riding but the show was musically and especially pyrotechnically flawless. All I can say is: Fire at will!
When Maj Karma were playing we granted us a short break from the music marathon and were only drawn to the stage again by a piercing scream that sounded very familiar.
The Northern Kings were performing and I immediately located the source of the scream because Jarkko Ahola from Teräsbetoni is involved also with this project besides Marco Hietala from Nightwish, Tony Kakko from Sonata Arctica and J-P Leppäuoto from Charon. Whether you need “Take On Me” by A-ha as a metal cover is everyone´s own choice. I for one already was in joyful anticipation of Mokoma and endured the cover versions patiently and I shouldn´t be disappointed.
Believe it or not but one can really dance to Finish thrash metal. I´ve seen it but could still hold myself back. Perceived headliners of the evening were definitely Mokoma and Amorphis. Exactly those bands that had drawn me to the icehall in the first place. It slowly got crammed in front of the stage and the crowd went crazy.
Amorphis were also much longed for, the screams from the crowd were the proof and Tomi Joutsen was already out of breath from his endless “hair circling” after the first song. The song selection for a half-hour show was quite good because they focused on hits and even played some songs from the Pasi Koskinen era. The first time this evening I heard “We Want More” – cries! This says it all…
Then it was time for the official headliner: Negative . But what happened? People went home and left behind Jonne Aaron, the guys from Negative plus a handful of fans. Unimpressed by the crowd loss they played their show and the evening ended in pink glitter!
Conclusion of the evening: Voice gone! (due to powerful singing along but also a slight cold)
The half-hour performances of the bands are something like appetizers because they whetted the appetite for more.