Unusual festival, unusual locations and even more unusual concerts: the 3rd Sibafest – the bi-annual festival of the world-wide renown Sibelius Music Academy Helsinki, had indeed a lot to offer from Jan 29-Feb 6, 2010. Out-of-the-ordinary locations were e.g. the synagoge or Uspenski cathedral, and a section of those 30 concerts featured “crossovers” (Jazz, Balalaika-orchestra).... Yet Apocalyptica, definitely the heaviest Cello ensemble on this planet, and Korjaamo, a former streetcar depot?? That´s like having the Vienna Boys Choir partying with Pungent Stench at the subway station Ottakring.... Moreover, Sibafest was the Apocalyptica tour kick-off (see our tourdates section) – therefore this gig was a must-see.
Well, “Korjaamo” has been a culture center for a while, yet hardly ever hosting Rock/Metal shows, and it still keeps this depot appeal. Apocalyptica fans know that those guys had been educated at Sibelius Academy before they discovered their live´s calling. Still, this Sibafest invitation shows once again why Finland is slightly different, it seems there is less reservation towards the Rock scene. At Korjaamo a Metal-fan noticed immediately that the audience was a bit more mixed, rather drank wine than beer, and only a few displayed Metalhead-outfits.
More photos in the gallery here The support, the Finnish string quartet Meta4 with Antti Tikkanen and Minna Pensola, violin, Atte Kilpeläinen, viola & Tomas Djupsjöbacka, cello, rather represented a style to be expected at a Sibelius Academy festival – modern classical music, that means Schönberg not Mozart, and they also performed a composition of an ensemble member. What they had in common with the following ensemble was the passion and precision of their performance. Oh, and in case I got that right, Perttu Kivilaakso was their former cello player...
More photos in the gallery here During the Meta4 show the “Vaunusali” was filling to the brim, it seems that Apocalyptica were a Sibafest bestseller ... the cheering was no different to a “normal” Gig, when the Metal-cellists Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen and Perttu Kivilaakso plus drummer Mikko Sirén entered the stage and took off with Metallica´s “Wherever I may roam” followed by Sepultura´s “Refuse/Resist” and their own composition “Grace”. Remarkable – first, the fourth (live) cellist, Antero Manninen, was missing, but the sound was as powerful as ever.
More photos in the gallery here Secondly – the already mentioned Perttu displayed neon-yellow gloves contrasting with the otherwise just-black band outfits. Thirdly, the focus was on Metallica covers: “Fight Fire With Fire”, “One”, “And Nothing Else Matters”, “For Whom The Bell Tolls”, “Seek And Destroy”, “Enter Sandman”; after 5-6 songs there was no longer any notable difference to “ordinary” Rock crowds – everybody, even in the very back, was ecstatic and cheering to the energetic show.
More photos in the gallery here From their huge catalogue of their own hits they performed e.g. Betrayal as well as Life Burns, I´m Not Jesus and I don`t care with guest vocalist Tipe Johnson (u.a. Leningrad Cowboys), impressing with his powerful voice. At “Bittersweet” the drummer had a break – this song might be one of their most beautiful and touching, no matter if “just” instrumental or with vocals. Some humorous interludes were provided by Eicca, who informed the crowd that Perttu had moved to Turku or that the drummer lives in Kerava.
More photos in the gallery here After the tough Sepultura cover Inquisition Symphony – it always looks like the guys want to saw their instruments to pieces when they play it – the band left the stage, yet they returned for the encore - Grieg´s “Hall of the Mountain King” -in their own particular style, of course. The otherwise rather reserved master-of-rhythm Paavo whipped up the crowd until all hands were in the air... and I guess the guy at the merchandise stand had a lot to do afterwards, and a slightly different clientele...