For its 40th birthday Finland`s most popular festival, Ruisrock in Turku, comes up with some specials. Besides a line-up which caters for all tastes (e.g. Amorphis, Disco Ensemble, Don Huonot, Stam1na, Turisas; Billy Talent, Midlake, The Sounds etc) it`s not easy for a single STALKER to cover more than a subjective selection, or to say who is the headliner: Ozzy Osbourne or Slash?
First of all, just the location on the island Ruissalo let my chin drop: Absolutely gorgeous! One of the stages is even located directly at the beach. Not to mention the brilliant summer weather which will accompany us all three days. Sometimes it was maybe a bit too warm, not to say too hot, but the Ruisrock organisers have done really everything to make the whole festival as comfortable as possible for each of its visitors.
Official Ruisrock Photogallery It`s allowed to bring your own plastic bottle to the area, there are free of charge standpipes (Very human that they don`t try to make any profit out of the necessity as it`s the case at some other festivals now and then!), refreshing showers, also during the gigs water is provided, the security is very friendly without any exceptions... Besides there is a huge offer of sales, food and action booths. No wonder that a total of over 70 000 festival visitors pilgrimage to the island in spite of the heat...
Friday, 9th July 2010
Official Ruisrock Photogallery It starts very easy-going with singer / songwriter music by Frank Turner on the little Converse stage. Apparelled with jeans and a white short-arm shirt and armed with an acoustic guitar the Briton starts with "The Real Damage". It`s getting filled at the stage visibly and everybody is just happy, with Frank on the stage and their beer cans in the hands. Turner performs by turns solo with his acoustic guitar and together with his band.
Official Ruisrock Photogallery At the end he even fetch support from the audience: A fan named Nikolai may assist him with a harmonica. There is also no lack of interactions with the audience and Frank Turner promises to grace Finland very soon again. Actually he should have played on the "Rantalava", the beach stage. The music and the performance are predestined for it.
Official Ruisrock Photogallery In consideration of such big overseas visit it`s better to be at the stage a bit earlier to get the best spot. Frankly speaking, I haven`t expected much from this gig, because of negative Live reviews, even if the current single "Let Me Hear You Scream" is admittedly a real smasher. This one and "Paranoid" by his former band Black Sabbath are the most desired and frequently chanted tracks by the fans, until the "Prince of Darkness" enters the stage a quarter after midnight, to the frenetic cheers of the crowd. The show starts marvellously with "Bark At The Moon", followed by "Let Me Hear You Scream". Ozzy surprises with being in better shape than expected: He claps, he jumps, he shakes his hair... Every now and then he fires at the audience with a kind of shaving foam by a shotgun. So far, so good. Some of the recent hits like "Gets Me Through" and "Dreamer" are missed and in between Ozzy leaves the stage for a longer time while the band tries to entertain with longbreathed gadgetry by their instruments. Ok, Ozzy is getting a bit long in the tooth but wouldn`t it be better in this case to bid farewell from the stages of this world in a dignified way?
Official Ruisrock Photogallery On my "worst audience" list his fans come in second, right after Marilyn Manson fans `cause tonight even the hardest metal-heads are turning into little hysterical girls. The fans hustle, push and bruise... And all that in Finland where the audience is usually always cool! But the worst ones were the grannies. Yes indeed: Lots of elderly ladies are present who can still teach a lesson concerning aggression and "fighting for a place in the first row with might and main" to some 12-years-old female Boygroup fans. Later I hear that Ruisrock let in all 70+ year-olds for free to the gig of Ozzy Osbourne (also Tuska grants free entrance to over 65-year-olds, the ed.) A funny idea but in practice not that funny anymore, unfortunately, therefore I withdraw. Later you will feel the area quake when Ozzy is playing "Paranoid" as a bonus, even in the very back. Yeah, the crowd is thrilled. In case of such legends just the name is already half the battle. If this gig was indeed legendary, I cannot say.
Official Ruisrock Photogallery I only know two Songs of Viikate and from them I especially like "Viina, Terva & Hauta", according to this the performance for this song is my personal highlight during their gig.
The audience is a bit lazy to do any moves at first. No wonder in the face of the hot summer weather but from a certain point the power of the Viikate songs triumphs and the folk in the marquee claps, jumps and parties along.
Official Ruisrock Photogallery Michael Monroe respectively his former band Hanoi Rocks are of course well-known Glam Rock legends, but for me it´s the first time at my first Ruisrock that I can watch Michael Monroe Live. After a spot on the screen with the band´s birthday wishes, surprisingly The 69 Eyes drummer Jussi69 appears on stage to announce Michael Monroe. Intros with music from the "Kill Bill" soundtrack seem to be very popular these days - and then he stands there: The legendary Michael Monroe! Well, "stands": Actually he is jumping from the very first second when he opens his show with "Nothin`s Alright". Generally he is jumping a lot, climbs around the stage`s framework, moves closer to the fans several times, plays the saxophone, then the harmonica, sprawls lascivious at the front of the stage... Pure energy!
Official Ruisrock Photogallery Songs like the Nazareth cover "Not Fakin` It", the Johnny Thunders cover "Loved By You" or "Dead, Jail Or Rock`n`Roll" do the rest: I am totally enraptured! This man demonstrates impressively that you don`t have to be a spring chicken to still being able to rock, all the more I won`t accept correspondingly statements in the future. Rock like Michael Monroe or go on pension!
From my point of view it`s one of the best gigs at Ruisrock 2010!
Official Ruisrock Photogallery Here they go again: Reckless Love, one of my current favourite bands, who start their show with "Feel My Heat" on the Converse stage while behind you other festival visitors are doing bungee jumping for the princely sum of 60 € and undaunted by death. Again different outfits and sunglasses of singer Olli Herman are shown and several hits of their self-titled debut album like "Back To Paradise", the current single "Romance" or my personal favourite "Badass" are played.
Official Ruisrock Photogallery As always, the whole band smiles non-stop and infects the crowd in front of the stage with high spirits and how Olli is swinging his hips again and again could make you blush. Like Michael Monroe on the day before, Olli climbs around the stage`s framework and, yeah, maybe the glamrockers should get together and share the stage. I really would appreciate it.
Official Ruisrock Photogallery Unfortunately the gig of the Finnish glamrockers Reckless Love takes place at the same time like to one of their Swedish genre colleagues The Ark, so regrettably I`m only able to see the two encores from the latter. For those, the band appears in gold-coloured suits and especially singer Ola Salo looks quite poncy with his gold-coloured bolero jacket but this is surely volitional and after a little amusing language course "Finnish for beginners" where Ola calls the fans his "little, little mumin trolls", The Ark`s gig ends beautifully with "Calleth You, Cometh I", accompanied by choral performance of the fans.
Official Ruisrock Photogallery Slash is the act who should top the whole festival off and of course also here everyone wants to be present in front as possible, nevertheless there is no fanatic hysteria as we have seen it at the gig of Ozzy Osbourne. You even will be able to dance a bit during the performance. That`s what I call a cool audience! After the obligatory birthday spot, but with Michael Monroe and not with Slash, the show starts with "Ghost" more than promising and with songs like "Nighttrain", "By The Sword" or the Guns`n`Roses classic "Sweet Child O` Mine" the arc of tension can be held effortlessly.
Official Ruisrock Photogallery Also a short introduction to the other musicians of the Live line-up is not to be missed. Very nice `cause they don`t receive that much attention. The audience is too focussed on the guitar virtuoso Slash, although particularly singer Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge) and bass player Todd Kerns (Sin City Sinners) cut quite a dash. Bonus songs are played, too, even with a special guest who is other than Michael Monroe. I didn`t expect to see him again that soon, all the more I`m happy about it.
Official Ruisrock Photogallery "We`re All Gonna Die" and the Hanoi Rocks classic "Up Around The Bend" are performed, after that Mister Glam Rock unfortunately leaves the stage again and with another Guns`n`Roses cover ("Paradise City"), where the masses jump up and down joyfully, Ruisrock 2010 gets its glorious and more than worthy finale. The best gig next to Michael Monroe`s on the 40th Ruisrock festival, in my opinion. And finally a legend makes the grade and doesn`t rely on his big name.
Official Ruisrock Photogallery Summary: The festival itself was absolutely perfect, you can`t say it in any other way! There are no reasons for criticism and to achieve this as such a huge event is something Ruisrock can really be proud of. It`s the most popular festival in Finland for a reason, and even if there is not that much in the line-up what convinces you, the trip to Turku pays off anyway. For the single performances the respective artists have given their best. Maybe one more than the other but I haven`t seen a bad show during the whole weekend.
The question about who was the ultimate headliner this year will remain unanswered. With 21 000 visitors there were more people on Friday when Ozzy Osbourne played than on Sunday when Slash rocked with 19 000 fans but the largest attendance by far were registered on Saturday with 30 000 festival visitors. Gee, I wonder why! However: Score full points for Ruisrock 2010! Kiitos paljon ja nähdään ensi vuonna!