Saturday, June 21, 2008

Provinssi Rock, Seinäjoki, 13-15th June 2008

It all started with a long trip by bus from Joensuu, a full bus organized by Joensuun Pop Musikot ry, a music organization in Joensuu that also organizes Ilosaari Rock Festival every year. Great effort and, athough bus is not my favourite mode of transport, anyway it was great to have that possibility. Thanks.
We got to Seinäjoki, at around 18:30 and I already was a little nervous because we had to look for the camping, then a place to set our tent and run to see if we could manage to see Dinosaur Jr. at 21:15 and Coheed and Cambria at 20:15.

Coheed and Cambria

Finding a suitable and nice place to set our tent after paying the 20 euros for the camping (I will never understand why is not included in the ticket for the festival) was impossible. After going along all the camping area, and once checked that getting a quiet, calm or just nice place was impossible, we chose to set it in a place were some colleagues were dismatling their tents to transport them somewhere else. not a good place at all, but at the end it was just enough.
After setting the tent and leaving our stuff there, we almost ran to look for the festival gates to see if we still managed to see some bands that were about to start playing. We got our bracelet, attached to the wrist with a menthod I have never seen before (see the picture), and we got into the festival area.

We lost some minutes already in place ourselves in the map, but finally we got quite close of the main stage to see Coheed and Cambria.

Too bad that I did not know their songs, because it was a quite good concert, including an Iron Maiden tease, well, in fact, it was half of the song. Surprising.
Then we ran to the Saari Stage (Island stage) to see one of the groups I decided to travel to Provinssi: Dinosaur Jr.
I have not been a real fan, but probably they performed one of the best concerts at
Provinssi, if not the best. It was a pleasure to be seeing two of the best representative musicians of what I call indie-rock, or what it has been called lo-fi, or whatever, maybe underground rock from the USA. Mr. J. Mascis and Mr. Lou Barlow. It was the moment of the festival when it was raining most, like hell, I may say, I covered my head with my hood and enjoy, dancing a lot. We had in front of us two of the most important heads in underground rock music of the last 15 years, and I will remember it for a long time. That Provinssi 2008....maybe my only one.
The first big name of the festival played that day at 22:30: Linkin Park. Simple show: ALL the hits and they left. I do not know, I am not a fan, I just like some songs. I have to say that their hits are great and I do like them very much, but it was nothing special in their performance, in my opinion. Good to see them, however, because probably I will never go to their concerts on purpose. They are that typical band that you see in a festival rather than in a solo concert. Because festivals are meant for that. To see bands you probably will not go to see on purpose. And to see those that you would go for sure. All of them. Friday was closed with The Friend, finnish band playing something like dance pop, that was very good and then leading to the tent.

Mr. Lou Barlow hitting his bass. Amazing sound.

With the first "night" the first surprise came, someone had opened our tent. Luckily, nothing was missing, as they probably were looking for alcohol or got into the wrong tent by accident because of previously intaken alcohol. Anyway. It was quite cold, still raining a bit and I got into the sleeping bag with my winter wool cap, that one black and white. Well, at the end I slept something, but better on saturday.

On satuday morning sun was shining, at least harder than the previous day and at the end, during some occassions we even had 20 degrees. Great compared to what we had last night.
After going to one of the various stands to have a coffee and some kind of deserved breakfast, we hanged arounf for some time and got into the festival area at about 16:00.
We headed to the YleX stage, covered, to check for something, Scandinavian Music Group was performing at 16:30 and we got quite close of the stage to see. Well, maybe not my style, more pop than rock songs, some pictures and we left in the middle of the concert.
Apulanta was the next band we wanted to see. In Finland there is the habit (I will not say if good or bad) that all years more or less the same finnish bands play in more or less all the festivals around Finland. Especially those who sing in finnish, as it is the only country in the World where they do understand them. That is the case with Apulanta. I have seen them maybe 3 or 4 times. They keep on releasing new cd's which are not my style if they do not have a great single like in my old times in Finland, in 2005, when everything was marvellous and I was touched by Pahempi toistaan ( and it still touches me) and Vasten mun kasvojani. But not with the new songs. Of course every timethey play the hits I am pleased and touched and they bring me so good memories that I can't bear and it touches me until having goose bumps. Really. But last year's cd is so bad in my opinion that I have lost all interest. At least they still play Jumala, the two mentioned and some others I really like. And an acoustic set also this time. Interesting and touched with Pahempi toistaan and Vasten, of course. Then Ismo Alanko was playing in Saarilava, but we just listen to him while we had some rest. A festival is tiring. Anyway I saw him in Joensuu already in April. Then it was a coincidence that we saw Danko Jones playing in the main stage and it was a concert that really surprised us for his attitude. Claims for rock and roll and complains about pop and provoking people to rock. It was good concert.
Then at least me, don't have many other bands I was interested in, just The Sounds in the late evening, and nothing much interesting. Serj Tankian, ex System of a Down singer, played at the same time, but as I was not interested in his songs, I went to see Maija and the rest. Just before The Dø played in the small stage. Frech-Finnish couple that has had a relative success with their last songs. It was nice performance, altough I left earlier to get a good place for The Sounds.
The concert was more or less the same as the one they played in Ankkarock last year, in which I enjoyed much more than this one. Maybe it was because there was too many people and too many crazy of them, like tinned sardines.... a pity because I think they played quite good, although no new songs. Maybe it't time for them to release a new album. I think she mentioned that they were composing it. Quite good pictures, in my opinion, here you have some.
Saturday night did not let us any surprise but I did sleep very good for being a camping. Snuday was cloudy and we repeated the coffeee in street with some cookies and then we left for the festival area after leaving the things in the bus also. This was the big day, the real day when Foo Fighters played. My first time with the Foo in 12 years. Many things have happened since that July 1996 or 1997. Anyway,, there were other bands I was interested in, first oga ll we got to check Paula Koivuniemi, but we left and ended up seeing the whole performance of Downstairs. Quite good I may say, much better than other times I have seen performing when warming up for other bands like Lapko.

Then until Paramore, that was playing at 16:00 in YleX stage we hanged around having some energetic drinks, because we were very tired, and I think we ate a pizza out of the festival area.
YleX stage was really crowded for Paramore and we were really far away from the stage, meaning that it was impossible to take any good pictures of them. But anyway, great songs and very nice people. Their singer kept on moving all the time in the stage making the concert better, like filling the empty space. Very good and recommendable.

Paramore's singer, not the best location to take pictures

And then Biully Talent was playing in the main stage at 16:45. I only got to see a couple of songs and I liked them. I ahd no idea of what Billy Talent did before sawing their name in the pre-festival program, and I regretted not to know more. Anyway, I left to see Disco Ensemble, a month later than they played in Joensuu, but still I wanted to see them live so badly. Maybe a mistake. I knew that going to see D. E. may mean not to get a good place to see F.F., but I still did not care. I stayed until the left the first time and missed the encore. But anyway. They played a quite energetic set, including "Magic recoveries", a classic start of the tour, the so called by me songle of the year "Bad Luck charm", and some old songs like the hit "We might fall apart" or "This is my head exploding". Still, I did not enjoy as with the one in Joensuu, but I guess there were other circumstances, like taking pictures and F.F. show just about to begin. Pretty exciting to just enjoy D.E. Anyway I more or less did. More pictures of them:

Miikka Koivisto doesn't believe in magic recoveries

Miikka and Jussi Ylikoski, guitar player

Jussi, feeling every single note

Lasse Lindfors, bass player

And then, before the encore, I left to Foo Fighters, that was starting only 30 minutes later. We tried to get the closest place we could, and I think at the end it was enough considering how many people was there. It was a almost-2-hours-set. They started with their last hit, "The Pretender" and old and new hits followed. As they say in their myspace website : "You may have heard one of our songs on the radio". The complete setlist was something like this

1.The Pretender
2.Times Like These
3.No Way Back
4.Cheer Up Boys(Your Make Up Is Running)
5.Learn To Fly
6.This Is A Call
7.Dave Talks
8.Long Road To Ruin
10.Stacked Actors
11.Skin & Bones
13.My Hero
14.Cold Day In The Sun
17.Monkey Wrench
18.All My Life
19.Best Of You

which I consider a very good one. I was kind of crazy and people made a space between me and them. I ran out of mind absolutely with "All my life", but it is a song I love and I was looking for that moment for a long time. It was amazing. Dave was amazingly charming and nice during the whole concert and there were guitar competitions, jokes, and the only one triangle solo that I have ever seen. Courtesy of one of the musicians they bring during the tour. A great evening to remember. And more pics, not close, but...


and until the next time, Foo Fighters!! A pleasure!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Me and my poster

I know is almost a month late, but finally, after Provinssi Rock festival I have transferred all the pics I had in my camera to the external hard drive, so I can use them now however I want. Here is the"elegant and intelectual" Victor with his poster in the SETAC XVIII European congress in Warsaw, May 28th, 2008. I like this picture. It represents what I've been doing in the last year and I feel proud of it, although I will feel more proud when I will publish (hopefully soon) the article.