7.8. – 8.8.2010., Pori, Finska
After well organised festival in Ouluu, next weekend i visited long expected Sonisphere in Pori. Last year it was a one day festival and was visited by 60 000 people which was most visited metal festival in Finland ever. Pori is a town with population about 89 000 citizens. Town with a small centre, but big suburbias. Festival is situated near centre, on paeinsula, in part, close enough to houses, so by the law 22:00 is the time when music should end.
Two days before beginning of the festival i had enough time to see everything and to be impressed by what i’ve seen. Two big stages, chemical toilets in rows, large space, grass, asfalt, everything (besides space with a roof and benches where you could sit while eating and drinking).
This year organizators have expected more visitors, since it was a two day festival, despite announced bands. Next to big names there were some domestic ones like Stam1na, Mokoma, Negative, The 69 Eyes, Insomnium, Apocalyptica, HIM.
If you could believe to last year’s visitors, there were few mistakes in organisation, so improvements were expected but…
From the very beginning something was wrong and i don’t know why, but it all seemed clumsy. I will not mention my favourite sitting benches, but the drinking space was catastophicaly away from the stage. As from one, so for onother. Main stage had two big screens, while the second one didn’t have those, but it was dearer to me because it was closer to audience, so guitar picks could fly to fans.
Gates opened at 10am, when Stam1na was announced, 12pm, it was overcrowded. Band schedule was changed because Behemoth cancelled their show, so some got 10 minutes more and like they had no idea how to use them. Obiously it was a problem for an organizator to print schedule on a paper, so if you haven’t printed it at home, it was not so easy to get this information. And two day ticket that we all payed 125 euros (including press) could really include that. Or they predicted fiasko and knew that it will have no effect?
And so on. 12:10 Stam1na comes. From the begining they were heavy in their style.
It was obious from first second that they have given all they got and with that amazed the audience. Only bad thing was too much talking between the songs. It could go smoother. After them on second stage Negative. Totally different from Stam1na, but not worse. Girls in front rows, what is not weird since Jonne is so cute. They are currentely active on Finnish music channels, big popularity they still have in Germany and Japan. They performed their hits like „The Moment of our Love“, current „End of the Line“ and after that dissapeared from festival.
After them Serj Tankian followed. As his performances i don’t like personally, it was a good thing i had interviews scheduled. And i didn’t like that because of waiting of those, arranged, but not realized from i don’t know which reasons, i missed The 69 Eyes. I could only hear from far „Dead Girls Are Easy“, „Dead’n’Gone“…
And then fenomenal The Cult opened with „Lil’ Devil“ then „Phoenix“, „Rain“, „Sweet Soul Sister“… Ian even claimed that they are the sexiest band on festival, but then he took it back and gave most sexy throne to HIM. That Finns are very hard to get started was shown during this great performance. Ian himself charachterised them some as drinkers, some as students and those most far away who were sitting or lying on the grass elderly.
Besites elderly, audience is moving to Appollo stage where Apocalyptica starts the show. As Paavo himself said (during interview), Finnish audience can be boring sometimes. Well, at least here they showed them selfes a little bit. Despite the energy that was like thunder on a stege, some still stayed soft. They had a guest vocal which was a great substitute for Gavin Rossdale in their new hit „End of Me“.
And what i couldn’t understand were pauses between performances. Some could last for 15 minutes or longer.
Alice in Chains – pretty boring band to me. Who likes them had a chance to see them live in Zagreb. Everything well performed, but to slow for my taste, music to get closer on a dance podium.
And that is why Volebeat showed how it’s done! Definitelly best performance of the day. Band that managed to get everybody standing, moving. Not only with the music but with jokes that were really good from frontmen’s mouth. To animate Finns – really hard job! Performance perfect to details. And what they didn’t forget to say thank you to Finns who buy their album because they are „gold“ in Finland. After performance they promised to Finns to go out with them and drink. I don’t know if the promise was fulfilled, i don’t know, wasn’t going to alcohol tents, i have seen headliners of the evening – HIM.
During Volbeat you could notice that they are adored in Finland (by girls and by boys) who have kept their places in front rows very carefully. Something after 8pm HIM was on. Big screens showed that girls still cry on their slow songs. And it was seen that not only Ville has given up alchohol, but also cigerettes. Not so long ago, cigerettes were his usual acessoarie, but now – nothing.
„Join Me in Death“, „Poison Girl“, „Right Here in my Arms“, „The Funeral of Hearts“, „Heartkiller“, „When Love and Death Embrace“, „Buried Alive by Love“, covers „Wicked Game“ and „Rebel Yell“ were few of performed ones, without too much of talking and empty walking. First day couldn’t end better short after ten pm.
And then second day came, sunny, warm, beautiful. Right at the noon – Insomnium. Band that arrives in October with Dark Tranqulity, we had a chance to see them live in Zagreb four years ago with Satyricon. In Finland they gained popularity and also won many Finnish metal awards. After them Profane Omen and then mayhem – Antrax!
Caught in a Most, Got the Time, Madhouse, Antisocial, Indians, Metal Trashing Mad, Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.) and unforgettable I Am The Law made this hervy performance unbelieveable. Along with great communication with the audience they left great impression.
While main stage was preparing for Slyer on second stage Mokoma performed, whose dream, as they said, came true – to play between Antrax and Slyer.
Slayer played World Painted Blood, Hate Worldwide, War Ensemble, Spirit in Black, Dead Skin Mask, Beauty Through Order, Mandatory Suicide, Chemical Warfare, Raining Blood, Aggressive Perfector… although performance was full of force, somehow Anthrax seemed heavier, had a bigger impact, by that – better.
And then about 4pm followed something that was pronounced as “storm of all storms” by organization. Something, heaviest, worst, biggest ever. Yes, I would believe in it if I weren’t actually there. I don’t know how I managed to miss it, but all I remember is 15 minute long shower followed by wind. And in those 5 minutes one stage was completely ruined. OK, something got broken. I don’t really find myself in engineering, but as far as I seen, it was announced as unusable too early. Official merchandise tent fell down (upper side, where the t-shirts were), but, as I have seen after, t-shirt sale was going on after the storm without any problems. After that short flood followed, thousands of wet metallers with a question: “what’s next?”.
General confusion, anger, frustration caused by wet clothes. Nothing was left other than sit on wet ground on raincoats and to wait. Lucky ones were who live in Pori whose family, friends brought dry clothes and shoes through the fence (followed by security’s eyes), exchanging stuff, and we who have traveled to this concert for miles and miles were drying in the sun which was, well, back in the game.
First dissapointment was Iggy Pop who performed just four songs. Thank you on that and on his good will, but that wasn’t it. With only Raw Pover, Search and Destroy, Gimme Danger and I Wanna Be Your Dog we didn’t get anything. He was followed only by guitarist, later joined by saxophone player.
Dissapointment no2. : Motley Clue cancelles the show! Because their stage was ruined! There are no words to describe my anger at that moment, because they, along with Alice Cooper, were the main reason i went there. To make situation peaceful, organizator comes on stage, along with Bruce Dickinson who promises that Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden will do full set. There is nothing left to wait. Lines for water, lines for food, lines, lines, lines.
Thousands of exhausted, tired, dissapointed. About 7.30pm Alice Cooper is out opening with School’s Put, No More Mr. Nice Guy, I’m Eighteen. Performes his famous show with a saw and magic tricks. Audience was soft, already pretty away. Even on Poison performance situation was the same. The only energy that’s left is kept safe for Maidens.
Billion Dollar Babies, Feed My Frankestein, all is professional and planned but without communication with the audience. All that Alice Cooper said was: „Thank you Finland“! That full set lasted only some minute after hour.
And then again loooooong break till Maiden. Many people have already left, and if i wasn’t a journalist, i would probably be gone as well. Nobody felt like standing, wandering around, drinking. Locals got permission for a longer concert, so the Maiden train for Helsinki was delayed. Maidens are out at 9.50pm. Dickinson is amazed by people, their patience, understanding. If same thing happened in Crooatia, reactions would probably be heavier, but, organizator is lucky that it all happened in the land of calm people where nobody was loud and angry. It is interesting that same thing happened in Italy on Heineken Jammin festival, Green Day concert was cancelled because of storm, so all visitors had a chance to get half-price ticket money back. So far, till this very day, there is no such information on Sonisphere official website, for which i personally thing is would be i good thing. Nature is unpredictable, but organizator should be ready and not making stories about unbelieveable storm. Storm was only an excuse, as it seemes for not performing at concert.
Let’s get back to Maiens. Audience standing, observing. The Wicker Man, Ghost Of The Navigator, Wrathchild. And then Bruce Dickienson wipes the stage for five minutes with a towel and talking, talking talking… he could let someone else to do it, because looking at him doing chores, having fun with that, and after that same towel throws at camera guy and having fun. That wasn’t fun to me at all, it was disgusting. El Dorado, Dance of Death and so on… Sometimes before midnight, to me one of most exhausting festivals has ended. Finally! No pleasure after Maidens. Only painful legs!
Conclusion in the end? Although most of medias, lead by organizators’ information this proclaimed as one of most unbelievable festivals, where everybody gave their last atoms of energy to make everything happen, all I have felt was anger and disappointment. Motley Crue was not seen, as well as Iggy Pop set. Nothing was offer in a return, besides the announcement that next Sonisphere in Finland will be better than ever. Thank you! But I definitely won’t be arriving to a single Sonisphere! Festivals in Finland – yes, always, because it is something amazing, but Sonisphere itself wherever in the World, once again, no, thank you!
Report and photo: Gordana Beraković