There is a first time for everything, and so I had my first ever at Tuska festival. I had not much to judge it from beforehand, other than the stories of others enjoying the festival the previous years. Sadly we weren’t blessed with brilliant weather as they had predicted, but all in all it didn’t pour down on us, so we were good. Some of us (yes, that is me) even suffered a slight sunburn from it.
The festival wasn’t as big as other festivals I’ve had experienced, yet it was a decent and good size. It had three stages not too far away from each other, which was quite nice, as it didn’t take long to walk from one to another. The main stage and the tent were pretty close to each other, but never would a band play at the same time on both of them, so sound wise it wasn’t a bother at all. The third stage was inside a building, so no sound troubles there either. The festival area was overall pretty neat. No lingering trash, and it all just had a clean feeling to it. There were plenty of places to get a drink, grab some food (with many options to it) or to go and empty those filled bladders.
Now on to what we all came to the festival for, the bands. Hereby my day to day review from the bands we saw.
On Friday we started our day off with Baest. While at first people didn’t seem quite so enthusiastic, they warmed up to the band, and their music, once the band had played a few songs. Surely, people had to be woken up first, and they seemed to have done their job. We had been prepared for the festival!
A band which truly surprised me, and enchanted me in a way, was Tribulation. This Swedish Death Metal band seemed to know what they were doing, and were doing it well. There was melody to be found in their music, and the vocals went perfectly with it. Their stage presence was something I enjoyed most about the whole show, with beautiful stage make-up and elegant movements.
After Tribulation, we were in for an amazing show by Turmion Kätilöt. The music, the performance, and the band in itself gave me Rammstein vibes, and they didn’t disappoint to turn those vibes into something of their own. The industrial music went perfectly together with their stage act, and of course, there was a lot of fire. The energy on stage was noticeable in the crowd, and they could make us dance and rock out whenever they felt like it. A brilliant fiery show which got us craving for more.
Shiraz Lane was something completely different, a big shift from the Industrial and Death Metal to some Hard Rock. Yet it wasn’t unwelcome, and it seemed that quite some people seemed to agree. People were dancing, jumping, singing and all together having a great time while they were on stage. I would have preferred to see them on a bigger stage than they were on, but they truly grabbed onto everything they had and turned it into a great show.
One of the bands that I couldn’t quite place at first sight (and first hearing) was Leprous. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them, it was simply because they were different. Different from what I had heard all day, different from what you would mostly see and hear at a festival like Tuska. This was progressive metal at its purest, and I quite enjoyed it, I had to admit, and I certainly wasn’t the only one who did, as the crowd grew bigger and bigger with each song. Certainly a band worth checking out.
One of the most anticipated acts of the day was, hands down, Arch Enemy. As they are becoming more famous as each year passes, their fanbase seems to grow bigger and bigger by the day. They are loved, and deserve every single ounce of that love, as they had proven on stage. Their show was incredible, energetic and powerful. They seemed to have mastered their performance, and the crowd enjoyed every single second of their show.
Highlights of the day: Tribulation, Turmion Kätilöt, Shiraz Lane, Arch Enemy
Galactic Empire seemed to have gathered every single person who was present at the festival. While at first the crowd wasn’t as big, the moment they started playing the world famous Star Wars tunes, people seemed to gather with every single second. In fact, I hadn’t seen the crowd grow so big so quickly! It was certainly a fun experience, and I absolutely loved their show, even though I’m not a big Star Wars fan myself.
Beast in Black was the first actual Power Metal band I had witnessed at the festival, and I didn’t know I craved some Power Metal before they got on stage. Their performance was great, immensely enjoyable and overall energetic, like you’d expect such an act to be.
Up next to catch was The 69 Eyes. While I enjoyed the songs they performed, their performance was something I didn’t quite enjoy. While they were still greatly playing their songs, just like you’d expect of them, there seemed to be some kind of fire missing. The spark wasn’t quite there, and it seemed like it was noticeable in the audience as well. Whereas people seemed to be excited before, they didn’t seem to hold on to that exact excitement during this set.
It was then time for the bigger names to make their appearance on stage, starting with Emperor. Already a big crowd had gathered before the stage, and certainly a lot of them had been anticipating this show. Luckily for them, they weren’t let down. While the band perhaps isn’t quite to everyone’s liking, they did put on a great performance.
Kreator was another one of those big names, and just like with Emperor, a lot of people seemed to have gathered to witness perform, and what another great performance it was! There was energy and power, not only on stage, but also to be felt and witnessed in the crowd.
But Gojira certainly was the one band most people anticipated, and it was shown as the crowd kept growing with each band. There was steam, fire, and overall an amazing show performance as they kept the crowd singing, jumping, headbanging, moshing and dancing to their music. The show kept even those too tired watching, and it was a show I certainly didn’t want to miss out on. A great way to end the second day of the festival
Highlight of the day: Galactic Empire, Beast in Black, Emperor, Kreator, Gojira
Stick To Your Guns was the band to take energetic performances to a new level. With their show, it was easy to feel the energy in the crowd. Not only did have great energy on stage, they also shared a message to remember, a message to live by, and they weren’t afraid to speak their minds. A band without a façade, and it was greatly appreciated by the crowd.
From energy on stage we moved on to energy in the crowd. Blind Channel had an energetic fanbase, which had gathered at the front of the stage. It was a fun show to watch, although it did feel like the crowd was convincing more than the band was.
One of the bigger acts of the day was Europe, and while some would make jokes about their stage performances, their age or not having any other tracks than ‘The Final Countdown’, they had all been proven wrong by simply playing their set, and enjoying to play it as well as they did. There were no remarks on this show, as it had energy, power, and even some funny jokes here and there. Overall, a very entertaining show.
Clutch was a band which seemed to gather more people of the older generation among the crowd that the younger, yet there were still plenty of youngsters in the audience to enjoy the show. People danced, sang, headbanged and overall just had a good time while they were on stage. Certainly, it was a classic performance!
The closing band was perhaps last, but certainly not the least! Parkway Drive turned their stage into an inferno, using flames and various stage tricks, to turn their show into the most powerful stage of Tuska this year. Circle pits appeared with each and every song, the band could make the whole crowd jump, and some fireworks certainly were the cherry on top. It belonged to one of the best shows I have seen, for the band played well, and every single piece of stage act seemed to fit perfectly to their character, and to the message of their songs. In my opinion, best act of the festival.
Highlight of the day: Stick To Your Guns, Europe, Clutch, Parkway Drive