Thursday 8th of June 2006
Radio City / Inferno Stage
(at 6:30 PM)
Niko: The Finnish rockers jumped on to stage with pure energy. I have to say that Taneli Jarva’s personal appearance did a great justice to Black League’s ´I-don’t-fucking-care-I-just-wanna-play´ –attitude. The band wasn’t ready to make any compromises, they played the way they wanted. Good example of that was the Hurriganes (a very famous Finnish rock´n´roll band that never really made it big outside of their home country) cover “Hot Wheels” which divided opinions amongst the crowd. I had a little hunch that TBL might include this song to their set which they eventually did. ´The League Men´ were playing this particular song because they wanted to, some may have liked it and some not. But about the set itself, it was sweaty, dirty, god-damn good ol’ rock’n roll. It contained material from the latest album A PLACE CALLED BAD as well as from the band’s brilliant debut album ICHOR. Jarva, like he stated was enjoying the Finnish summer of midnight sun, and also enjoying the taste of Finland’s own Koskenkorva -booze which warms your chest nicely – that’s for sure!
For those who know something about the backgrounds of some band members, but haven´t got any clue what kind of music The Black League plays, I would highly recommend to check their latest album (A PLACE CALLED BAD, that was) out with an open mind.
Luxi: ´The League Men´ don´t fail while performing onstage. The band´s testosterone-oozing show is highly entertaining to watch; especially when the band happens to have such a strong lead person as Mr. Taneli “no booze – no fun” Jarva, fronting this heavy rocking bunch, also known as the ex-singer of Sentenced undoubtedly as his biggest merit. The band concentrated mainly on the songs off from their latest two albums (MAN´S RUIN REVISITED and A PLACE CALLED BAD which is their latest, 4th album in order), rocked hard at their best capabilities they had and simply proved an energetic and wild live show for their fans who also greeted The Black League with a good festival mood and spirit (Ha! Where had all these drunken bastards crawled from? There were a plenty of them amongst the audience, but hey – we gotta keep in our minds we´re in Finland after all, right dear fellow boozers?). Mr. Jarva told some crazy stories about heavy boozing, beating the bejesus out of something, etc. in his own sarcastic way when finishing up one song and starting off another, so talk about some jolly entertainment values here. Overall it could be said that The Black League are more at home in a live situation than being heard on their albums. At least that´s what they just proved by their excellent live performance at the Sauna Open Air Metal Festival this year, making a bunch of people happy and feeding them some facts about the importance of the ´King Alcohol´ at the same time, whatever on earth that may mean – you draw your own conclusions out of it… ;o)
(at 8:30 PM)
Luxi: As much as Iggy Pop is a true pop/rock –icon and has surely done and apparently earned lots of status in the pop/rock music arena in general (at least when it comes to some uncompromising opinions of the majority of his fans), however, one question needs to be asked: What on earth has he to do with being one of the main headlining acts of this metal festival with his band The Stooges??
This went beyond my understanding to have him as one of the headlining acts for Sauna Open Air METAL festival, but I guess I don´t have to understand everything even if it´s fair to say neither The Black League, nor Flaming Sideburns – nor even Blake would have belonged to the bill of this festival in question in the very first place. As the title of this festival tells already, Sauna Open Air METAL Festival should stand for metal bands, and METAL bands only! And believe me this has nothing to do with narrow-mindedness or any other state of human mind, but I guess more like offering ´something-for-everyone´ kind of thing if asked the organizers of this festival respectively – and apparently just bringing more people to the festival with a wider range of different musical styles. Well, whatever the ground reasons were, I have the guts to say that I sincerely belong to that group of people who have never become that familiar with either Iggy´s music or his long musical career, so I´m unfortunately nothing to write home about their show at the S.O.A.M. –festival in 2006. Niko, do you have something wiser and more enlightening to say about them instead?
Niko: Eh, this came so quick, but I don´t think so. Anyways, this was kind of ´once-in-a-lifetime´ -opportunity to see Iggy & The Stooges live. I’m not really familiar with their stuff, but I do know something about the background of Iggy and The Stooges (as well). The whole set concentrated mostly on the old Stooges classics. When keeping in mind that first Stooges album was released in 1969 and Iggy has had this thing going on for over 30 years like a couple of other rock/metal icons. It´s kind of incredible, I think. You know, when you’re looking him to perform the show and he’s jumping around there on stage, he indeed does look like an old man… but not that old. It’s amazing to see how much you can do if you got the energy, and looking at Iggy in action you can’t avoid this feeling.
Also I want to note that this act has been been influencing so many bands over the years. Decade after decade, generation after generation Iggy & The Stooges have been influencing punk, rock, metal and alternative bands throughout the whole world. In my case the whole gig was merely pearls to a swine. I can’t say if I was aware of everything I heard. I can’t say I fully understood what I was really seeing and hearing. I know that this gig was a legendary one from Iggy & co. – and therefore should be remembered for many years to come as we’re probably not able to see Iggy & The Stooges here in Finland ever again.
Loose (Fun House)
Down on the Street (Fun House)
1969 (The Stooges)
I Wanna Be Your Dog (The Stooges)
TV Eye (Fun House)
Dirt (Fun House)
Real Cool Time (The Stooges)
No Fun (The Stooges)
1970 (Fun House)
Funhouse (Fun House)
Skull Ring (Skull Ring)
Dead Rock Star (Skull Ring)
Not Right (The Stooges)
Little Doll (The Stooges)
I Wanna Be Your Dog (The Stooges)
Little Electric Chair (Skull Ring)
Night club / aftershow at Pakkahuone
(at 11:00 PM)
RETURN OF THE VINTAGE SOUND
Niko: I was happy to witness Down at Pakkahuone. I gotta say that band did not take any prisoners, Down´s set was overall incredible from start to finish! Maybe stars were in right position this time, I don’t know… Everything took its place in their performance just perfectly: Phil Anselmo did a great job behind the microphone and the rest of the band was playing like a well-oiled machine, too. They started the set with “Lysergick Funeral”, and rest of the time I was just standing there and shaking my head with disbelief. To be honest, I can’t remember the last time when the crowd’s been welcoming a foreign band with such an enthusiastic way in Finland. The crowd was like melting pot roaming around and eager for more.
Before the band started their set, the audience got spoiled with “Down Road-Movie” which included shots from their past live acts as well as shots from their own heroes such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and AC/DC. This way band was doing their own tribute for those remarkable acts and it’s pretty easy to figure out which bands have influenced the sound of Down. The band even shortly jammed “Dazed and Confused” in the middle of the night. Also this proves that the roots of Down are somewhere else than in a modern metal.
About the band itself, Anselmo seemed to be fit and did great vocals – especially in “Jail”, in which he sounded awesome! Kirk Windstein was jamming around the stage with his guitar and looked like he had a hell of a time. I was surprised with Pepper Keenan and the way he was doing cool tricks with his guitar, everything seemed to be so god-damn easy for him and he sounded damn good. Whilst Jim Bower and Rex Brown took care of some rhythm duties, the whole band sounded well-packaged and tight. Like I already stated earlier, the band´s performance was just brilliant. Thank you Down.
Luxi: Before the actual ´Grande finale´ of the day – getting ready to seeing Mr. Phil Anselmo to march his loyal troops on the stage, Down, the Finnish Downers (as I assume at least 99% out of the crowd were citizens of this country) were ´put to watch´ this Down –movie which was meant to set people in the right mood before the show. I only managed to watch the movie with a half-eye because when I finally arrived to the venue, after crisscrossing here and there around Tampere, I felt an urgent need to kill my thirstiness with a couple of cold beers – and waiting for my turn in the line of other thirsty metalheads to grab the 1st beer in my hands, took 20-something minutes as the whole place was simply packed. Oh well, I finally, however, managed to get my beer and watch the movie a bit while waiting relatively impatiently to see these five guys, originally from New Orleans, to crawl on the stage, to bless the first day of the festival with their merciless ten-ton-hammer´ish sound. Lights off… and our blessings have been answered; Down were all in flesh and blood on the stage.
The Down show started off with “Lysergik Funeral Procession” which, to say it the simplest way, surely raised everyone´s expectations up to the roof about a great Down show on that on-going evening. The whole band played and looked strong on the stage and the crowd went absolutely nuts – enjoying every movement the band did on the stage – every single riff Pepper Keenan churned out from his 6-stringer – and naturally every single angst-filled breath of Mr. Anselmo blew towards the mic; the audience was, to put it the simplest way, totally spellbound by the strong live appearance of these five men, and it felt like there was absolutely nothing out there that could have gone wrong with the Down show in that evening. Everything was ready and set for a good and memorable evening, Down playing the main role in it to make it happen for all the participants who had dragged their asses to see them in that evening. Well, that´s what we all sincerely believed…
Then some unfortunate incident happened while the band took the break after playing the first song. Or, it was actually the band´s most controversial member Phil Anselmo who started something (stupid) which went totally beyond everyone´s belief or understanding. Namely there were a handful of press people in the pit who were all taking pictures from the band for their publications, but then, right after Down had finished the first song, Phil started calling all these press people ´assholes´, summoning them to leave the pit immediately and stop taking any further photographs from the band. His reaction came like all of a sudden, like a bold from a crystal-clear, blue sky, so everyone naturally was very confused and wondering what happened – and why he acted in such an unexpected yet rude way in the first place? All the press people (= or ´assholes´ as he liked to call us) were forced to leave the pit right after the first song anyway, without knowing the primary reasons for Mr. Anselmo´ senseless behavior (including myself). However, rather soon it was told he was accusing US, the hard-working press representatives, for the death of his ex-Pantera mate Dimebag Darrell??! Now what on earth had we to do with his death?? We even weren´t there when this very unfortunate murder happened, so how fair was it for Mr. Anselmo to spit out things like that and accuse us – in the front of the packed crowd, for being responsible for the death of his ex-band member? What kind of plain idiocy is that? Huh… That was nothing short of ridiculous and absolutely irrational comments from him, and made everyone involved in that incident very pissed-off yet unwilling to follow the band´s gig any further. So thank you Mr. Anselmo for showing your asshole attitude towards all those innocent people who were obviously fans of the band as well. Next time choose your spitting target a bit more careful and wiser unless you don´t want to feed your big ego as that one person who´ll be nailed to the cross as metal history´s biggest true asshole. Nevertheless, I gotta admit that Down´s gig was pure dynamite after all, and even Mr. Anselmo tried to act during the rest of their show like he had forgotten what exactly happened in the beginning of the gig while speaking with the audience; how he loved them and how ordinary guy he was just like everyone else there in the crowd. Well, that was a good attempt from him for reconciliation for sure, but it didn´t help me to forget completely what happened earlier. So, am I a bitter asshole then? If you want, I guess I am then… Down, as a band, ruled – but Phil with his huge, irritating ego – unfortunately, did not.
Lysergik Funeral Procession
Hail The Leaf
Ghosts Along the Mississippi
Learn from This Mistake
New Orleans is a Dying Whore
Lies, I Don´t Know What They Say, But…
There´s Something on My Side
Eyes of the South
Stone the Crow
Bury Me in Smoke