Live Report - Provinssirock Festival 2007
Live Gig

Release year: 2007
Reviewed by Aleksie
The annual Provinssirock-festival held in Seinäjoki (slightly north from the middle of Finland) is one of the biggest and arguably best festivals of the Finnish summertime. Spanning over three days in June (from the 15th to the 17th this year) on several stages of various sizes, the festival offers a lot for a very wide range of fans, from basic pop to much more experimental flavours. Metal fans hold the festival in high regard as well, not just because last year they hosted the one-and-possible-only-ever -time that Strapping Young Lad ripped Finland a new one with an explosive show. This year the heavy n’ rocking sides of things were very well represented. Purists, please refrain yourselves from blowing a gasket if some lighter bands and artists are mentioned in the proceedings.

Friday 15.6.

My arrival to the festival grounds on the beautiful, green-n’-flowing water-landscape-galore of Törnävänsaari was slightly delayed and upon entering with a flow of people, I was greeted by the heavy sonic thrusts of Chimaira. I didn’t know this American troop very well, despite much hype from a couple of modern metal-digging friends of mine. The few songs I had heard from them beforehand left a very “meeeh, it’s OK”-impression. The gig I witnessed only intensified that assumption. The band played tightly and jumped along energetically with their chugging riffery and forceful lyrics, but as a 60 minutes+ set the whole thing felt bland. I was slightly surprised myself how bananas the crowd was going for them. This reaction was asserted as after the show many viewers testified very vocally how awesome the show was to them. Well, to each his/her own. From bands that I think can be placed into similar areas genre-/sound-wise, Machine Head for example would wipe the floors with this mythical beast any day, hung over or not.

The first artist to really blow my mind was definitely the American-Irish Flogging Molly. Not since AC/DC have I experienced a band that is quite great on studio albums and absolutely, mind-blowingly awesome on the live stage. The energy this ninepiece was just maddening as the entire field started jumping and moving like in a huge barndance. The guitars crunched well together as the violin widdled on top. As songs flowed from Seven Deadly Sins to Drunken Lullabies, long “worms” of people started to circle the crowd reaching tens of meters in length. As an experience, definitely one the biggest surprises and overall, best gigs I’ve ever seen.

Saturday 16.6.

Saturday began with a smooth, appropriately rough slice of some of the best rock that Finland has to offer. The Von Hertzen Brothers mix up a priggish, atmospheric punch of power rock that could maybe be described as slightly Pink Floydish, ethereal moments combined with hefty doses of Cream-like drive, only played by five guys. Their jams can be driven into absolutely magical heights, but they are also very good with the simplistic pop tune.
Swallow The Sun churned out an oppressing vortex of heaviness with their quite entertaining brand of doom metal, which unfortunately was understandably out of place in the middle of a sunny summer day with the temperature reaching above +20 degrees celcius.

Many of my old school rock -acquaintances had hyped up Patti Smith and her band as some serious bannerholders of the old guard of rock – you know, the type that should still have a sense of rebellion and danger without the stinging sense of commercialization in their craft. Her band was playing tight indeed, and the music flowed with power and conviction. Her latest album was full of covers, so it made sense that the group played everything from Lou Reed to Nirvana with commendably reworked arrangements. And dammit, they played Because The Night, which is co-written by the almighty Bruce Springsteen, which is nice.
I must say, the hyping from my elder friends was not for naught. Smith still looked like a prophet of nature and let that be heard too. When she finished the set by preaching about the importance of trees and clean air, while proceeding to rip the strings off of her guitar with her teeth and bare hands, I had to admit that it was rock n’ roll to a degree where my cynicism was left at the gates. She commanded respect and the thousands in attendance responded kindly.

On the Island-stage the atmosphere took another kind turn to an extreme as Hatebreed took the stage and beat the ever-loving crap out of their instruments. The metallic hardcore was an ideal form of entertainment for the pit-dwellers as Jamie Jasta hoarsed out his throat and commandeered the audience with impressive conviction. I must say, I wasn’t expecting much out of this group but live, Hatebreed was pretty damn strong. Despite the applauds given, I must however say that over an hour of the band’s visceral brand of hardcore can get quite numbing if you’re not exactly in the right mood for some violence.

Seeing Velvet Revolver on the main stage marked one huge experience for me. When I was 14 years old and saw the music video for Guns n’ RosesNovember Rain, I was absolutely floored upon seeing Slash play. The whole look of the guy with the classic top hat and leather jacket was beyond cool and he played like a god – above anything, well, after Eddie Van Halen. So seeing him live on stage seven years later was a massive nostalgia moment for me. Sure enough, he looked just the same as on the desert in that legendary video (at least the parts that were visible under the hair) and played brilliantly.
Too bad Velvet Revolver has never sparked me in a way that I should expect given the guys playing. Mostly the fault lies in the singer, Scott Weiland. I’ve never cared for his voice or his ex-band Stone Temple Pilots for that matter. It’s a shame that I find a bit more of them in VR’s sound than I find any Guns. I mean, can you honestly call a gig great when the best tunes are pseudo-covers, namely Mr.Brownstone and It’s So Easy from Appetite For Destruction?

The band has its own moments, sure. Let It Roll from their new album, Libertad was nicely rocking with some groovy riffage. In the hit ballad Fall To Pieces Slash gets to pull off those classic, über-melodic licks on his Les Paul that recall many fond memories of training on the guitar in my parents’ garage. The hard rocking Sucker Train Blues was still awesome, but for some reason most of the bands up-tempo numbers leave me flat. It’s mind-boggling, because I’ve heard how good these guys can get when playing just the right tunes. And if we want to get nit-picky here, I do not for the life of me understand what kind of an obsession Weiland had with a megaphone while singing. It was a cool effect the first time he used it, but jeebus krist, he used it multiple times, sometimes for entire verses – annoying. Well, at least I got to see Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum together on stage, which was cool. So was the top hat.

Killing Songs :
Aleksie quoted
Other albums by Live Report that we have reviewed:
Live Report - Mgla, Lvcifyre, Wode - 15th March 2019 - Rebellion, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
Live Report - Pestilence, Grimaze, Damim, Cryptic Shift - 23rd February 2019 - Rebellion, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
Live Report - King Crimson - Uncertain Times Tour - 9th November 2018 - Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
Live Report - Voivod & Bio-Cancer - 6th October 2018 - Rebellion, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
Live Report - Xandria, Kobra and The Lotus, Once Human and Bullet To The Heart reviewed by Joel and quoted No Score
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