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Ankkarock 2009 - Korso, Vantaa(FI), 01.-02.08.2009

Ankkarock 2009 – Come rain or good weather

Gallery link:Ankkarock 2009
Festival: Ankkarock

More reports from the 2009 festival season: Ruisrock and Tuska

Finnish festival Ankkarock is one of the best ways to wave goodbye to the short Finnish summer and close the festival season. The event takes place in Korso, Vantaa - a city nearby Helsinki. The weather was already like in autumn, but the festive atmosphere still prevailed and prevented the people from moping about the summer’s end.

Day 1 – Saturday 1.8.

The weather forecast for that day didn’t tell us anything good. But you can never rely on the forecasts 100% and this was the case when it was wrong. Luckily the promised rains didn’t pour on our heads and didn’t make the mess under our feet. So we gathered at the Park stage (Puistolava) to watch one of Finland’s craziest and most energetic bands – Stam1na. If you ever get the chance to check these guys out – don’t miss it! You might not understand much from what they sing (or at all, if you don’t speak any Finnish), but the vibe you get from the music blasted by this bunch gives you an electric charge. Before you even notice it, you’ll find yourself in the middle of the moshpit and then watch out! Next stop on our list are the Finnish vikings Ensiferum. They got their devoted followers in front of the stage and the journey on the viking ship began! Even the most stubborn ones found themselves singing along and tapping their feet to Lai Lai Hei”.

hardcore superstar Soon enough it was time to switch from Finnish music to American – New York Dolls got on Park stage and, despite the band’s legendary status, didn’t make such a great impression. The age is taking its toll and the band’s performance clearly lacks dynamics on stage. However, the Finnish audience was quite happy to see their compatriot Sam Yaffa (ex-Hanoi Rocks) who is now playing the bass in the New York Dolls. After that we craved for an energy shot and we got what we wanted at the Rock stage (Rocklava) as the Swedish band Hardcore Superstar told us to “Beg For It!” Hardcore Superstar might not be the best product of the Swedish music export, but they surely know how to get you moving. Without any claims for masterpieces, their songs don’t differ much from one another, but each of them has a catchy and rocking tune. These guys can rattle up even the stiffest audience!

turbonegro Not so long after that the Norwegian denim demons Turbonegro got summoned on the main stage and we got out sailor hats rocking! They were much missed during their long break, when no one knew if the band ever comes back. But they did and they are better than ever! These guys play their performance with such style that it will give you an erection and with the help of Hank von Helvete from the stage you will inform everyone around you about it. They were by no means the most awaited band at Ankkarock 2009. Turbonegro‘s set was a brilliant choice of songs, although whatever they sing, it’s bound to make you wave your sailor hat and sing on top of your voice. “Rendezvous With Anus”, “Get It On”, “Are You Ready (For Some Darkness)”, “Fuck The World”, “I Got Erection” – those are just some of the compositions that we got to listen to. It was the best thing to ever come from Norway since the imprisonment of Varg Vikernes.

The end of the 1st day of Ankkarock welcomed the metal veterans – the irrepressible Cavalera brothers and their Cavalera Conspiracy. This band was quite a treat for those people who are fans of Max-era in Sepultura as well as for those who enjoy Soulfly. However, what both brothers have created are merely little Sepulturas, which will never be as great as the band with its original line up. Naturally Sepultura’s old songs (“Refuse/Resist”, “Roots Bloody Roots”) were welcomed much warmer than Conspiracy’s original stuff. In general, it is nothing more than a lousy attempt to re-create the great music that made history and Max’s wishful thinking that he can be as great on his own as he was with Sepultura. He can’t, although I guess the financial reward for these attempts must be quite satisfactory. We preferred to leave the festival area before the band finished their set.


Day 2 – Sunday 2.8.

amorphis During the 2nd day the weather was much less enjoyable as it started to rain quite soon, and this means that the festival area quickly became muddy and slippery. For Amorphis, who this year managed to play at most of the Finnish festivals, Ankkarock was no exception. The phenomenon of this band is that no matter how often you see them – they always put on the best performance. I’ve seen them live countless times already, but I can’t say that this show was better than that. Each of them the band plays at its best.

apulanta Apulanta and Kotiteollisuus also have been seen everywhere this summer, so after a short break we decided to check out some high-quality battle metal banged by Turisas on the Park stage. Just a few years ago Turisas were hardly known in their homeland Finland and this summer they already played at Wacken Open Air in Germany. The band definitely worked hard on this progress and this can be seen from their performance. The younger part of the male audience took the best out of Turisas’ set and slammed till they dropped. The band heated up their performance with pyros, which still looked great even with the sun shining brightly. I bet the crowd was definitely smaller than at Wacken, but getting a warm reception in your home country is always highly appreciated.

volbeat A short while later we went on with the battle-mood set by Turisas as the Swedish Amon Amarth came out on the main stage. The band is a frequent guest on the Finnish soil and that’s the kind of Swedish invasions that Finns definitely don’t mind at all, and even enjoy. This could be seen from the crowd gathered in front of the stage to bang their heads to the melodic death metal played by the Swedes. After the Vikings conquered the main stage and everyone in the audience, Volbeat came out to play something more colourful. Seen them at Tuska already and their rockabilly beats aren’t really my cup of tea. But they did manage to maintain a solid fanbase in Finland, which is why this summer Volbeat played only the main stages. The crowd was there, the groove was there, the dancing and singing was there. I wasn’t.

An absolute must-see on the last day of the festival were the American thrashers from Testament. It was definitely nice to see that even the younger part of the audience knows and enjoys these monsters of metal from Bay Area – they paid their homage to Chuck Billy and the guys by making quite a good circle pit in front of the stage. Testament are monumental and so are their shows. You can only stand there with your jaw dropped; trying to realize how massive is their sound, and how lucky you are to see this great band live.

Taking place at the end of the summer, Ankkarock always leaves you wanting more. There are 9 months ahead until the festival party starts again, so each moment at Ankkarock is absorbed as the last drops of water in the desert. Make sure to make your summer exit memorable next year!


Pictures: Jana Blomqvist | Report: Tanja Caciur

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