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SONISPHERE FESTIVAL 2010 - Kirjurinluoto, Pori (FI), 07.-08.08.2010


Gallery link:Sonisphere Finland 2010
Festival: Sonisphere Finland

Sonisphere Finland 2010 has already made it to the headlines all around the internet before it was even over due to a crazy storm that hit the festival, causing a serious damage. We decided to put together a so-called Sonisphere Survival Guide (applies at least in Finland, but should work in other places as well) to help you go through Sonisphere festivals in the future, getting the best of it and coming out in one piece, like we did.

1. Bring a tent

The festival takes place in a small town of Pori, situated on the west coast of Finland. This picturesque province has about 3.5 hotels, which were fully booked at the dawn of the new year. If you’re a spoiled brat like me and need the luxury of a shower and a bed – you have to roam the internet and find a place to rent. However, everyone and their brother have been renting accommodations in Pori for prices a little higher than reasonable, yet still affordable. Negative side: almost impossible for someone who doesn’t speak Finnish.

2. Try to get your own transportation…

… a car, a flying carpet, dogs and a sledge, a gryphon – anything that can get you to the festival area without any dependence on any schedules but your own. The only extra public transportation that was organized for the festival was an additional train from Helsinki and back: an old cranky train which was very slow, had no AC and arrived half an hour later although leaving according to the schedule. All the transport connections with nearby bigger cities are pretty much over after 8pm at the latest. Thanks to the late train, we arrived at the festival area right on time to see the great SERJ TANKIAN. Although backed up by a band instead of an orchestra and not wearing a suit, his solo performance was like love at first sight: you didn’t manage to understand how that happened, but you know you are hooked. Yet, one definitely couldn’t help getting nostalgic wishing that rumored SOAD reunion would happen for real.


3. Learn Billy Duffy’s dance/jump moves.

Apparently he can’t do much of those anymore, but you’ll surely know what to do when legendary THE CULT come on stage. You have to be fully prepared for some good old rock’n’roll! And definitely don’t forget to clap your hands during “She Sells Sanctuary”, because you know they deserved it.


4. Prepare to be surprised.

That is if you have never seen APOCALYPTICA live before. You will end up being absolutely smitten. If you have seen them already, then you probably know that they are worth seeing every time. Who could ever think it is possible to do things like that with cellos? These guys are basically ripping apart the instruments, making them bleed out every riff. Intensity of their performance is so thick - you can cut it with a fiddlestick. Nobody does it like them, nobody sounds like them. If you hear their music, you will always know it’s APOCALYPTICA and nobody else.


5. Check your brain.

You would want to do that, if you sing along to “Check My Brain” by ALICE IN CHAINS. They played some of their greatest hits and all time favourites along with songs from their latest “Black Gives Way To Blue”. It was hard not to imagine how it would have been if Layne Staley was on that stage, yet William DuVall does a great job filling these enormous shoes. It was obvious though that the real frontman is none other than Jerry Cantrell, of course. He reigned the stage and it was definitely the right place for him to be. From the first notes of the opening “Rain When I Die” till the very end of their set he held the whole audience in a grip with his stage persona, the kind of a soft grip, when you still can breathe, but don’t forget in whose hands you are.


6. Dance till you drop…

… to the catchy groove of VOLBEAT’s trademark crazy-mix-of-styles-rockabilly. These guys play in Finland maybe a little too often, but as long as they manage to put on a great show and instantly turn on the crowd, why not? Like it or not, you will definitely end up tapping that foot. Their blasting guitar riffs, accompanied with strobes will juice you up and give you energy to carry on through the rest of the night.


7. Get a couple of drinks while H.I.M. is on stage.

Since Ville Valo quit drinking, someone has to keep up with it to make it through the performance! With a huge heartagram hanging above the stage, it might have seemed that the band is as good as back in the days of their first albums. But once we took a closer look, it was not what it seemed. From far away Ville looked like all these years of excessive alcohol consumption and bad moustache never happened. But once the cameras showed a close up of the singer on the big screen, one could see it was all there and the only one who couldn’t let go of the past is Ville himself. All his mimicry which looked cute on a young attractive boy, now looked painful on his worn-out, tired face. Surprisingly, the old hits were still great, but the new ones hardly managed to get any reaction. Maybe when H.I.M. wrote the old songs, there was still a chance for some diversity in their music. Instead they kept on going with the same thing through all their albums, not evolving anywhere and becoming boring in the end.


These guidelines should get you through day 1 safe and sound. However, if you are intending to pull through the second day, you will need more than that, starting from…

8. Bring a war bonnet.

So that you could enjoy the feeling of brotherhood and jump along with Joey Belladonna to “Indians” when ANTHRAX hit the stage. ANTHRAX is the most genuine band from the Big Four. They play their performances from their hearts and you can see that they enjoy it to the fullest. This feeling transcended from the stage to the crowd and made them absolutely “Metal Thrashing Mad”. It was hard not to go crazy, ANTHRAX beamed with positive energy and if you’re in for a ride, you will ride to the top.


9. Bring a helmet.

There are a couple of reasons why you might need this. The first one being SLAAAAAAYEERRRR! That’s the proper way to spell that band’s name, so I heard. Starting from the opening “World Painted Blood” prepare to have your scull blown to pieces. SLAYER performed some of their songs from the latest album (such as “Hate Worldwide”, “Beauty Through Order”) nicely mixed with some of the jewels of their discography (“War Ensemble”, “Dead Skin Mask”, “Raining Blood”). Through the whole set Tom Araya walked around the stage with a delighted smile on his face, watching the crowd riding a thrash euphoria wave. SLAYER finished their performance with “South of Heaven” and “Angel of Death” and that’s when it didn’t matter anymore if tomorrow ever came.


Another reason to bring a helmet is in case a sudden storm comes out of nowhere and starts crushing everything. We were all in for a metal festival, but when an actual piece of metal construction is flying in the direction of your head, it’s never nice. A short while after SLAYER left the stage, the sky got darker and it became obvious it was going to rain – a typical thing to happen at Finnish summer festivals. About 10 minutes later people were running and screaming in the press tent, the wind was blowing with immense power and I couldn’t hear anything else. It was hard to estimate the time, but about 5-7 minutes later it was all over. As I went out from the tent, the backstage area looked like a desolate battlefield with chairs, tables and even toilet cabins lying everywhere and a few people were trying to do something about the mess. There were some people with blood on their faces sitting near security at the backstage entrance. The show was stopped, both stages were damaged; one of them could be no longer used. The festival workers were doing everything possible to fix at least the main stage. The second one was a pitiful sight and had to be supported by a crane.  However, the festival crowd was indestructible and ready to continue rocking! The overall atmosphere was still festive and the amount of alcohol consumed definitely helped it. The organizers told us that approximately 40 people were injured, 2 of them seriously. By the time this report was written, the news came that one of them died of injuries. May he rest in peace…

10. Eternal praise to IGGY POP and ALICE COOPER!

IGGY & THE STOOGES were scheduled to play on the 2nd stage right when the storm began and all their equipment got damaged. Once the main stage could be more or less used again, IGGY got up for an improvised acoustic set, which consisted of 4 songs. He did everything it was possible to do for the people who came to see him instead of not playing at all.
ALICE COOPER’s equipment was damaged as well, so SLAYER kindly lent theirs to use. After a break, during which technicians kept on doing their best to repair the main stage, it was announced that ALICE COOPER and IRON MAIDEN will play their full sets as it was planned. The organizers got permission from the town officials to postpone the curfew. The show must go on! So it did, when Bruce Dickinson got on stage to introduce ALICE COOPER and to invigorate the crowd. Alice also had to make some sacrifices to save the show and played on a smaller, simplified stage set, which allowed the technicians to continue their repairs in the back. Nevertheless, he put on one hell of a show!! He still kept most of his stage gimmicks, got his “head’ cut off and then walked around with it, put a stake through one of the skeleton-men on stage and so on. With all of the black curtains still down, the sun was shining from the back of the stage and it hurt to look there, but it was also impossible to look away. He is the great ALICE COOPER and he totally nailed it at the last Sonisphere of 2010, come hell or high water.


11. Bring some extra equipment for MÖTLEY CRÜE.

…Just in case their own equipment gets damaged and they wuss out, having to cancel their appearance. Bruce Dickinson surely had some pleasure saying: “MÖTLEY CRÜE’s gear is fucked, so they've gone home. Our equipment is completely fucked, but we don’t care. We’re not going home until you fucking go home! So stick around, it’s gonna be a great evening.” That’s the right attitude of a rock’n’roll musician! MÖTLEY CRÜE didn’t even bother to show some respect to their fans and come on stage to say a few words. The hairspray would’ve come off if it started to rain again and that would’ve been a terrible disgrace! But no worries, the CRÜE’s absence was soon forgotten and totally made up.


12. Enjoy the show no matter what.

About two hours later IRON MAIDEN got on stage. The curtains were up, MAIDEN’s stage set was at its place and everything seemed to be back in order. Starting from “The Wicker Man” they set Sonisphere audience on fire. The grandeur of this band is bigger than any words could possibly describe. You can just stand with your jaw dropped; your eyes wide open and absorb every sound and every move. Especially every move, since sometimes it can be hard to find Bruce on stage if you were watching from a distance. As the night rolled in, the mist started to rise from the river nearby the festival area. This brought a special atmosphere of mystique during “Fear of The Dark” with thousands of people singing along. As IRON MAIDEN were closing their set with “Running Free”, there was a feeling that we’ve gone through some absolutely unique experience with this larger than life band. Only the strongest survive the natural selection.


13. Bring yourself.

Last and the most important part. All of the rest is a subject to change depending on the line up, but without the best of audience there can’t be any Sonisphere. And, they promised to bring MÖTLEY CRÜE next year again.
Sonisphere is still a young festival and as all things young, it requires a lot of improvement. But it’s surely out for a great start and we are very much looking forward to the next year! Thank you!

This report was written on behalf of and published at Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles
Pictures: Jana Blomqvist | Report: Tanja Caciur

You may not copy, modify or use this report anywhere without permission.

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