Bullet for My Valentine cancelled their visit to Finland. They were supposed to be opening for Iron Maiden in July. Substitute for BFMV is Amorphis.
Venue Review: Vastavirta-klubi, Tampere, FI
Yesterday my friend lured me to yet another punk gig with legendary Kakkahätä-77 headlining. The venue was at least as legendary Vastavirta-klubi in Pispala, Tampere.
Vastavirta-klubi is a small club located couple of kilometers from the town center. It has a quite long history and dedicated punk rocker customer base. The list of bands performed there along the years isn’t bad either and I got a good chance to explore this because of the brilliant choice of wall decoration: event posters. Unfortunately I can’t remember too many of the performers right now but I’d say MC5 is one of those worth mentioning. List of Vastavirta events can be found here: http://www.vastavirta.net/menneet13.html
And the venue suits quite perfectly for underground acts and fresh bands starting their career as well as the audience supporting these bands.
Vastavirta can hold up to 150 people and there is plently of free space in front of the stage. No tables, no chairs, no poles, nothing that doesn’t belong to a proper venue. Only the sea of people rocking and enjoying their heart out. I feel like the place has seen quite nice pits in time.
The stage itself is large enough for a group of 5 or 6 but not too wide to kill the atmosphere. The stage is no higher than your knee so you’ll stay in nearly touching distance with the band, therefore making it easier for the band to reach the crowd and keep up the atmosphere. Low stage also leaves you with plenty of room above your head.
The club is provided with surprisingly large arsenal of speakers and a huge sound board in the middle/back of the venue. The sound quality is good indeed, even though punk rock is not pushing it to the limits. Volume level is really loud like always but not painfully loud. All the sound is coming from the correct source and you can’t hear the acoustic drums.
There’s something to complain though. The speakers in front of the stage headed towards the band aren’t very firmly attached. High atmosphere and low stage causes people to basically fly head and hands first on the stage thus moving the speakers and making the band’s life little more difficult.
And then there’s the visuals. As I said before, the decoration on the walls is brilliant making your visit memorable. But during a performance everything fails miserably. I’m talking about the lights. They are simple, cheap and completely useless spotlights. And there’s only basic yellow, blue and red. But the color doesn’t matter anyway because you can’t really see the lights unless you look directly at them. That is because the house lights are on and the stage lights aren’t even nearly powerful enough to be seen anywhere except complete darkness. Slightly better use of the lights comes with a spinning mirror ball because of the actual movement of the light. But it can’t really be seen either from that crappy location and very poor yellow spotlight pointing at it.
The lack of visuals gives the band full resposibility to warm up the audience and keep up the atmosphere. There is no room for other than pure perfection in the performance because there is nothing to distract the demanding crowd. Not every band can pull it off and I salute those who can.
Of course some of the people might disagree about the importance of visuals and say the music is the reason everyone is in there. Yes, it is true the music and the performance are the most important parts of a good gig but with the experience of being at 36 events and seeing easily more than 100 performances I have to say apart from Gojira’s gigs the most memorable shows had rather outstanding visuals. And how many bands can reach the Gojira level of perfection? I’d say none of them.
In overall Vastavirta is perfectly built place for gigs with few technical things I’d like to improve but punk rockers don’t really give a shit. If you are into punk you need to visit this place. Otherwise it’s up to you.
Live photos from last night:
Finland’s Summer Music Festivals: Rock, Pop & Metal
With the Finnish winter being so long, and often quite harsh, it’s hardly a surprise that Finns celebrate summer with such enthusiasm. One of the staples of the Finnish summer season, along with mosquitoes, is the music festival. It would seem that any city or town of any size manages to have its own festival, in fact Discovering Finland has some 55 entered in the events listings, and that’s just the rock, pop, metal and electronic music festivals. If you’re visiting Finland this summer, there’s a good chance that you’ll find there’s a music festival happening somewhere, possibly near you. We’ve had a look at them all, and have selected 15 of the best for this coming summer, listed chronologically.