Rockfest 2023 - Day 3
Hyvinkää Airfield, Finland
Hot and even sunnier Saturday. Popeda had the Finnish Hymn as the intro tape and started rocking straight away. Audience was already warm for the band, as the sun was blasting from the clear sky. I think they appeared to touch the widest range of audiences’ soul and the band was a perfect fit for the current circumstances – people were dancing, partying and singing along before four o’clock. The mood was just right. I loved the fact they had brass section with them, adding their hard rock a little more timeless and jazzy feel. My favourite song Lihaa ja perunaa appeared on the set too, whoop.
Then again, Turmion Kätilöt were in a wrong spot playing in the hot sunlight in the middle of the day. Though audience appreciated them playing, it felt to me they should’ve been in the tent at sundown laying down their rave-esque metal grooves. Musically the set started to feel a little repetitive, though I love many of their songs. Nonetheless, they put out a great show. Teurastaja!
Michael Monroe was energetic and joyful act to watch. Their hard rock feels stylish and unique. If I didn’t know them from before I’d guess they originate from New York. I’ve seen Hanoi Rocks many times after the reunions and had most of their albums, but Monroe’s band has been in a blind spot. The charisma about them is something you don’t often see these days and always gets my humblest respect. During the show I went for the makeup of Saturday – it was time to become Abbath.
Igorrr was one act I’ve been curious to see a while and happily got the chance now. Their infusion of blackened progressive metal, jungle/d’n’b (insert electronic music genre here) breaks, opera style singing mixed with screaming and even baroque music worked out well in the live situation. I was just staring with my mouth open most of the time.
Danzig blew my mind. If Pantera didn’t play on Thursday, I’d say this was the best performance of the whole festival by landslide. Danzig delivered the heavy blues with such a depth and soul, it hit me just inthe right spot. Their stage was just like I hoped Mötley Crüe would’ve had; all black, no backdrop, nothing that wasn’t needed. Side screens were decorated with the first album’s - which they played entirely; can it get any better – cover art. That’s it. The music did the thing, each member of the band is a trimmed professional and proud of it in a healthy way – and giving the audience the best they got.
Danzig didn't allow to take any photos!
The Hellacopters performed well and delivered their feel-good rock ‘n’ roll with tight grip, but I wasn’t capable to receive, still being overwhelmed by Danzig. Holy smokes, what a gig! Mother!
Grandma once said, “if you don’t have anything good to say, remain silent”. Though I don’t completely agree with this wisdom, Volbeat provoked pretty much only thoughts better left unsaid. The breakthrough hit song was almost close to ok, and I was happy to hear the bit far away from the parking lot. Anyhow, Rockfest 2023 wrapped up and we had a blast.
There’s a whole lot of amusement in the area. You’ve got “Raivoomo” – I’ll freely translate it “Ragery” -which is a room with only you, home electronics etc. junk and baseball bat. Ferris wheel, even helicopter rides were available. Plenty of places where to fill your cup or get a new can of some decently priced cold beverage and sit down at a table. Place to get piercings done. A podium with a video camera revolving around it where a person or a little group could be filmed for a cool short clip to be sent to you and shared with the world instantly. All sorts of great stuff.
But there was no place for solitude and quiet, gathering thoughts (though the media area surely existed just for this) and laying your eyes on something else than the, in the end rather soulless, festival area. Don’t get me wrong, it fits well for the purpose and anyway and one could say Rockfest is about the bands, the people and having good time, not the actual setting. Still, it takes place in an old airfield - and there’s not a lot of magic in those as they come.
So, the nearby forest outside the festival area was my place to take a break from the grind. Just sitting alone on an old fallen tree trunk, thinking nothing, listening to birds chirping before getting back into the action.
Talking about hot dogs, the festival area was pretty much identical to the setting of previous year. Had the same great doggos last year and knew already where to find them this year. The area is very practically arranged open space, and everything worked for the whole three days perfectly. No hour-long queues, no scarcity of anything, clean toilets and festival area. Friendly and professional staff. Only downside can be found at the traffic arrangements when arriving and departing the parking lot, but with little scheduling and by making little compromises one can skip most of the jams. We did learn the hard way.
Rockfest - see you next year!