Paljassaare Rock Festival 2008
|Event:||Paljassaare Rock Festival|
Paljassaare Rock Festival by UnholyMenace (68)
Hello everyone. Some time has passed from my last gig review (writing them is quite a task and I'm lazy you know) but here I am now reporting about the Paljassaare Rock Festival that took place on May the 31th of 2008. How to explain what the happening was about... Well, in 2006 the corporation Tallinn Water and Hard Rock Club organised the first such happening which featured several local groups plus one British one. The event was free of charge for visitors. Last year's festival was already with tickets although these are really really cheap considering the fact that it's a festival. The tickets were awfully cheap this year as well especially while looking at the line-up which seemed quite rich.
Therefore a bunch of my acquaintances and I among whom also were several fellow Metalstormers made our way on that particular hot summer day (I know May's not yet summer but the weather was definitely killer regarding the month) to the Paljassaare peninsula in the northernmost part of Tallinn. I've got to say this was my first time visiting this forgotten and rather uncomfortably accessible district of the town. There's just a port there and in the end just wild nature and beach. The festival itself was located in the yard of the Paljassaare water cleaning station. The station where all the shitty water from the sewer flows to become purified again and to be set free to the wild nature again. Call it the purgatory of sewer liquids if it please you.
We entered the gates of the station yard and approached the stage. The festival grounds was particularly nice and enjoyable to be at. Clean, mowed lawn, small trees and hedges everywhere. Perfect place for a picnic if and that's what most people did. Quite a percentage of visitors were just lazing around on the grass, reading, sunbathing, doing nothing, listening to music. Meadows of miniature heaven. What I also enjoyed about this event was the small number of people attending it. No strife for the front rows, no utterly drunk people urinating onto passers-by, no excessive garbage dropping to anywhere but trashcans, no silly pogo dances nor moshpit casualties. Blessing I say. Also, there was little chance of losing your acquaintances inside the crowd.
The first band performing were Singer Vinger, an old Estonian punk-rock band from 1986 who are enjoying a mild cult status in our society nowadays. As they were the opening act of the day and most probably many people hadn't yet made it to the festival grounds and the rest of the people were too lazy to form a moshpit, they had just one or two people jumping/dancing in front of the stage and few others listening passively. Nevertheless they played fine in my opinion and I'd say they deserve to be honoured since they're our classics in their own field after all.
The other Metalstormers and I along with the others entered the small area surrounded partly by hedge and in larger scale by a small fence. The area where alcohol was sold and consumed. Since neither I nor a former schoolmate had cigarettes we had to exploit the kindness of others who were sitting there. Beer plus people plus interesting conversations (yes we all plotted about achieving world domination in future... actually not...or I don't remember....doesn't matter anyway...). Beer talk comes and leaves your mind as you all know. All this beer talk was accompanied by the music of the next act called Consciousness Removal Project. I don't remember any more where they were from. Might have been from Finland. The music was grand to warm us up and make us drink more beer and speak more beer talk but that's all it did. Another band to make our ale talk develop further was a young Estonian group called the Nymph. The host, famous Estonian rap musician G-Enka announced the music of the band to be as if Salma Hayek involved in lesbian sexual intercourse with Monica Bellucci. After such comparison I paid more attention to the work of this group and I'd say they did a fine job on stage. Their music is classified as alternative rock and fit the atmosphere of the festival fairly well.
A band that evoked more interest in me were Klimt 1918 from Italy. I heard they were supposed to perform gothic influenced metal and even searched for their earlier material and my first judgement was that they were in my opinion rather fine. Not perfect but fine. However, I must admit that their performance at Paljassaare remained a bit weak. Maybe it was the heat of the May day and the laziness of the audience or maybe that I eventually got tired of hearing "And here's another song from the forthcoming album Just In Case We Never Meet Again" slightly too often during the gig. We all ended up hanging around in the beer and picnic realms of the yard with the words "Just in case we never meet again" beginning to haunt our minds. Yes I like gothic metal but this particular day this particular Italian band remained bit too colourless and blunt for me. Subsequently we became just hungry and went on a search for food.
Food blessed food. The busy ladies from the kitchen of the once so wondrous pub Hades (which was closed down due to the court scandals started by an angry old lady next door who said she lost her job and health because of lack of sleep caused by bike-riding loud voiced talkative clients visiting the pub at late hours....oh well...cruel world...vicious elderly ladies) had prepared most tasty meals for us. After a while we sat down near the stage to enjoy the richness of meat, rice and vegetables in a delicious symbiosis. Another nice feature of the venue was the water which was absolutely free of charge in a special container inside the water cleaning station building. We enjoyed not only the cool water but also hot water (never actually seen people enjoying hot water that much before....I wonder what they do with it...).
'Twas a nice evening outside. The sun had started to descend slowly, giving the sky a golden touch visible from behind the stage through the semi-transparent veil covering the structure. The fir trees were standing tall and dark behind it. What could possibly serve as a better natural stage design for the highlight of the evening. Yeh, we're speaking of Negura Bunget here. New age metal. Just nature and folklore plus high quality extreme metal. So we gathered to the front row (major plus of events with few visitors) and started to wait for the Romanians to arrive and play something at last. They surely had most interesting equipment available on stage. Such as some adorned wooden frame with a wooden slab hanging in it (imagine a mix of a wooden mirror or a wooden guillotine and you'll get the idea). Later on we discovered that the guys of Negura used it for creating the special percussion effects by knocking on the slab of wood with small hammers. They also had a xylophone, pan(ic)pipe and an enormously lengthy horn. Like the horn on the bottle of the Estonian vodka Viru Valge but imagine it being five times longer.
The Romanians came and calmly set themselves ready behind their instruments. The show began and it was indeed a most atmospheric and haunting experience. Of course, they didn't focus on slower songs but played fast and aggressive tracks of their work mostly. Without any doubt we were offered the songs from "Om." They played "Norilor" and the audience were stunned by the sounds. It really doesn't even require to headbang nor pogo-dance in front of the stage. All the shades and beats of this music can virtually stun a person and overwhelm everyone fast. The bandmembers were all the time busy on stage running around and switching instruments, blowing the enormous horn, then the small whistles, then running to knock on the wood panel to make the woodpecker sounds, then creating the mystical xylophone passages. The nice curly-haired keyboard girl was enchanting behind her kit passionately forcing the torrents of atmospheric sound out into the summer evening air.
Don't ask me to remember all the setlist. I'm extremely bad at remembering the titles in Romanian language. However, I think it's a major plus if a band like that performs in their native language. It somehow gives the music so much greater power and feeling than using English all the time. For sure the band members didn't expect us to know their language just as we didn't expect them to understand us when we addressed them in our language. They still played "Hora Soarelui," the dance of the sun as they explained if I remember correctly. Thus as they performed the sun was with us and when they left the stage the sky became dark cold blue.
Greyish atmosphere suited well the next group. Our own Estonian pride Loits started straight away with the song "Haavad uulitsal," the song they made their newest video for. Nice, tragic, passionate, emotional. I must say they always perform very well live because the singer Lembetu has a fine vocal technique, combining both extreme and clean voice with very clear pronunciation of lyrics. The songs were neat and I may say that this was the point where the people awakened (you see we had nearly all been just lazing around all day long not paying much attention to the bands). The Negura Bunget bandmembers were standing among the audience. I hope our Estonian metal left them a positive impression. Loits also made us happy with their chef d'œuvres from their newest release "Must Album", namely "Emaraud" and "Soomusronglase silmis." Among the songs from the second release shone "Eluruun," "Aeg ärgata," and "Kodu." I didn't hear their old hits "Sinu mees, sinu vend, sinu poeg" and "Tõelised kuningad" though. That made me a bit sad that Loits left a bit early. They didn't perform any extra songs because they wished to free the stage for Turisas as soon as possible. As the official schedule stated, the concert had to end at eleven.
It was almost eleven and there was still no Turisas on stage. The minuses hit us like a group of asteroids colliding with a stellar body. The first minus was the fact that we were already tired of the day, then it was getting really chilly outside since the sun had already set plus the public transportation was about to cease any moment which would have meant that we couldn't get away from the station after the end of the gig. Most of our company left the yard for the bus stop. I was still waiting in front of the stage in the night which was growing chillier every minute and seeing that Turisas wouldn't be appearing in nearer future. So I left the festival, ran to the bus stop and caught up the others who were still waiting for the bus. After all Turisas were secondary for me and the main reason I wanted to visit the festival were Loits and Negura Bunget. I am very glad that I saw them and as much as I heard, Turisas had performed well.
In the end I'd like to say a thanks to UnholyMenace for uploading a gallery of the festival to Metalstorm so that everyone can check these illustrations out.
Guest article disclaimer:
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
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