Rabarock 2006

Event: Rabarock 2006
Written by: Ivor
Published: 19.06.2006

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Rabarock 2006 by Ivor (42)
Table of Contents
1 Introduction
2 Friday: the beginning
2.1 Brides in Bloom
2.2 Oomph!
2.3 No-Big-Silence
2.4 The Misfits
3 Saturday
3.1 Ultima Thule
3.2 Korpiklaani
3.3 Rosta Aknad
3.4 Hardcore Superstars
3.5 Onu Bella Bänd
3.6 Negative
3.7 The Skreppers
3.8 Kreator
3.9 Metsatöll
3.10 The Cooper Temple Clause
4 Epilogue
5 Links


1 Introduction

Rabarock - the biggest rock festival in the Baltic States, if the slogan is to be believed. It may not be big by world standards but it sure is a big event in Estonia; raising excitement and bringing together those who eat Metal on a daily basis as well as those who normally prefer Rock served to somebody else... or none at all.

As is usual for me I knew few bands from the line-up and practically none of the foreign headliners. I didn't even bother to listen to the guests, or read about them for that matter, beforehand. As I've said before - tabula rasa experience is a way to surprises. Not because you don't know what to expect but mainly because you don't expect anything at all. Not expecting for a hit-song amounts to a much more sincere impression.

2 Friday: the beginning

As is usual for me, again, I was late the first day for various reasons and missed the first half of the first day line-up. It was a bit later that I was told that Finnish band Cleaning Women had been good and that it would have been entertaining to have seen these guys making music on an instruments put together from washing machine parts and cleaning devices. On the other hand, I was told from someone else that they had been a disappointment. So, to be fair, I won't judge the band that I haven't seen. I'll only agree on the matter that it would have been interesting to check them out.

I don't regret missing Slide-Fifty as I know nothing about them at the moment. I don't mind skipping Estonian legendary Punk band J.M.K.E. as I've seen them live quite a number of times. That is a band that knows what Punk is and how to serve it well so I figure they didn't let their fans down. I caught an audio-glimpse of the Suburban Tribe show while I was outside the festival ground seeking for a place where I could get a press pass. Despite the fact that the sounds that reached me made me think that Suburban Tribe is not something I would listen to usually, I think I need to see and hear them properly to form a credible opinion.

2.1 Brides in Bloom

Having set up my tent on the second camping ground some 400-500 meters from the festival ground entrance I gathered my stuff and went to check out the first band I was able to see - Brides in Bloom. I've seen them once some two years ago or so and I've been on two festivals that they were playing since then but I missed them both times. This time however, I got what I wanted. Good (Hard) Rock that was delivered well. Brides in Bloom are not a band I would be listening usually at home because I consider their live performances more entertaining. Live their music is filled with enjoyable passion becoming more alive. Their playing style is not fast-paced but melodious guitars with great solo spots and a charismatic singer made it a worthwhile experience to see them on stage again.



2.2 Oomph!

Now here comes a surprise! I have heard Oomph! is a big thing in Germany but I've never bothered to check them out. Turns out their music is an interesting mix of Industrial with an Electronic touch reminding me of Rammstein. Not a surprising parallel considering the similarities in style, singing in German and hailing from Germany. However, leaving the comparison aside, I must admit that Oomph! gathered a big crowd during their show that was outnumbered by few other bands during the festival. Oomph!, and particularly their singer Dero, know their way around the stage and a good way of interacting with the crowd. I don't know how many songs they performed from older albums but their last album certainly dominated the set list; "Du willst es doch auch" and "Gott ist ein Popstar" were but a few of the memorable tunes.



2.3 No-Big-Silence

Estonian Electro Industrial Metal band No-Big-Silence released their new album just about two months ago; and that after a six year break. No-Big-Silence attracts people with varied tastes of music not only because of the mix of different styles but because they are good at it. Catchy rhythms get the crowds easily going. Moreover, again I must say that No-Big-Silence is one of the bands that is far more enjoyable live than on the album. It's not the first time I've seen them live but "She's Got Hyper Power," "Diabolic Speed" or "War in Wonderland" are kicking songs to be heard live. Colorful performance with a bit of pyrotechnical effects made No-Big-Silence a successful choice for the festival line-up.



2.4 The Misfits

Legends or not, The Misfits were a complete disappointment for me. I figured the first day headliner could offer more than they did. I've heard little of their stuff but in my opinion it was superior to their live performance. Maybe it's that I'm not used to Punk on such a grand scale and especially at such a loud volume but all the songs seem alike. The pace seemed faster, guitars drowned some of the vocals and sometimes it was hard to distinguish anything in the songs. In the end I was just left with a pair of memorable songs and an impression of tadadada-song-title-one-two-three-tadadada... Meh! Colorful show but only visually which is a great pity because I don't think that The Misfits were intended as a misfitted headliner.



3 Saturday

After a good night's sleep in the tent the beautiful morning greeted people, the Sun was ablaze, promising a hot day. People went around to find friends, to catch some food, and enjoy the weather. The camps were organized well enough not to make the place seem crowded. True, I was in the second camp and know practically nothing of the first one but Rabarock impressed by being well organized. The first band came on stage at 1 PM leaving plenty of time for everybody to wake up.

3.1 Ultima Thule

No, this is not the Swedish rock band associated with skinhead movement. Ultima Thule is an Estonian rock band with a long history of quality music. When Ultima Thule plays one can expect to get nothing less than a high-class performance. The appearance on Rabarock was a homecoming gig for Ultima Thule, especially for guitarist and singer Riho Sibul. Once again they performed without their occasional singer Tõnis Mägi which is pity because Thule sounds even more interesting with Mägi. I've seen the band live many times and this appearance was their usual good performance. The only problem that I'm starting to have is a deja vu feeling because their set list doesn't change much.

3.2 Korpiklaani

The Finnish Folk Metal band aroused interest the moment they appeared a couple of years ago. Although their recent album was a bit less interesting than previous ones this was one of the bands I waited for. They came on stage happy to be there and with the cans of the only right beer for the rock festival - Saku Rock. Accordion, violin, big antler attached to the microphone pole, making it look like Harley Davidson, and Humppa flavored Folk Metal is what made this band attractive. Not surprisingly many songs were taken from the new album with occasional older tunes here and there. Korpiklaani enjoyed themselves on stage and were opening and throwing beer cans in the crowd during "Beer Beer" song. All in all a great performance in the high heat of the day.



3.3 Rosta Aknad

Peeter Volkonski is a legendary figure in Estonia, not only in music but also in theater. Rosta Aknad is a resurrection of a project dating back to the end of 1980's. The songs of Rosta Aknad are based on the 1917 Russian Revolution poetry of Vladimir Mayakovski. Naturally, the singing had to be done in Russian. But Rosta Aknad was more than simple poetry with music: the combination of Volkonski's theatrical performance, experienced musicians and good rock music is what made it an experience. It was probably a bit unappealing to many people for not being simple music but that is the reason why it impressed me so much. Seems you can always count on Volkonski.



3.4 Hardcore Superstar

Initially I didn't intend to see this band but I figured I'd give them a chance and I'm actually glad I did. It was an interesting change. Hardcore Superstar are full of energy on stage and have a kicking drive in their music which drags you along. Their music is catchy and high credit must be given to their musicianship because they came out with style when the main stage had problems with guitar amps. They didn't interrupt the song that had just begun - they simply jammed on drums and bass while vocalist Jocke interacted with the crowd and keeping the show going until the problem was solved. This band was definitely a surprise for me.



3.5 Onu Bella Bänd

This was something I didn't wait for; Onu Bella is not someone I rank high among the stars, although many people do think otherwise. Onu Bella did stir the crowds with his appearance back in the RockSummer days; however, he didn't impress me and didn't make me change my mind. True, their music involves the fun factor, all kinds of different sound-making widgets, singing vulgarly about anything and everything - a parody. It's fun, but it doesn't appeal to me much, not this one, even though the music background was a decent Rock. I figure this band is far more suitable on a beer festival and is not to be taken seriously at any given time.



3.6 Negative

I think Negative was the only band I didn't bother to watch completely and took a lunch break. Not because they were bad or anything. It's simple, I think Negative was boring on stage. At least their longing heart-braking atmosphere simply didn't click with me in the heat of the day. It's hard to get into their music with Sun blazing. However, such circumstances laid aside, I figure Negative performed rather well.



3.7 The Skreppers

I heard that Finnish band Kometa was a big thing a year ago on Rabarock. Well, The Skreppers somewhat reminded me of Kometa, sound-wise. Not entirely but they had some twist to their music. If I mentioned earlier that I didn't like Onu Bella's styled parody then I respect The Skreppers' efforts. Their music is not all good and interesting but the songs that are good and fun are really good and fun. For example: "Dog I Wanna Be Your Bone," "Jesus Saved My Sexlife," "Simsala Bimsala," and "Udai Rock" - especially the last one. How many bands do you know that have dedicated a song to Saddam Hussein's brother Udai? That really rocked. If you add to it the peculiar image of the band, the I-don't-care attitude of some members on stage, and tight costume and high heels of the male singer, you get a peculiar band that maybe is not the next big thing in music but is a good past-time if taken easily.



3.8 Kreator

Kreator was not good. Not really bad either but they didn't impress me. It seems that many bands with a long history and a large fan-base fail to impress me. But that's my personal problem. Kreator was powerful on stage and tried to pull the crowd along with their classics like "Pleasure to Kill." To me it seemed that there was too little enthusiasm for their tastes. There was, however, one serious flaw: like Hardcore Superstar, Kreator had problems with guitar amps. There simply was no more guitar to be heard. But unlike Hardcore Superstars, Kreator lacked the style to overcome the problems. When the guitar was lost again it seemed they didn't want to acknowledge the problem and played on. It's not fun to watch a guitarist play a solo without a single peep coming out. All in all, even though Kreator did rather well in the end, the outcome is not impressive enough for such a band.



3.9 Metsatöll

Metsatöll has become a phenomenon in the Estonian music scene, first conquering the hearts of Metal crowds and now heading to conquer all the rest. Their powerful Folk Metal songs with wolf and Estonian ancient history as the main lyrical themes seem to go down well on people. If you were a bystander and looked at the crowd during Metsatöll you'd say they were the headliners of the whole festival. No other band gathered so many people during the festival. People thickly together, enjoying what was given to them from stage. The anger, the fire and fireworks - Metsatöll rocked really hard. I reckon any foreign band coming to Estonia to headline a festival should be aware that they may get a lot less attention than Metsatöll. Lahinguväljal näeme! Raisk!



3.10 The Cooper Temple Clause

Most of the crowd dissimilated after Metsatöll. The big event was past. However, there were still enough people who lingered to see The Cooper Temple Clause. I lingered out of curiosity because I hadn't even heard the name of this band which treated their audience with nice Rock. At times they reminded me of typical British Pop-Rock in the vain of U2 or Oasis and at times reminded me of Anathema with similar atmosphere of hope, experimental nature of the music, and fiddling with amps and controls. The Cooper Temple Clause was a very good choice for the last act of Rabarock to create a pleasant farewell atmosphere late in the night. The only thing that really disturbed me was the closing song that went completely disco for my tastes. Other than that, they were really good.



4 Epilogue

All in all I'm impressed with Rabarock. I enjoyed the choice of bands, discovering the bands I didn't know about, I enjoyed the weather and the people I met. Festivals can never feature bands so that you would be impressed by every last one of them, and in the heat of the day an occasional break is needed anyway. The organization of the festival was strict and went without notable problems. The stages were apart enough for sound-checks not to affect the gig on the other stage notably. However, I would complain about Heavy Karaoke which was on the opposite side of the second stage and made too much distracting noise. Other than that I think the sound was good and loud enough, maybe a bit too much. But I always tend to feel that the sound is too loud. The only real flaws were the guitar problems on the main stage during Hardcore Superstars and Kreator.

So, to sum it up.
In: Oomph!, No-Big-Silence, Korpiklaani, Rosta Aknad, Metsatöll, The Cooper Temple Clause.
Out: The Misfits, Onu Bella Bänd, Negative, Kreator.



5 Links

Slide-Fifty: http://www.slidefifty.com
Cleaning Women: http://www.cleaningwomen.com
J.M.K.E. http://www.jmke.ee
Suburban Tribe: http://www.suburbantribe.com
Brides In Bloom: http://www.bridesinbloom.ee
Oomph!: http://www.oomph.de
No-Big-Silence: http://www.no-big-silence.com
The Misfits: http://www.misfits.com
Korpiklaani: http://www.korpiklaani.com
Hardcore Superstars: http://www.hardcoresuperstar.com
Negative: http://www.gbfam.com/negative
The Skreppers: http://www.skreppers.com
Kreator: http://www.kreator-terrorzone.de
Metsatöll: http://www.metsatoll.ee
The Cooper Temple Clause: http://www.thecoopertempleclause.co.uk

Thanks to Rabarock and Ingrid Peek


 



Written on 19.06.2006 by
Ivor
I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.
More articles by Ivor ››




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Mindheist - 19.06.2006 at 14:49  
Well,Very nice review,but i don't agree that Rabarock is not the biggest rock festival in the scene,it may not be the best one,but personally i find it excellent as well as Ozzfest or Wacken Open Air ,just try in 2007 to bring bands as Behemoth and Amon Amarth...
FrozenSky - 25.06.2006 at 15:21  
It is a shame that you missed Cleaning Women - they were realy fun to watch. Damn those guys have a lot of fantasy.

Yeah agree about Korpiklaani, it rocked! I was one of the lucky ones who got free beer from the Korpiklaani guys.

I must disagree about Kreator. They gave a realy good/powerful show. It was lame though that they had those guitar amp problems. Looking back now at the pictures taken from Kreator show it seems that the crowd was rather cold though (except the moshpit in front of the stage ofcourse).

And it seems that Metsatöll totally stole the fame from the Headliner of the second day.
Mardus - 30.06.2006 at 00:40  
I really enjoyed Kreator and Onu Bella.
Korpiklaani was also quite good but I had heard like 1-2 songs before and I think that was the major factor why I didn't enjoy them so much. Metsatöll was also pretty good but I have seen them so many times that I decided to skip after few songs.
ExtraHachse - 24.06.2010 at 19:52  
Oomph! was great

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