Location: Korjaamo, Helsinki (Finland)
By: Sabine van Gameren
Blow Up festival takes place in a bit unusual venue. Surround by trams from the museum it holds the place has an unique atmosphere. We were visiting on the Saturday.
The first band was playing in the Attic. A beautiful room with gorgeous lights hanging from the ceiling. Nykypost is providing us with some spoken word. Interesting to watch but as your report is not quite fluent in Finnish it is a bit hard to say anything about that.
What did stand out from the performance was the visual art one could watch on the screen. Smoothly put together and giving the atmosphere a boost. An interesting start of the evening.
Lustmord opens the large stage today. He describes his own work as ‘weird shit’ which we can relate too. The visual art is here also key for the atmosphere. Dungeon like environments, clouds flowing down with the artist standing right there in the middle having these soundscapes roll into the area and impress the audience. It reminded me a bit to Mortiis era I.
It has been quite some years that Ahab crossed out path but this rendez vous soon proved to be an interesting one. The German Doomsters have been around for over 15 years and have set themselves a name out there.
Greenish lights are filling the stage, the fog is creating some mystery and the guys are the first ones that give an energetic performance as the previous acts were quite static. The band’s latest release dates back to 2015 so the are not giving us something we have not heard before, but that recognizable sound certainly helps to get into their set.
Strongest are the vocals here tonight for the heaviness it brings. The binding factor in here.
In the smaller hall we are waiting for Rippikoulu to make an entreance. The band has a long history as they started in 1990. The band is making a combination of Death and Doom and when starting their set I was having the expectation they would have a bit faster pace then they did maybe a bit of the punk look helped with that, but instead they take their time to built up some tensions.
Lyrically we can’t help you as the band is going in Finnish but the passion that they have while performing it makes up for that. The guys never seemt o have made it to a whole album, but perhaps they have intentions to make one. We can’t tell, but what we do know that they awakened some curiosity. Let’s see if we hear from them again.
Lana Del Rabies was quite something. A beautiful ladie with her desk and when we saw this we were worried it would be another static show but oh boy, we could not be more wrong. This lady lives her music. The facial expression, the mimics and vocals are in line. And also, we lost count on how often she jumped offstage to go around the crowd, coming up close and make people feel slightly intimidated. We are in Finland after all and the personal space is a great good here. But then again, there is something intriguing about this performance we witnessed. By far the best of the evening.
Eyehategod is one of the bands that seem to be the one that brings people in. Funny, as the band also played the festival the day before. The guys seem quite relaxed on the stage, talking to the audience and ask them who of them had also seen the set of the day before. Quite many as it seems, and satisfied as they are the band sets in their set.
The guys are playing quite a solid set but don’t really come close to their audience, keeping some distance they seem to find more comfortable. Musically it takes a while to feel a connection too if you have not been actively listening to this band. You need to invest some time to get the best out of a show like this. But when done you will see the guys are putting a lot of energy into their playing and leave the rest for what it is. Surely has its charm!
LLNN was playing next. Although the guys are quite energetic they did not really made much of an impression onto me. After watching the show for a few songs I felt like there is not too much of it that speaks for their identity. What is it that defines them? Not really something that makes me want to watch much further so after about 20 minutes it felt like it was time to move on, which I did. Sometimes the connection, just ain’t there.
When Dragged Into Sunlight were touring
with Mayhem about two years ago we already spoke out on how we felt
about bands playing with their back to paying customers so let’s not
bother with that again too much. Nothing has changed, they still do
Musically, the band seems more tight than before. Playing it with the right amount of intensity helps bringing the mood along and while their drummer is the only one to oversee the audience he seems also the one who makes most impression today. His passionated way of banging them drums is making the show a bit more interesting to watch. Blow Up’s audience seems content with it although it may not have been the band who got the most enthusiastic response here today.
HIDE certainly drew attention, a good looking lady screaming onto some music while making some dramatic moves on stage is perhaps something not everyone may appreciate, but we do have some likings for that at first. However, it is something that becomes a bit repetitive, have you been there for a while you feel yourself wondering if this track is maybe not the same as the one they played before, or maybe the one before that?!
Then you look around and start to question how many of these people are there because of the music and how many are there to stare at the well-shaped lady simply because there is enough on display. A little more variation would have made the show better although the concept captivated us at the first songs.
As a final act we get back to the attic, where we also started our evening. We saw a wide range of bands tonight and closing it off will be something a bit more conventional, especially if you compare it to the previous act. We did not watch the whole set tonight but the first couple of songs seem quite relaxed and with the audience being in a cheerful mood, having a drink on hands the guys seem to entertain well.
A good closure of a day in a remarkable location.