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Kivenlahtirock 2014 | FESTIVALPHOTO

Kivenlahtirock 2014


Kivenlahtirock celebrated its 10th year in 2014. The festival, located just a tad west of Helsinki in Leppävaara, is a pretty generic yet fun city festival with no camping area. Casual would be a pretty accurate word to assess what the festival is all about - billing full of popular household names across all genres, large beer areas with good visibility to the stage, and competitively priced tickets (69 EUR for 2 days).

The festival area had a large 'picnic' grass area behind the food stalls. A good location for catching your breath and enjoying the sun sitting down between interesting bands. Other than that the small festival area didn't offer much out of the ordinary Finnish festival setup; a few food stalls, Alepa truck for affordable groceries and snacks and a truck for getting that festival tattoo you're likely to regret for the rest of your life.

Estonian Metsatöll, folk metal sung in their native language, opened up the main stage on Friday. The band's frontman is somehow oddly reminiscent of James Hetfield , perhaps because of his explorer shaped axe, or then it's just his heavy downstroking riffs. The setlist consisted mostly of newer Metsatöll material (especially the latest album Karjajuht has heavily represented), and disappointingly only the track Merehunt was played from the first three Metsatöll albums. The band's multi-instrumentalist Lauri is always fun to watch as he goes through his array of weird instruments throughout the set.

Anette Olzon, the former singer of Nightwish who got fired from the band in the middle of a tour in 2013, played her first solo show ever at Kivenlahtirock. Read more about Anette's first solo appearance in its own review.

The Rasmus, once the biggest hope of Finnish music exports, has been inactive for a good while now, after a few misses with their most recent albums not really taking off as expected. The band's set relied much on the band's older standout hits like No Fear, First Day of My Life and In The Shadows, that still clearly hit home for the crowd. Perhaps teenagers aren't really getting into The Rasmus anymore, but at least the past hits still work as a nostalgia tip for 20 and 30 somethings. Lauri's voice seemed a bit weak (poor mix?) at times, but the band still seemed to have good routine in delivering an entertaining show. Anette joined Lauri for a duet towards the end of the set, to perform October and April., a song she featured in during her time in Nightwish.

Hailing from Lahti City, Cheek, possibly the most popular Finnish artist of our time, had a bigger production this time around as opposed to his typical "Some dude behind a Macbook" setup. He brought with him two drummers, a number of backing vocalists, and was also joined by Diandra of Idols-fame to feat in a song. Mass psychosis ensued as the intoxicated festival crowd got to sing along to Cheek's array of radio hits. The most ridiculous performer award of the weekend goes to the second, standing drummer who stood behind the drumkit for the duration of the entire set.

Friday's headlining act was Within Temptation. Fronted by Dutchess Sharon del Adel and her very strong, broad ranged voice, the band strolled through a hit-heavy set with confidence. The band gets a lot of playtime on the air on both rock and pop radio stations, which explains a strong turnaround for the last show of the day and showed that the band clearly has a solid and enthusiastic fanbase in Finland.

The warm weather during the weekend got people on a jolly mood- the first too-drunken attendees were kindly escorted out of the area by the security on both days well before 4PM.

JVG and Tuomas Kauhanen represented the new generation of Finnish rap on the small stage on Saturday, while Uriah Heep played songs on the main stage all the way from 1970! The sympathetic grand old men had a great deal of energy, even despite the rough bronchitis the guitarist was apparently suffering from. A heartwarming set that was pleasure to watch, and probably no one minded that they took more than 5 minutes from JVG's set by still coming back for an encore to play "Easy Livin'" even after their playing time was already past due.

Stam1na, the band that you're more likely to find on a Finnish festival billing than not, for once played a non-goofy set with all band members wearing uniform black outfits. Opening with the crunching Rautasorkka, the band played a pretty mixed set of old and new leaving some of their biggest hits to give space for more rare tracks like Paperinukke.

Sonata Arctica's set in Kivenlahtirock was a special one, with the fans being able to vote online before hand for the tunes that the band would play in this special Kivenlahtirock show. This meant that the Kivenlahti crowd got to hear a 'best of' hit parade mostly from the band's earlier albums. As a non-fan, it felt like they were just playing the same paid in fulls and don't say a words that they always play anyway… Sonata's by request set consisted of these tracks: Victoria's Secret, My Land, Paid in Full, Last Drop Falls, The Cage, Replica, Full Moon, White Pearl Black Oceans, San Sebastian, Don't Say a Word.

If Cheek is the most popular male artist in Finland right now, Saturday's main slot was rightfully reserved for Jenni Vartiainen who is probably the most accomplished female artist today. At this point though it was time to wrap up the day and call it a festival. Kivenlahti Rock's 10th edition was well set up and organized, with a good value for money lineup. What's there not to like?

Writer: Lari
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