in Korso, Vantaa, Finland, July 31-August 1, 2004

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Saturday was a real challenge for festivalgoers this year. It did not just rain, it poured, and the ground ended up being a field of mud along with huge puddles of water. Varieties of rubber boots and rain gear were the fashion of the day. The weather may have had something to do with the atmosphere in the audience and on stage during the Backyard Babies set. Singer Nicke’s in-between song talks sounded a bit lost. The set didn’t really get going until the encore, which was a blast. Babies walked on stage with Danko Jones, Michael Monroe (Hanoi Rocks), and Nina Persson (Cardigans), and did “Friends” from their latest album, followed by “Brand New Hate” and “Minus Celcius.” The audience never knew what hit them, and the Babies were instantly forgiven for the lameness of the rest of their set.

Next up were Hanoi Rocks. The band, minus Monroe, came on stage playing the Batman theme. Everyone to the Batmobile! And when Monroe ran to the stage, they burst into “Obscured” from their latest and comeback album. The new guitar player looked the part, but somehow seemed to be holding back, although his playing improved since the songs were played a lot faster than at the last months show, where the new guitarist was first introduced. So evidently the boys had been practicing.

It was funny seeing Mike doing his stage antics, which include throwing the mike stand up in the air and hurling the mike in the air whilst holding its cord, and then remembering that there is a new guy on stage that he could hit by accident. It had stopped raining before Hanoi’s set, and Mike did say that he had made a deal with the man upstairs about the weather, but then it still started pouring during “Tragedy.” The band showed up on stage to do an encore, but were unfortunately out of time, or as Andy, in his ever so nice way put it, were denied by these assholes to play more.

Danko Jones did his best to beat the attraction of the beer tent with his show, and succeeded just fine. Danko himself headbanged so furiously that he ended up losing his earring, which he said has never happened before!

Sunday, August 1, 2004

Sunday’s weather was in total contrast to Saturday’s, except the field of mud was still there. The sun shined the whole day and this attracted a lot more people to the site than yesterday’s rain.

The Darkness must have been the most anticipated band of the day. There was a “Permission to Finland” sign in the audience which the band noticed too when they walked on stage. Justin has to be one of the cockiest performers ever with more than huge confidence. He got the audience clapping along even before they had started playing. Justin is a real entertainer, and his acrobatics with the guitar picks and his speeches were fun to watch and hear.

They started the set with an instrumental and dragged some songs on for a bit too long, but that must have been because they still lack material after only having one album out. As expected, Justin wore his now famous cat suit. Before they started playing “Love Is Only a Feeling,” Justin started singing the chorus a cappella and let the audience finish it. The front row was strangely enough filled with screaming teenage girls, who handled the higher and lower singing parts Justin asked the audience to do quite well. Is this a new Metal audience in the works? The only let down of The Darkness set was that it was too short.

Stratovarius played a typical “Strato” set. There were smiles to be seen on all the band members faces, at times, but somehow there was still a bit of a “walking on eggshells” feeling out there too. Kotipelto still avoided looking at Tolkki most of the time. The lyrics to “Destiny” got a whole new meaning in the light of Stratovarius’ future, which they oddly enough did not mention at all. Will their fans be seeing them once again?

To leave the festival site, one had to still pass through the mud field in front of the gates, but besides this, Ankkarock was indeed a good festival … even with its combination of the worst and best festival weather possible.


  • Metal-Katie

    Katie was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. She claims to have been born a Metalhead. At least she's been one as far as she can remember. She loves Metal music and she's ever so happy to see generation after another founding its charm. She's always interested in hearing new Metal bands and reading about them and their antics. She lives and breathes Metal, or at least her alter ego does.

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