in Helsinki, Finland, January 28-29, 2005

Last weekend saw the first ever Metal Meeting Expo in Helsinki, Finland. The Expo was aimed at business people as well as Metal fans, along with everyone who has an interest in the Finnish Metal scene and Metal music in general. The purpose of this meeting was to make Finnish Metal more known, and at the same time give those who work in Metal a chance to mingle and make new business contacts.

So what you got was a two-day Expo with display booths ranging from record companies to Metal magazines, promoters, Metal gear, instruments and CD stores. All in all, it was like a candy store for your average Metalhead! There were tons of competitions being run, and in almost every stall you could fill in a form to take part in competitions. The prices went from promo material to concert tickets to magazine descriptions and music gear.

And while the expo activities took up half of the hall, the front was reserved for the concerts. This hall was not the best place to have concerts, so the sound did suffer a bit. The opening slots were reserved for the bands that took part in the Hilselinko competition, for which the winner was going to take home a opening slot at the Tuska Festival in Helsinki next summer and a recording deal. The price went to SinKing, who could be seen playing on January 29th.

The headlining acts were Mnemic (Den) and Tarot on the 28th, and Finntroll, Velcra, and Sonata Arctica on Saturday, the 29th. Sonata fans took over the hall on Saturday, and everywhere you looked you could see a Sonata shirt. Sonata ended the festival with a solid performance. Singer Kakko looked like he has been lifting some weights — he seemed bulkier and more steady on his feet. Sonata seems to just get better and better, and Kakko’s confidence seems to just keep growing while his vocals and his whole performance gets more relaxed. The whole band was in fine from and played both old and new songs, and the audience was singing along to them all. Sonata has a fanatic following around the globe, and fans from overseas could be spotted at the Expo too.

At the breaks between the bands you could watch fashion shows of Metal clothes, challenge the female Finnish arm wrestling champion into a battle, and in the evening there was even a Metal karaoke being held at the bar. The only complaint would go to the poor collection of catering. There were only sausages and ribs with French fries on sale, so the vegetarians in the audience lost out.

There was also a guitar clinic being held on both days where Finnish guitar players could be seen showing their skills, and they were there to answer any questions the crowd might have. A young newcomer, Petteri Sariola, amazed the crowd on Saturday with his skills on acoustic guitar, and got enormous applause for his performance. The crowd didn’t want to let him leave the stage. Sariola also showed that he has guts by playing a medley, which included a version of the Bee Gees hit “Staying Alive.”

There was plenty to see, tons of people to mingle with, and good music being played, so one would have to conclude that the expo held good value for the money, since the tickets were only 20 euros per day.


  • 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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