at Seinäjoki, Finland, June 16-18, 2006

Time has brought many changes to one of the oldest festivals still going in Finland. It used to be that Provinssirock marked the start of summer festivals. These days the whole festival has been moved further into the summer, and thus has lost its place as the first major festival of the summer to Sauna Open Air. Another change, which many may not look upon with such warmness, is the fact that most of the live music being offered at the festivals these days is heavily leaning towards Harder Rock.


If you were there on Friday the 16th, you had a chance to witness the reincarnation of Alice In Chains (AIC). One of the intriguing points (to visiting foreigners at least) was the fact that AIC played well after midnight and it was still fairly light outside. This being an excellent chance to see why they call Finland the Land of the Midnight Sun.

This year, the festival was plagued with unfortunate cancellations. First, Sunday’s headliner, Korn, cancelled and then the hot media darlings Coheed and Cambria did the same. Speculations on the net about possible replacements gave added excitement to this year’s festival.


On Saturday, Deftones were the first of many Metal-oriented bands to appear. Chino and co. were in fine form and played a mixed set of older and new material. The newer material sounded moody and a bit too introverted for a festival crowd. Most cheers were given to the songs where old school Nu-Metal influences showed, and Chino screamed so intensely that he turned red.

Next up for the Metal crowd were Strapping Young Lad (SYD), whose singer Devin entertained the crowd with his insightful, yet funny, remarks about the audience. The guy wearing a green bunny suit seemed to interest Devin a lot, and this led into “all hail the bunny” yells. Lucky for fans, he didn’t spot the customary naked man in the crowd too. All joking aside, the band’s playing was seriously entertaining and spot on. Based on their showing at this gig, many in the audience will most likely be seeking out the upcoming SYD release.

Most members of the sold out Saturday crowd had come to see Him. Their stage set up was the most elegant of the festival, with all the chandeliers and candles. If you came to hear all the hits, then you got what you asked for.


On Sunday, Soulfly woke up the crowd with their energized set, which (to the pleasant surprise of many) included plenty of Sepultura tracks. For some strange reason, the smoke machine went berserk during Soulfly’s set, and the first part of their show was played behind a wall of smoke. Now that Soulfly’s guitarist has given up wearing that ridiculous backpack on stage, he is starting to grow into an eye-catching guitar wizard. There even seemed to be more than the usual amount of guitar solos and jams added into the set. Despite the warmly welcomed Sepultura songs, the set still ended with the customary “Eye for an Eye” with Max wearing a jersey of Finland’s Hockey team.

Next up were the young British wonders Bullet For My Valentine. Many, no doubt, were interested to see for themselves if all the hype was true. These young lads already sure do have some devoted fans since some of the young Goth girls reserved their place in the front row by taking their places as soon as the gates opened and hanging onto them all day. That’s some serious devotion. The Goths weren’t the only ones interested in these young Brits, since the crowd that gathered around to see them did not even fit into the area, since the band was not playing on the main stage but on one of the side stages. There wasn’t even room for a mosh pit, that’s how packed the area was. Sadly, the order of the day for Bullets seemed to be to keep everything to a minimum, since there wasn’t much in-between song chatter, and the set only lasted measly 45 minutes!

For the close up of the festival, Korn had been replaced by Swedish In Flames, who seem to visit Finland at every turn. Nothing against the band themselves, but after such a long weekend in the sun, it seemed like a good idea to head home early to beat all that return traffic. In Flames did seem to be in fine form and looked happy to be on stage. It was good to see Anders looking and sounding confident again, after being a bit lost and not quite sporting the required charisma to pull off a headliner show during their own tour earlier in the year.

As all who are familiar with Provinssirock know, this festival is more about hanging out with your friends than it is about the bands. Sure, it’s the bands that pull you there, but it’s the atmosphere that draws you back time and time again. They don’t call this festival the one made for people without a reason. The warmness and hospitality of staff and festival goers alike is what gives this festival it’s unique feeling. Where else do they treat the front rows like v.i.p. customers by giving them as much water as they want to drink on a steamingly hot 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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