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Главное Меню Борт-журнал: #57 (30.07.2010)

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Ilosaarirock 2010

Ilosaarirock. Presenting stars, fulfilling with tranquility


No matter how you are feeling when you arrive at the Finnish Ilosaari - the island of happiness - the atmosphere of joy and happiness will inevitably capture you. It doesn't matter that Joensuu - the town, where Ilosaarirock takes place, is provincial to the smallest stone of its main road. It doesn't matter that the list of participants will never be as impressive as those of the neighboring festivals. Year after year Ilosaarirock confidently starts and confidently finishes. This year marked the 39th consecutive year of the festival, and Ilosaarirock was sold out again, there were five separate stages and over 50 bands from Finland, Sweden, UK, Belgium, Holland, Serbia, Jamaica and the USA performed during the festival. On Saturday night the stage is still decorated with thousands of candles and then there are traditional fireworks. The rough coffee smell of the Finnish Province adds a unique charm to this festival.
This year Ilosaarirock met its guests on a sunny windy Friday and with some emotional calm. From the very beginning everybody has been talking only about Faith No More, however at the same time on the Ylex and Rekka stages you could already hear people singing along to some Finnish bands. Vesterinen Yhtyeineen for example - the group singing only in Finnish, but that didn't detract from their show this evening. Calm, beautiful, melodic songs somehow reminiscent of the Ukranian group Okean El'zy and in this case the native language comes exactly in the right place as well. Once you see them you realize that their music is something that your soul has been searching for and it is in someway a discovery. Because what really new can you find out about Mike Patton? He hasn't got any younger.


Ilosaarirock. Star Saturday


Friday lined up peacefully. Saturday started out with the loud Mokoma that was heard well enough even in the camping site of the festival. In a few hours the same stage was taken by Swedish Katatonia that performed with a great sound, and light show as well as a video shown on a screen behind the band. Jonas Renkse was shining in the crucifixion pose of Christ and did it so captivatingly that even skeptics couldn't question it. "July" in July for Ilosaarirock and "Evidence" with the everlasting question "will you read the letters I will send to you"… Lights, highlights, cigarette smoke - total immersion. And that was only mid- Saturday!
Passing from Katatonia to the main stage, where Tarot was in full control of their audience. Marko Hietala has a great beard and is still singing well - listening to him is always a great pleasure and so it was at Ilosaarirock-2010! We enjoyed Tarot right up to the moment when at the Ylex stage something completely different and extraordinary began. Imogen Heap from UK - a wonder in feathers literally, the English sister of Tori Amos (at least since here also was a spiritual cover to Leonard Cohen). A fragile young woman who did what no one was expecting anyone could do. Everyone stopped talking about Faith No More and began speaking of her as of a shining beacon of the modern music and agreed that she is the brightest star of the festival.
Actually, Imogen Heap, and that is her real name, deserves a separate article. Not only how this 32 year old singer collaborates with the audience, but what she does a capella is nothing short of amazing. This is indeed a very talented artist who has a great live performance.
Knowing Nick Kershaw and Guy Sigsworth, she preferred not to hide behind their mighty backs. Cooperating with famous musicians and at the same time recording soundtracks to "The Chronicles of Narnia" for example, Imogen Heap has been lucky enough to get a Grammy for her album of 2009 called "Ellipse". Having heard her at Ilosaarirock it is easy to confirm that she is in the greatest shape now and it will be extremely interesting to see how her music career will develop in the future.
Basically after the performance like that it was just fine to go home fully satisfied. But the festival went forward - Ismo Alanko, the Finnish David Bowie, was already capturing the main stage. Joensuu is his native town, he spent his childhood here. So, no surprise that he is a regular guest of Ilosaarirock. However, despite that his music is quite simple, listening to him again and again could be very nice and pleasant. Stylish, competent, full of life - everything to make the main stage's audience cheered enough on the chilly Saturday eve.
And then it was UNKLE. UNKLE live on the Ylex stage - unbelievable, but fact. And it's ok that critics were sighing, "UNKLE…, what don't we know about UNKLE…". No need for that whispering - they were just the best. Excellent sound, fascinating videos, famous songs, very famous songs, new and very new ones - everything in a single breath and totally engaged with their audience. They went beyond their allotted one hour, and have stolen five minutes of precious attention from Bad Religion, the greatest band of all times. Naughty boys! The best musicians, big artists - an endless appreciation for their creation.
So, Bad Religion were already on the main stage, surrounded with thousands of flickering candles, and presented themselves as the apotheosis of the evening. Everything is just fine with them without any big changes. Greg Graffin is also well preserved and was bubbling from the stage quite a lot. He informed the audience that the participants of the festival and fans must influence the organizers somehow so that they would invite the band for the festival more often. Against the background of the faded performance it was not quite clear how much of a joke was there. Also the front man announced that since the USA hasn't got George Bush at the helm anymore, literally: "we can leave the country". So what is left - is to be very happy for Americans after all. And thus the first day of Ilosaarirock was finished.


Ilosaarirock. Tranquil moods

Sunday wasn't overloaded with star names so there was a good chance to have a nice walk around the town of Joensuu, swim in the lake and once again enjoy this calm atmosphere, the feeling of total safety and peace. The real forest smell of conifer, the small hint of hay, cool Karelian breeze - the best desired gift to any megapolis citizen. And above that even more good music - Biffy Clyro from UK for example. Their performance was cheerful - a very English band. Too much of drums though, however the audience was shaken well enough!
At the same time on the Rento stage that is placed on the bank of the lake, Serbian Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar were cheering up the guests of the festival as well. Good Balkan music and non pretentious was fitting just in the right place in the right time: people were dancing, singing and having fun.
A bit latter the reggae man Ziggi from Holland performed on that stage and did it ordinarily, however successfully. The audience appreciated him as well - probably because the atmosphere of Rento stage always inspires for the good rest and positive vibrations.
And then stormy clouds started to capture the heaven above Joensuu, Faith No More talking became even louder, the press-center closed, VIP-caf? was finishing its work. But before the culmination few hours were still left and at that exact moment Amorphis overtook the main stage.
It's needed to underline that Amorphis was just at a time - they really rocked Ilosaari for the first time during the whole Sunday. It was great listening and watching them and if anyone was still missing Pasi Koskinen this is the best time to stop doing so. Tomi Joutsen is ruling the band just fine, with self-forgetful inspiration sakes his dreadlocks, wears very fashionable jeans and what is quite important sings perfectly well. Sings, for example, "Alone" from Am Universum album and does it, have to admit, better than Pasi. So this splendid performance of Amorphis lead the evening closer to its culmination, Ilosaarirock has got still.
In front of the main stage thousands of participants of the festival gathered all together - standing, sitting, laying down. The screens were awaked by a promising massage "Faith No More". Roar of the crowd, security nervousness, but at 10.15 p.m. sharp - strictly according to the schedule - Mike Patton and the friends arrived to the stage. Quite confidently they have sung one hit after another "Evidence", "Easy", "Just a man"… Patton was spitting the water to nowhere, was tearing off the coat, was grabbing the operator's camera with the operator and shaking them hard - in short, was mightily emulating in style of the 80's. And though Faith No More are still impressive enough and still look quite well in their suits, something has gone and has remained somewhere. Evidently in the history and apparently forever.
And then to everyone's disappointment it started to rain. Rain was getting harder, yet the music was lasting for a long time; Ilosaarirock slowly has flown together with the falling night and ended imperceptibly, melted in the echo of undoubtedly great group, but the group of the past.
And in the morning the camping site drifted in one big puddle all together. Then you are left with the bright memories of how you chewing a straw gathered in an endless Finnish field, taking a deep view of the nice lake, watching guys from Biffy Clyro close enough, hearing riffs of Amorphis, will finally hurry up to the main stage to enjoy the sound and the light and the great music. As you float with the thousands in the crowd on the united current of happiness and fall to thinking and feeling the complete tranquility far from the life stresses, planes, trains and highways. Ilosaarirock imparts this feeling, make it last as long as you can until you come back again. Someday, for sure.

Tanya Marinkina
photo by Ksenia Nikitina

in russian

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