Knotfest had a pleasure to land this year in Turku, Finland. It was Finland’s first time to guest Knotfest and at the same time third for the whole Europe. While arriving on the zone it was clear that festival was going to be huge. There were long lanes for wristband exchange or just buying one day tickets. VIP also had its own lane for entrance. Also, main stage could be seen far away already, and stage size was telling its own story that the festival is going to be unforeseen.
Timo Rautiainen & Trio Niskalaukaus had the pleasure of opening Knotfest Finland on the mainstage. Sadly, we arrived so late that we didn’t right catch up with Rautiainen. Although some songs could be heard while we were on the way. After Timo Rautiainen & Trio Niskalaukaus finished their gig, Bloodred Hourglass was starting their own set at a pulse of the maggots stage. BRHG only had half hour stage time, and sadly we didn’t quite get up with them either.
Stam1na – the proud of Lemi, was next up at the main stage. Guys had dowsed their hair like they always do. Gig started flashy with “Viisi laukausta päähän” and water started to swirl from those wet hairs. Watering your hair was not bad idea either way since weather was pretty warm. Nice wind did fresh faces, so it was not unbearable at all, very nice as a matter of fact. Stam1na’s singer Hyrde said in his speak that when you come to Turku it has this spell that summer continues, and so it really did. Not a single cloud even!
Stam1na was gathered a lot of fans on their gig. People were enjoying and there were even three circles of pitts spinning. Very nice set overall once again. Stam1na can really put on a good show!
Sara is one of those older bands on the festival and they had this somewhat cool 2000’s sound that cannot be heard that often now days. Show started with pretty tough sounds, but at the same time with soft edges. Marko Kivelä who handles keyboards mainly, but time to time another guitar with harsh effects, almost like synth. Band had led pillars on the stage too to give some extra effects, but direct sunlight to stage didn’t give much mercy. Sara gave interesting sounds and moods, but the direct sun was not the best mood maker for this time. Later intimate time would be better option for this cool regiment. Band released new album called “Pimeys” on spring of 2022 and the band has made touring around the album for whole year.
Without hesitation one of my most expected bands for whole weekend was Arch Enemy. Show started with “Ace of Spades” intro from Motörhead. “World is Yours” offered nice duo guitars and energy for the fans. Main stage’s surroundings started to look like at this point that there is some serious festival going on. Arch Enemy released new album called Deceivers at the same day and what could be better than hear new songs from new album. One of the new songs “Deceiver, Deceiver” offered some potential for mosh pit to form and so it did. Ofcourse we heard some new songs but we also got punch of oldie goldies too, like for example “Revenous”.
The band guitarist and song maker Michael Amott has also new guitar that I haven’t seen before, real flashy one with mirroring finish. Tempo was high almost throughout whole gig. Drummer of the band Daniel Erlandsson playing looks so effortless but so cool and sharp. Before this day the usual phrase in speak “let the ground shake!” has symbolic meaning, but on the song “No Gods, No Masters” but the ground shaked, I mean really shaked. I have never felt that ground shakes on gig, but this time it really did. Just impressive set once again from this reckless group! Check out the new album, its awesome!
Lähiöbotox is one of those somewhat new bands which roughly divides metal music listeners. Band mixes rap metal with some hardcore and thrash fibes. This time there were rather small but devoted group of fans in front rows. Fans were yelling “Lähiö – Botox!”, in rhythm while waiting for the gig to start. If the sun was little setback for the Sara’s atmosphere. Lähiöbotox show was not that affected by the blazing sun. Actually, it was pretty ok and somewhat suiting for their set. Lähiöbotox had also really scruffy sounds on their guitars. The band fellas are any how very good entertainers. They have big movements on the stage and know how to pull from spectator’s strings.
Lamb of God had mainstage under their control for last but one on Friday, just before Nightwish. Gig started with blasting double pedal beat, and it sounded very though and edgy! There were some difficulties with the vocalist voices, but in the end those matters were handled. Band’s singer Randy Blythe was energetic and moved a lot on the stage. Also his gaze was so deep at times, it could have cut metal! Very dedicated style. Lamb of God used pyros as a first band on the Knotfest giving extra boost for the show.
Ground was shacking again for crowd jumping all at the same time, it gave very weird feeling. Blythe got some Finnish vocabulary in his sleeve too, nothing less and nothing more than curse words of course. Well maybe couple gentler words too. Mosh pits had whole new feeling with Lamb of God. There were at least two or three different pits, and they were massive. Of course, some twisted ankles and bruises were seen on site, but that’s the name of the game if you participate, some wounds could be occurred. Superb gig, even I haven’t really followed Lamb of God, this really gave some boost and will now to press that play button.
Huora had pleasure to end evening on the pulse of the maggots stage. For those who don’t know the band so well, here is short recap. Huora is Finnish rock punk band with enormous attitude! Song themes are pretty usual punk style singed in finnish. Songs have a touch of more melody than normal punk styles and drums have some nice little fills and trick which makes songs really carrying away. All this added up with the most energetic singer I know, Anni Lötjönen offers so kick ass mood! Lötjönen said that this is their last summer festival, and it is nice to end it here at Turku Knotfest. Huora has this one song “Normaali” that is dedicated for one Finnish politician which has pretty damn conservative values. We sure had pleasure to hear that song too, with small briefing how there should be more songs which can be pinpointed straight to some assholes. Our neighboring dictator also got his own rant about how he should be handled and so on. I don’t really want to quote Lötjönen, but it was really clear what she thinks about current war in Ukraine and the master mind behind it. Respect for straight and open words for Lötjönen. Awesome gig again from Huora, I have had pleasure to see the band multiple times and it has always been so entertaining.
Fridays last performer Nightwish gathered huge crowd in front of main stage. The gig was band’s last festival and last gig overall in Finland for this year. The band is heading to south America in October and there to back in Europe for the rest of year. Nightwish has also booked some gigs in Asia at January 2023.
Gig started with silence but sudden flash of Human :II: Nature logo on the back screens. Audience cheered wildly and wait has ended, show was about to start. Main stage had these screen both sides of the stage as in many other bigger festivals now days. Nightwish have had these effects on the top of the video stream, making it more artistic approach. Also, there were times that some other graphics were played on the screens. Nightwish singer Floor Jansen asked in Finnish “Mitä kuuluu?” as how’s it going, and making audience cheer. The band also had a lot of pyros once again on the stage making whole show solid!
From the latest album little heavier song “Tribal”, was nice to hear in the darkening festival area giving some moshing potential for audience! What I have always liked about Nightwish is the versatility which makes shows so much more interesting. How ever I have seen Nightwish few times on Human :II: Nature tour and the show didn’t bring anything new so to say. First time that I saw the band without Marko was at Qstock 2021. At that point I had the feeling that it was a little smaller down step that I first imagined. Now when I have seen couple of shows without Marko it has been clearer that some piece of a puzzle is missing. By all means the show isn’t unentertaining and works still like charm, but it does now miss some edge and balls so to say.
It was cool to see mastermind Tuomas Holopainen himself smiling while playing and having fun. Floor also showed respect by thanking a lot in Finnish words, she had gotten better and better in her Finnish!
“Nemo” has this new arrangement in the end of the song. Troy plays guitar in duet with Emppu, which sounds so much fuller and gives the song very cool end. The show ends in the song of “The Greatest Show On Earth” which gives pinnacle to great evening and great festival start!
Nightwish is going in studio at next summer. Covid time has been productive for Tuomas and demos has been made from all the new songs. Can’t wait for new album what is coming out this time!
Article: Tanu Jänkä
Photos: Sini Sulkakoski