Rockin’ with a lighter touch – Kuopiorock 2021, part 2/3

Author Ossi Kumpula - 10.8.2021

The second day of Kuopiorock saw heavier hard rock and metal acts take the backseat as the festival day marched forward with artists such as Antti Tuisku, Andy McCoy, Klamydia, Juustopäät, Kaija Koo, Anssi Kela and Haloo Helsinki. The line-up was not the only lighter aspect of the day as rain abated and gave way to sunshine with only a couple of showers delighting the audience throughout the day.

Klamydia, one of the all time most beloved punk groups in Finland and a regular at summer festivals, kicked off the day at the stadium’s main stage. And what a proper opening act it was! The band opened the show with one of their greatest hits “Pohjanmaalla” and not once did they let their grip on the audience slip over the next hour. “Krapula tulee”, a power anthem about giving hangover the finger, struck a chord with the early festival crowd for reasons one can only guess. A favourite track of yours truly “Älä peitä mun aurinkoo” was quite timely both figuratively and literally, as it was during Klamydia’s gig when the sky began to pour down upon the festival folk again. It was impossible not to be reminded of this song’s message while watching people in the VIP area head towards the shelter of a tent the minute the first raindrops fell scowling all the way. Klamydia’s gig peaked when the ever-charismatic Vesku Jokinen led the crowd to an impressive sing along during “Rakas hullu”, a homage to the late Alexi Laiho who passed away last December.

Advent calendar photo 2023
Advent calendar

Chaoszine Advent calendar 2023 →

Excitement was palpable as people speculated in the rainy weather, whether Andy McCoy would make an entrance or not. The rest of the band had been in position for a good while already before the legend himself showed up. Despite his somewhat unsteady movement McCoy gave an impressive performance with his sprawling guitar solos and all. The charismatic and visually colourful band began their set with material from McCoy’s latest album “21st Century Rocks”. The songs were the best possible medicine to counter the chilly weather, and the crowd responded with all their hearts. Towards the end of the gig the band played some fan favourite Hanoi Rocks tunes, and the crowd went wild. All the band members seemed to be into the gig with Sofia Zida providing some backing vocals as well as taking over the lead singing duties on “Malibu Beach”.

Without a doubt one of the many upsides of diverse rock festivals is that one has an unique opportunity to see bands and artists that otherwise would go undiscovered. For me this sort of an opportunity arose on the second Kuopiorock day when I got to witness Antti Tuisku live for the first time. My knowledge of the artist in question was limited to only his name and face, so I had no idea what to expect from the show. The key words that I was left with at the end were “shameless” and “dedication” the former I ascribed to the artist and the latter to his fans. Already the messianic opening track “Valittu kansa” laid the cards down: whatever Tuisku was at the beginning of his career nowadays he is a full-fledged showman, pop star and an idol to enough people for him to have made a successful career out of music business. Even though I was unfamiliar with most of the songs performed it was easy to like the show’s unapologetic nature. At least as a performer Tuisku has learned to embrace the slurs thrown at him and his demeanour, which is enough to garner a whole bunch of sympathy points from me. Prior to the gig I overheard a few people close by praising Tuisku as having a world-class show with numerous dancers, and the latter we indeed got to witness. World-class show, on the other hand, may have to wait until the artist’s scheduled conquering of the Helsinki Olympic Stadium next year.

At half past nine in the evening Puistolava was overtaken by Juustopäät, a pop-punk group that has been operating since the nineties. This thoroughly endearing outfit took the crowd on a nostalgic trip with their songs “Voit sä lopettaa” and “Kun tyttö rakastui punkkariin” making the festival folk jump about. The band is still producing new material such as their latest single from last year, “Lääkkeitä ja viinii (mua ahdistaa)”, which they played also at Kuopiorock. The gig made a really positive impression.

The main event of Kuopiorock’s second day was Haloo Helsinki who stormed the stage full of energy that spilled over to the crowd, as well. Pyrotechnics lit up the stadium to the tune of everyone’s favourite choruses. The concert happened to coincide with the birthday of Haloo Helsinki’s lead singer Elli, and the packed stadium crowd eagerly sang happy birthday to her. The charismatic group held the audience within its grasp firmly, and everyone at the show surrendered themselves willingly to the hit cavalcade they were treated to. Haloo Helsinki’s positive and uplifting vibes were the perfect way to end the second day in Kuopiorock.

Text: Ossi Kumpula, Satu Haiko (Andy McCoy, Juustopäät, Haloo Helsinki)

Photos: AJ Johansson, Pete Hossa