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Festival report: Tuska Open Air

(Cross-posting from Tumblr because I wrote a more comprehensive report there than I intended.)

Well, one day of the festival. It was worth the overpriced ticket just to see Ihsahn and Leprous. (Is it overpriced if it was worth it, though? That sounds more like a philosophical question so fuck it.) Also, got a Wintersun shirt for Sina. (He’d better like it or else…)

I think I mentioned before (on Tumblr, obviously, not here) that I didn’t know the new festival location. Well, yes. It looked simpler on the map. Piece of cake. *rolls eyes* Anyone who knows anything about Helsinki may feel free to laugh their arses off now. I give you permission. But really, I basically just stood around like an idiot near the underground station, with not the foggiest as to in which direction I should start walking, until I spotted two gentlemen who looked like they might share my destination. It turned out they did. They were Russian, but one of them spoke excellent English, and I was welcome to tag along with them. Faith in humanity gained at least one level up.

Naturally, by the time we got there, there was a massive queue at the gate and getting in took a while. I was starting to get really stressed out at one point - Leprous were the first band to play, at 14:30 - but we got in in plenty of time. (Unlike that one time at Myötätuulirock when the gates were opened like 20 mins late and Moonsorrow still started playing at the appointed time [naturally] and practically nobody was in by the time they started playing. Ugh.)

Leprous only had a 30 min set but I thoroughly enjoyed it. (Also, my brain seems to have decided that TorO is the new cutest thing ever. And looking at my photos of the Ihsahn show later on, this shows… *rolls eyes*) I only took one photo of Leprous because the indoors lighting is too much for my shitty camera to handle. Yes, the third stage was actually indoors; not in a tent but in a, well, building. Was nice sun-wise, as in not having to be out in the sun.

And yeah, I was right when I thought I remembered reading that Ihsahn was going to be doing a signing session. I still haven’t found my After, so I got my Eremita booklet signed - and I got a photo with the Master himself. It’s still sort of distracting how he looks exactly like an ex of mine (or well, said ex doesn’t look quite the same anymore because he cut his hair, but my memory of him has the exact same hair style, but still, distracting).

Then I wandered towards the stage where Ihsahn was going to be playing - at this point there was still the previous band playing and I didn’t know anything about them, and I can’t say they caught my attention in any particular way, but their music was simply very headbangable and so I enjoyed the perhaps half of their set that I happened to see. Very generic and uninteresting, wouldn’t buy a CD and probably wouldn’t listen to it if it was given to me for free, but stupidly headbangable. And apparently the majority of the songs were about necrophilia, or at least that’s the impression I got out of the singer’s comments; his growling was among the least intelligible I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing.

After they finished, people just sort of melted away (well, Wintersun was next on the main stage, so I had expected/hoped this would happen) and I could basically pick my spot along the barrier. The stage was aligned so that the sun was behind it, leaving the stage proper and the area immediately before the stage in shade. Which was cool. Literally. It was a super hot and sunny day, but also windy, and standing in the shade with the constant wind, I was actually getting cold towards the end of the wait. The stage was also facing the main stage across the festival area and so me and a few other people who also chose to get in early for their front row spots had uninterrupted view of Wintersun. (And as you can deduce from what I said about the position of the sun earlier, Wintersun was playing under direct summer sun.) A bit far, yes, but hey. Can’t have everything.

Well… Ihsahn, then. I must say I was a tiny, tiny bit disappointed with the setlist; only songs from Eremita and After. And he began the set with On the Shores. Well, that wasn’t a complaint. But it did seem a bit random. It felt like a 10-minute intro to the actual set. Which was actually sort of cool in a artsy kind of way if it was a conscious choice for the effect. Not sure a festival is the best environment for such, but when he barely does non-festival gigs… Then again, as I’ve said before, that man could play anything at all and I’d pay to see it. Hope it doesn’t take another three years until the next chance to see him again.

What else… Then I just sort of wandered around for a bit until I decided there wasn’t anything left I wanted to see and left. Yeah, I’m boring like that. But that’s the upside of going to festivals alone; I can be exactly as boring as I want and nobody’s going to complain. Besides, I had to drive back to Tampere and it was probably a good idea to not leave it ridiculously late.

Tonight: Ghost Voyage here in Tampere.

If my soaring presence threatens to break your neck, then so be it; you should dread my name!
~Ihsahn

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