160711 / 170711
Ilosaarirock 2011

This year Ilosaarirock celebrated its 40th birthday. But what did this festival have to offer this year? This is my personal and perfect overview of Ilosaarirock 2011. I have lived all my life close to this festival but because of some odd reason I have never been there. Well, this thing was certainly changed this summer.


So, I made my way to Laulurinne where the first band was starting. I really didn't check out these opening bands. Too much gaypop and hippierock for me. Also, in the mainstage was Finnish rockstar Micheal Monroe with his band. I managed to listen a couple of their songs. Too moderate rock & roll for me. Micheal Monoroe did some aerobic / ballet moves, that was enough for me.

The first interesting gig was in rekka-stage (truck-stage), where the Finnish deathcore / death metal act Medeia started their show. Medeia plays very tight on their albums and they're well known from good live shows. They blasted a very energetic one hour show. This gig included many tracks from their new album "Abandon All," but there were tracks from their debut and second album "Cult" also. On stage there also was two bear costumed men from Medeia's "Abandon All" music video. In the end these "bears" joined the moshpit. The only big minus in this gig was bad mixing. I really didn't hear almost anything else than drums and vocals. The band's blond haired synth player looked hot, but I really didn't hear any synths because of the bad mixing (good or bad thing?).

Next up was some heavy and ugly doom metal. Hooded Menace comes from Joensuu so they played in their homecity this time. These hooded metallists played their minimalist doom for a pretty small crowd. Maybe this manly metal is too much to handle for most Ilosaarirock audience : weed smoking hippies, hipsters and other gay people. Great and heavy stuff, not for everyone but for Rambo and Chuck Norris.

Then some dancing and raving with Finnish drum&bass act L.A.O.S., which played on the sue-stage. L.A.O.S. which contains three people mashed some good drum&bass with little dubstep influences. Good music for a sunny and hot day. Now you think I'm some "weed smoking acid hippie". Now, if somebody asks what I did in this show, I just say : "I was looking at some girls dancing in miniskirts while listening to Burzum with my portable cd-player. Fuck these rainbowravepeople!".

On saturday the most interesting band was Melt Banana. This japanese cult band was really something I hoped to see. Melt Banana canceled their Ilosaarirock gig a couple of years ago, but luckily they came to play this year - and they sure didn't disappoint me. The gig started with 5 min guitar "noise wall". Then was the time to go. Some fast drumbeats and punk riffing. Vocalist Yasuko Onuki was really something. This short woman managed to scream and yell through the whole set greatly. Guitarist Ichirou Agata is very talented and plays guitar in a very unique way. I haven't heard this kind of riffs and "soundeffects" from guitar ever (in a live show). Really experimental stuff. Melt Banana was really an unique experience.


The first interesting band on sunday was the Finnish grindcore / death metal act Carnalation. This band was founded in 2008 and they have only released two minialbums. It was a shame that they had to play for an almost empty audience. There was really just a couple of people when Carnalation started. Everyone else was looking at Finntroll playing on other stage, fucking cheap trolls! Hopefully there were some people after half set. Carnalation sounded a bit like Origin and newer Hate Eternal. Brutal stuff! For me Carnalation is a really promosing band. I demand that everyone buys their outcoming debut album which is produced by Peter Tägtgren (Hypocrisy, Pain, ex Bloodbath). Remember to check out Carnalation's new song "Floods" from youtube!

Another interesting band was Finnish Uusi Fantasia which mixes up disco, funk, and electro sounds. Before this gig, I had only heard one song from their debut album (which is their only album), so this was something new for me. They sounded a little bit like Daft Punk and Op:l Bastards (Finnish "cult" electronics). Again good shit for a sunny weather. Last but no least, I really can't complain about those girls who wore bikinis and were dancing for Uusi Fantasia. Hot stuff!

Kvelertak from Norway attacked next on ylex-stage. These black metal punks really blasted an energetic show. Their one hour gig included almost every track from Kvelertak's great debut album. This hardcore punk with black metal influences sounded really good because of very good mixing. Raw vocals and nice three guitar work! Nothing bad to say about Kvelertak. Ugh!

Now it was time for hardcore punk legend The Exploited to play for the old and new punks. I have never been interested about The Exploited but still I managed to watch their whole set. This kind of "old school" punk isn't really my thing. Still the amount of guitar solos (almost in every track) sounded pretty fresh in punk tunes. Can't say anything bad about The Exploited's vocalist Wattie Buchan. He sounds great for his age, no "Ozzy Osbourne effect" here! Audience which seemed to contain old and new fans seemed to really like these old punks a lot.

The last show was the most important and special for me. In ylex-stage was electronic music god and genious Aphex Twin! He was the only reason why I wanted to go Ilosaarirock for the first time. Aphex Twin came to Joensuu with very big visual equipment : many big screens, lasers and other stuff. I said to myself "this will be something special..."

No one really knew what kind of music Aphex Twin would play. Maybe he'd just play experimental ambient for old times' sake? Well, most people seemed to hope "Come to Daddy" and "Windowlicker" kind of stuff.

Aphex Twin blasted his 1.5 hour show with some awesome acid techno, breakbeat and drum&bass tunes. There were a little bit of noise elements as well. Aphex Twin gig also had really great visuals, lasers and weird videos on the screen synced with the music. I really can't express in words how "high" I was on this gig. This kind of show was something I have wanted to see for many years. Once in a lifetime exprience.

Then Ilosaarirock was over. Great festival I must say. Maybe I'll go there again next year, maybe not? Next year they should have artist like Squarepusher (and some japanese weird electronics like Ove-Naxx and Dj Scotch Egg). Get those artists next year bitches!