Sauna Open Air 2013 Festival Review – Day 1

Before I get into my review of Finland’s Sauna Open Air Festival held in Tampere, Finland and the performance of the bands, I first want to address the quality and friendliness of the staff at the Festival.  I just want to say the organizers and staff of Sauna Open Air were some of the friendliest and most helpful people I have seen at an event.  From the security to the organizers all were great people and very helpful.  During the first day of the event which was very hot at various times, I noticed the security had water at the front of the stage for fans if they got too hot and was handing it out freely in plastic cups.  I found this a nice gesture from the organizers and security as dehydration is always a threat in such times and coming from America I know full well how those festivals will try to take advantage of people during those times by charging $10 for a bottle of water.

So to you Sauna Open Air I give you thanks and praise for such thoughtfulness.  Now one to the review!

So as I said the first day of the Festival turned out to be hot.  It turned out that most of the bands on the first day of the festival was hotter than hell live too.  Sauna had some major hitters in the Metal genre performing this day.  We had Children of Bodom, Nightwish and Stratovarius along with new comers Lost Society and Egokills who opened the festival.  Other bands performing for the first day was Blood Red Hourglass, Finntroll and Opeth.

lost society

So let’s talk about first the bands that ruled the day in terms of commanding the crowd and performance.  I think for me the top 3 bands of the day were Nightwish, Children of Bodom and Lost Society.  First, I will start with Lost Society, Finland’s new Thrash metal heroes.  I first want to say this about the band; they need to be getting on the main stages soon.  They have the talent, the musicianship and the stage presence to command the use of a major stage.  I understand right now they are building their fan base still and only have one album out( Fast, Loud, Death) so they have to pay their dues and work up to the main stages but in my eyes they ARE main stage material and will be there very soon.  There were some technical difficulties during their set that were out their control but they played through it like pros and even had fun with the situation and to me that is one of the small things you can see in bands that set themselves apart from others as they grow into bigger acts.  Also, Lost Society was to be featured on national TV for this event and I think that is great.  So, Samy, Arttu, Ossi and Mirku I want to say congratulations on all your success so far and I feel grateful and thankful I had the opportunity to see you guys in the beginning of it all before you become big and that you allowed me to see it happen.


Next up is Children of Bodom.  I got to interview Alexi before the show and he had been on only about 3 hours of sleep and was very tired but in no way did this show during their performance.  I will readily admit I have never been into Children of Bodom much and it’s not because they are not talented.  Alexi is one the best metal guitarists out there without a doubt but their style was never my thing.  After watching their performance however it didn’t matter.  They owned the crowd, they know how to put on a show professionally and deliver the goods.  The crowd was behind them and Children of Bodom delivered a no holds barred metal barrage of fury and melted everyone’s face with Alexi’s stellar guitar work.  My hat is off to you Children of Bodom.  You have my respect.

Now we come to Nightwish.  What can be said of Nightwish that most people don’t already know?  They have an epic sound and epic songs that tell epic stories and they perform them epically on stage.  Now this was the first time I have got to see Nightwish with Floor singing and well honestly, they didn’t miss a beat and Floor being the new girl on the street, fits right in with no problem what so ever.  Like Children of Bodom, Nightwish had the crowd at their command with hands clapping, mouths singing and the metal playing.  We had the pyros, the big screen videos and a stellar performance.  For this day Nightwish ruled it all.

To note the other acts, Finntroll was a special kind awesome.  Steampunk metal with troll ears ha-ha.  I had never listened to Finntroll much before but after their show I may go back and give them a try again.  I have to hand it to them, they put on an excellent show and had a cool visual aspect to them.

Opeth were…well Opeth.  Stoner/Prog metal disguised as…hell I don’t know.  I never was a big Opeth fan and not a knock against them as I know they are talented but I think they almost put me into some sort boredom coma with their music.  Moving on…

Stratovarius put on an excellent show and had a great live sound and were there supporting their new album Nemesis.  If I had to sum up their set in a few words I would say they were very solid and had a good crowd reaction to their songs.

Egokills opened up the Festival and I also had the opportunity to interview them.  They are a fairly new band to game but they have a nice groove sound and some nice catchy songs.  I recommend everyone to check them out and you can find their music on bandcamp here

As for Blood Red Hourglass I can’t give an honest review as I missed part of the show due to doing interviews.

So that was day one and it was filled with a very strong line up of bands and performances.  Next up…DAY 2!!

TJ Fowler

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