Sauna Open Air 2013 Festival Review – Day 2

So day two of Sauna Open Air opened with cooler temperatures for which my skin is thankful!!  On paper, day two of the festival didn’t seem to have as strong of a line up as day one but as I watched the bands throughout the day I found myself being surprised by a few  and in a good way.  I will still say the first day had the stronger line-up but I think for the best performance from a band for the entire festival came from Sabaton who totally annihilated all in their path this night.

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Sabaton is currently touring in support of their new album ‘Carlous Rex’ and I last saw them in November of last year and this show made that show look timid by comparison.  Sabaton was on fire this night and every member was alive on stage, playing with emotion and the fans were also living the dream of the Metal Machine that is Sabaton.  This night Sabaton was firing on all cylinders and delivered to the fans a great performance with songs like ‘Primo Victoria’, ‘Carlous Rex’ and the Finnish favorite ‘White Death’.  I will say this about Joakim the lead singer of Sabaton, the man knows how to work a crowd and has a very charismatic personality about him.  Great guy and fun to watch.

Now, I mentioned earlier that I found a few surprises with some of the bands.  One of these surprises was the band Crashdiet.  These guys play a sort of Sleazy Glam metal kind of like a dirtier Motley Crue meets Sex Pistols/punk  image.  They had an interesting sound and while it would be a glam sound, it had more of a punch to and dirtiness to it than say bands like Poison.  So Crashdiet  are a band I want to look into more deeply and hopefully find some cool tunes in return.

The other band I kind of am surprised by was Volbeat.  Actually, I’m more accepting of them than at first.  I am a little late to the game when it comes to hearing of this band and as it turns out they are extremely popular in Europe and here in Finland.  Volbeat takes country music lyrics and mixes them with hard rock/heavy metal music and some rockabilly.  They even played a little bit of Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire’.  Even the lead singer looks like Johnny Cash.  I tried to listen to them a bit before the Festival and the songs I heard for some reason just didn’t stick with me and seemed only so so.  But when Volbeat hit their fourth song and fifth songs ‘Pearl Hart’ and ‘Heaven nor Hell’, I thought these are pretty good songs.  So after the show I went  home and looked up some of their songs.  So while I can’t say I am fan yet I can see why the band has a following and why they are successful.  Also I think this is the only time I have ever heard Finnish people cheer for country music ha-ha.  Being from Tennessee, the home of country music, I have already begun to tell some people about Volbeat as I think they may be able to have a solid fan base there and I hope I can help them out in some small way.

The other bands that performed on day two were Ghost Voyage, whom didn’t really do much for me.  Stam1na, which are extremely popular here but honestly, I don’t see what is so amazing about this band, for me anyway.  After I photographed the band I went and sat in the stands to listen to them to give them a fair chance and the band did absolutely nothing for me.  I apologize to all the Stam1na fans out there.  It’s great you like them but for me they just aren’t my cup of tea.  Omnium Gatherum which seemed to have an interesting sound and an excellent guitar player put on a good show and the music was played well but it didn’t stick with me much.  Then we have Hatebreed…I can’t claim to be fan of the hard core genre and Hatebreed also isn’t something that is personally for me but I have seen interviews with their lead singer and he is a fan of Running Wild and they have even covered a Running Wild song live before and he seems like a genuinely cool guy so I respect him for that.  He also is pretty funny guy.  During HateBreed’s set he ripped his pants in the crotch and said, ‘Oh shit I ripped my pants!’ then told us photographers, ‘Don’t shoot that shit!!’.  So, like I said he seemed like a cool guy.

Hardcore Superstar also performed but I was in an interview and didn’t have a chance to really check them out so I can’t give a fair comment on their performance.

Overall Sauna Open Air 2013 was a great Festival with some very solid bands and some surprises.  While day one seemed to have the more solid line up, Sabaton on day two carried the day and made up for any other lack of bands you may have wished to see at the festival.

If you are ever in Finland and looking for a music festival, Sauna Open Air is a good start and is perhaps the biggest metal festival in Finland other than the Tuska Open Air.  So metalheads if you are ever in Tampere, Finland and you hear the magic of metal music in the air, look around and you may find yourself in a whole new world of music and fun.

Great show and great Festival.  Well Done Finland.

TJ Fowler

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