[Click the thumbnails to view full-sized versions]


The Flaming Sideburns, who recently released their latest album "Sky Pilots", is one of those well kept secrets of rock 'n' roll. They seem to have a strong fan base but they've never really hit it big. On a personal level I enjoy their music but I've never been their biggest fan. Although I must say that their live performance is very energetic and the lead singer Jorge Eduardo Martinez is a good front man. If they keep putting up shows similar to that in Ruisrock I'm sure they'll get many more fans in the future.

The joy of playing live really shows in their performance and their R&R is delivered with 100% attitude. These guys are always fun to watch and should you sometimes have a chance to go and see them I strongly recommend it.



I came to the area a bit late, so to my disappointment I missed most of the Stratovarius set. Our other representative Petri missed it as well, because he was busy raiding the bratwurst, sauerkraut and wine buffet over at the VIP/Press area...no, our little website didn't get press passes, but Petri had other means to get there. Good for him...me bitter? No...

Anyway, enough with the whining...once upon a time Stratovarius weren't much more than average Helloween clones, but they've come a long way and can easily stand up against...well, those Pumpkinheads for example. If you're into melodic metal, a Strato-gig is a safe bet, and the Ruisrock gig wasn't any different, at least the little I saw. The impressive light show had to compete with the setting sun, and it did lose if one watched the show from a distance. Closer to the stage one got to enjoy the lights, the flames and the fireworks during the closing number "Black Diamond". (KT)



The next interesting band was The Hellacopters. I recently got to hear the their latest album "By The Grace Of God" which wasn't too bad at all, and sure enough, the band's set was heavily based on it.

They kicked off with the excellent title track, and sounded very good. The whole performance was quite energetic, to an extent that the 'Copters seemed to get a bit too carried away during a couple of the songs, turning them into long(ish) jam sessions. This, and the fact that some of the bands' songs are just a bit too straight-forward "action rock" numbers for my money, did prevent me from enjoying the set completely. Still, they did play most of my faves off "By The Grace Of God", so I was quite happy about that. (KT)

[Click the thumbnails to view full-sized versions]

[Click the thumbnails to view full-sized versions]


As The Hellacopters were ending their set, a lot of people headed for the other stage, where the Finnish metal monsters Lordi were to perform their show. A few minutes later Lordi and his motley crew of monsters and mummies took the stage and all hell broke loose...or at least some two-metre high flames.

The band played all the songs from their debut album "Get Heavy", with a couple of covers thrown in. During many of the songs Lordi (the man) brought some accessories to the stage, much in the fashion of Alice Cooper, although maybe a bit downscaled. No guillotines or snakes here, just fake sticks of dynamite, chainsaws and a "biomechanical mask" during the song "Biomechanical Man".

The biggest cheers were reserved for the two singles, "Devil Is A Loser" and the huge hit "Would You Love A Monsterman", which was saved til' last. It has somehow really struck a nerve with the Finnish audience, and during that song it felt like the number of people in the audience suddenly doubled, as the ones wondering around the area rushed closer to join in the sing-along session.

The two covers were Accept's "Midnight Mover" and Alice's "He's Back (The Man Behind The Mask)". Lordi did a decent UDO-impression, but somehow the Cooper-cover didn't quite work as well.

The show was very entertaining, and although Lordi is hardly a great singer, he growled and screamed his way through the songs decently. The huge backing vocals came obviously from a tape, just like some other effects, but that didn't bother anyone I guess, not me anyways. It's interesting to see where Lordi (the band) heads next..."Lordi Unmasked" maybe? One thing's for sure, the guitarist can not look any more stupid without the outfit than with it...yep, the other monsters kinda look monstrous, but the mummy looks just funny. (KT)




Finnish embassadors of Love Metal were given the hero's welcome in Turku, as they brought the Ville Valo Circus to the town. The evening was a suitable time for the band to play, somehow their kind of music might not work as well in the bright light of day...

Hits and tracks from the "Love Metal" album were in the set this evening. The show was kicked off with the frantic "Buried Alive By Love" from the new album, and favourites like "Heartache Every Moment", "Wicked Game", "Your Sweet 666" and "Pretending" followed. Mr. Valo was in good mood, and held the crowd in the palm of his hand like the real showman he is. I still think his voice isn't the among the strongest ones, and when he hit those high notes it was almost inaudible.

What else? Well, one thing's for sure, some of the HIM-members have perfected the "thin, starving rock star"-look: they look almost dangerously thin. In contrast, drummer Gas Lipstick is still the heavy rocker he's always been...

I listened about 8 songs of the HIM-set, and then figured that I'd beat the rush of 30.000 people leaving the festival at the same time...I might as well stayed till the end, as the "beach boulevard" leading to the town and the buses was already totally crowded. The 40 minute walk through the Ruissalo forest among hundreds of drunken festival goers wasn't necessarily something I'd want to experience soon again, not sober anyways! :) (KT)

[Click the thumbnails to view full-sized versions]


[Click the thumbnails to view full-sized versions]


Sunday's main attraction for the Heavy Metal people in the audience was most definitely the performance of legendary shouter Ronnie James Dio and his band. The man might be not a youngster, but he can still belt out with the best of 'em...hell, he is one of the best!

The Dio set wasn't a typical "festival" set with the hits and famous songs. Instead the band played less known album tracks like "I Speed At Night", "Straight To The Heart" and recent material which is probably not too familiar to many people outside the hard core Dio fanbase. The more melodic eighties' hits weren't in the set, with the exception of "Rainbow In The Dark", which got a great response. I was quite disappointed, and it didn't help that they had to have a drum solo and a guitar solo in a 60-minute set. I would have preferred a couple of good songs instead of those. I guess the Dio fans were quite pleased with the heavy rocking set though, and to be fair, tracks like "Dream Evil", "Holy Diver" and "Stand Up And Shout" sounded okay to these ears too. (KT)

[Click the thumbnails to view full-sized versions]


The Rasmus set started about half an hour before the Dio set ended, so I only got to hear roughly half of their set. As I was approaching the stage where the band was playing, I heard the first notes of "Heartbreaker", one of their hits from "Into". The band had pulled a sizeable crowd to watch their set, and what I could see from where I was standing, they did their usual, energetic show, with vocalist Lauri running around like an energizer bunny.

After "Heartbreaker" The Rasmus played a few album tracks, "Not Like The Other Girls" (from "Dead Letters"), "Bullet" (from "Into") and if I'm not mistaken, "Everything You Say" from the "limited edition" version of the "Dead Letters" album. Then it was time to really get the crowd jumping, and "In The Shadows" did just that. Final track was the current single "In My Life", which also got a very good reception. (KT)



I was standing right in front of the stage in the photographer's area when Manic Street Preachers started their set. They walked to the stage and lead singer James Dean Bradfield simply said "This one's called "Motorcycle Emptiness". The crowd went absolutely mad and you could feel the earth beneath you sway as if you were a little boat in a heavy storm. I mean it really felt like the earth was made of rubber. The band was in great form. They have a lot of songs to choose from which made sure that the set pleased those who are more familiar with their hit songs. They also threw in a few songs for the HC fans so I'm sure they were happy too. My favourites were the opener, "If You Tolarate This..." and "Everything Must Go". The atmosphere in the crowd was relaxed and their music suited perfectly for that lazy Sunday afternoon mood. (PK)

[Click the thumbnails to view full-sized versions]



Hanoi Rocks was the last band of the festival that interested me. The band has been a lot in the media lately. Andy McCoy has his own TV show in Finland with his wife Angela, Michael Monroe got married last week plus they have a new single out called "A Day Late, A Dollar Short". Rumour has it that their latest album "12 Shots on the Rocks" will be re-released internationally with a few new songs.

Hanoi Rocks started their gig in Ruisrock late. That wasn't cool because they only had an hour slot so they had to cut it short in the end and I'm quite sure that we missed at least one song because of that. Once they got going they started with "Obscured" which is the opener from their recently released album. Monroe, the true rock n roll rooster, was in top form and much to my surprise so was Andy McCoy. Looks like he's finally recovered from his knee injury and Andy was running around the stage like a little boy. At one point he even collided with one of the crew members who was adjusting his microphone and fell down. But he was up and running in two seconds.

The band played many old favourites but the songs from the new album were also well represented. Musically the band was brilliant and as the last song, CCR cover "Up Around the Bend", was over I'm sure many were expecting for more but that was all the time they had. (PK)

[Click the thumbnails to view full-sized versions]