SPINEFEAST 2006, Helsinki, Finland

Once again it was time for metal fans to invade the venue of Nosturi in Helsinki, as record label Spinefarm's own bands took the stage for two days. The place was once again packed with people and the sold out in-door festival turned into a really hot place, not to mention the smoke problem, which was again bad in the venue. All in all ten bands played in the event, on Friday they were Malummeh, Noumena, Kalmah, Nine and Swallow The Sun, a night dedicated to more heavier stuff, yet a tight line-up filled with very talented bands. RockUnited went to check out the second day, when the more melodic bands were playing. The sets weren't too long from any bands, but the bands tightened their performances into the hits, so all the shows were worth watching.

SATURDAY, 21st of October

The doors opened quite late, so as the first band COLLARBONE kicked off at 8.45 p.m, people were running around hecticly while trying to catch a glimpse of the band from the packed venue. Nosturi is known from its lightshow that gives trouble to many photographers, but for the bands and the fans they're mostly quite colourful, yet not all that impressive otherwise. Collarbone went through their setlist with great rock'n'roll spirit, while the lights were making their show even more unforgettable. The short haired band mixing alternative to the more familiar metal wasn't the most popular one this evening, but a good newcomer in Spinefarm ranks, that has a fresh spirit in their music.

The evening continued with a darker mood, as three from the last four bands played more melancholic songs with a typical Finnish, kinda poetic and sad spirit. END OF YOU continued the good spirit on stage, where Collarbone left with. Not that their music is that uplifting, but the bands performance was oozing drama and good showmanship, though Jami's vocal work could've been better. Their music was also catchy and melodic enough to raise action on the fan side too. The only bad thing about this event was the short sets. When the bands just got started and had raised the energy levels of both the fans and the band, the set was over. But then again, with as many bands as here, it can be quite a drag to spend so many hours at a concert, if you're not familiar with all the bands. With End Of You, their thirty minute set seemed too short compared to how popular they were.

Setlist: All Your Silence, Virtual Way Of Me, Liar, Walking With No One, Twisted Mind, Upside Down, Rome

It was past ten o'clock, when ENTWINE took the stage, and the mood of the venue stayed dark. The band has gone through a nice change from the earlier somewhat lazy performances, as they now were very vivid live and even intense at least in "Twisted", where Jules Näveri from Misery Inc and Profane Omen helped the band with backing vocals. What a nice turnout, so personally I was pleased to see the bands growth show wise. Their new album offers more heavier songs, still staying true to that melancholy though, and one of the new songs heard worked really well, that was "Surrender", also released as a video. Also "Still Remains", "Out Of You" and "Break Me" were heard among others. The bands show has turned a bit heavier along with the new tracks, which was fine for the crowd, where at least half was heavily drunk. But it was Saturday night after all, so who couldn't resist having fun.

Between the shows there was Spinefarm's own DVD presentation of Heavy Karaoke, where a few musicians performed songs from other bands, and two bands the crowd got to hear were Sonata Arctica and Nightwish. One of the singers was Jules Näveri, who also performed with Entwine. Once again he was just that energetic performer we all know him from. The crowd either loved the karaoke part and was singing along, or then went to get more drinks.

The best part of SpineFeast was definately BROTHER FIRETRIBE, at least for those who are looking for some fun, sunshine and 80's feel from their music. Of course the main band on Saturday, Charon, received much response from the crowd too, but nothing can match up to what the Firetribe-guys are about, giving one hundred percent and more live for their crowd. The band was the first one on Saturday to play longer, their slot lasted 45 minutes, 15 minutes more than others. One could've raised hopes from such set of getting a nice dosage of that Firetribe-drug, but their set was still too short. Even when their one and only album "False Metal" lasts just a bit over 45 minutes, they still didn't cover all of its material (don't remember hearing "Spanish Eyes", "Kill City Kid" or "Love Goes Down"), and not even their single tracks. But hey, everyone still left the building satisfied, after all, here's a true live band.

The set started with a funny introtape of someone playing tennis. Those who don't know the drill, Firetribe got its name from a Finnish tennis player, so there you go. Then a recorded voice introduced the band "Brother Firetribe's in the house", which was a really cool idea, continuing the big show mood, and as the band came on stage, their fans were cheering out loud. Of course there were some sour faces in the crowd who weren't into the band much, but most of the people were having fun, dancing, singing and screaming etc to the songs. The guys in the band are such flirts and showmen, who don't give way for boredom and with their warm presence they easily hypnotize their crowd. Along with the genuine atmosphere, the band (singer Pekka Ansio Heino, guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, keyboardist Tomppa Nikulainen, bassist Jason Flinck, drummer Kalle Torniainen) also performs more wilder than so many other bands. You know what I'm talking about, if you've seen Emppu on stage with Nig htwish. The show was all about partying and lifting the spirits up high, just what it was in the good ol' 80's. The band is easily reachable, as they're close to their audience and also make eye-contact. Truly an adrenalin filled show. The setlist below might not be complete, due to some messy notes.

Setlist: Break Out, Lover Tonite, Devil's Daughter, One Single Breath, Midnite Queen, Valerie, I'm On Fire

It was passed midnight, when the main band CHARON finally started their set, and by now some crowd had left the building, but those who were present were very much into the show. Charon played for an hour, which of course wasn't enough for their biggest fans, but in one hour the band and its charismatic vocalist J.P. Leppäluoto can blow up a venue easily with their active show. J.P. is one of those singers, who can take any stage and still perform in a very intimate way. His vocals work so well for Charon material. The whole band was giving a good show. It was once again their biggest hit "Little Angel" that did the final trick on their crowd, the venue turned quite noisy at the time. The band played at least "Sister Misery", "In Trust Of No One", "Colder", "Ride On Tears" and "Little Angel".

As Charon ended, people soon gathered outside the venue, and took off to various bars to continue the evening. RockUnited drove a few blocks in the wild Entwine tourbus to continue their evening at Bakers bar, where numerous musicians were partying. If you consider taking a taxi in Helsinki really late, beware not to hesitate too long for the address or anything else, they might take off faster than you can sneeze and just leave you crying in the rain! Another good SpineFeast that was and the night ended to late morning...

Report by Satu Reunanen, satu [at] rockunited.com
Pictures by Kari Helenius, carda [at] metalphotos.com
Hi-Res versions of the pix and more at http://www.metalphotos.com/Coppermine
(c) 2006 RockUnited.Com