Green Christmas 2008 - Rakvere, Estonia, 12-13.12.2008

Event: Green Christmas
Written by: Ivor
Published: 22.12.2008

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Green Christmas 2008 - Rakvere, Estonia, 12-13.12.2008 by Ivor (114)
Table Of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Friday, December 12th, 2008
2.1. Maroon
2.2. Vennaskond
2.3. Callisto
2.4. Waltari
2.4. Metsatöll
2.5. Dark Tranquillity
3. Saturday, December 13th, 2008
3.1. Tanel Padar & The Sun
3.2. Audrey Horne
3.3. Horricane
3.4. Enslaved
3.5. Lacuna Coil
4. Epilogue

1. Introduction

Ever since Green Christmas became a two day festival it's been a bit of a pain in the ass to visit it. Basically it's Winter here, well, everlasting bad skiing weather in Estonia's case, and you can't sleep in a tent somewhere outside. Getting a hotel room seems like an excessive expenditure and sleeping in a sports hall on a mat in a sleeping bag with lots of other people around doesn't sound appealing either. Especially if you have to pay for it. So, this year we opted for driving home for the night - after all, Estonia is quite a small place and a drive of 100km after the gig is acceptable.

2. Friday, December 12th, 2008

Until the very last moment I was on the brink of not going to the festival. I caught a really bad cold on Tuesday and it was questionable that I'd feel all right. However, still half sick I decided to go and make it a trip of survival. Thursday evening I went to get the new Sony camera which I got for a weekend test drive. For that I have to say special thanks to Sony guys for allowing that. That camera was one of the reasons why I decided I need to be at the festival. Thus, Friday evening a friend of mine picked me up at work and we set out towards Rakvere. As it usually goes with every planning, we were already behind schedule and missed the first band in the end, as usually. I don't remember ever having managed to see the first band at Green Christmas. But we were in time for Maroon.

2.1. Maroon

I haven't liked nor probably will like metalcore. Even if I sometimes dig the in-your-face structure of such music, it's usually the vocal part that puts me off, especially live. Maroon ain't no exception in this matter and most of their performance went without sticking with me. The rather sparse crowd, however, seemed to enjoy it and got a pretty good kick out of it but for me it was simply the time of idling.







2.2. Vennaskond

Man, I've not seen this Estonian heritage of punk rock for ages, I think some 6-7 years. Not that I wouldn't have liked it. I would have gladly, but in a way it's got more to do with the band itself. They haven't been much in orbit for the last years. They're last album a while ago wasn't particularly inspiring to me. They've also changed a lot. Not many members I could recognise out on the stage besides the singer Tõnu Trubetsky. As one of my friends ironically put it, the band looks more like Trubetsky and the Sons. Well, sort of, given that the violinist and the drummer are, in fact, female. And although, the band played a cross-section of their past, it wasn't what it once was.



The songs rocked and sounded as they are supposed to. Vennaskond and their songs are part of this generation. The delivery, however, was static. The band hardly moved at all. Trubetsky I can understand, it's his image, but the rest had this matter of fact absent attitude which didn't add much to the performance. Probably the only real kicker in the set was "Disko." We had this saying years ago with my friends that there's only one disco - and it's Vennaskond's "Disko." What was surprising, though, was that this time it was played on real guitars and violin, I mean parts that previously were meant for synthesizer. Maybe they've done that before, I don't know, but this time it saved the set from being an average glimpse into the past.





2.3. Callisto

I've wanted to see post-metal band Callisto again for quite some time. I've got to thank Green Christmas four years ago because back then Callisto was a jaw-dropping experience. It was the single band that made me listen in awe. They had their metalcore influences and the vocals that weren't too enjoyable but there were two things to them. Firstly, pure instrumental and vocal parts ratio was something like 80/20. Secondly, the instrumental part was excellent, emotionally capturing and beautiful. For the first listen it was love it or be bored out of your skull. I loved it.





I loved it back then and hence had high expectations this time. I wasn't disappointed. The little crowd, those individuals who wanted to listen to them, gathered in front of the stage. Being up close, amongst the rather small number of listeners, it created a very intimate feeling. Given the music, it was exactly what was needed. Trance-like mood and appropriate music - you've got to really listen to enjoy it, to be a gourmand of the good music, if you will.





2.4. Waltari

To me, Waltari were one of the surprises. I still know next to nothing about the history of the band, except them being some 20 years in the business. What caught me is the relatively wide range of their music, the crossover mix of various styles and genres. Their songs aren't particularly exceptional in the long run, nor are they special by themselves. However, being around for so long has definitely created a catalogue for a varied and twisted setlist which is only good.





Although Waltari was most of the time good, I must say the low point was some sort of cover of a disco song. I wouldn't have known it but they told it beforehand. I admit, it was somewhat cool at first but it was tiresome after half a minute and tediously boring halfway through the song. Something as bad as that to begin with can't be rendered good in any way except scrapping and writing something else instead. Ugh... That single song gives me the creeps and rather spoiled the experience of a good set by the crazy band and a singer who from some angle looks like Gizmo from Gremlins movie.





2.4. Metsatöll

Metsatöll has over the years become a sort of Estonian national musical obsessive folk metal phenomenon. They are a sure shot for the festivals, though. Hell, they've even gathered about twice as big a crowd as the headliners playing after them, at one point. That's got to say something about the status of the band. Not to forget that they also bring heavy music out to the masses. They also stay pretty much around with various projects they do, like performance with Estonian National Male Choir, or rendition of Kukerpillid, a pretty old Estonian band playing some sort of country music.





That all gives a fresh angle on their doings, even if you stumble on their gigs once in a while. Besides, they indeed are pretty much a sure shot. Unless you've seen them like four times during a year (which did happen to me a couple of years ago giving me a major overdose), their performance is rather enjoyable and they definitely grab the audience. I can't say that Metsatöll were something special at Green Christmas, I'd say that it was just usual Metsatöll, no more, though.





2.5. Dark Tranquillity

I had seen Dark Tranquillity before Green Christmas two times. Both in the heat of the day at festivals and I didn't particularly like them. I figured that being headliners would change my opinion of them. However, I must admit that once again they passed me by. True, Dark Tranquillity put out very intense gigs as much as I've seen of them. The crowds enjoy themselves, too, getting pretty high on their music. With all due respect to the band, though, they unfortunately didn't click with me. I think I've got to do something to get the kick out of their performance, what exactly, though, is still unclear to me.









3. Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Driving home for the night proved to be an excellent idea. But despite the careful planning we once again wound up being behind schedule and missed the first band of the second day as well. That's what happens travelling. Had we slept somewhere in Rakvere, we'd have been on time. Having arrived at the venue, the first thing we found out was that Volbeat had cancelled due to travelling complications. Supposedly they missed their transfer flight in Stockholm. Too bad, probably they would have been interesting.

3.1. Tanel Padar & The Sun

To this day I have issues with Tanel Padar's music and can't really take it seriously. To those who don't know, he's the Eurovision Song Contest winner of 2001. That gives you the background. Maybe that's also the issue I've been having. The music itself is a decent hard rock, which, to my surprise, has gone a bit more heavier with new album. Actually, the opening tunes of the set were indeed great, for that the new guitarist is probably to blame. However, some newer songs from the last album "Unisex" excepted the gig more or less went the usual way, the simple rock to the masses kind of way. They did rather good on stage, though, the band seems to have gotten more mature since last time I saw them. So, there's hope for the future.







3.2. Audrey Horne

This was the band I was expecting, having checked their MySpace beforehand. Good hard rock was to be expected. And received. However, guys, next time you play a place, make sure you know the name. Crying out "Come on, Tallinn!" from stage when you are actually in Rakvere, ain't particularly impressive. Once might be considered a joke. Doing that repeatedly - sorry, shows you don't give a shit about your audience. In my opinion, each time Tallinn was called from stage some people departed from the audience, not even good music could keep them. Shame because those incidents left aside the performance was good.







3.3. Horricane

Fortunately or unfortunately, I didn't manage to catch much of Horricane's performance. During the second song due to the schedule change I was called off to do an interview with Lacuna Coil in effect missing the rest of the set. Can't say I grieve about it, since Horricane's death metal ain't my cup of tea, anyway.





3.4. Enslaved

I think it was Jeff who told me that I might like Enslaved. Where did he get the notion that straight up black metal is something I'd like, is beyond me. OK, straight up, or curved up, I don't care and can't really appreciate it, never got the hang of it anyway. True enough, Enslaved had their interesting moments for me but those were exactly the moments when their music drifted away from black metal. Unfortunately for me, those moments were scarce and most of the time I was watching around waiting for them to end and free the stage for Lacuna Coil.









3.5. Lacuna Coil

Of Lacuna Coil's performance three years ago at Graspop festival I remember the most the stuffed hot tent, pretty lousy sound and some thirty crowd surfers going over my head during the set. This time was bound to be different. Firstly, you can't crowd surf in Estonia - the crowd goes Moses on you and you'll end up splitting your chin on the floor. Secondly, Lacuna Coil were headlining the festival here.

That was supposed to be enough to make it different and better experience this time. However, I must admit that even though the sound had been more or less OK during two days of the festival, it somehow didn't feel right when Lacuna Coil came on stage. Either my positioning skills in the crowd went 24th century on my ass or the sound really was less expected. At least the low parts were over amplified and the bass was drowning the vocals and guitars.





Sound aside, I enjoyed Lacuna Coil's performance. They put together great set and were good on stage. Plus, they did get the crowd really going. More popular songs were sung together with the crowd, especially "Enjoy the Silence" and "Heaven's a Lie." It was quite what I wanted it to be.

Set:
1) To The Edge
2) Fragments Of Faith
3) Tight Rope
4) Senzafine
5) Swamped
6) Fragile
7) Closer
8) To Live Is To Hide
9) The Game
10) Entwined
11) Daylight Dancer
12) Enjoy The Silence
13) What I See
14) Heavens A Lie
15) Our Truth





4. Epilogue

I haven't been to Green Christmas for two years, I think, because not that many bands have captured my attention to bother with the trip to Rakvere. I may have skipped it this time as well if it wasn't for Callisto and Lacuna Coil. In the end, I'm glad that I went there. It was great to be at this festival again. Besides, the festival worked wonders on me. Like one guy said to me after the first day, "You look a lot less sick than when we picked you up earlier today." Music has the power to cure. In the end, the only thing that I'm concerned about this years Green Christmas is that the crowd seemed smaller than three years ago.

PS. Thanks again to Sony for lending the camera which I afterwards could not part with.


 



Written on 22.12.2008 by
Ivor
I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.
More articles by Ivor ››




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destroyah - 22.12.2008 at 11:42  
"The crowd goes Moses" - good one


Btw, every time I think about that country collab Metsatöll did I can't help but think about Rebel Meets Rebel.

Also, I thought Horricane had split, haven't heard of them for ages.
Ernis - 22.12.2008 at 19:45  
That's a good fine interesting review here....I would've liked to have been able to see Dark Tranquillity and Lacuna Coil myself....
right....but when can we read the interview with Lacuna Coil?
jupitreas - 23.12.2008 at 12:36  
Personally I would have been by far the most happy about seeing Waltari out of this lineup of bands.
Bad English - 29.12.2008 at 00:01  
Finaly reda it , huh best part I like it was intro, because I can not image show if I shood sleep in tent in winter, even 10 litrs of whisky wont help, realy its not good for my health be outside in winter , and damn
Viggo wont understand this, same like I when he say in Peloeponesa is to hot

DT and Metsatoll looks great , only 2 bands whos good to see same whit Enslaved IMO

Ivor - DT played ThereIn live?

Good rewiew but mainly I liked first part about cold
Ernis - 29.12.2008 at 19:08  
Written by Bad English on 29.12.2008 at 00:01

Viggo wont understand this, same like I when he say in Peloeponesa is to hot

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_European_heat_wave
Heat waves cause DEATH....
That's not an argument that grapes grow better in case you bring that up....
Go move to Greece or Ibiza or whatever and fry yourself as much as you wish.....
Bad English - 29.12.2008 at 19:10  
Written by Ernis on 29.12.2008 at 19:08

Written by Bad English on 29.12.2008 at 00:01

Viggo wont understand this, same like I when he say in Peloeponesa is to hot

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_European_heat_wave
Heat waves cause DEATH....
That's not an argument that grapes grow better in case you bring that up....
Go move to Greece or Ibiza or whatever and fry yourself as much as you wish.....


I wold not die from heat never will, I can freeze faster in -2*C hwo die in +35* and higher

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