Another long and fun day 😄 If you haven’t read about day 1 at Tuska you can read it here! Let’s get to it!
We woke up pretty early on July 1st because we wanted to see the HIM HAM before the festival that day. We sort of got lost trying to find the exhibit, but it was near Kamppi station (which is huge & has wifi) so we weren’t lost for long. The Helsinki Art Museum is kind of situated strangely. It’s in this building that has a movie theatre and depending on where you enter (if directly from Kampi station) it’s in the back in a small room to the right. When we entered the building we heard HIM playing and just followed the sound to the room.
The exhibit was so cool y’all 😱 Like I NEVER thought I would experience anything like this (I say that a lot huh)! I was literally in a room (albeit small) filled with HIM and HIM fans! I’ll post photos down below so you can see what I’m talking about. Also, on our way to Estonia a few days later we passed by the Tiketti Gallery on the tram and they had more photos of different bands so we visited that gallery on our 4th day in Helsinki. I’ll get to that later.
After the exhibit we walked around the area for a bit to find food. It took us a while to find our way to the festival since we weren’t coming from our hostel when we were done eating. We spoke to random museum workers who tried their hardest to help us.❤️ They didn’t know some pertinent English vocabulary, but eventually we found out where we were and got to the metro station. The gates opened at 1pm again and that was the day that HIM was playing.
Day 2 was pretty cold too, but it was mostly because of the harsh winds. We went to the VIP section to figure out our plan for that day. I just wanted to see Electric Wizard and HIM that day and was okay with walking around aimlessly finding new bands to get into. My friend wanted to see Avatarium and Amorphis, and on top of that random autograph sessions were announced that day. I think we only made it to Amorphis’ autograph session that day. I don’t remember much from the interaction. They were nice people but it was kind of like we said hi to each other, they signed the card, and I left lol I’m not the biggest fan of Amorphis, but that’s not to say I don’t like them. I listened to a few of their songs before the festival and I have nothing against them, but I wasn’t crazy about their sound. Honestly, there’s no shade here.
My friend and I mostly hung around the VIP area. There were random band members walking around talking to their homies so I didn’t say hi to them, but we believe that the bassist of Sonata Arctica was staring at us as we were talking on the grass lol I remember spotting a random guitarist from a band I couldn’t name at the time staring at us too, but that was the height of our interactions lolol
There might be some Avatarium fans reading this but I wasn’t keen to that band. We stayed for half of their set and although we got to them pretty late there was a lot of space in the audience. Quick note: Concerts in America are a competition of how close you can get to each other whereas concerts in Finland are a competition of how far away can you be from other people while still having a good view of the stage haha. There’s actually so much space in between people at almost all the sets I went to, but Avatarium had the biggest gaps. My friend dug them though so I stayed, but they’re not the band for me so I didn’t take any photos. I think I fell asleep while watching them oops
Paara 7/1 14:55-15:40
After Avatarium I was almost an icicle so I basically ran to the Inferno stage, which is in a building. I’m so glad I made that choice. The immediate atmosphere beckoned me to get closer to the stage so I just kept walking and the music was totally my vibe. I noticed people walking out and I couldn’t understand why at the time. Later I found out that they were trying to get close to the stage for Mokoma in the tented area. This was a really lucky situation for me since the crowd was clearing I could actually get to the gate of Paara‘s set. I didn’t know anything about Paara before I heard them live, and when my friend and I were going through the line up online for Day 2 we didn’t think much of them. I’m so bad at describing their sound, but it gives me a homey feeling. It’s like listening to something so deep and dark yet comforting. All of their songs gave me the most perfect synesthesia and I actually wouldn’t change any part of their music. Later we went to the CD tent at the festival looking for a Paara CD. They were all sold out! On our 4th day in Helsinki we went to 3 record stores and they were all sold out there too! They have their CD online though.
You can spot me towards the end of this drum cam video hahaha The lead singer was right in front of me.
We went straight to Mokoma‘s set after Paara’s because they seemed like a really popular band. They’re Finnish apparently and they weren’t too bad (in the sense of my taste of music of course). Their fans were lit and it was kind of cool to see another huge fan base that came to Tuska not only to see HIM (there were people in Heartagram shirts walking around everywhere that day.) I enjoyed their sound and they spoke to the audience quite a bit, which was cool, but in Finnish so we couldn’t understand what they were saying. In those cases throughout our trip we would just follow whatever the crowd was doing. 😅
We went to eat in the VIP area and met 2 British men that also came to see HIM. It’s funny because usually when people hear me and my friend talk they notice our American accents and say “Oh English!” or “Another American accent!”, but in like an ice-breaker manner. There wasn’t much seating in the covered dining area in the VIP section so one of them sat down across from us and we talked about HIM, the festival, made fun of each other’s countries, and just chilled for a while. After we ate we wanted to see Electric Wizard so we all headed there together. My friend and I left that set early (unfortunately) so we could get good spots for HIM. The 2 British guys were literally almost 7 feet tall so they didn’t have to worry about not seeing the stage so they stayed for the rest of Electric Wizard. We got to Electric Wizard’s set late so I don’t have any good photos of their set.🙁
Ok I said that we left Electric Wizard’s set to get good spots for HIM, but we had to actually get good spots for Amorphis since they were playing right before HIM and we knew that almost all the people at the festival that day came from all over the world to see HIM. Let me give you a time frame:
- 19:10-20:05 Electric Wizard (Inferno Stage/Tent Stage)
- 20:05-21:05 Amorphis (Radio Rock Stage/Main Stage)
- 22:10-00 HIM (Radio Rock Stage/Main Stage)
We STOOD 3 rows away from the gate at the Radio Rock/Main stage from 7:30pm to midnight. About 5 hours just so that we could get as close to HIM as possible.
The funny thing is that we weren’t the only people that had this idea. When my friend & I started talking in the crowd someone said “American accent?” and we were like “omg yes!” We were literally surrounded by like at least 7 Americans, 1 guy from Canada, and 2 Australians (who didn’t want to see HIM womp womp.) We had the same reasoning in mind too: If we’re going to spend at least 1K on this trip to see HIM we’re going to get as close as we can. That made the experience much more memorable.
Amorphis 7/1 20:05-21:05
Amorphis‘ set was amazing and I really like the lead singer’s mic! (You could probably Google it to see what I’m talking about) I only have a few photos since I was saving my battery to basically record HIM’s entire set 😂 There was a weird tall guy in front of me for a while. He was wearing all black and had a black (wave cap?😂) bandana with black sunglasses. I noticed that he turned around and stared at me for like a solid 10 mins before Amorphis started playing, and honestly kind of felt terrorist vibes from him. I mean you can’t be wearing all black looking like you’re about to rob a bank and have skin whiter than paper and not have me be suspicious of you while you’re staring at me. Later when HIM was playing he tried to start a fight with a guy from Italy and another guy from Germany (who were both each super annoying because they wanted their girlfriends to get to the gate & kept trying to convince people around them to let them get closer 🙄) Other than that moment Amorphis’ set was fun and colorful (synesthetic & otherwise)
HIM 7/1 22:10-00:00
How can I even begin to talk about HIM‘s set!? They played this light-hearted 70’s (?) song (which is definitely different from the Suspiria soundtrack they used to play before the opening of their set years ago) before they walked on and immediately started playing. This is the first time I saw Kosmo play with them and nothing felt different (in a good way.) The sound was HIM, the atmosphere was HIM, and it felt like I was seeing family again after a long time of being away. Their set list was super long (you can find it online) and they played RESURRECTION. YOU GUYS. I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO HEAR THAT SONG LIVE. DO YOU UNDERSTAND? Like since I was 12 I’ve wanted to hear that goddamn song live and it ACTUALLY HAPPENED. There aren’t enough crying emojis to convey how I feel😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭
I sung throughout the whole set as I always do and as I’ve always done. There was a moment you guys. I CANNOT believe this happened, but the people around me noticed it too. VILLE VALO SUNG THE CHORUS OF WHEN LOVE & DEATH EMBRACE (which is another song I absolutely LOVE hearing live) DIRECTLY AT ME AND SMILED. I have the receipts and confirmation from my friend and I honestly HONESTLY cannot believe that this happened to me. Like if I didn’t go to Finland for this festival this would have NEVER happened to me. Video below of course!
They also played “Stigmata Diaboli” live and the crowd went absolutely crazy. I love hearing the part in “Join Me” where the crowd shouts “This life ain’t worth livin!” and with the Tuska crowd it was ridiculous! I’ve never heard so many voices shout out that line before. The whole crowd also shouted the line “Love’s the Funeral of Hearts!” in “Funeral of Hearts” after the bridge and it SHOOK me fam. I’ll try to upload small clips of those videos here.
There were fireworks after HIM’s set and they ended it 5 minutes early. This set was an eye-opening experience. My first HIM concert was at the House of Blues in Houston and the crowd was so tiny (I think it was in 2005). The concerts afterwards in the states were bigger, but still not to the volume that Tuska had. I even saw HIM at La Bataclan in Paris in 2013 and although that crowd was pretty big, the venue was the size of a HOB. I’ve never been surrounded by so many HIM family members and it was more special because of the diversity. There were people from Poland, Japan, Australia, Canada, the U.S. and Finland there and it was crazy to realize that we all felt the same connection with this band for so long. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
The gates closed at 1am so we went straight to the hostel after I had a mini freak-out after their set. I watched as so many heartagrams left the festival area and felt at home. I finally had that feeling that I’ve been wanting to experience since I was a child.
Tuska Day 2 Schedule:
- 13:00 Gates Open
- 13:45-14:15 LIK
- 14-14:25 Alabama Kush
- 14:15-14:55 Avatarium
- 14:55-15:40 Impaled Nazarene
- 14:55-15:40 Paara
- 15:40-16:25 Mokoma
- 16:10-16:40 Throes of Dawn
- 16:25-17:25 Timo Rautiainen & Trio Niskalaukaus
- 17:10-17:40 Sleep of Monsters
- 17:25-18:10 Lost Society
- 18:10-18:40 Mind Riot
- 18:10-19:10 Soilwork
- 19:10-20:05 Electric Wizard
- 19:10-19:55 Fear of Domination
- 20:05-21:05 Amorphis
- 20:25-21:25 Demonztrator
- 21:05-22:05 Triptykon
- 22:10-00 HIM
- 0100 Gates Close
I’ll see you in the next post for Tuska Day 3! Thank you for this experience Tuska. Really.❤️