Saturday, September 13, 2008

Monsters of Pop Sept 4th - Day One

Ever since Monsters of Pop indie festival was launched back in 2006 I’ve attended every concert. Last year it was quite difficult to see all gigs from beginning to end because at some points there were two bands playing in different venues at the same time. This time it was much better. You could easily see all bands and the festival had been moved to Klubi and Telakka from Yo-talo and Artturi.

The obviously well-named indiepop band Goodnight Monsters started this year’s festival and played a set of great pop tunes, mostly from their new album Summer Challenge. I had never listened to this band before and I noticed I totally loved the stuff and the gorgeous hooks. This type of twee-ish music is exactly what you might assume I listen to all the time, but I really haven’t really gotten into the genre yet. I’ve checked out some material from twee groups but usually ended up thinking: “This stuff kinda lacks rock’n’roll riffs.. and it could use some additional power and intensity, too.” I guess I’ll learn to love twee music as I listen to it more – a lot more.

Kastor was the second band. They played quite original alternative rock (which made me wonder why they chose rock bands again to this festival when it’s supposed to be pop) and it was really good. I might check out the band later. I still remember vividly how serious Kastor members seemed to be about their music. They really put all their energy and skills to the performance. It was almost scaringly intense.

Kiki Pau ended the first part of day one. This band was probably the most confusing thing of the entire festival. It was catchy and wild alternative pop-rock with very groovy rhythms. The confusing thing was the band’s lead singer, he looked and sounded somehow familiar.. I felt like I watching and listening to Janne Laurila’s brother who had made a bit different choice about his musical career – a bit more groovy and aggressive choice.

At Klubi, the opening act of the evening was Last Calls, a group that played very peaceful and melancholic music with film music and country qualities. It wasn’t the most exciting gig I’d seen, but it was quite suitable after two very loud, high-energy gigs.

Then, it was time for the first international guest, Russian post-rock group Everything Is Made in China. Post-rock was one of this year’s new themes in Monsters of Pop, and EIMIC gave a nice introduction to the subject. Very sympathetic, curly-haired Fedorov Maksim sang and played guitar while Zotov Aleksey banged the drums and cool graphics illustrated the silver screen.

Risto was the last performer of the day one of MOP. Risto Ylihärsilä’s anti-melodic pop was once again a big success, and having seen two Risto gigs before, I have to say Mr. Ylihärsilä’s performances just keep getting more and more demonic.. Risto creates entertaining pop/rock songs out of dead serious topics, performs them manically (scaringly intensive gig of the day #2), and makes the audience dance - Diskopallo being the biggest hit, of course.

More blabber to come..

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