September 09, 2011

LIVE! Pendulum, Tinie Tempah & Rihanna

I arrived on the spot around five o'clock and in spite of the promised rain a lot of people were present. The vibe was similar to the other festivals as the people waiting in front of the gates and drinking their last alcohol drinks and the biggest fans already started queuing around nine in the morning for the main performer. (The rules stated you couldn't queue before 9 am.)

When I accessed the area I looked around a little but to be honest the weather was pretty big thing for this event; like its title obviously states out the event is located on the beach and the fact that it was raining didn't quite fit. Bar, and the guest area were at the end of the beach directly opposite to the stage, distance being somewhere around 1 km. The event lasted a full day and if I hadn't arrived straight from an 8-hour shift the area might have been more intriguing.

I should say this in the beginning: the gig was on a real beach. In other words, there was real sand there and a concert in sand is hell - you would sink in the sand even when standing still, even though it was a little wet, and if you had on sandals or any other 'summer shoes' the sand would get everywhere! At some point I even wondered in the evening I should perhaps go to the rocky hill at the side of the stage, so at least my legs could be saved from soreness.

Earlier in the day well-known Finnish rappers and a star of the British indie music Santigold had performed. In fact I only arrived just in good time to watch Pendulums DJ set. Boys kicked off their set strongly with their own music, quickly gaining the attention of the large audience. Pendulum is really big in Finland at the moment so the guys are very familiar with the attention. 

Ben "The Verse" Mount kept the audience moving briskly and perhaps even too eagerly, he was also good at getting the audience to sing. The set was completed from their own songs to the music from artists in the same type genre - admittedly Sex On Fire by Kings Of Lion was a strange bird but it still didn't lower the crowds party mood. The end of the guys' set was little overbearing; the men did not have any desire to leave the stage. In the end the fact is: yes I rather prefer the whole band performing than DJ sets. And I believe the other fans prefer too. 7/10

After a half an hour of waiting it was time for Tinie Tempah! With minor difficulties, though; the host Axl Smith arrived on stage first stating out that the guys are having some technical difficulties. This didn't keep the band's DJ from entertaining the large audience, playing the latest hits, mixing it up and keeping people warm. Just as people begun to Sufle', the British boy who btw flew from Tokyo in the morning ran to the stage.

Energy level increased ten times on the stage when this young man was running, bouncing and dancing on it. He seemed happy to be here as happiness and humility shined from his face. "You are never getting me off this stage" he said when the audience sang Written In The Stars chorus easily completely acappella. The man got the audience to dance even to even songs that might be more unknown to many people. I'm sure that after this evening a lot of people might have found a new favorite artist. Tinieh Tempah played somewhat an hour, ending his set nicely jamming with the band while the crow sang the song. I bet Tempah did not expect this warm welcome from the "cold" Finland. 9 / 10

The long waited superstar Rihanna made us wait a little bit more. She is momentarily the one of the biggest artist in music, many of her singles are on charts and play standardly in clubs. The star made the crowd wait for almost an hour but when the show finally started, the irritated and even buued audience exploded, and in a good way. Starting with Only Girl (In The World) Rihanna immediately discovered the power of the Finnish sing-along.

A positive surprise; Rihanna does not lip sync, she really sings while she dances and struts around the stage. The set list was a good compilation of songs from all the five albums that bring together a wide variety of musical styles from Caribbean rhythms to rock glamour. For example, Mandown and Shut Up And Drive. The show even had lovely softness as the beautiful ballads Unfaithful and California King Bed flowed trough the set. The audiences’ voice almost covered the diva's when she interpreted a very personal and heavy Love The Way You Lie.

The gig was very well-proportioned; Rihanna didn't do costume changes like many other big pop stars do. The biggest change was when the light blue shirt was taken off and a colorful floral top was found underneath. With this outfit it was easy to deliver the entire performance while dancing like a pro! (Pretty envious about that kind of hip skills.) There was props too, for example: Rihanna played the drums in one song - pretty well actually and used a pink cannon shooting t-shirts.

Rihanna was present the whole show and didn't seem like the big diva people gossip her to be. Though she made direct contact with the audience it still felt like something was be missing. Maybe it was the extra hour of waiting for the gig, maybe it was all that time standing in the sand or maybe it was the "now you sing!"s for the songs that in Finland haven't even been singles. Yet, this 23-year-old Barbados diva got many fans emotional.

Ending her set, with an obvious choice Umberella nicely and without any over dramatic hassle. 8/10 The entire festival came to an end at 12 o'clock with spectacular firework display, which looked beautiful with black sky and sea alongside.

Text: Ida Kokko
Photography: Jana Blomqvist