On the second day of the new Kokkola viinijuhlat in Kokkola, Finland, beautiful concerts were again on the program. The organization could have won none other than Europe for this day, but also the rest of the line-up did not lie.
What a beautiful day with sunshine, happy people and singer Erin on stage. Her singing was reminiscent of the Belgian Selah Sue. The only difference, however, was that Erin sang in Finnish. She said, as many bands before her said yesterday, that she had new songs that she had never played live because of Covid-19. She was thrilled to be able to let her voice and lyrics flow over the audience and hear the response.
Samuli Edelmann is both an actor and a singer. He sang a large repertoire of songs from his 30-year career. He mastered and played many of his great songs. His performance ended with the singing of his most famous song “Peggy” together with the next featured artist, Lauri Tähkä. When Lauri appeared on stage, he surprised Samuli Edelmann and later Lauri also took over the show. Both enjoyed and had a great time together! Now it was clear that one of the great artists of today was coming as a lot of people came to the area. Despite Corona or perhaps because of Corona, people still wanted to go outside. Hopefully without many new cases, because it seemed like all the limitations were forgotten.
The charismatic Lauri Tähkä had a well-balanced setlist, consisting of uptempo songs, sing-alongs and ballads. He told us that 25 years ago, during his first show in Kokkola, he took the stage in a local pizzeria with the band Lauri Tähkä & Elonkerjuu. No one was there and even the chef left. This time, however, it was completely different, as he made thousands of people dance and sing along. Before he left, he threw two buckets of flowers into the audience as a thank you.
The next Finnish artist on the list was Ressu Redford. For a non-Finnish speaking person it is quite difficult to get the atmosphere and an idea what they are singing and talking about. Unfortunately, what they brought on stage wasn’t that impressive musically, but that didn’t matter to the audience. The beat and the booze did well enough. He sang a single English cover, “The best girls”, but all the other songs were in Finnish. The last song was the ballad “(I can’t live if living is) without you” translated into Finnish “Älä mee”.
The Swedish band Europe already performed in Kokkola in 1992 during the Prisoners In paradise tour. Europe, the headliner of this year’s Kokkolan viinijuglat festival, hadn’t played for 2.5 years. Kokkola was the first live audience to hear them perform again. It didn’t sound like they were out that long! Their playing was upbeat and rocking well, and they seemed to be having a great time as well. Their hits “Carrie”, “Rock the night” and the final closing of the performance, “The final countdown”, were of course on the set list tonight.
All in all, the Kokkolan viinijuhlat festival was perfectly timed. People wanted to go out again and listen to music, sing and dance. The atmosphere of the grounds was nice, cozy and inviting. The artists were like cows being let out in the fields for the first time of the year. Eager, playful and enthusiastic in movement. The Finnish lineup and mix of genres was exactly what the audience wanted and that’s what they got! We are eagerly looking forward to the festival next year!