TUSKA FESTIVAL PRE-SHOW REPORT: Heatseeker 2016

Bands: Shiraz Lane, Lost Society and Santa Cruz

 

Tuska.  The Finnish word for PAIN.  Tuska…THE biggest Finnish festival for metal acts from around the globe whose only mission is to bring to the metal masses pure heavy metal over three days.  Rain or Shine.  However, metal never sleeps and before the Tuska beast awoke, the day before the festival some of Finland’s most prominent up and coming bands took the stage at the Tavastia Club in the center of Helsinki.  Shiraz Lane, Lost Society and Santa Cruz took the stage to whip the crowd into a frenzy and help set the stage for a glorious weekend of heavy metal.

 

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Jani Laine; Shiraz Lane

First to take the stage is the newest band on the local scene, Shiraz Lane.  They are best described an 80’s styled Sunset Strip glam band…without the makeup.  Now I have to admit I was bit cold coming into watch Shiraz Lane.  I had listened to them a bit in the past but the singer had always seemed a bit too high pitched for me.  However, I am very happy to report that live, the band sounds fantastic and for an opening band the crowd had packed out the club in full force.  The whole band had a great stage presence and a good charisma that can really work the crowd which is a big part for bands like Shiraz Lane.  While I do compare them with Sunset Strip bands in their sound, lyrically they do have songs that are a bit more mature than what you would find in a lot of those other bands.  If you’re interested in hearing some songs from the band look up songs like ‘Mental Slavery’ and ‘Wake Up’ and you will have a good idea of what the band is about.  Again, I was pleasantly surprised by the performance Shiraz Lane put on and more importantly the fans had a freaking blast watching them which is always important.  A big thumb up to these guys!

 

Next to take the stage was Lost Society which is a band I am very familiar with as I

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Sammy Elbanna; Thrashing it up! 

have followed them since their first album, ‘Fast Loud, Death’ and have been a fan ever since.  The band is now out in support of their new album, ‘Braindead’.  To me this band always delivers live with such intense energy and fun it is hard to not like the band for that alone.  Samy Elbanna is an excellent front man who both can execute great playing while also jumping around like a madman doing it.  And it isn’t just Samy that can run around in frenzy; second lead guitarist Arttu Lesonen is just as insane and precise as Samy.  While the energy on stage is intense, the energy in the band’s songs are just as intense and infectious.  With songs like, ‘Terror Hungry’,  ‘KILL (Those Who Oppose Me) and ‘Fast, Loud, Death’ it is hard not to like the band and get whipped into a thrash frenzy.  It feels good to see the band enjoying the success they have obtained and I hope they continue to find success in the years to come.  If you get the chance, check out their new album, Braindead, which is available through Nuclear Blast Records now.

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Spitting Fire and Kicking Ass

 

Next up was the headliner of the night, Santa Cruz.  This band shot to popularity

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Archie looking for his Veronika…oops wrong Archie…
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Johnny Cruz…of Santa Cruz!

pretty fast in the past year or so.  They get support from Universal Music and Spinefarm Records and they were recently just showcased on the American ‘Breaking Band’ TV show where they were mentored by Sebastian Bach who subsequently took them out on tour with him across the United States.  So, to put it shortly, the band has been on a quick rise and has been putting all the positive aspects of it to good use.  The band is best described as being very similar to Skid Row thus them being paired with Sebastian Bach on the previously mentioned tour makes perfect sense.  One of the songs that gave the band a popularity boost and got them going is ‘Aiming High’ which I think is a signature song for the band.  As far as their live performance on this night, the band was in top form.  Johnny Cruz on lead guitar really knows how to display a great stage presence and lead singer Archie Cruz reminds me a bit of Vince Neil on stage and knows how to work the crowd and takes the mic stand with him all over the stage.  By this time, the whole Tavastia Club was filled with people who were absolutely enjoying everything Santa Cruz had to offer and this is why Santa Cruz was the headliner.  The Wasted and Wounded were waiting to hear their call and Santa Cruz delivered it!

The Heatseeker warm up show for Tuska was a huge success in my eyes.  It had three of the hottest up and coming bands in Finland and all three delivered their music with such sincerity and ferocity it would be hard to not become a fan of any of the bands.  For me, Shiraz Lane won me over as I already enjoyed the other bands.  If you are reading this, go and check out Shiraz Lane, Lost Society and Santa Cruz as they all deserve your support.

NEXT UP….TUSKA DAY 1!!!!!!

CLICK HERE For Day 1 Report

CLICK HERE for Day 2 Report

CLICK HERE for Day 3 Report

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