My mission for the second day of Tuska would have been to see as many supporting bands as possible, if I hadn’t gotten a message the day before about my precious baggage. I woke up “early” (as early as one can wake up after drinking all night with one’s Rastila friends) and headed straight there, but my trip was delayed by some Helsinki Pride festivities. Did I want gay people to have rights more than I wanted myself to have a fresh change of underwear? Um, in that particular moment…no comment.

DSCF1570Seriously though, yes. I’m not some sort of monster.

Changing clothes in an airport bathroom is harder than it looks, but felt better than I could have possibly imagined. With my Priest shirt on, some jeans, and (most importantly) comfy sneakers, I went back to Suvilahti to catch whatever bands I could. Going back to the hostel to drop off my things was not an option, considering I’d already missed like half the bands already.

When I arrived at Suvilahti, I heard two distinct noises: We Butter The Bread With Butter, who were exactly as awful as their band name would suggest but I think that’s their thing so I can’t fault them too much, and some old dude on a megaphone yelling about Jesus. I honestly don’t know which was worse.

DSCF1571Even their Christian songs were slightly metal-tinged.

My first band of the day was Kreator, a band I’d enjoyed once when they came to New York with Accept and Swallow The Sun. They were a lot of fun, but the audience knew their work far better than I did so I felt a little left out. Plenty of good pictures though!

DSCF1581click the picture to see the full gallery

Testament is an old favorite of mine, probably my most anticipated band of the entire festival, and they did not disappoint. There are no weak links in this band — every single member is a talented genius. Alex Skolnick’s ridiculous guitarwork is unrivaled. Given how highly I regard Testament, it’s only natural that my camera’s batteries would run out during their set. Murphy’s Law.

DSCF1613click the picture to see the full gallery

Thankfully, I was at least able to hear their set on the way to and from the little Alepa trailer at the back of the venue, but ugh — the walk of shame on the way out of the photo pit was embarrassing. Not nearly as embarrassing, however, as Chuck Billy’s inconsistent pronunciation of “Tuska” (it’s “TOO-ska,” not “TUSK-uh!”). When an American’s pronunciation of a Finnish word is the only complaint I’ve got a set, chances are it’s a pretty great set altogether. That said, if by any chance any of the members of Testament read this, I am formally requesting that you play “Electric Crown” and/or “Perilous Nation” the next time you’re in New York. PLEASE.

On Tuska Day 2, I learned some lessons of questionable value, and they are as follows:

-Lost Society, Soul Thrower, Baltimor, Black City, Ratface, Soilwork, and Bloodred Hourglass, combined, are not as important to me as changing my underwear.

-Seriously, do not underestimate how great it feels to change into a new pair of underwear.


-Finnish Jesus loves me.

-When you have express written permission to be in a certain area, doing any given thing, by all means go into that area, do that thing, and don’t be shy about it!

Coming soon — the finale…