Joensuu Finland 15th–17th Jul 2016

Propagandhi amazed us with their music and message

The world is a fucked up place. Propagandhi, who promote peace and tolerance in their music, drove the crowd wild in the Tähti Tent. The raw punk got the mosh pit worked up to overdrive, all the while a flag with a peace symbol on it waved over the venue. The band’s message is encouraging: although there is a lot of evil and wrong in the world, never let the world change who you are.

Sylunn Hago in her element. Photo: Inka Nevalainen

The Canadian Propagandhi managed to fill up the Tähti Tent almost to the brim – a feat that is hardly surprising, considering that this is the band’s only European gig this summer. Propagandhi’s metal flavored punk music pulls no punches with its societal critique, and the crowd fully embraced the show.

Immediately after the first song, the band is rewarded with roaring applause, to which the singer responds with ”kiitos”; a thank you in Finnish. The majority of the songs in the setlist were longer than the standard, more punk-sized musical sprints, but the crowd doesn’t seem to mind. The vocal delivery that oozed with attitude, energetic guitars and thumping drums kept people fully engaged. Everyone reacted to the music in their own ways: hanging back and sitting on the grass, dancing wildly on the outskirts of the crowd, pumping their fists in the air or even playing air guitar. Right in front of the stage, there was a seemingly tireless mosh pit going round and round. The crowd was fully dedicated to the band, their feet pounding the muddy ground and countless whistles filling the air inside the tent.

The singer is all smiles in-between songs. There is little need for song introductions, and the songs flow right together, one after the other. It’s only towards the end of their set that the band speaks up to criticize politicians – a theme that can also be found in some of their songs. In contrast to the relatively tight-lipped band members, the crowd is very vocal, letting the good vibes in the tent be heard in screams and yells of song requests to the band.

A little bit of sweat is ok when the atmosphere is as great as on Propagandhi’s gig. Photo: Veera Konsti

There are no quiet moments during the set. A thundering bass solo provokes screams that echo in our skulls well after the band has exited the stage. Whenever there is a brief lull in the show, the crowd raises the volume back up by enthusiastic shouts and raging applause. Although the going gets pretty rough in the mosh pit from time to time, there is nonetheless an overarching spirit of camaraderie in the crowd, as is fitting to the band’s ideology: when someone falls down, there are always others there to pick them up, followed by a quick high-five.

During the last few songs, a girl emerges from the crowd dancing with a Canadian flag. Propagandhi was a highly anticipated artist, and after the gig both the band members and the people in the crowd had glowing smiles on their faces.

Text: Anne Tuovinen
Photos: Inka Nevalainen and Veera Konsti
Translation: Mika Alaoutinen

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