After Måneskin’s victory in Rotterdam earlier this year, we were reminded of all the iconic rock performances on the Eurovision stage over the years. While rock isn’t necessarily the most popular genre at Eurovision, there have been plenty of memorable performances of different rock genres, serving guitars and attitude. So here, in no particular order, are eight iconic rock performances at Eurovision.
Hard rock: Lordi – “Hard Rock Hallelujah” (Finland 2006)
Result: 1st in grand final (292 points)
The monstrous Finnish rockers Lordi brought some hard rock served with a hint of schlager. “Hard Rock Hallelujah” was accompanied by an unforgettable stage show, with the band in monster costumes and Mr Lordi spreading his wings. The song was a huge hit, giving Finland its first — and so far only — Eurovision win.
Soft rock: The Humans – “Goodbye” (Romania 2018)
Result: 11th in semi-final (107 points)
Not every rock song is heavy. Romania’s The Humans went their own way with the soft rock anthem “Goodbye”. Helmed by Cristina Caramarcu’s powerhouse vocals, the group delivered a solid soft-rock performance. While the unsettling staging may have put a few viewers off, the song was ranked ninth in the jury vote and narrowly missed out on qualifying, placing 11th in its semi-final.
Glam rock: Wig Wam – “In My Dreams” (Norway 2005)
Result: 9th in the grand final (125 points)
Lipstick, eyeliner, Lycra, feathers, flares and chest hair —Norway’s glam rock group Wig Wam brought their A-game to the Kyiv stage. Led by the charismatic frontman Glam (aka Åge Sten Nilsen), the group delivered their attitude-laden “In My Dreams”. The performance gave Norway a top-ten finish.
Power metal: Teräsbetoni – “Missä miehet ratsastaa” (Finland 2008)
Result: 22nd in grand final (35 points)
Finnish power metal group Teräsbetoni showed they were as strong as reinforced concrete with their 2008 song “Missä miehet ratsastaa”. The song was the country’s first Finnish language song since the national language rule ended in the late ’90s — proving that the dramatic tones of Finnish are a perfect match for the theatrics of metal. The song took Finland to the grand final where they finished 22nd.
Metalcore: Max Jason Mai – “Don’t Close Your Eyes” (Slovakia 2012)
Result: 18th in semi-final (22 points)
“Don’t Close Your Eyes” was Slovakia’s last Eurovision entry to date. Max Jason Mai brought rock swagger to the stage with his metalcore performance. He performed the heck out of the song but it didn’t resonate with televoters or juries. The song finished last in its semi.
Britpop: Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitaz – “Midnight Gold” (Georgia 2016)
Result: 20th in grand final (104 points)
Surprisingly, it was a Georgian group who finally brought the Britpop sound to Eurovision. Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitaz had previously been based in London and nailed the indie rock sound that swept the UK in the ’90s. Their song “Midnight Gold” was a bold, psychedelic rock experience with wild staging. The performance got Georgia into the grand final and even nabbed 12 points from the UK jury.
Nu metal: Blind Channel – “Dark Side” (Finland 2021)
Result: 6th in grand final (301 points)
When Blind Channel won Finland’s UMK with a landslide result, it was clear they would be one to watch in Rotterdam. Their song “Dark Side” brought a fresh take on the nu-metal genre, their double vocalists delivering a performance with a one-two punch. Despite facing tough competition with Italy’s rock entry, Blind Channel secured a sixth-place finish for Finland.
Honourable mention: Ovidiu Anton – “Moment of Silence” (Romania 2016)
Ovidiu Anton was had won Romania’s national final and was due to head to Eurovision 2016. Sadly, due to a financial issue between the Romanian broadcaster and the EBU, Romania’s place in Stockholm was cancelled and Ovidiu never had the opportunity to compete. But his song “Moment of Silence” remains as a powerful piece of pop-rock.
Thanks to wiwiblogger Lauren for her expert advice on rock genres.
Coming soon… part two, with more iconic Eurovision rock performances.
What do you think? What are your favourite rock performances at Eurovision? Would you like to see more rock acts on the Eurovision stage? Tell us your thoughts below!