A few weeks ago, a true American hero visited Finland. Kris Kristofferson played two breathtaking shows in Helsinki and Tampere. His visit went a little bit unnoticed, especially in Tampere, where the venue was half empty. There was not much hype around these shows. With the same modesty, Kristofferson came to the stage. Dressed in black, alone with his acoustic guitar, he sang for two hours a collection of unforgettable songs, chronicling his forty year long career.
In 2006, the 72 year old singer-songwriter and actor revamped his musical career and published This Old Road, his first album of new original songs in eleven years. The album receive good reviews and since then Kristofferson has regularly toured to support it.
During the concert at Tampere-talo, the partner in crime of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson presented a good bunch of songs from This Old Road. The theme of those songs is retrospective and reflective. They are the songs of aging man looking at the important things of life. Songs about the war (In The News) and songs about those that are long gone (Final Attraction). The acoustic format benefit this song and Kristofferson’s aged voice underlines its meaning.
Once Billy the Kid in Sam Peckinpah’s memorable Western, the singer has not softened his social conscience and several times through the show he threw some lines bashing George Bush between the long list of songs that he played. The show was divided into two sets and it included more than 25 songs. Kristofferson played classics like Me and Bobby McGee and Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down and outlaw country songs such as Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down, Casey’s Last Ride and The Silver Tongued Devil and I.
It was a thrilling night to listen to a masterful songwriter in such an intimate performance. A night of fascinating stories about god, the devil, murder and love that brought a little bit of dust to Tampere.
Photos by Eduardo Alonso