Concerts Music

Billy Corgan´s sick and funny blues

After splitting up in 2000, Smashing Pumpkins came back during 2007. It was about time to see one of the band´s that marked my teenage years, together with Nirvana or Guns & Roses. 


One guy from the organization tells me inside the Ice Hall in Helsinki that it is not possible to go down, to the area in front of the stage, since the tickets are sold out. Not true as I can see with my own eyes seconds later while sitting, since only around 2/3 of the venue´s capacity is filled with people waiting to see Smashing Pumpkins in its come back Tour.  It seems that the attraction for seeing half of the original formation (only Billy Corgan and the drummer Jimmy Chamberlin remain, since Melissa Auf der Mar and James Iha do not participate) is not enough for many old fans. It is a long time ago of the band´s peak on popularity terms, when appearing even in a Simpson´s episode… but the fire still burns. The group released recently a new album: Zeitgeist.

Undoubtedly, the Tour has Corgan as main star. The charismatic bald leader of the band jumped on stage wearing a shining silver long skirt, moving his tall body ungainly, and putting the Finnish public step by step into his pocket. At the beginning, the interaction with the audience was practically non-existent, with the band focused on playing, and Corgan must have felt surprised of the traditional coldness of the public, that behave quieter than in other countries, since he dedicated a couple of ironic sentences like “I don´t want anybody dying of excitement today here”.

But step by step, the concert started to warm up. A great help to that was listening to old great classics like Tonight, Tonight or Bullet with Butterfly Wings. The audience was eager to scream shouts of love for Corgan, and he answered effusively back, overall to the female voices…   Billy was not enjoying his best healthy day, since he recognized to be sick, coughing often between songs, and that lead to an improvised blues whose main line was “I am sick” and ended up with “I am foul”, for splashing the audience finally with the raw truth: “I am fool, but I have more money than you!”. After that, as a great special gift to compensate us, Corgan still alone on stage, played a superb acoustic version of 1979 that was probably the highlight of the night.

The band sounded well and compact in general. It was delicious to see the new bass player, Ginger Reyes, tiny and skinny, rocking with a bass that was almost of bigger size than her. A special mention for the lighting part of the show, well done and sophisticated enough to create the perfect climate in every song. Smashing Pumpkins sounded strong, sometimes even as hard as a heavy metal band, and Corgan and cia left a very good final taste in the mouths of the audience with more than 2 hours of good rock, a balanced mix of old and new material and great anthems like Drown, The Rose March, Bring the Light, the explosive Superchrist or the tender Lily (My One and Only).

Concerts Music

Nyman’s piano

legendary English composer Michael Nyman visited Estonia in order to
give two memorable concerts in the capital, Tallinn. The first one
took place in an outstanding scenario: Kaarli Church, which was
literally overcrowded by the fans.



in London in 1944, Michael Nyman has gained, not without reason, the
fame of being one of the best films music composers of the last
decades. He has collaborated with directors such as
, Michael
, Jane
or Laurence
and other well known musicians
Damon Albarn
(the ex member of
having composed together the music for Ravenouz (1999). Nyman has
scored soundtracks for many other films like
Gattaca (1997),
The Libertine
The End of the Affair
(1999) and the one that launched him to a worldwide fame status: the
extremely beautiful compositions of


composer and musician
visited Tallinn
invited by the
Black Nights Film
to perform in the opening
ceremony, but before, there was a special present: together with his
band, he offered a concert in Kaarli Church, one of the biggest and
most beautiful churches of the many that you can find spread around
the Estonian capital. Nyman did not show the exquisite punctuality
that you could look forward in an English gentleman, but even though,
it was worthy to wait a few minutes for the concert to get started.


Surrounded by high class professional musicians that form part of The
Michael Nyman Band
, Nyman seemed to be
happy with the close contact with the fans in the Estonian church,
and the band accomplished a musical tour around the best film
compositions scored by the Englishman during the past years. A
selection of themes from the
were the first to be featured,
followed by others from
(special mention to the beautiful song
Prospero’s Books
with another marvellous song:
and the most awaited moment of the night: Nyman’s solo performances
of The Piano; only three songs of the soundtrack, but enough to get
goose pimples while listening to the notes of
Heart Asks Pleasure First
; a romantic
and emotive moment that was followed by the final themes from
Drowning by Numbers.


audience wanted more and more, and not only obliged the band to
perform the compulsory encore, but even Nyman alone had to appear for
second time to dedicate a short
piano solo
to the fans that were feeling reluctant to leave such a magical
venue. An excellent gift for the ears.


Concerts Music

Massive Rush

{mosimage}Last Monday
was an important day for rock fans in Finland. It was a day marked on the
calendar for many months. The Canadian prog rock trio Rush played in the
country for the first time in more than 30 years of career. The band didn’t
disappoint and it offered an extraordinary show at a sold out Hartwall Areena.
More than 12,000 people were happy.

Three years
ago, many Finns traveled to Stockholm. It was their only opportunity to see the
band’s 30th anniversary tour. It was a unique chance to see a band that does
not tour Europe very often. This year Rush were back and this time they didn’t
forget about those Finnish fans. “We didn’t know that we had so many fans
here”, says bassist Geddy Lee during the press conference before the show. “On
that show in Sweden, we realized that we needed to come and play here.”

Alex Lifeson
admits that they are having a lot of fun on this tour. “After
Neil’s [drummer Neil Peart] tragedy, we didn’t play for long. But that period
of absence made us realize how fragile life is. We love playing so as long as
we can plan well the tour and keep healthy, we’ll tour”.

The tragedy
Lifeson’s refers to dates back ten years. Within a few months, Neil Peart’s
only daughter and his wife died. He retired for four years. Peart was not
present at the press conference, but Geddy Lee said that “he hasn’t been
happier on a tour”. The drummer wrote a road book about his experiences and
feelings after that tragedy. He has written some more books about being on the
road with a car, a bike or a motorbike. He is planning to drive around Finland
after the tour. “We are not worried about him”, Lee says. “He is a very a safe

The press
conference soon transforms into a friendly talk in which the musicians share
their memories and experiences. Both remember the first gig together. “We knew
only six or seven songs, so we played them over and over in front of 40 people.
We made 10 dollars”, tells Alex. “After the show we went to a diner nearby and
had french fries. We planned our future as musicians. It was so exciting”, adds
Geedy. “But of, course, it was very important our first show with Neil. We
opened for Uriah Heep and we had just 26 minutes to play”.

{sidebar id=35}Those 26
minutes are much different than the nearly three hours that a Rush gig lasts
nowadays. There was  a great atmosphere at
the ice hockey hall minutes before the show started. The merchandise stands
were crowded with hundreds of people buying t-shits, posters, pins, Neil
Peart’s books… Cash flow big time. A bit after 8pm, lights out and the intro
video was displayed

And the
trio started. They played loud, but crystal clear, although perhaps the guitar
was a bit too loud and drowned the vocals and the bass at some point. Audience
got excited and stood up. However, most of the people sat down for most of the
concert, the audience was pretty responsive and warm, at least for a typically
cold audience as the Finnish is.

Neil Peart,
Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson are superb musicians. Even when they used the
support of prerecorded midi samples, their playing is top class, almost
perfect. Their music is complex. Songs travel through many places and create
many textures. It’s a massive sound.

As Lee had
confirmed, the show is pretty different from the previous tour. It started with
a set of songs from the early 
eighties, including Limelight, Digital Man and
Entre Nous. It took some minutes for the band to warm up, but soon the trio
works like a clockwork machine. “There’s not much room for improvising and
jamming on our set”, Lee explains. “It has a precise choreography”. Lifeson
adds that “we usually improvise in the rehearsals or the sound check and if we
hit some nice notes or arragement, we’ll add them to the show”.

Indeed, the stage production is part of the
magic of the Rush show. Lights, sound and video are perfectly synchronized. The
green lasers all over the venue created a great sci-fi atmosphere that fits so
well with the music and the synths parts of the songs. The videos add superb
animations and funny sketches (with Finnish subtitles) like the one with the
South Park kids introducing the hit Tom Sawyer.

But at the beginning of the second set,
something not on the script happened. Alex Lifeson blew up the amps and, Far
, the single of the latest album Snakes & Arrows, was finished with just
drums and bass. That felt kind of awkward as it took some minutes to fix the

The second set continued with four more
songs of Snakes & Arrows. That could be a bit too much for the fans waiting
to hear the classic. But this is the best release from Rush in many years.
Songs like Workin’ Them Angels, Armor and Sword or The Way the Wind Blows
proofed that it is possible to sound fresh and relevant after 30 years of career.

“This album was a lot of fun to record”,
tells Geddy Lee. “We felt like we could have continued composing and record for
a double album. It was a pity to stop that momentum”. Snakes & Arrows, as
previous albums, is not based on electronic sounds. “We intentionally decided
to write songs on acoustic guitar and bass”, continues Lee. “Electronics were
not involved. It’s something we used to do many years. We did a full circle

The three members seem to enjoy the time on
stage. Lifeson is an extraordinary guitarist and Neil Peart gave a clinic of
how to play drums and Geddy Lee, with a t-shirt from the museum that read
"kunnon kansalainen" (decent citizen, jumped and
sang beautifully. He keeps his voice in a very good shape, maybe thanks to the
soup he takes before every concert. “

There’s nothing much plan for the band
after this tour. As the guitarist confirms, they have recorded a couple of
shows in Rotterdam for a dvd released. “It is format that suits us very well and
it gives us the chance to see the show”, he laughs.

The press conference is over and reporters we
hurry to get some photos and autographs. We are a bunch of crazy fans, anyway.

Concerts Music

No Sweet Home Chicago!


atmosphere was amazing! When I was playing, it felt like I was playing to my
friends – the crowd was really responsive and we were all riding a wave upon
which the distinction between performer and audience melted away," L.R.
says of the first Floating Cockroach alt.blues festival, held on the
restaurant boat Wäiski in Helsinki on 29th

English-born Joensuu resident and his "aboriginal" drummer Mika
kick off the proceedings with a celebration of their brand new EP, The Hypnotic Songs of The Forgotten Dead. The title of the record
being the last reminder of the duo's heavy metal history, they turn in an
energetic set of electric hill country blues; the crowd is gathering, the room
is getting hot.

up is Bullfrog Brown, but as I have the good fortune to constitute 1/3 of that
group, I'm not going to voice an opinion here – festival organizer Jukka
's kind comment "the gentlemen's live show is great to watch"
will have to do. With Tuomari Nurmio next in line, people keep piling in, and
by the time we finish, there are actually more than 300 people crammed into a
room fit for 250 – that's including the performers and according to Juhola.

he… alone?!" a long-haired rocker gasps as the honorable Judge is taking
the stage. Yes he is, and has absolutely no problem filling the stage, the room
and the air with his raw and rugged electric blues that sounds positively
ageless. Spicing his set with a few mutilated cover versions ranging from Hank
Williams to the Beatles, Tuomari Nurmio must be the undisputed star of the
evening for many; I tend to agree. The boat is steaming.

change of pace, and 22-Pistepirkko's PK Keränen and the Gambian percussionist
Janko Manneh embark on a journey deeper into the vast treasure trove we know as
the blues. Paradoxically, while their set is the most primal and blatantly
African in nature, it is also the most distinctly Finnish-sounding performance
of the night. The people appreciate that, and the house keeps rocking.

tolls. By now, it is obvious that this is a festival unlike any other I've
witnessed. The bands are on schedule. The sound is great. The audience seems
happy and genuinely thrilled, and not once has anyone shouted: "Play Paranoid!" Also, and perhaps most strikingly, there is no
banner advertising drinks or newspapers or anything else on the stage – no,
Katja Juhola's fantastic blues paintings provide the perfect backdrop for the

time for Black River Bluesman & The Croaking Lizard, the latest and
greatest of Jukka Juhola's own alt.blues quartets, fresh from the Himalayan
Blues Festival in Kathmandu. Possibly the heaviest act on the bill, the
audience reaction is best illustrated by the fact that this is where the
schedule finally fails: Black River Bluesman's encores make Cosmo Jones late
for the stage.

the end of the good Bluesman's footstomping set, the rows of the audience seem
to thin somewhat: some have been rocking since 8 p.m. and simply drop, others
run to catch the first thing smoking or – to put it less poetically and more to
the point – to catch the last bus home. But there's plenty to remain, and the
joint is still jumping as Cosmo Jones Beat Machine hits the stage in the wee
hours of the morning. It's a big band, and a loud band, and the crowd is
spellbound by their mixture of eastern melodies, atonal cartoon-soundtrack
sounds and, yes, the blues.

"I think we were successful in creating a whole: each
set fit the spot perfectly, no two bands were alike, and the audience seemed to
dig every performer without reservation," Jukka Juhola says a few days
later. "I think the biggest difference compared to a regular blues
festival was that we didn't get to hear Sweet Home Chicago not once
during the evening – and there were NO wailing guitar solos!"

Indeed, at a time when the Blues In London e-zine is
marketing T-shirts with the happily dyslexic and heartfelt slogan "Clapton
Is Dog", Finland is right on the ball. As plans for next year's fest are being
discussed, the non-profit organization behind it, Alt.Blues Finland ry, will be
putting together a Finnish tour for the Italian Papa Leg Acoustic Duo featuring
Stefania Calandra in February 2008. According to Juhola, that just might
include a Floating Cockroach club night with 3-4 bands; if
not, the alt.blues boat is due to set sail again next September. 

Photos by Mira Kumpulainen

Front page: Bullfrog Brown

Inside: PK Keränen, Tuomari Nurmio, Janko Manneh

Concerts Music


{mosimage}With no
break Chris Cornell left Audioslave and resumed his solo career with a new
album (Carry On), a hit (You Know My Name, from the Bond movie) and a new tour. Last
week, Cornell and his band stopped in Helsinki and offered a two-hour career-spanning
show at two thirds full ice hockey arena.

curious to see what kind of crowd a 43-year old Chris Cornell could draw to his
show when the nineties and his Soundgarden days are long gone. So I arrived
early and hang around the venue. There were, of course, a few Soundgarden t-shirts,
and some more of Audioslave ones too, but mostly it looked like a adult and
laid back crowd. Many of them looked like a grown up version of the cast of Singles.

{sidebar id=18}
delivered a solid set of hits spanning his whole career that almost equally
included Soundgarden and Audioslave songs and equally divided seemed the
audience. Half of the crowd reacted to the Soundgarden songs and the other half
to Audioslave and Cornell’s solo songs. The concert started with Let Me Drown,
the opening song of the multi-selling Superunknown (1994). It followed with
another Soundgarden song Outshined and then Audioslave’s Show Me How To Live.
It was a strong start that made clear that there would not be much room for the
pop mood of many songs from Carry On.

But of
course, songs from the new album were played and so You Know My Name, which was
(unfortunately) one of the most acclaimed songs of the night. It is embarrassing
that a Bond song causes a better audience response than Rusty Cage, which was
out of place in the set list between two new songs.

The first
electric part of the concert ended with one of the best Cornell’s compositions:
Say Hello 2 Heaven from the masterpiece recorded in 1990 by Temple of the Dog,
that band that reunited Cornell with Pearl Jam members Stone Gossard, Jeff
and Mike McCready and Soundgarden’s drummer Matt Cameron.

The acoustic
part of the song was fun with Cornell playing solo with his guitar. He teased
playing You Know My Name again and he played his particular version of Michael
’s Billie Jean. It’s really interesting the transformation of this song.
It sounds like a mournful ballad written by a lonely outlaw singer rather than
a song by the King of Pop.

another Temple of the Dog song (All Night Thing), the band joined Cornell during
Doesn’t Remind Me Half. The band started jamming and they all seemed to have fun
throwing guitar picks to each other. Before the classic Black Hole Sun, Cornell
made everybody in the seating section stand. He should have done much earlier
because the audience suddenly seemed to be much into the show. Before the
encore break, another classic: Spoonman, which this time had a drum solo.

The concert
ended with a heavy note: Slaves And Bulldozers, one of the heaviest Soundgarden
songs. It had another drum solo and some improvisation that led into Led
Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love which was a nice surprise and the cherry on top for
a good show.

The band
was ok and Chris Cornell’s voice is fine, although it’s not the wild and
powerful voice that it used to be many years ago. In any case, it sounded
clear. It helped reviving an outstanding part of the legacy of the 1990s, exciting
decade of music when the Black Hole Sun video seemed to be on MTV every half an

Front page photo by Efthimia Panagiotopoulou 


Concerts Music

Pleased to meet you

{mosimage}They are
very close to the Steel Wheelchair Tour 2010, but on Wednesday The Rolling
confirmed once again that they are the majesties of rock and roll. As
usual, the Stones put an extraordinary show supporting an unbeatable collection
of songs that can hide any defects (which are many) of their playing.


After a
stormy and cold eve, the good weather and the sun did not want to miss one more
Rolling Stones concert in Finland: a nice summer evening welcomed an audience of
35,000 people at the Olympic Stadium. The band came on stage around 9pm with a
big bang of fireworks and the famous riff of Start Me Up and everyone stood up.
It was a rocking start in which the band adventured into an odd succession of
songs, which included not so popular songs such as All Down the Line, She’s So Cold
or Love Is Strong and ended with the country rock ballad Sweet Virginia.

This was
the most outstanding fragment of the show. All the special effects were put
aside and on stage there was just an honest rock and roll band with all its
virtues and defects. Although focused on the show more than one could have
expected, Keith Richards’ playing is nowadays more erratic than ever, hitting wrong
notes or just stopping playing. But that’s Keith Richards, anyway. Ron Wood showed
some nice slide guitar playing, Charlie Watts played a solid beat as usual and
Jagger held everything together.

{sidebar id=2}
This first
part of the show manifested the curse of the Stones. The tremendous popularity
and the stadium do not seem to allow them trying new things. Of course, they
just do not need it, although the music would improve if they would bother to
dig deep into the band’s repertoire or to explore the country influence that has
been present in many of the Stones albums. Sweet Virginia sounded sweet, with
Jagger laying down some good country vocals. They could easily deliver great
performances like the ones that were compiled in the magnificent Stripped album.

After the
extended jam of Can’t You Hear Me Knocking and Keith’s moment (he sang amazingly
clearly You Got The Silver and he looked amusing hugging his guitar in I Wanna
Hold You
), the concert became predictable: all the hits. But there is not a
better collection of rock classics. It’s the greatest hits of rock and roll. It’s
the time for the visual show: the trip to the back of the stadium with a moving
stage, the giant balloon tongue on the stage… Sympathy for the Devil is the
great “golden god” (or better evil) moment for Mick Jagger. Dressed in a red coat
he stood on top of the stage. But that’s what deserves. He is the best frontman in
rock and so it showed in Helsinki: dancing, running from one side to the stage
to the other, speaking Finnish to salute the crowd…

During the
last segment of the show, the whole band sounded tighter, louder and rocking.
They played a terrific version of Paint It Black that was probably the most acclaimed
song of the entire night. The encore of Brown Sugar preceded the fireworks and everyone
was happy.

There were
no surprised, but again… it’s only rock and roll!


Toots &
The Maytals

as the greatest reggae band opening for the greatest rock and roll band, Toots
& The Maytals were indeed a good opening act. The Jamaican band played a
short set based on from its first album: Pressure
, Funky Kingston and even the cover of John Denver’s Country Road. It was
just a pity that a stadium is such a big place for an unknown legend like Toots
Hibbert and his band and the crowd did not pay the deserved attention.

The only bad
thing of the evening was the tight security. One wonders if it is really
necessary to have one security guard for every 100 people during a seating concert, with a
mainly mellow and aged audience. Indeed the security did not help at all to create
an enjoyable atmosphere, especially when the guards would not allow anyone to
dance or move more than ten centimeters from his place. After paying tickets costing up
to 100 euro, the audience deserves some right to enjoy the show and not be
observed and watched like a flock of sheep. After all it was just a rock concert,
not a mob convention.

Concerts Music

Metal veterans look back

{mosimage}Metallica, the elder statesmen of trash metal, misters Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett
and Trujillo, put up a solid show at
Helsinki Olympic Stadium, the second to last gig of their Sick of the Studio
'07 tour. Once again the middle-aged metal gods proved their mastery of
machine-gun-riffs and face-melting licks in the face of a worshipping crowd of
metalheads. Hard core fans and casual enthusiasts each got their fill from a
set which combined the best parts of Metallica's long career: the early days'
trash metal genius of staccato riffs and breakneck transitions, and the more
mainstream metal from 1991's Black Album


The band seemed to be in good spirits and appeared happy to
be playing older songs. Fan favourites from the past dominated the setlist,
only a few post-Black Album songs were played, and none from 2003's St. Anger. Instead, the first  three albums were well represented. Rob
Trujillo, who wasn't around when most of the songs were first composed, seemes
to have reclaimed his place in the ranks of the Metal Militia. Following Trujillo's
bass solo the band payed homage to deceased original bassist Cliff Burton by
launching into Orion, a meandering
instrumental bash-a-thon written by Burton. The main portion of the set finished
off with the crowd chanting to a thunderous Master
of Puppets, followed by a raging Whiplash.
The band  returned to deliver the
necessary crowd-pleasers from Sad But
True to One
, this time with added
fireworks and pyrotechnics to boot. Cheap tricks, sure, but who cares, they
worked. With Enter Sandman out of the
way, the band came back once more to play Am
I Evil?
and finally obliterated the venue for good with Seek and Destroy.

It's good to see Metallica at ease with their past and
performing with such energy. With a set leaning towards their early career,
they sounded – in a good way – like they might as well have performed in a
dingy basement club. Still, mr. Hetfield is a enough of a showman to grab
an  audience, and he has the skill to
bring out the dramatic arc in a byzantine metal-oddyssey. While the concert
offered nothing really new, it was an entertaining and well executed
cross-section of the career of one of the most important metal bands ever.

On a side note, certain Finnish tabloids have been following
HIM's ordeals as Metallica's
warm-up act, and apparently for a reason. They were just all wrong for the
situation. Sandwiched between first opener Diablo's
aggressive piledriver metal and the colossal main act, HIM's synth-heavy and
melodic rock seemed completely out of place. The band's poor performance didn't
help either, or the fact that a large portion of the audience was still queuing
to the stadium during the opening acts. Then again, it was hardly a total
disaster: at least people applauded politely after every song.

 This show and all the shows of the tour are available for purchase and download at: 



15 July 2007 – Olympic Stadium, Helsinki 

Creeping Death
The Four Horsemen
Kirk Doodle #1
Ride The Lightning
Disposable Heroes
Kirk Doodle #2
The Unforgiven
And Justice for All
The Memory Remains
No Leaf Clover
Rob Doodle
Fade to Black
Master Of Puppets
Kirk Doodle #3
Sad But True
Kirk Doodle #4
Nothing Else Matters
Enter Sandman
Am I Evil?
Seek and Destroy

Concerts Music

Where is Sly?

{mosimage}One of the
big days at Pori Jazz 2007 was marked by the performance of the reunited Sly
and The Family Stone
. In 2006, the reclusive Sly Stone decided to come back and
hit the road again. After years of retirement, drug abuse and erratic behaviour,
there was a big expectation (and doubts) of what the seminal soul, funk and
rock combo could offer.


A jam,
which served as a sound check, and the hit Dance to the Music opened the show on Friday night.
No sign of Sly Stone on stage yet. Perhaps several people at that time wondered
if the artist was even in Finland. But soon, he is introduced and Sly appears
on stage in an oversized hoody, a baseball cap and dark glasses. He joins the
band playing keyboards, he sings a little bit with an old and worn out voice
and after a couple of songs he leaves the stage promising that he would be back
after a while.

That while
was a bit long and meanwhile the band played most of the Family Stone hits. To
make things more complicated, showers started and the audience rushed to put
the raincoat on. Ironically the band was playing Hot Fun in the Summertime at
that moment. This is Finland, indeed!

The Family
Stone delivered the classic funk sound that made it between 1969 and 1972 be
one of the most of exciting live acts in America. But those days are long gone
and without several original members (specially missed is the presence of
bassist Larry Graham) the band plays a correct and safe show supported by one
of the most impressive repertoires a band can have.

Little sister
Vet Stone and Rose Stone’s daughter Lisa Stone, who showcased the most powerful
and beautiful voice of the night, took lead vocals during the most part of the
night with Skyler Jett doing Sly’s part when the old man was not around. In the
group’s family tradition, Sly’s daughter also made a brief appearance for a
short rap that will not be the most memorable moment of the festival.

The band
leader came back to the stage and sang a touching Family Affair, which was a
highlight the show. He also stayed for I Want to Take You Higher, but half way
the song, he left the stage once again with the promise of coming back,
although he never did. The total time of Sly on stage in Pori did not exceed 15

The show
finished with an extended Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) that was a
crowd pleaser, although a large part of the audience already had already left
because of the rain. There was no encore and the final result of the show was a
bit under par. With no rain, a smaller place and above all, a more inspired and
motivated Sly Stone, the performance could have been legendary. But it wasn’t.

Front page photo by Maarit Nissinen / Pori Jazz

Concerts Music

Rock dreams on

{mosimage}If you live for rock and you weren’t in Hartwall Areena last Saturday you missed out a lot: Aerosmith rocked! Aerosmith is one of the most remarkable rock bands in the world and their 140 million sold albums make sure that everybody knows their songs. On Saturday 7 July they played hard rock and ballads non-stop for 2 hours for 10000 Aerosmith fans. People in audience were standing up or dancing during the whole concert. Especially when they played Cryin’ people went crazy!

It’s amazing (same than the title of another of their greatest hit), how after all of these 37 years on top, and yet first half of them spent on drugs, they all are still fit, good looking and rocking like there is no tomorrow. Especially Steven Tyler is very charismatic and entertaining singer. He definitely got that certain something! 

Because the date was 07.07.07 and the most wanted day to get married, for obvious reason, Steven noticed the married couple in audience, all dressed up and having the time of their lives, and congratulated them. In addition to the most popular day to get married, there were several Live Earth concerts arranged around the globe on the same day. Just before the song Livin’ on the Edge Tyler reminded all of us to really think about what’s going on in the world. And then he sang: “There is something wrong with the world today…” 

It has been a decade since these rock stars were in Finland, few years after they released the massive hit album called Get a Grip, which was the soundtrack of every teenager’s life in the nineties. We Aerosmith fans just hope it won’t be that long for the next time!

Walk This Way The same day it was released the Finnish translation of the band's autobiography Walk This Way. The book is very honest talk about the history of Aerosmith; including lot of sex, drugs & rock n roll, but also a great biography of the members of the band.

More information: 



7 July 2007 – Hartwall Areena, Helsinki 

Love In An Elevator
Same Old Song and Dance
Eat The Rich
I Don't Want To Miss A Thing
What It Takes
Back In The Saddle
Baby Please Don't Go
Hangman Jury/Seasons Of Wither
Dream On
S.O.S. (Too Bad)
Livin' On The Edge
Think About It
Stop Messin' Around
Sweet Emotion
Draw The Line

Walk This Way 

Concerts Music

Provinssirock 2007

was supposed to be the festival of the three queens, but one of them
didn’t show up. Amy Winehouse, the last diva on top of the charts, canceled
her performance just a few hours before she hit the stage on Sunday. Without
Amy, Tori Amos on Friday and Patti Smith on Saturday reigned over Seinäjoki.

late, Tori Amos appeared on stage in front of an enthusiastic crowd that packed
the big tent, excited in anticipation. As in her last album, American Doll
, the singer played different roles. In the first act of the show, it was
Pip, brunette, rocking and sexy. Then it was Tori, long haired redhead,
elegant. The setlist was mostly based on American Doll Posse, but the fans
received these new songs as instant classics, shouting and singing along. The
performance was intense, with Amos showing off her strong charisma and

Due to an
unfortunate tour schedule, at the same time as Tori’s show, Flogging Molly had
their particular Irish party going on. On the other side of the festival area,
people jumped and danced the drunken lullabies of Dave King and his band. A
combination of traditional Irish music and Californian punk, Flogging Molly’s
music is much about passion, celebration and fun. One must be deaf and blind to
avoid being uplifted by the fiddle-driven punk with great melodies and stories.
A really good time.

{mosimage}But if
someone is meant to represent punk, that one is Patti Smith. She turned 60 last
December and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year,
but she still maintains a defiant attitude. Her voice sounded strong, she
gesticulated to underline the lyrics and ranted about the environment
preservation while a Palestinian flag rested on top of the amplifier during the
whole show. She sang classics like Space
, Free Money and the crowd
favorite Because the Night. In her
latest album, Twelve, Patti Smith covers some great rock hit and so she did in
Seinäjoki: Gimme Shelter, Soul Kitchen, Are You Experienced? and even Lou Reed’s Perfect Day and also Smith’s peculiar arrangement of Nirvana’s
Smells Like a Teen Spirit that is transformed into an acoustic jazzy ballad. But
in spite of being a solid show, there was a certain feeling of laid back
performance, lacking the wildness that those songs need. Energy was kept in the
can and it wasn’t until the last song (Rock
‘N’ Roll Nigger
) when the band sounded loosed and at full speed.

The other
great concert on Saturday was supposed to be Velvet Revolver. The crowd was
really into it and the excitement of seeing three ex-Gunners on stage was high.
It’s great to see Slash and Duff McKagan perform, but there is something wrong
with this band. The who seems flat and lame. It is like a movie with a bad
unbelievable plot. Perhaps it is the singer Scott Weiland and his excessive
attitude. Or perhaps it is just the lack of chemistry or really good songs, but
Velvet Revolver’s performance provokes indifference and the feeling that
nothing great happened.

This year’s
edition of Provinssirock had fewer visitors than expected. The last minute
changes, cancellations and the schedule conflicts of the big names create many
difficulties for a festival that needs to start working to organize a top class
30th anniversary programme next year.

Photos by Eduardo Alonso 

Concerts Music

They Might Be Giants (On Stage)

If Rubik were merely preceded by their reputation it would be almost impossible to live up to the expectations, but in their case it's also a matter of word-of-mouth, a solid debut album, Bad Conscience Patrol, and a kick-ass single, City And The Streets, which singer Artturi Taira believed was what drew most of the people to Tavastia. What ever their reasons for being there, the audience showed no sign of being let down. Instead, the band picked the crowd up instantly and wrapped them in a carpt of sounds and moods until the very end, which eventually came all too soon. For such a young band Rubik has quite a lot of experience and a long history together, as  their sure-handed playing, and in the ease and passion with which they throw themselves into the songs. While on album form they may at times come across slightly dry and academic, there's no trace of that on stage. 

There's a dynamic in Rubik's music that comes across even stronger live, as move from pounding a mallet to smothering a whisper with surprising ease. While Rubik on their debut album rely on rich arrangements to lift their angular and slightly hysterical prog-pop above the rest, their live sound seems no less lush and diverse. The band has grasped the importance of icing on the cake. The mesmerizing mood changes were emphasised by some very nice lighting effects and at times the combined effect was enough to transcend the walls of the club: looking up, you almost expected to see a blanket of stars and not the blackened ventilation pipes, or an approaching balloon! As a less successful gimmick some Rubik-balloons were floating around over the audience, but they soon turned from a nice visual touch to an annoyance. 

Judging from the starry-eyed mob gathered at Tavastia, Rubik have certainly found their audience in Finland. On stage they come across as an even bigger band than they perhaps actually are, which has nothing to do with cocksure arrogance, but wells from a firm belief in doing their own thing. Go see them live, you'll be rewarded.

Concerts Music

Resistance was futile

Ladytron pioneered during the early 21st century electroclash boom, but has prevailed while many others have given up. The Liverpudlian foursome is fronted by two cutting edge entertainment units, Mira Aroyo, a Bulgarian import, and Helen Marnie. The males, Daniel Hunt and Reuben Wu, stay in the shadows and concentrate on knob-twiddling and as of late, guitar maltreatment.  Their 2001 debut album 604 laid the groundwork with its cool, detached female vocals and vintage 1980 sounds coupled with fuzzy glam/punk for street cred. It was followed by the darker, more honed Light And Magic in 2002. For the next three years the band toured and worked on their latest, Witching Hour, which was released in 2005 and featured a matured, slightly more mainstream sound. The crossover from pure electronica to a broader pop sound has admittedly boosted Ladytron's popularity and songs from Witching Hour were received with much enthusiasm. But at times the new tour line-up with added bass and drums proved problematic with older songs: some of the innovative beats were drowned by the drummer's heavy-handed treatment of his kit. The impassively sexy cult hit Seventeen suffered especially, since its trademark bouncy drum machine loops were replaced by a monotonic thumping. On the other hand the added instruments did fatten the sound and worked fine for the most part.  In terms of visual style Ladytron has always been a fascinating mix of socialist uniformity, robotics and 80's futurism. The band has since switched uniforms and gender-concealing haircuts to sexier kimonos and the two frontwomen are taking some steps away from lurking behind their Korg synthesisers. Not much movement took place on stage though, but the lights and background visuals were atmospheric enough. The most lyrical moments were undoubtedly a chilling rendition of Soft Power, with its dystopian lyrics (we're not sleeping at the wheel / the wheel is turning the machine / that kills / for us…) echoing in the dark, or the dismal techno anthem Fighting In Built Areas, with Mira's Bulgarian vocals sounding about as warm and human as a dentist's drill. Aside from sending shivers down your spine the Ladytron apparatus also managed to compel most of the club to twist and shout, especially to older, more punky tunes such as the irresistible Playgirl. And after all, underneath the clinical, unfeeling machine surface there were very human feelings at work: things like loneliness, fear and longing. Moving away from a tight, well thought out concept seems to have brought more shades (of grey and black) into Ladytron's soundscapes, but also deeper human emotion. But that doesn't mean cracks in the system. Resistance is futile against the Korg.

Concerts Music

Tusks, Trunk and Ghetto Grooves

Upon arrival we were informed the opening act, arctic afro-beat posse Rhythm Funk Masters had just finished their set. Luckily they had left the crowd warmed up for DJ pair Infekto and Mr. Willy, who whipped up plate after plate of more or less eclectic funk gems and kept the floor moving. To break up the party it took the eagerly awaited Tuomo, who unwittingly started his set with some smooth balladry, and it took a few songs beofore he gained true command over the audience. Before setting out on the Motown path with his first solo outing, My Thing, Tuomo Prättälä has made his mark in noted jazz and nu-soul line-ups such as Huba, Q-continuum and Ilmiliekki Quartet. The lush orcherstrations audible on My Thing were replaced by a more stripped down sound, which permitted leeway the band was happy exploit for more protracted jams. The centre of attention was of course mr. Prättälä, seated firmly behind his Rhodes piano, which he stroked in a manner reminiscent of a young Stevie Wonder, singing with a silky smooth voice like a true gentleman. It was easy to see how he has managed to conquer the hearts and minds of the Finnish public.

Between the sets it was time for an excursion downstairs to the smaller Semifinal, but several meters before entering the club we hit a wall of human flesh. Inside we caught a glimpse of ”Finland's R. Kelly”, R'n'B prankster Stig Dogg brandishing what I hope was a microphone. Tonight his brand of humour was not quite appealing enough to merit squeezing through a crowd as dense as Rick James's cornrows.

Staying for the most part in more mellow territory Tuomo left my dancing feet calling out for some down and dirty deep funk, and that was just what The New Mastersounds delivered. With an overall sound resembling the funk stylings of The Meters bolstered by featured guest vocalist Corinne Greyson, the band wasted no time on stage. Seconds into their set they had turned the club floor into a steaming cauldron of twitching and swaying bodies, and while periodically taking it down a notch, they kept a steady, danceable groove going. The band played meticulously like a well oiled funk machine, but made it all seem so easy and organic, even downright gritty. Soulful vocals by the sassy miss Grayson softened things up in a couple of songs. Still, favouring endless funk jams the Mastersounds were more for the feet and less for the heart.