It is a fact: you can get an overdose of concerts if you living in Helsinki. Everyday you can choose among several concerts to attend, and that’s because there are a number of the clubs that have live music in a regular basis. By the way, bigger concerts are scheduled from time to time, and a great deal of international artists are visiting Finland in their tours, and that adds on top of the daily music offerings.
I am reviewing right now the tickets of the concerts I went to, and in eight weeks I attended six events, listened to twelve bands live, in short more than 12 hours of music… And the good news is that my bank account still has funds for more concerts: most of the shows were in small venues, and had prices lower than 12€. And I am loving shows in those small clubs like the On The Rocks, the Nosturi or the venerable Tavastia Klubi because it is possible to be just in front of the stage without people pushing and moshing, and in most places it would be even possible to touch the artists! That feeling of being part of the show is great, without forgetting about the fact that the artists will be hanging around after the show, and it is possible to talk to them 🙂
What follows is a quick review of each one of the evets I’ve been to.
Naked & Stalingrad Cowgirls
This was my first concert in Helskinki, also first time at On The Rocks, and my main motivation after to go was watching Stalingrad Cowgirls. I didn’t know about Naked before going to the concert. In fact, the ticket had “Stalingrad Cowgirls, Naked” written on it, so I assumed that “Naked” was the title of the tour, and the girls even joked about this and said something like “we hope you were not expecting to see us naked”. Anyway, I liked the Naked sound a lot and it was a nice surprise discovering them — I even bought their last album, Double Down, right away after their performance. Regarding the trio of girls, I was expecting the sound to be a bit dull because of them being only three playing, but they did a very bold and energetic performance. I also got a Stalingrad Cowgirls badge from the merchandising booth. For sure I will be attending more concerts from those two bands if I have the chance.
Airbourne & The Black Spiders
For this concert I had to face a difficult decision: Lordi and Airbourne were on concert in Helsinki the very same day, and I wanted to attend both concerts! As that was impossible, and provided that I had already seen Lordi once, I decided to bet for Airbourne. The event took place in the Cable Factory, and was backed by The Black Spiders. There’s not much I could say about Black Spiders, apart from that I learned about them when arrived at the venue and I didn’t like their style a lot, but even so I think and they did their job well. Regarding Airbourne, it was exactly what I was expecting: a gang of crazy australians playing plain good ‘ol rock’n’roll with a huge stack of Marshall amps behind them! And “crazy” means exatly that. The funniest moment was when Joel O’Keeffe walked around in the middle of the attendants while singing and playing guitar. I have a couple of friends that usually say “everything is better with AC/DC”… I could rephrase that and say “everything is better with either AC/DC or Airbourne” 🙂
Barbe-Q-Barbies & The Death Of Gagarin
After having a good experience with a girl-only band (Stalingrad Cowgirls), and provided that it looks like I tend to like girl-only bands lately (like Girlschool), I decided to attend another concert, this time at Tavastia. Pick a powerful double-guitar combo, a good bass, drums, a distinctive voice, and well-composed catchy tunes… and bam! you get Barbe-Q-Barbies! I only knew the four songs available at their website before going to the concert, but went out eagerly looking for a shop where I could buy “All Over You”, their first full-length album. In my opinion those women have all what’s needed to succeed. What I liked most were the sonic roars produced by kitten Kaisa when her paws slammed the guitar. An they have rock’n’rollish attitude on stage. Hell, yeah! (What are you doing reading this, go out and buy the album!)
Regarding the supporting group, The Death Of Gagarin, they are another random electro-experimental pop group, not much in my style… I’d say their performance was correct.
Teenage Fanclub & Delay Trees
Not a lot to say about Delay Trees. I arrived a bit late to the Nosturi, and missed most of their part. They looked like a more-or-less classical britpop band and the sound was good. Likely, a good appetizer before Teenage Fanclub. The sound was very good, and they are a successful, well-known band, yet I was a bit disappointed. Probably that was because I mostly listen to their three first albums, especially “Bandwagonesque”, and they are somewhat different and have a more thrashy sound than the rest of their production. Or maybe because it’s because Brendan left the band after “Bandwagonesque”… who knows! I think it was nice attending this concert, because now I can say that I listened to “Alcoholiday” and “Metal Baby” live, hehe.
Helloween, Stratovarius & Avatar
It’s a pity that I had a meeting just before the concert and I did not reach the venue (Kulttuuritalo) on time for watching Avatar perform. No comments, thus, about them. But I was on time for Stratovarius, and even when their performance was a bit sketchy and some aspects of it could be improved, still it was amazing to see Matias Kupianen playing guitar solos faster than light speed! Their style is not one of my favorites, but I appreciate their virtuous playing.
The main course in this event was Helloween. Too much drums in some songs, in my opinion, provided that most of the oldish songs do not need them — and yet songs from “The Keeper Of The Seven Keys” are the ones that sound better. What I must recognize is that their new drummer looks like a high-precision android, built precisely to execute insanely complex drum solos! I enjoyed the show a lot, but in my opinion the volume was a bit too high and the voice of Andi Deris was difficult to hear at times.
As the last (and most recent) event, I attended the Sister Sin concert at On The Rocks. Again: small venue, great performance, and a lot of enjoyment from my side. As I missed the concert by Lordi at Helsinki, I thought it would be nice to go and take a look to this band that were supporters of Lordi in Scandinavia a while ago. I got carried away by music in this one, and jumped and clapped like mad during the concert. When they mocked the beginning of On Parole everybody recognized the song, and that was probably one of the nicest moments. Also, after the show I got the “Smash The Silence” EP signed by Liv herself! Again, talking to the artists was one of the greatest things about going to a concert in a small venue.
As neat addition, Enni (from Stalingrad Cowgirls) was the DJ that night before and after the concert, and I liked a lot her selection of songs.
I already have tickets for more shows to come… For the moment, I already have my ticket for Roger Water’s The Wall, and a full three-day ticket for the Sauna Open Air festival at Tampere. At least Ozzy and Judas Priest were already confirmed… and watching Judas Priest just before the band ceases to exist will be super 😀
Final note: There is this terrible website that sells tickets which is making me spend money because you can check events there some months in advance. If you like music, theater, opera, etc. and you are in Finland, make sure you check it.