14. toukokuuta 2011

14.5.2011 – Teräsbetoni @ Äijäpäivä, Tampere

Äijäpäivä, the day of dudes, was a day-long outdoors event that was supposed to take place in a beach area of Tampere. I say “was supposed to” because the event wasn’t that successful, so to speak. Teräsbetoni was scheduled to play in the afternoon and I was worried that given the situation the gig would be cancelled, but it didn’t and I was very grateful for that.


At the beginning of the concert it felt quite awkward because nobody dared to go in front of the stage. I guess we were all a bit shy… but fortunately things already started to brighten up during the second song. A couple of fans appeared and went to the bar zone closest to the stage (the place was quite labyrinthine - the bar zone was on one side and separated with fences) and I joined them. Then the power of Teräsbetoni made some dudes finally go in front of the stage and when Metalliolut started to sound I was like “screw it, I’m going there too!”. From that moment on, more people probably felt the same way and came there as well. I mean, c’mon, it’s Teräsbetoni and they were pulling up a good show! There was a point when you had no other option than let yourself go and now it felt much better. And yes, we were a small audience, but despite of it I think I can speak for everybody when I say in the end we did our best to make the atmosphere bigger. Besides, the band seemed to be having fun, and if the band has fun I have fun with the band.

V.Rantanen, J.Kuokkanen, J.Ahola and A.Järvinen

On a funny note, after Metallisydän J. said something like “hey, this is called ‘the day of dudes’. What are so many gals doing here?”. The thing is, in the end I think we were more women than men. Hah! :D


Anyway, in short I would describe the gig as strange but cool. In fact it seemed like a private gig and hey, this isn’t something that one can experience every day :)


9. huhtikuuta 2011

9.4.2011 Sports Academy, Helsinki

This gig was quite a peculiar one because it was in the middle of the afternoon and therefore there were less people than usually and also everyone was pretty quiet, but for me it was very nice nonetheless. Also, this time J. didn’t perform with Antti Mäkelä but with a guy called Gary Keskinen.

The thing I always liked most from J. were his acoustic performances and I had never experienced one before, so before the gig I was very nervous from the excitement. Once the music started, I was so thrilled! His voice really stands out when being accompanied by just two guitars.

They started with It’s a Long Way to the Top, the following song was Unchain my Heart, then I think it came I Want to Break Free followed by You Were Always on my Mind (touching performance here)... I can’t remember the order of the other songs, but they were The Temple of the King, Heaven and Hell, I Want it All (here we were asked to sing, but we were a shy audience), We are the Champions, Here I Go Again and the last song was Lady in Black. I still have one song left to mention and I mention it last because for me it’s the most special one from all the songs J. sings. It was the first acoustic song I heard him perform on YouTube and it’s titled The Show Must Go On (thanks a lot J. for playing this one!).

I found the gig a bit short and I would have loved to hear Who Wants to Live Forever too, but without a keyboard it wasn’t possible. But anyway, who cares. What matters is that it was a good gig, and I enjoyed every single second of it. Thank you guys for the lovely afternoon!

J.Ahola & Gary

19. maaliskuuta 2011

19.3.2011 DOM Supergrupo feat. J. Ahola @ DOM, Helsinki

That night there were three gigs programmed. First a band called R.O.C.K. did their album release gig and it was entertaining. When I arrived to the venue there weren’t so many people (DOM was a cool place, but for some reason it wasn’t much popular), but by the time this gig started the place was fuller and the atmosphere was fairly good. 

After R.O.C.K. it was DOM Supergrupo’s turn, but we had to wait a bit for the stage set to be changed. DOM Supergrupo was the houseband and that night it was formed by Jari Ilomäki on the bass, Mirka Rantanen on drums, Tero Pennanen on keyboards and Tuomas Wäinölä on the guitar.

First they played with Ilja Jalkanen, whose rock’n’roll set I was already familiar with because I saw him the previous month. While Ilja was singing, J. showed up. At some point I noticed he was filming from the backstage, and during the song Burn he went up on stage twice to sing the lines ‘you know we had no time…’. Nice surprise! 
DOM Supergrupo feat. J.Ahola
Soon after Ilja’s gig finished, the band started playing again and J. came back on stage (well, and Ilja too - he did some backing vocals). The opening song was Rainbow’s Eyes of the World, which I never saw J. perform, and it was a good start. I was hoping to hear some Queen songs since I love how he sings them, but this gig was very rock’n’rollish too. But hey, great set anyway! DOM Helsinki was like the sanctuary of rock after all :) J. interacted quite a lot with the audience and musicians and the atmosphere ended up being much better than the last time I had been there. 

There was a moment that I found especially remarkable. It was during Still in Love With You. At some point J. and Tuomas had a “battle”: J. sung some notes and Tuomas imitated him with the guitar. The amazing thing is that the notes went higher and higher and J. didn’t seem to run out of highs. 
Another special moment was the end. The gig ended with what I think it was an improvised encore. J. grabbed Jari’s bass, gave some quick drumming instructions to Mirka and Taivas Lyö Tulta started to sound. It was a great moment, since we the audience went a bit nuts during this one. That awesome gig couldn’t have ended any better!