Live @ On the Rocks

November 20th, 2008

Buenos dias,

on the 3rd of November we played a gig in Helsinki in On the Rocks. Read on to see the amazing story of four guys - whose wildest hobby is filling crossword puzzles - going on a road trip to Helsinki and the dazzling amount of twists, turns and surprises along the way. This is a story about growing up and learning the facts of life. At least until the next morning…

The gig came on short notice, only a week before the date. Turning Page was scheduled to play a gig with Five Minutes for Myself, but unfortunately TP had to cancel. Well, not unfortunately from our point of view. Five Minutes for Myself is clearly one of the better bands I’ve bumped into this year. And to top it off, they were and are really nice people. A winning combination =)

That’s yours truly.

Johannes found a new chord from his guitar.

The trip started the best way it could. Me and Jouni were in the same car. Two guys incapable of reading maps and both hating driving in Helsinki. Not a winning combination, as you will later notice. Johannes and Joni came with the other car, and they had all our gear. Johannes and Joni sat quiet in the car with Johannes force feeding the soundwaves of his cd collection to Joni. Me and Jouni listened to the radio. How exciting is that?! A few kilometers before the motorway Jouni announced that he had to take a leak. So I pulled over to a place that used to be a gas station or similar. Jouni nurtured a nearby tree with his fertilisers. As we left the parking space we noticed that about 20 meters from us was an open gas station, with a warm WC. But Jouni is a friend of nature. Green values and all that, you know. After arriving at Helsinki, due to our lack of navigational skills we decided to trust on Jouni’s GPS. After we got to Mannerheimintie the GPS failed to notice that there were road constructions and some roads were blocked. Naturally, the darned gadget told us to turn to a road that was blocked. So we just drove on. “Make a U-turn!”. Yeah, that’s easy in the center of Helsinki during rush-hour. Especially for a tourist. But finally we found a crossing where we could make the gadget happy and made a U-turn. And yes, on the way back the damned thing obviously asked us to turn from the same crossing, which was still closed. But we managed to find our way to On the Rocks anyhow, despite the circumstances. A lucky strike.

When me and Jouni got to On the Rocks, Joni and Johannes were already there. They had passed us probably during Jouni’s nature hour. We chatted for a while and then Five Minutes for Myself started their soundcheck. When FMFM’s other guitarist, Joni started playing his guitar he had a really heavy sound and I was quite bedazzled with that. It sounded way too heavy for their music. But amazingly, when the whole band played the sound fit right in just perfectly. Especially since the other guitarist, Miia, had a crunchier tone. But yeah, after them it was our turn to check the sounds. Johannes had brought his amp with him from Turku. Obviously, since he had bought a new, shiny and expensive amp. An American amp. And as you know, everything is bigger in America. So are amps. It weighs even more than an average Taksim’s rolled kebab. And that’s really a lot. Since I am lazy, I only brought my guitars and decided to use FMFM’s gear. I had to adjust the sounds of the amp a bit. Or actually, since I’m good in delegating tasks, Jouni adjusted the knobs. Well, the truth is probably that Jouni felt like it was better to keep me off the amp so I wouldn’t break it.

The man who’s responsible for our (fat?) low end.

On stage.

We are still on stage.

After the soundcheck was done we decided to… tattadatattaaaa… go grab a bite. It’s been this much text without any reference to eating (minus the rolled kebab -part). That’s rare, at least in the journals I’ve written. Joni (a.k.a Elovena-Boy) is a true friend of junk food so he was flipping somersaults after he heard that we were going to a multi-national hamburger place. Me being the health enthusiast I am, I decided to take a plain hamburger, while the others ate a supersize-grand-double-withextrafillings-something meals. By the way, I feel like this is going to be an incomplete gig journal, since I don’t have any pictures of Jouni eating.

Joni’s idea of fast food.

My other (better?) side.

After the late lunch we headed back to On the Rocks and the backstage. When the girls of FMFM started preparing to their show, Jouni played with the idea of him wearing eye make-up. He was willing to try it. Luckily he didn’t. We’ve seen him with a Christmas hat on, with the oh-so-fancy Ever Since The Day -cap and so on and so on. I guess we all know what a big (no, I’m not refering to his weight) blond bald guy with eyeliner looks like? Yeah, that’s so true. It’s Uncle Fester from the Addams Family! I myself have more resemblance to Cousin Itt, so I guess Jouni with eyeliner could work. Johannes is almost the living incarnation of Gomez. Joni has so big biceps that I’m afraid of comparing him to any Addams family character =)

Cousin Itt and Gomez backstage.

Less wahwah, more hair.

The gig itself went pretty good. I guess nobody did any major mistakes. The smoke dried my throat quite much, so I had a bit of a struggle with my voice throughout the gig, but I managed. I had to change the melody lines in a few songs a bit just to avoid my voice from failing, but it all went down pretty nicely. The speaks were pure diamond, as always. Oh, the amount of shame I’ve had to suffer because of my sayings. As we later analyzed, in Vimma I had one good speak, but I managed to ruin it too by taking it too far. So if you couldn’t care less about our music, you should still come to the shows because of the speaks. After all, a bad joke is far better than a good one. Hamilton shot Massa in the back with Glock. Geniusness!

Air guitar
Johannes learned new tricks from Billy Talent’s DVD.

Ant view
This is how scary Jouni looks from an ants point of view.

Our setlist was the same as in Vimma, but our playing was way more tight and better, at least I think so. On the Rocks has quite a small stage, and even with fairly low amount of people the feeling is nice. And even if there would have been no audience, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it through the thick layer of smoke. As I said, we played well and the audience (which was quite big given the fact that it was monday) seemed to like our songs. And I bet that the youth of Helsinki will follow Joni’s fashion footsteps and start wearing duct tape in their sholders and ears. But that’s enough of the gig itself. You don’t want to read about that, right?

- It All Went Wrong
- Stay Silent
- Sanctuary
- FF (I guess it’s obvious that this is a working title?)
- Night
- Crash
- 362
- UB (No, it’s not an abbreviation of Ultra Bra.)
- Repeat
- Forever

After the last song we collected stuff from the stage and made room for the main act Five Minutes for Myself. Did I already mention that I really like their music? They had technical problems during the first song, the lead singer’s mic didn’t work almost at all. But the cable was changed and that fixed the problem. Too bad that the mic didn’t work during one of the best songs. Happy song was turned into an instrumental song.

Five Minutes for Myself
Five Minutes for Myself on stage.

The fridge in backstage was filled with refreshments. Luckily I was driving so I could concentrate on only dreaming about them and get focused on driving the long road to ruin… (Pretty bad again, right? Definite “v√§lispiikki” material.) back to Turku. Ah, the glamour of being in a rock band. Free beer that you can’t drink. Driving home in the middle of the night in a thick fog. Waking up the next morning after two-and-a-half hours of sleep. How could someone not like this?

So, what did we learn during this journey? What were the big secrets that life reveiled to us? Where are the promised twists and turns of this story? Do we really enjoy solving crossword puzzles? Where are the pictures of Jouni eating? Why am I asking these silly questions? Well, we learned that monday is not a crappy day to play a gig in Helsinki (all we Turku people know that in Turku it is). The other thing we learned is that it’s not wise to let me and Jouni drive together in the center of Helsinki. We should not either trust Jouni’s GPS. Should we do this all again? Definitely!

Mr. Sologuitarist.

The living drum machine. A man with a thousand stories.

This gig journal shows what extreme tirenes can bring. All the characters in this journal are a product of writers imagination and the writer is not responsible for any tears this text caused anyone.

This is what faced us the next morning.

Go listen to Five Minutes for Myself.


Pictures by Jerzi (except the crappy ones by Jouni).