Live @ Vfest, 2009

May 15th, 2009

Odot vartti!

These few words will sum up a crucial part of the event. “The timetable has changed, you’ll be playing at 19:05. The doors will open at 19:00 as scheduled. And yeah, move your cars so that Apulanta’s bus gets to drive in front of the door.” And there we were standing in the snow with our amps in our hands…

What else could I do on a sunny Friday evening than to sit in front of my computer and to write a gig journal while suffering from a nice cold? Jouni is grasping on the last remains of the dream of being a football player and “finalizing” his Achilles’ tendons and knees. Johannes is enjoying refreshments somewhere and Joni flew closer to the sun (to south I mean, not to space). And all I have is a sour nose from all the blowing. Man, I’m getting depressed. I think I’ll put Deep Insight on.

“How did I become so fat?
And where was my faith when I was losing track?
So when did life begin to treat us bad?
My face looks pretty old and I’ve got pain in my back”

I might as well just burst into tears. But yeah, let’s see if I can remember anything from Vfest.

Getting the chance to play with big names (with a few even being personal favourites of ours) in a really big event seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime. We even got pretty good media coverage in Turku area, we were interviewed by Turun Sanomat, Turkulainen, Aamuset, Turku TV, Radio Tutka and Radio Sata, which was also one of the organizers of the event. We got this spot through a competition at Radio Sata and got to play on the Radio Sata Areena with such names as Disco Ensemble, Apulanta, Damn Seagulls and The Sun.

As we stepped in through the door and heard that the schedule had been changed, we immediately started calling our friends that they should come earlier. Actually a few of them had trouble getting in early enough, because the personnel was resistant in letting anyone in so early. Clock hit 19:05 and our almost fresh-out-of-the-box -intro tape started conquering the free oxygen molecules of the Turku Fair and Congress Center’s C-hall. Luckily all of our friends had managed to get in, so there was at least a few people. It’s kind of weird to look down from a big stage on an almost empty big fairground. But hey, that’s the part of being a small and unknown band. And luckily there was smoke, so we really couldn’t see that well with all the smoke and flashing lights. Despite of the quite small-numbered crowd the feeling was actually really good. If the stage sounds were great at Klubi a few days earlier, they were sensational this time. There was loads and loads of PA-stuff and cabinets and cables and everything. The sound crew was pro, and it was a pure pleasure, since they were really helpful and we only needed to concentrate solely on the playing. You just had to look at the monitor mixer and he already knew what you would want. It’s a real “pleasure” to get back to the corners of the pizza places after this gig…

Warming up.

How many band members does it take to tie a tie?

The artist
The artist known as Artisti.

Stage view
This is how the world looks through my eyes.

In the beginning of the third song I suddenly couldn’t hear my guitar at all. In the midst of playing I tried to turn all the knobs and switches but nothing happened. The tuner seemed to get a signal, which meant that my guitar was not broken. After getting to the c-part of the song, I had a change to go check out if there was something wrong with the amp. Luckily nothing was broken. Maybe I had played a wrong note or something, because Jouni had unplugged my guitar. In my mind it wasn’t a fair move, but hey, I guess Jouni thought it was appropriate. I had taped the cable to the floor, but apparently not well enough, since Jouni managed to kick it out of the amp. The pros have all kinds of hardware to hide errors, I have Jouni. With small budgets you got to be inventive.

The setlist was the same as in Klubi, and many of the songs still have no name. Maybe I should just name the songs “This song has no name 1″, “This song has no name 2″ and so on? Would it be that much worse than for instance “I’ve Got A Dark Alley And A Bad Idea That Says You Should Shut Your Mouth (Summer Song)”? I guess it would. That Pete Wentz is so witty. And thin.

Stay Silent
This Song Is Not Ready Yet, But We’ll Play It Anyway
It All Went Wrong

Our playing was good and the light show was spectacular. We actually had one of the most energetic performances of the evening, and our set was probably the tightest. Big bands can afford to just stand on the stage doing nothing, and the crowd is still going nuts.

After the gig we headed on to eat the artist meal. Everything was floating in fat. Just the way we like it. Except the salads. We don’t eat anything green. Except Carlsberg. “Kasvava artisti tarttee ravintoa.” This was one of the first times Jouni’s joke was actually fun.

We are relatively nice and easygoing guys with our stomachs full.

After a few drawbacks during the evening, me and Johannes decided not to drink at all. Jouni obviously did drink, but not to get intoxicated. He was forced to drink a few for the enormous pain in his back. Can you see the constant references to the Deep Insight song? Man, we should’ve written that one. The decision not to drink proved to be a jackpot later on. We were under the assumption that we would pick all our gear on Sunday morning, but at about 0:30 we heard that the doors wouldn’t be open at all on Sunday. Well, what can you do. As Apulanta climbed on to the stage we started to carry our gear and drove to rehearsal space. So there’s a bit of the glamour of being in a rock band revealed for you all. Carrying a heavy bass cabinet case with sharp edges on a slippery backyard, while the drummer of Disco Ensemble is laughing silently at us. He was seemingly happy that those days are over for his part.

Now it’s time for some illustration from the evening. Enjoy!

I was dressed up for the occasion.

On a stage filled with smoke and lights.

Us and an illusion of crowd.

Jouni used to make money by sawing trees as a kid.

We decided to utilize the big screen, so that no one would not know who’s playing. Neat, right?

Me and Jouni teaming up.

“I’m blue da ba dee da ba die…”

Us with a hint of mint green.

You got to keep yourself hydrated.

Johannes' expression
Did I promise not to be mean towards the others? Priceless face expression.

Chad Kroeger
Me with a Chad Kroeger -styled lean.

Joni and snare
Joni banging the shit out of his snare drum.

We held a quick pow-wow in the middle

The evening could’ve ended in a whole different way. I mean, we could’ve stayed backstage the whole time and spend our time by drinking all of Disco Ensemble’s beers. Later we could’ve swung high fives with Pete Parkkonen (the second runner-up on Finnish Idol 2009) and after that try to ruin his evening and maybe even try to hit the girl he was with. At approximately 3 A.M. would’ve begun the synchronized “Onnelaan! Onnelaan!” cheers. But no, that’s not how we roll. A glass of warm milk after ten o’clock news and then it’s time to sleep, that sounds more like us. Except Joni, he doesn’t like warm milk. He drinks canned Elovena.

This was probably taken when Joni told a story about him getting lost backstage. He went
for a quick leak, and couldn’t find his way back to the stage. How Spinal Tap is that?!?

“Well, maybe next season, will bring me a reason
To put on my Speedo, go out in the sun
Have fun, I’m done”

That’s all for now. What do you think, can you taste the desperation and frustration from these journals? It’s a form of art that people don’t appreciate enough. And I think I’m riding on the highest wave of this art form.

Keep the spirit,