Live @ Rokkibaari

May 1st, 2007

On a spring Saturday, 14.4.2007, it was time to hit to a new venue for us, Rokkibaari in Turku.

Only Archie had been playing in Rokkibaari before. The rest of us hadn’t even been there to see any other gigs, so we weren’t sure what to expect. Well, to be honest, the only things we did know were 1) the place is really small, 2) they have a strict decibel limit and 3) we play usually much louder than the limit is. So as you might imagine, this time the preparation for the gig was somewhat harder than usually. Our last gig was at Korjaamo in Helsinki, there we played through a professional PA system and on a fairly high stage. To Rokkibaari we had to bring our own smallish PA and play on the floor of the bar. From the spotlights back to everyday business.

I guess all of us did not have the most best feeling about this gig. It all started from our rehearsing space, where we tried to get our overall volume to match the limits of the bar. Kari had borrowed a decibel meter, so we got some idea of the work. The normal volume while training was nearly 20 dB higher than the limit. That’s why we had to muffle the drums quite a lot and turn our amps down. After all these operations we got the volume near to the limit, although the playing wasn’t nearly that fun anymore. Except for Jouni, he likes it quiet. The rest of us, including me, like to feel the music in addition to hearing it. That’s what gives the right feeling to play rock!

The French Freighter

The French Freighter

Now let’s leave the bad feelings behind and get to the actual gig day. We had a three-man roadie crew this time, because Kari was at work till 10 P.M. So he was coming straight to the gig, and the rest of us had to take all the equipment to Rokkibaari and do the sound check. Because we had the PA along with us, and we don’t own a van, all the three of us had to take our cars. Well actually we were amazed that we managed to pack the stuff so tight this time that only two cars would have been enough, but that’s only because we didn’t have the bass PA speakers with us. We got in time to Rokkibaari, about 6 P.M. and started immediately to carry the stuff in and assemble it. I hadn’t even been inside Rokkibaari before, so I was really stunned by the size of the place. But we did fit in quite nicely, and got everything together fast.

I myself had the job of being Kari’s “guitar technician”, as he couldn’t come to the sound check. I think I got everything right. We played a very fast sound check with Jouni and Archie. Actually we couldn’t do it properly, as we didn’t have enough people to play all instruments, to sing to every microphone and at the same time to listen to the overall sound. It was a bit difficult. After the sound check it was about 7 o’clock. The show would be starting around 11 o’clock, so the for the next hours we couldn’t do anything but wait and watch our stuff. Long hours without a backstage, but luckily with some Hese food, coffee and very, very loud heavy metal music.

15 minutes before the showtime we were still waiting for our vocalist to show up from work. And just when Jouni picked up his phone to call Kari, he stepped in from the door. We checked our equipment quickly and then it was time to hit the stage, or floor in this case. At the same time the bar started to fill up quite well. Despite the not-so-good feelings before the day, when the first song started, at least I felt relaxed and just enjoyed playing. The atmosphere was very different compared to our previous couple gigs. We were close to the audience, but the bar was dark and the lights were headed directly to us, so we didn’t see much of the people there. I played without earplugs and could hear everything well but still not too loud. The songs just flowed by fast and it seemed that everybody had fun. This time we also had something special in our set, as we played our first live cover song. Time will tell if we’re going to do it again…

Find the drummer in the picture.
Find the drummer in the picture. The guitarist should keep his mouth shut, even during solos.

No beer for musicians after the show: we all were driving that night. So instead of partying, we had to pack our gear in the cars and head to our rehearsing space. By the time we got back to the city for the traditional gig-pizzas it was nearly 2 A.M.

This gig was a good example of how wrong can one’s assumptions go. We all had fun and we didn’t even have any problems with our volume levels. The staff of Rokkibaari was great, so big thanks to them. Thanks also to everybody in the audience, who once again could come and see us play. Hope to see you again next time!

-Johannes

Nalle and the setlists. Now who wrote which one?
Nalle and the setlists. Now who wrote which one?