09.05.2020 Temple Balls: Stayin’ Alive @ 45 Special, Oulu

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In these times of silence and isolation, live music is still here and very much in action. It still gives us energy and motivation, only it has changed form. Nowadays live streams are happening as often as real-life gigs used to as musicians and fans are adjusting to the situation and trying to support each other. No wonder TEMPLE BALLS also organized an online gig on 9 May 2020.

This hard rock band from Oulu was on fire before quarantine had started! First, they did a huge European tour with SONATA ARCTICA and played numerous shows in Finland. Straight after, Temple Balls went touring with SHIRAZ LANE and BLOCK BUSTER, all while signing a multi-album deal with Frontiers Music srl. Not to mention, the band’s second album, “Untamed,” came out a bit more than a year ago has become a huge success! Needless to say, TEMPLE BALLS‘ live stream has become one of the most desired and much-demanded. The quarantine show called “Stayin’ Alive” was organized by rock club 45 Special, located in the band’s hometown. 

Temple Balls at The Circus (2019) © Laureline Tilkin

The broadcast took place on the 9th of May at 19.00. The show opened with “Infinity” – one of the biggest hits from the latest TEMPLE BALLS album. The band had prepared a full-fledged live gig for us with all the features we love about TEMPLE BALLS, such as mesmerizing, always flawless vocals and cool stage moves of singer Arde Teronen, the melodic guitar solos of guitarists Jiri Paavonaho and Niko Vuorela, and the headbanging rhythms and tempo provided by bassist Jimi Välikangas and drummer Antti Hissa.  The next to follow was an energetic and uplifting tune called “Off the Grid.” With webcasting by Saha Prod and sound engineering by Livepaletti we were able to feel the energy of a live gig. This stream has become a showcase example of outstanding sound mixing and sublime camera work. 

After playing “Distorted Emotions,” vocalist  Arde Teronen and bassist Jimi Välikangas went down to the bar area for a small conversation and some drinks with the event’s host – famous Finnish stand-up comedian Zaani, who also hails from Oulu. TEMPLE BALLS and Zaani definitely found a good flow with each other and it was nice to see them having fun while talking and introducing the band. Arde and Jimi joked around and said that it’s great to play live again and they just enjoy the moment because previously there weren’t any people on their shows anyway. It was quite amusing to hear, considering that TEMPLE BALLS gigs are often sold out. 

Temple Balls at On the Rocks (2020) – © Laureline Tilkin

The band continued with the powerful and dynamic “Pauline,” followed by “Ball and Chain.” The latter music piece allowed Arde Teronen to demonstrate the great range of his voice. I was amazed by how purely and effortlessly he sings the highest notes. “Hoist the Colours” was introduced as a song about freedom and I especially loved this live version because of how the backing vocals were bringing an energizing and rebellious mood and made me want to sing along. 

Then the time had come for guitarists Jiri Paavonaho and Niko Vuorela to visit the bar and answer Zaani‘s questions while sipping some drinks. They talked about postponing gigs in Sweden until autumn due to the pandemic and mentioned that in the meantime, TEMPLE BALLS were concentrating on creating new material. Suddenly, bass player Jimi Välikangas joined the conversation and complained about SHIRAZ LANE‘s vocalist Hannes Kett stealing his belt, showing that his jeans were too loose. Behave yourself, Hannes

One of the highlights of the gig was an awesome and very long guitar solo by Jiri Paavonaho in “Let’s Get it On.” TEMPLE BALLS didn’t plan to slow down, so they continued with energy-boosting “Kill the Voice” and “Hell and Feelin’ Fine.” After that, it seemed like the band was about to wrap up the gig, but Zaani had mentioned before that we could ask for an encore in the comments, which many viewers did straight away. As a result, we got our treat, which was a cover of AC/DC‘s  “Whole Lotta Rosie” – a super-fun and headbanging ending for a great gig. 

This live stream really lifted my spirits and made this weekend sound and feel like a weekend again, just like before quarantine times. Even though this gig was free of charge, there was (and still is) a possibility to donate some money to support 45 Special and TEMPLE BALLS. It was very nice to see from the comments that many viewers had made donations; even now people still appreciate good music. Seeing how musicians, music clubs, and music lovers help each other raises my hopes for a great future. I think we are all going to be fine because rock music and concerts are not going anywhere.

Written by Victoria Korpun.

Setlist

  1. Infinity
  2. Off The Grid
  3. Distorted Emotions
  4. Pauline
  5. Ball and Chain
  6. Hoist The Colours
  7. Let`s Get It On
  8. Kill The Voice
  9. Hell And Feelin` Fine
  10. Whole Lotta Rosie (Encore, AC/DC cover)