The first lines of most of the live reports we’ve been writing in the last few months feel like some sort of a mantra: “the band came back to the stage after a couple of years,” or “it is the first show in a long time.” Whether we like it or not, this is the way things are, and it is not possible to skip this information, since the fact itself does really have an impact on the performance and the overall feeling, on and off stage. On April 16th, FLAT EARTH played a set at Tiivistämö in Helsinki with SPIRITRAISER and NOTHING BUT SUNSHINE as warm-ups… a bunch of artists who are back on the stage after a long break! Check out our photo gallery here.
NOTHING BUT SUNSHINE, a Helsinki-based alternative rock band, had played at Tiivistämö, on Saturday, April 16th, 2022. Being that it was the day before Easter, there was a holiday vibe in the venue – though there were just a few people in the beginning, the event turned out to be really satisfying. The 5-piece act started playing at 21:00 as scheduled, and took the chance to present some new songs that will be on their upcoming album, which will be published in the near future. The setlist consisted of eight songs, massively influenced by alternative rock bands from the ‘90s, such as SILVERCHAIR and PIXIES – among others – and enriched with some atmospheric elements; everything was well balanced in terms of sound and attitude on stage, so that the outcome felt quite original and fresh, but also very emotional and energetic.
The second opening band was SPIRITRAISER – the act took the chance to have a release party on that night, so we had the opportunity to listen to their new album in a live setting for the first time ever. “Ciklos” was released on March 25th this year, and I have to admit, it has been among my most played albums ever since. This specific show was surrounded by a magical vibe, a certain sense of relief and fulfillment we all perceived. Based on my experience as a concert goer, I noticed that few bands manage to “talk” to the audience through their music, yet this band is really good at it, in part due to the emotional connection they create with the bystanders. Far be it from me to sound like a fangirl, but frontman Jules Näveri is one of the most talented singers I have ever met, and also his skills as a storyteller are quite impressive. During “Stream,” something remarkable happened: the guitarist had some technical issues that lasted longer than expected, so bassplayer Anssi Ruotanen, thanks to clear thinking and quick reflexes, managed to fill the void in the best way possible, showing that groove is always the key. The laser beam they used as a stage light – green, violent, and quite creepy – made that moment even more unique and the band members proved how much of a great team they are: no interruptions, no displacement, just the immense joy of being on stage again. The performance went smoothly after that, the place was packed with people, and the enthusiasm was pretty evident on both sides. When Jules introduced the next-to-last song “Quipu,” he took the chance to talk about the beer named after it, that was available at the bar: we got two of them and saved one bottle, as a nice souvenir of that outstanding gig.
The headliner band on that night was FLAT EARTH, an act I’ve never had the chance to see before but I was of course really curious to see on stage. It is no secret that we are talking about a full-fledged dream team, being that the lineup is formed by big names in the Finnish scene: ex-AMORPHIS bassist Niclas Etelävuori and ex-HIM guitarist Linde Lindström do really add prestige and enhance the overall identity of the band, plus POLANSKI singer Anthony Pikkarainen, whose engaging attitude on stage made their performance extra special. Their new drummer, Mikko Herranen, filled brilliantly the void left by Gas Lipstick (the former HIM drummer), who recently parted ways with the band. The new member got warmly welcomed by the audience, in the most spontaneous way – he interacted a lot with his bandmates and with the audience too, and also provided some great backing vocals.
Their colorful, heavy, and melodic soundscape did not go unnoticed, as much as their versatile approach, being their songs, both old and new ones, a perfect blend of old style hard rock and alternative rock, with a hint of grunge vibes that reminded me of ALICE IN CHAINS, NIRVANA, and SOUNDGARDEN.
The audience was really excited and did not hide it at all: people were literally dancing and showing their love to the band in many different ways: it really felt like a long-awaited party! The gig was coming to an end, or at least it seemed so; the band members greeted the audience and left the stage, but they came back shortly after for an extra song. That was an heartwarming moment we will hardly forget. What a superb night.
Written by Licia Mapelli
Photos by Laureline Tilkin
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