19.3.2021 NOEX: Noora Louhimo Experience Live Stream @ GLiveLab, Tampere

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While you should already know Noora Louhimo‘s name from BATTLE BEAST, if you’re like me, her crowdfunded solo album slipped under my radar until I was far too late to get on the fan train. NOEX: Noora Louhimo Experience released their debut album on streaming services a week or two ago and on March 19th, 2021, they streamed their release show via GLiveLab in Tampere. Naturally, as I have been blasting Eternal Wheel of Time and Space since it was released, I needed to tune in.

The website said that the doors were at 21:00, as well as the show, which was not actually accurate, as the show – as is usual with streams – started 15 minutes after the “doors” opened. As the screen counted down to zero, the stream began with some visuals relating to the album art. When the music kicked off officially though, the cams were all on Noora herself, dressed in wonderful eclectic fashion with great bell-bottomed pants and a really fun flowy hippy shirt and jacket, and a truly fabulous hat. They opened with the title track of the album and the experience itself, “Eternal Wheel of Time and Space,” which is a perfect way to start pretty much anything, including albums and live streams. This song is just pure rock ‘n’ roll and blues joy and seeing it actually performed was nothing short of musical bliss.

Noora greeted the crowd after the fact and went pretty quickly into “All These Yesterdays,” which has a great hard rock vibe with some truly wonderous vocals. Noora said that this is also their first “space journey” and that she has some space fairies – two nice-looking women dressed up in golden dresses with elaborate make-up – whom she referred to as “Caca” and “Cucu”… I wonder if there’s an inside joke there? They appeared throughout the stream to help Noora change her jackets (which were obtained from a vintage second-hand shop) and, on at least one occasion, to dance. Noora switched to leather, naturally, for the hard rockin’ DEEP PURPLE vibes of “Valkyrie.”

There is some backstory revealed about some of the songs throughout, such as “Relax” being a remake of a song she wrote 10 years ago with which she had her first studio experience, a self-proclaimed tribute to Dolly Parton in the form of “If I Was Your Woman,” and “Last in Line” being about her bad luck with men. “Urban Life” is about just what it says, urban life and looking forward to good times to come. As promised, they played the entire album during the stream. I’d love to call out some personal highlights but really, the whole stream was great. It was simply my favorite songs from the album that were also favorites live – “Last in Line” is a stompin’ country rock song that’s impossible to sit still to and “Sinner on the Floor” runs closer to rock-disco, hence the dancing space fairies. Both are hugely fun on the album and were even bigger fun live. When we were asked to get up off our couches… well, even at home, we definitely did!

“Piece of Your Love” had the back-up singers tearing up from the intense passion of the song, while both “New You” and “Last in Line” featured her very delightful brother, Pekka Louhimo, as a guest vocalist. He’s got a very unique voice and I enjoy their take on what I consider to be a song that I feel like can only be described as “Don’t Fear the Reaper” as done by THE POLICE. During the latter, he proved himself to be able to absolutely wail on the harmonica (which is another of the best parts of “Last in Line”).

Let’s not forget the band either! While Noora Louhimo is one of – if not the – best vocalists in Finland these days, so you might go into a stream like this thinking that it’s all about her. Visually, of course it was, but everyone in her band is also incredible, from the drum soloing in “Sinner on the Floor,” to the incredible brass section, her backing singers, and of course Samuli ErkkiläNoora‘s musical partner-in-crime, who is a truly fabulous guitarist. Of course, the hero of the night was still Noora and her skill is no joke. She seems really passionate about this material as well, ending a couple songs like “Piece of Your Love” on her knees and dancing and moving around to the music the entire time, just living the music.

Well, this is definitely the live stream that I’ve gotten my ticket’s worth from! Running at the fairly reasonable (especially considering the band size) price of 15€, I’ve watched it at least once a day since the stream aired and have enjoyed it fully every time since. If Noora Louhimo and her crew are able to tour this fabulous collection of songs someday, you can guarantee that we’ll be there, and you had best make sure you don’t miss it either!

Setlist

  1. Eternal Wheel of Space and Time
  2. All These Yesterdays
  3. Valkyrie
  4. Relax
  5. Urban Life
  6. Piece of Your Love
  7. New You
  8. Last in Line
  9. Piece of My Heart (Janis Joplin cover)
  10. If I Was Your Woman
  11. Sinner on the Floor
  12. CODA