GALLERY: 26.11.2022 Henna Emilia Hietamäki & Marissa Nadler @ On The Rocks, Helsinki

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November darkness in Finland is just about the right setting for Marissa Nadler’s dreamy and gloomy music, and G Livelab, a sophisticated sitting-down club, is a fine fit for a place to listen to it. Thus we headed to the concert on Saturday November 26th, 2022, to see Nadler and the warm up act, Henna Emilia Hietamäki, perform.

Pretty much all the seats in the house were filled by the time Henna Emilia Hietamäki and her band started the show. Hietamäki was singing and playing the acoustic guitar with Tytti Roto (also known for her own artist alter ego, Ty Roxy) on the bass and Hanna Perälä playing the keyboard along with a few light touches of the drums too – a trio with a gentle touch. Their approach is folkish, somewhat ambient, and dreamy in a nice way too. Hietamäki’s guitar and vocals are the center of attention here. At least with a silent and focused crowd like that at G Livelab, their music pulls its weight, placing the listener inside a bubble of Hietamäki’s perspective and view of the world.

Marissa Nadler was the headliner of the evening. Sadly, she was apologizing for her voice from the start – apparently the long tour had taken it’s toll. For an artist renowned for her voice, this was of course a big setback. Nevertheless Nadler did do a fine job of pulling through a 1+ hour concert, and although her facial expressions sometimes gave away that singing was not comfortable, she did a professional job and the crowd got what they wanted.

On stage, Marissa Nadler was accompanied by guitarist Milky Burgess, taking some of the burden of speeches and providing an occasional glimpse of humor to the show too, and Monica Coat with her low-key bass playing at the back of it all. On some of the songs there was a drum line added from a computer. Just as the guitar picking and vocals of Henna Emilia Hietamäki were the center of the warm-up, here again it all came down to Nadler’s gentle and clean vocals, that walk the listener through her musical universe. It was not all whispers and gentle touches though, as at the later half of the show, there was some distorted guitar added by Burgess and more howling vocals by Nadler.

Here are the photos from a night of two very intimate and intensive concerts.

Henna Emilia Hietamäki

Marissa Nadler