torstai 17. syyskuuta 2015

Wooden Wisdom spinning vinyl in Hellsinki, Funland

Okay lets get this party started for real with this first proper entry, yay!

Wooden Wisdom aka Elijah Wood and Zach Cowie took over Kuudes Linja on August 29th and Club Kaiku on August 30th in Helsinki, Finland. I attended both of these sold out gigs.

It was my first time in Kuudes Linja and it turned out to be a good night. When I entered the venue about one hour before showtime it was mostly me and a bunch of some other LotR-fans waiting around the stage and dance floor. I admit that it made me a bit nervous, because I was afraid that people had only come there to gawk at Elijah and not to actually party, dance and have fun. No one was dressed up as a hobbit though, thank heavens for that. The place filled up nicely and the dance floor was full of people when the guys took over the stage. I was aware that dj Fitz would be there as well, but I thought he would be more like a support act but instead he played with them through the whole set. Dj Fitz started by playing for half an hour and I thought I would die of boredom (sorry!). Seriously, the first 30 minutes didn't really impress me at all because the music wasn't to my liking, but I tried to dance a bit so I wouldn't seem like a total prick. Most of the music he played had some heavy Middle-Eastern influences and those sounds do not appeal to me in the slightest and I was thinking that if the rest of the set was like this I would fall asleep on my feet.

The first 30 mins passed and then it was Elijah's turn to play and his musical choices definitely turned things for the better. I have no idea about the artists, but he played some super catchy, funky and groovy songs that were awesome to dance to. Elijah's first set pretty much restored my faith in the whole gig. Some people were shouting "Frodooooo!!!" from time to time and I couldn't help but roll my eyes at them. I'm not saying that I wasn't there mainly because of Elijah, I've been a huge LotR fan for most of my life, but come fucking on. I think it's idiotic to go around shouting stupid shit that has nothing to do with the actual reason why the person has come there in the first place. He wasn't there because he played one of the most iconic characters in movie history, he was there to play records and it's something that people should understand and respect. Rant over.

I thought they would have found some interesting vinyl from Helsinki, but apparently they hadn't or they were saving them for an another gig in an another country. Zach was the only one to play a Finnish song, Liikaa stadiin by Kirka. A stellar choice! I anticipated that they would play more of some local stuff they found cool, but Kirka was all the Finnishness we got. Anyway, after the rather uncertain start the gig was really enjoyable and I danced through the whole thing. The guys pretty much concentrated on playing the records, but they also interacted with audience and the atmosphere in Kuudes Linja was very cheerful and most people kept dancing until the end. They played for 4 (!!) hours and my god my feet and lower back were killing me when they finished the set! They were clearly very happy with the night too and Elijah stayed to chat with the crowd for a few minutes before heading backstage.

After a successful night I had high expectations for the second gig as well. Club Kaiku is situated just next to Kuudes Linja, but the location was the only thing those places had in common. My good mood deflated as soon as a arrived to the venue. The bouncer was real cranky and demanded to see my ticket before he more or less pushed me in to face an incredibly sour-looking ticket lady. The cloakroom staff weren't much better either. You find the dance floor once you go up narrow stairs and guuuhh I just didn't like what I saw. Or rather didn't see. There was so much smoke in the dance floor that I hardly saw where I was going and the room was quite small with a really low ceiling which made me feel a bit claustrophobic. Also, there was no actual stage but a dj table which was in no way elevated. I immediately knew it would be a problem because you wouldn't be able to see the djs unless you were standing right next to the table. I took a quick tour of the whole club and I could imagine all the hipsters of Helsinki spending their evenings there. Lets just say that it wasn't a place where I would like to hang out, not my style at all.

On my way to the ladies room I saw a guy dressed up as Wilfred, which was quite surprising because the show probably isn't that well-known over here. Finally it was nearly show time and as I predicted, people kind of squashed themselves as close to the table as possible in order to see something. It was really hot and uncomfortable and the smoke irritated me so much both physically and mentally. The gig followed roughly the same pattern as the night before, but that's where the similarities end. I don't whether it was the Sunday that made people so sluggish or what, but things never really took off like they did in Kuudes Linja. I tried to move and dance at the front, but the atmosphere was as flat as a pancake compared to the first gig, people just stood around, took pictures and drank most of the time.

It felt like the just guys played and the audience, well, existed. I do blame it on the venue a little, because there was just so much wrong with it. I thought it was mainly designed for people who want to sit, drink, hang out and take a few drunken steps on the dance floor, but it really wasn't a great venue for gigs. There's not much to say about the gig really, because it felt so lame compared to the first one. In conclusion, I now feel like I could have skipped the second gig because I really would have not lost anything. On the other hand though, it was interesting to see how different things can get even if the starting points are almost the same. And I'm really stoked that I finally got to see this dj-duo (and well, those blue eyes, hah <3) and I'm hoping that they would maybe even come back some day, because the first gig was fucking A+. I also had some serious doubts and was afraid that this kind of a gig format would not really suit me and I wouldn't find it interesting and worth my while, but I was positively surprised in the end.

- juoksepoistytto

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