Kilpi celebrated a kind of a homecoming last friday, when they performed at Klubi in Turku. The local heroes got a nice reception, surpassing their previous attendance numbers. Indeed, the Klubi might not have been sold out, but there was a nice sized crowd in there, and what's more, most of the crowd were very much into the band.
The band kicked off the set with a couple of numbers from the new album "IV", "Sisäinen Vihollinen" and "Seireeni". To start off the gig with brand new songs might sound like an odd thing to do, but on this gig they were "preaching to the converted", many of them who were already owners of the album. This meant that the songs were warmly welcomed. Still, the energy level of the crowd went up a few notches when the band played a couple of fan favourites, "Samaan Aikaan Toisaalla" and "Sumun Maa".
Overall, the setlist was a well-balanced mix of new material and old favourites. The new song "Keskiyön Cowboy" prompted vocalist Taage to make a little speech about a recent review in which the lyrics of the song were questioned. Well, the lyrics do sound a bit like Mötley Crüe translated into Finnish - or how would you describe this: "Midnite Cowboy/Rides On The Highway Of Heat... My Place Or Yours/Let's Mess Up The Sheets". However, while Mötley would have sung about themselves as being the Midnite Cowboys, Kilpi are merely observing the antics of one... anyway, the lyrics might not be "fine art", but they aren't certainly any worse than most of the rock lyrics. Even Kilpi have worse lyrics than these... having said that, the song itself isn't actually that good.
The second half of the set was a real treat for Kilpi fans, as they played most of their biggest hits. Their breakthrough song "Nerokasta Ikävää" sounded very poignant in April - it's a song about the long winter of ours. "Valoista Varjoihin" was a single from the second album, and while it wasn't one of the band's bigger radio hits, the crowd lapped it up and sang along loudly. Same with the awesome "Savuna Ilmaan", a song from the debut CD which was re-cut last year and released as a single and a bonustrack on the live album. "Sielut Iskee Tulta" is arguably the band's biggest hit, and naturally it become one big sing-along number. The first single from the new album, "Tuli, Ilma, Vesi Ja Maa" was a real crowd pleaser as well, and I'm sure that it'll remain in the setlist for quite some time. Very Accept'ish macho choirs and killer riffs!
As encores we got "Laske Kuolleet Ja Rukoile", one of my least favourite tracks of the band, and a strong, melodic number "Tähti" from the new album. Oddly enough, they didn't play their Eurovision Song Contest entry "Katharsis", which was a minor disappointment for me. Perhaps it returns to the setlist once the band has roadtested more of the new material and finds out which songs have that staying power.
Performancewise, the show was a success. Bassist Janne Laaksonen was a bit under the weather but that didn't seem to affect his playing. He probably didn't sing as much as usual, but that's understandable if the voice is shot. And while we're on the subject of singing, vocalist Taage was again in good form, belting out the high notes with relative ease. He's a good frontman in general, some funny banter in between songs and hilarious "insane looks"... Guitarists Pete and Aleksi were good too, Aleksi taking care of most solos, while Pete concentrated on rhythm guitars and backing vocals. Keyboard player Kukkis was sadly very much in the background, his keys struggling to be heard and the man himself mostly hidden in the shadows (hence no photos of him). His backing vocals were a good addition to the sound, though. A special mention must go to the drummer Janne, whose playing is fun to watch, he swirls the sticks like the best of 'em, and doesn't seem to be taking things too seriously.
Laske Kuolleet ja Rukoile
Review and photos by Kimmo Toivonen, kimmo [at] rockunited.com