Due to Kotiteollisuus’ recent extensive touring, it is quite easy to catch them playing at most of the summer festivals anywhere around Finland. However, we wanted to see something more intimate, so we set our path directly towards their gig at On the Rocks in Helsinki on the 25th of June. I wasn’t so happy about the location, as On the Rocks is a rather small place to cram all the people who are eager to see Kotiteollisuus these days. I expected the club to be full, making it quite an uncomfortable experience. Luckily, I was wrong.
The closer it got to show time, the more people arrived, but there was still enough space and air for everyone. The front row consisted of girls only, who proceeded to get less and less sober, so that they could meet the band in proper condition. This seriously untied their hands later.
The club was filled with cheers once the band got on stage. Janne Hongisto was wearing black Ilosaarirock shorts and looked like the most stylish dude that night. Being able to move around a lot more than Hynynen, who has to stay at the mic most of the time, Hongisto took advantage of all the free space he could get on that small stage. He kept on dancing to the songs – something that looked more like tribal dances around a sacrificial fire. Apparently that’s what you do at Ukonhauta!
As the show went on, the advantages of playing at a small club became obvious. It felt like a gig for a group of close friends or family members, and you could basically feel yourself connected on some level to every person present. Hynynen noted how intimate the atmosphere was, so I hope the band could feel this connection as well.
Speaking of intimacy, Hongisto surely received plenty of it during that night. Whenever he would approach the edge of the stage, the front row girls would stretch their hands out to him to touch every part of his body that they were able to reach. I bet those Ilosaarirock shorts have never been such a turn on for anyone! Hongisto couldn’t get enough, getting closer and exposing himself more and more. As the tension got higher, Hynynen couldn’t take it anymore and pushed Hongisto off the stage, but the latter didn’t fall.
I really wanted this show to last forever, and for a while it didn’t seem to end at all. Kotiteollisuus played songs from their latest album, Ukonhauta, along with some of their older works, like “Yö päivää keinuttaa,” “Valtakunta,” “Kultalusikka,” etc. They also did two encores, instead of the regular one, and absolutely blew our minds. Even after the second encore, the audience wanted more, but nobody does three encores, do they?
During one of their usual breaks between the songs, while the band was pulling some jokes, making everyone laugh, I couldn’t help the feeling that this was one of the best shows I have ever seen and definitely the best by Kotiteollisuus. It didn’t have anything outstanding that would differ it from the rest of their shows, but the atmosphere prevailing in the club was more relaxing and magical than ever. So if anyone ever asks me where was I when Michael Jackson died, I can surely say that I was in a place safely hidden from all the troubles of the world, watching a truly amazing Finnish band performing a goddamn great gig!
Text: Tanja Caciur | Photos: Jana Blomqvist