Here’s another wrap up of this year. It’s not written by me, but a very special fan who has seen more of my gigs than anybody else (thank you!).
This is what she has to say:
For years I have been fascinated about J.’s talent as a musician and I think he is the best live performer I know with that magical and unique style that only he has. And why I found J. to be so interesting is his versatile skills that enables him to take part many different kind of projects. I had an opportunity to attend to many various J.’s gigs and concerts in 2011. Just want to mention few of those as the highlights of this year.
J.’s first gig (acoustic one) was actually at the first day of this year @ Turku (Restaurant Iloinen Härkä). I have to say I like J.’s acoustic gigs very much. Usually he plays those gigs with Antti Mäkelä (AHOLA, Henno) but this time Antti was replaced by another great guitarist Timo Niemistö (Anthriel). J.’s voice was as perfect as it can be and I have no complaints about anything relates to that gig. I heard 2 of my favourite songs: Soldier Of Fortune and Catch The Rainbow. I celebrated my birthday at that night and I loved my best present: that first class gig. During this year I attended to many other acoustic gigs too but I wanted to highlight this particular one.
Teräsbetoni released their 4th album Maailma Tarvitsee Sankareita in late of 2010 and in 2011 spring was busy with many TB gigs around the Finland. Few were in summer festivals and one special gig was in Estonia @ Rabarock. I was very surprised about the acceptance and involvement of the audience there. Even though Teräsbetoni’s lyrics are in Finnish they managed to sing along almost perfectly. That was great. Estonian and Finnish languages resemble each other a little bit though. I also had a possibility to attend to the last TB gig in Siilinjärvi before we heard the news about taking a break. The gig and the audience was certainly something which created that magical feeling “Metallitotuus” (metal truth). Band played well and… do I even need to mention J.’s great performance as a powerful warrior of TB.
J. visited on few albums also in 2011. One was live album (Maalaispojan Laulut) from Mikko Alatalo’s (Finnish musician and politician) 60th birthday concert @ Tampere-talo and J. sang the song Hengitä Sisko (J.’s studio version of the song can be found from the album Pispalassa Jytää, released in 2010). I attended also to that concert and everybody who has heard that live version certainly knows that it was one of the best performances of that song ever.
The other was an album which was a fundraiser for charity: Embrace The Sun (dedicated to Japan’s tsunami victims). J. sang one song with Anthriel since Anthriel didn’t have a permanent vocalist at that time. The song is called Circle Of Life and it’s composed by Timo Niemistö (Anthriel) and J. wrote the lyrics and again did a great job with the superb vocals.
Now I mentioned Anthriel I want to highlight also one gig J. took part as an Anthriel’s singer. It was @ Sauna Open Air in Tampere and it certainly was one of the hottest days in Finland last summer. J. was great again and all the songs went so well that I can imagine some people thought J. was the permanent singer in the band.
In the end of the summer we had a chance to enjoy the gig that at least I had waited eagerly.. AHOLA’s premiere @ On The Rocks, Helsinki. Lots of people were gathered to the gig and even though the songs have not been published yet the feeling was very amenable and spirit was high from the beginning. The audience were really supportive. The gig was a success and this was a good start for the band. I can’t wait the AHOLAs debut album which will be released next spring. I’m sure that this J.’s project will be very interesting to the “old fans” and J. will have lots of new listeners also. Great stuff indeed! Want to thank and mention also the other AHOLA members: Antti Mäkelä (drums), Antti Karhumaa (lead guitar) and Jari Laitinen (bass).
Before Raskasta Joulua gigs J. did a remarkable job performing in 4 great Queen-concerts with Finnish navy and air force orchestras. I attended to all of those unbelievable concerts and I can say the climax was the last concert at Turku concert hall. On those Queen-concerts audiences age range varied approximately from 10 to 90 but still all were very pleased and satisfied. I can imagine how it feels when the audience stands up to applause and show their respect to the artist and musicians. I think we will have an opportunity to experience Queen-concert again next spring. Magnificent!
Before Raskasta Joulua tour I would like to mention one special gig: Jouluksi Kotiin @ Martinussali, Vantaa (with Vantaa Pops). It was quite a peaceful stuff but I liked the concert very much. J.’s version of Sylvian Joululaulu was awesome.. The other vocalists at the gig were JP Leppäluoto (Charon, Northern Kings), Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica, Northern Kings) and Johanna Kurkela.
Then to Raskasta Joulua gigs… Even though I got very good vibes from all RJ gigs where J. performed the highlight was @ Teatria, Oulu. This was a very special RJ gig ‘cause all the vocalists of Northern Kings were at the stage (J., Marco Hietala (Nightwish, Tarot), JP Leppäluoto (Charon) and Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica)). This was only chance to see those guys together in 2011. The Kings performed together several songs and of course we heard some great solo performances also. Awesome gig!
As we can see, J. had a very busy year regarding various gigs and I can only admire his incredible talent to create always great atmosphere and awesome vibes to the listeners.