What, do I listen to the other music as well? I do. I know that spring has finally come when I notice I'm playing almost constantly the music of one band; the Finnish band called Indica.
As I love this band as well, it's quite funny that I haven't had much chances to see their gigs. But it's just because I was underaged when they toured around Finnish clubs (they come even to my hometown) and while I have been of age, there haven't done gigs as often. If we don't count that acoustic duo gig with Jonsu and Emppu Suhonen in April, I have seen Indica only once and that was almost four years ago - and I have listened to the band for five years now... I have been waiting for so long that I would see them again, so when I found out that they're going to play in Helsinki, I ordered the ticket immediately. To be honest, before the gig I even had butterflies in my stomach - at least this one of Indica was a welcomed refreshing to my gig scheludes...
But first some trivia about the band.
Indica plays rather poprock music of their own kind - the music is actually described as "mystic-romantic poprock". The sympathetic band leader Johanna "Jonsu" Salomaa writes all the music and lyrics by herself, and in addition to vocals she also plays violin and piano.
Indica's lyrics are like beautiful poems (there are even vibes from old Finnish language), mostly about life, feelings and nature. Their music is actually quite a melancholic and moody, it does have that "certain Finnish mood" in it. The songs vary from those calm moody songs, piano ballads and even jazz-influenced songs to more "traditional" fast-paced poprock tunes. They also bring different instruments to the music - violin, flutes, different keyboard instruments from basic piano to cembalo and grand piano, clarinet, melodica...
And funny fact of the band - originally it wasn't intended that all the members were women, it's just happened to be like that. Jonsu and Heini (Säisä; the bassist) have known since childhood, and then they met Sirkku (Karvonen; the keyboardist) at a rock concert. Later Jenny (Mandelin; the guitarist) and Laura (Häkkänen; the drummer) joined them. Indica was formed in 2001 and the debut album Ikuinen virta was released in 2004. So far they have released four albums in Finnish and one in English. The band name was derived from "indigo" (a shade of blue colour).
It is funny, but my relationship towards this band was definitely not "love in the first sight". At that point I knew only those radio songs - I remember I kind of liked Vuorien taa because of the violin, but almost hated Ikuinen virta (and I still don't like it that much). I had a chance to see them live in 2008 when they were supporting Nightwish, but didn't care about their perform that much. Closed mind, closed ears, so to say!
But bit later I somehow ended up to give another chance to them. Maybe because I had read that their music would feature some elements that would attract me, like nature, violins, pianos, mystical feeling... So I listened to few songs and I'm still on that way, hehe. After getting know them better, I found out that they're rather unique kind of poprock band, with influences from other music styles and meaningful, ambiguous lyrics.
Before the gig I hanged out with some other people in the front row - the funny thing is that when I drink, I do that after the gig, because the music-lover in me wants to concentrate on the music itself and truly enjoy of it. But due to this company I ended up to be bit tipsy before the gig - but nevertheless it didn't affect in negative way. The band started the playing bit late, but the first song - which was Elä - was a gripping one and that's why perfect choice for the opening song. The song is quite aggressive - and this live version certainly had certain edge - so this one (like Viimeinen jyvä and Pahinta tänään) is good one for some headbanging as well, hehe!
Next song calmed the atmosphere, as it was Scarlett. The atmosphere of this song is quite longing and even though Jonsu can write better lyrics, I like this song because it conveys the feeling very well.
I was really pleased about the fact that they played five songs from my favourite album Kadonnut puutarha. It's atmospheric and versatile album that has those moody songs, piano ballads and some faster tracks as well. Especially the latter half (forward Nukkuu kedolla) of the album is beautiful stuff. I love the album also because of those progressive vibes and the last track Helmet is rather a jazz song. But Viimeinen jyvä was definitely a great surprise and now I must say that the album version sounds so tame compared to the live one. Unten laiva is one of the most beautiful Indica-songs - while this one and Ikävänkantaja I was admiring how emotionally Jonsu was putting herself into these songs, both singing and violin playing. She even played an additional violin intro and solo to Ikävänkantaja, which brought great folky feeling in the song. Ulkona and Noita were the other songs from Kadonnut puutarha, also these ones are among my favourite songs. Noita is hauntingly beautiful song and I have always liked how witty and metaphorical lyrics Jonsu has written for this one - first the one would think that it's about various well-known fairytales, but no, basically it's about death.
Same with Kummajaisten joukko, I like how beautifully and diplomatically Jonsu can write even about a typical bar evening, hehe! Of course they played this song, fitted pretty well to this bar environment.
Valoissa made people sing along loudly with Jonsu and she was even singing one part of the lyrics to me; probably she noticed my enthusiasm towards their performing, hehe.
And the last song before the encore was obviously Vuorien taa. Jonsu played her violin with a great enthusiasm, but then again this is a brisk and compelling song. The whole Tuuliset tienoot-album is perfect album to listen to in late spring and summer. There already are some progressive elements, even some folk music vibes and lots of beautiful piano melodies. But Vuorien taa is actually my favourite of these most well-known songs, besides I always associate it to it's music video where Jonsu plays violin in the misty woods.
And as an encore they played Pahinta tänään, I have loved also this music video since it was released, it has spooky and even kind of oppressive atmosphere.
I tend to love evocative kind of music the most, music which makes imagine while listening to it. It's like seeing little music videos in mind and the music is like a soundtrack for those visions. That is one reason why I like Indica's music, also they're like that. But to think that they can make a really good live show as well; this is a feature that I do respect in the bands in general. All the band members were full of energy and I wonder does Heini ever had a bad day, hehe - especially she was smiling almost constantly. Emppu also proved that she is a good guitarist, good one for substituting Jenny. And Jonsu does have great sense of humour, she was quipping jokes all the time.
And sure I like redheads and violinists, but there's something special in Indica's frontwoman. Jonsu is not only talented and versatile musician, but it's also the way how she bears herself. She looks good in a stylish and individual manner - I do think that she is even more beautiful in real life (actually, when I met her in Kotka, I was surprised how tiny and slender she is for real). "Small but energetic" would describe her stage presence the best, yet she can put herself well in those more dreamy songs as well. For sure, technique-wise there might be better singers on the world, but Jonsu's voice is like an interesting curiosity to me and works in that way. Besides live she sounds the same as on the studio albums, that's another thing I appreciate.
I'm pleased with this gig, I can't say nothing more at the moment. Very refreshing to see them for a change, indeed!
Edit - some videos I found from the gig:
Set list (not in a particular order)