My few concert experiences

concert
Photo by Sebastian Ervi on Pexels.com

I wanted to go to a concert when I was a teenager in the 1990s, but my mother didn’t let me. At the time, foreign bands didn’t come to Finland that often. You had to travel to Stockholm, Sweden. But sometimes, they did, which was great. The American boyband, New kids on the block, was the first band I wanted to see live in concert. Perhaps the tickets were expensive, so my mother didn’t want to pay for them. The same with the British boyband, Take That. They haven’t been here since then. I’ve only seen their concert on TV and once in a movie theatre. But it’s not the same. They’re still around, but they succeed more in their own country. I haven’t heard their songs on the radio anymore. But thanks to Spotify, I can listen to them.

I have never been into festivals. I think I have only been in one, but that was a free one. I have no memory of it, but I’m sure I have been into one. There are always some bands or artists I can’t stand at festivals. Concerts are more my kind of events. It took until 2017 that I got the courage to go to a concert. Before that, I didn’t like big crowds and didn’t have the money to go, either. The first concert was by Robbie Williams. That was the moment I got the going to concerts- bug. It was such a great experience. It’s the atmosphere and feeling of seeing your favourite artist in real life. You’re there with other people who have the same favourite as yours. The best part of a concert is when the audience sings along to the songs. The performer loves the feeling too.

This year, as you might know, I went to two other concerts. The one I really looked forward to seeing was Duran Duran. (FYI, today it’s Duran Duran Appreciation Day) You can read about the concert from the link to the band’s name in this paragraph, so I don’t need to repeat it. It was worth waiting for. Who knows if they will come back to Finland again. I can’t afford to travel aboard to see concerts, so they better get here instead.

I don’t usually do things without thinking, but when the American band Toto would come to my city, I didn’t think twice about it to go. I’m not that familiar with their music, but I know their hits. They’ve been around since 1977, with different line-ups since then. I listened to their other songs before I went to the concert. They composed most of the soundtrack to the original movie, Dune, in 1984, so they’ve also done songs without words. In the concert, there were awesome different instrument solos. I’ve always been fascinated by how some people can play instruments so well. I can hardly play easy songs.

In concerts, the volume is so loud, so sometimes you don’t hear what a band is playing or saying between songs. No wonder they have earplugs in their ears when they perform. Loud noises are not suitable for your hearing in the long run. I haven’t used earplugs. It’s a bit scary to put them inside my ears. My hearing is still great, anyway. The concerts should be heard as intended, loud and live. It’s only for a short period anyway. It can take years before I go to concerts again. If only that Elton John concert wouldn’t have been cancelled. It would have been next year. Oh, well that’s how it goes sometimes. You can’t always get what you want. Not even in concerts.

My favourite game, Duran Duran

Next in line. ©Mia Salminen 2022

Like it or not, I continue with my favourite game, Duran Duran. But just a little bit. I was supposed to put a video in the last post, but I forgot. So here is a short video of the concert in Helsinki on June 2.

Duran Duran performing “The Wild Boys”

Traffic at the Duran Duran concert

The long wait was over. Duran Duran arrived in Finland on June 2, 2022. It took 40 years. It could have been earlier, but it got cancelled. Better late than never. The timing was right because it was my 45th birthday. It was the biggest party I ever had. There were at least 12000 people there, so there was a lot of traffic at the gate. It took ages to get in, which was a shame. The warm-up band Nile Rodgers and Chic had already started their set when I was still outside the venue. Some people came to see them, so it wasn’t very nice for them to wait. Some of us had a priority ticket, but that didn’t help much. Nile Rodgers is one of the people who had helped Duran Duran and many others. He’s a legend. He had gone through drug addiction and cancer, and he’s still going strong.

Nile Rodgers and Chic
Nile Rodgers and Chic

The concert was held in Kaisaniemi Park in Helsinki. The weather was rainy and chilly, but the music kept us warm. The rain held up at 8 pm when Duran Duran started. I stood pretty close to the stage, but thinking about it later, I could have stood more in the middle, so I could have seen the whole stage. It started to rain again about an hour later, but that didn’t let our spirit down. What bothered me a bit was that some people crowded themselves to get to their friends, some during the concert. Some of them had drinks in their hands. The place was crowded, for crying out loud. Before the band arrived, some young women started to smoke. Hate when people do that. They could have done it before getting to the crowd. The nerve of some people. I stood close to the loudspeaker, so it was pretty loud. Some people complained about the sound and about the scenery. It depends where you were standing, I suppose. It was just awesome to see Duran Duran. Simon (lead singer) mentioned the band’s last visit to Finland between one of the songs. He said something like, “How did you know about us? You weren’t born yet. Oh, from your parents” I don’t remember the exact words. At that point, I felt old. I was 5 at the time, so I was alive. I didn’t know anything about the band then. I listened to kid songs and had other things on my mind. I heard about them when my mother taped music from the radio and the song “A View to a kill”, but not the same of the band. It was only later that I started to listen to their music.

I don’t think I’m ever sung and moved to the music the way I did at the concert. There were so many people, and the music was loud, so who would have noticed anyway. Their focus was on the band. I don’t know how many sang along, but I did to almost every song. Hearing people singing the songs is the best feeling in the world. People singing “Notorious” Amazing. They had many of their biggest hits, a few new songs, and one cover version. Here is the setlist.

setlist

There was a video screen at the back of the stage, but I didn’t see much of it. There was a big screen on each side of the stage, so you could see a close-up of the band. We, the audience, were waving and clapping to the music. I made some whistling noises with my fingers after the songs. I wouldn’t normally do that, but this was a great place to do so. I loved every moment of it. Their biggest hit is probably “Ordinary world”, At least when it comes to radio play. Simon talked about the situation in Ukraine and about the people living there. He dedicated the song to them. I think people sang to the whole song. At least I did. The rain started to fall harder when the band performed “Hold back the rain” It didn’t hold back the rain. It was the other way around. I was glad I had a good raincoat and Goretex sneakers. Rubber boots could have been even better. The rain was also getting on stage, so Simon said it looked like ice. It was also windy, so the rain still got on the stage even if there was a roof.

“The Chauffeur” is a big fan favourite, so that’s probably the reason why they keep it on their setlists. It used to be my least favourite song, but I learned to love it. Simon wore a hat that reminded me of a police hat or something. At the end of the song, he played a flute instrument. I looked it up just now, and it’s probably called an ocarina. My favourite song is “Save a Prayer” Simon told us to put the lights on (mobile flashlight) to get some stars, and many did, including me. It must have looked amazing from the stage. The band seemed to enjoy the show despite the rain since they smiled a lot. Especially John Taylor. When the band was finished, Roger Taylor through his drumstick to someone in the audience. The person said on Facebook that she was the one. Kind of funny since she had the same first name as me. I don’t know if he does that in all of the concerts, but it’s nice of him to do so.

The concert ended before 10 pm, but it could have continued much longer. It’s like a date. You really loved the date, and you wish it could last forever, but your date has already moved on, so you feel empty inside. I don’t know how long the band stayed in Finland. Not long, I guess since today (June 4) they’re performing in the Queen Elizabeth’s jubilee concert. So pleased they finally came to Finland. I hope they return again. The concert should have been the next day because then the weather was much better. I was so happy to have been there. Some people complained about many things, but nothing would have stopped me from going to see them live. If I didn’t love the band enough before, I love them even more now. Many people took photos and videos of the concert, which was a little annoying since all you could see were mobiles in the air. I took some too, but I also wanted to enjoy the show. As a souvenir and something to remind me of the show, I bought a blue coloured T-shirt with the band on the front and the tour dates on the back. Or more laundry, like my dad, says.

To end this blog post, here are more photos.