Concert evaluation Iisa cut off the records made with her ex-man from her gig set, and the result was an uncompromising festival set

At Iisa’s record release gig, a surprisingly interesting contrast and contradiction was formed between two different aesthetic lines, which one might not have thought would work before the gig, writes critic Arttu Seppänen.


The release gig of Iisa’s Amelia album. G Livelab Tampere 18.4.2021.

Iisan the one-and-a-half-year gig break was due to end this spring with a tour starting at Kuopio’s Henry’s Pub. A few weeks ago, the owners of the legendary gig venue decided to close the club permanently and then sometimes open a venue that is not dependent on organizing gigs. The plight of artists is hardly alleviated by the fact that even gig venues start to go under when it is no longer a profitable or even possible business.

Iisa’s spring gigs new Ameliafrom the G Givel band in Tampere to a streaming gig broadcast on Saturday night. Many other bands that released a new album in the spring are also running their record release gig as a stream. The gig was preceded by news about the cancellation of the big summer festivals, which came like a domino effect.

Considering these factors, the starting points for the evening’s gig were somewhat tense.

Iisan The fourth album is based on Pilot Amelia Earhartin to a life that disappeared on its round-the-world flight in July 1937 when he was 39 years old. With the album, Iisa wanted to break the autofictional nature of her previous records.

The record has been produced Artturi Taira and Miikka Koivisto, whose sound world is intuitively picturesque in many places and not necessarily the simplest to translate into live adaptation. Iisa made the album with the producer duo, but she has a four-piece band behind them at gigs: Omar Zakik (guitar), Antti Hietala (drums), Brother Kauppinen (bass, backing vocals), Arttu Hokkanen (keyboards, percussion, samples, fx).

The gig started with a pair of works from a new album Good night Iisa (Illusion 1) and Illusion 2, of which the latter is one Amelian key songs. Drummer Hietala lined up the best and perhaps most challenging drum comp for the record, created by Taira and Koivisto, which is much closer to jazz than pop. Also a new record White shark and Not in war, not in love grew epic live. Brother Kauppinen’s rock bass Noiserejoiced.

Streaming gigs even grandiose visual implementations have been seen during the 20th century, but Iisa and her bands relied on the normal club and festival set-up without any visual input, probably dictated by compulsion. Often pre-written and programmed implementations don’t feel like gigs at all in the absence of spontaneity. Now spontaneity was conveyed and also reminded of the time when such gigs were allowed to be watched in the early evenings of festivals. Admittedly, the cuts could have created even more intensity for the gig, the shooting and viewing angles were very static.

At the gig, Iisa focused only on the material of the two most recent records. Ex-man Mikko Pykärin the material of the plates produced was dropped off. The result was a musically ambitious and uncompromising ensemble.

The year 2018 Days, nights from the record was included in the set, for example Zen and Return to the world. In the latter, he was glad that Iisa took care of it as well Matti P’s rap sections convincingly. Often, artists drive their rap visitors at gigs from the backing tracks and the impression is embarrassing almost every time. Or worse, the chorus visitor performs their songs at their own gig and all the verses come from the tape.

Days, nights reached out with his single-drive material towards radios and mainstream expression. Amelia is almost the opposite: the material is not a hit type, but it is an album ensemble that also gained added value at the gig.

There was a surprisingly interesting contrast and contradiction between the two different aesthetic lines that I might not have thought would work before the gig. AmeliaThe record release gig was a guaranteed, but not a charming performance from Iisa, insofar as it can be achieved in a stream.

Isaiah’s fourth album Amelia is based on the life of pilot Amelia Earhart.­

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