Meet me tonight in Atlantic City

Anssi Kela – Espoo; November 27th 2010

I first heard about Anssi Kela from my friend I. and got curious enough to buy his album “Aukio”. Even though my Finnish is nowhere near good enough to understand what he is singing, I loved it from the start. I translated a few of the songs and knew I had found a great storyteller. I love singer/songwriter music and was on the lookout for a concert every time I planned a trip to Finland. Last time I went there, I got lucky.

So in the early evening of November 27th a few friends and I made our way to Espoo on the bus. It was cold, windy and there was lots of snow to walk through, but we easily made it to the Kultturikeskus. Upon arrival we ralized that it was going to be a seated concert – weird. It fit the place though and the motto of the evening “Two Poets”. Strangely, Anssi was first and not Yona as advertised.

We managed to sit at the front with some other people and waited for the gig to start. At 19:00 Anssi walked out among the crowd, strumming his guitar, singing ‘Milla’. No frills, no microphone, just a few chords and a clear voice. Wonderful! He made his way to the stage and sat down. After one more song he introduced his piano player Saara Metsberg and bassist Antti Karisalmi and proceeded to ask us what we wanted to hear, since he did not have a setlist. Luckily I had I. to translate everything for me.

Slowly, people asked for different songs. For some, he said they could not play them in this setup, but he chose ‘Kaivos’, ‘Älä mene pois’ and ‘Uudet autot’. I asked for ‘Albin Stenman, but apparently was not loud enough. After these three Anssi talked about the song voting he’d had on his website prior to the concert. He had listed a number of cover songs and asked which ones we wanted him to play. It made me happy when he announced that two Springsteen songs had won. Apparently that had only happened on the last day before the concert. He wondered if Antti , who is a Springsteen fan, had something to do with it. “Altlantic City” was played Seeger Sessions style and “Darkness on the Edge of Town” was a slow but wonderful version.

After ‘Sormus’ Anssi introduced a new song he had recently written. It sounded nice enough, but I could not figure out what it was about, only understood a few of the words. The request for ‘Aamu’ made us laugh, because Anssi misunderstood “Hamu” and wondered which song that could be. Apparently he had watched “This is Spinal Tap” recently, because he mentioned the movie and then surprised us with ‘Stonehenge’. ‘Nummela’ followed and the request ‘Mikan faijan BMW’ endid it all.

All in all a wonderful gig. I’d love to go and see Anssi again, especially at a regular gig where I do not have to sit down.

Setlist

Milla (solo)
Murhaballadi (half soolo, half trio)
Kaivos (request)
Älä mene pois (request)
Uudet autot (request)
Atlantic City (Springsteen cover)
Darkness On The Edge Of Town (Springsteen cover)
Sormus (request)
“Mitä tapahtuu” (new song)
Aamu (request)
Stonehenge (cover)
Nummela

Encore
Mikan faijan BMW (request)

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