Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hypnotized by Ken

Today is the one week anniversary of my first The Disciplines gig. It’s definitely not very rewarding being a Finnish fan of numerous American power pop/pop/indie rock bands when you look at how often they play gigs in Finland. However, sometimes we Finns get pampered big time. Nowadays, Jon Auer or Ken Stringfellow or both, visit Finland almost every year. They seem to have quite many fans in this country – the biggest live audiences in the entire world, I’ve heard!

The latest turn in The Posies story was Ken Stringfellow starting a band called The Disciplines with Norwegian musicians who had played in a band called Briskeby. Well.. Norway, that’s geographically very near to Finland! Norwegian-American The Disciplines already played in Helsinki a couple of years ago, and now, in January 2009, it was time for a three-gig Finnish tour that also included shows in Turku and Tampere.

I really can’t complain. Seeing a power pop god like Ken Stringfellow perform in my hometown, 5 kilometres from my home is absolutely cool. Also, Stringfellow is the most enthusiastic and devoted live performer you could ever imagine. At Klubi his performance was filled with wild energy, quite sensual dance moves, and inventive activities that he used to make the audience participate. Ken ran singing around the venue while the audience got tangled in his very long microphone wire.. He encouraged everyone to jump up and down with him, and some people got a chance to sing a bit of lead vocals. Ken also hypnotized the entire audience. That was the most unusual gig moment ever but it surely was great fun! The encore was AC/DC’s Highway to Hell with Ken’s own made-up lyrics (“I’m going down to Tampere!”). It was an unforgettable gig. Feedback from other people who had witnessed the gig included stuff like “the best gig I’d ever seen”..

After the gig I got a chance to purchase Smoking Kills (2008), The Disciplines’ first album, from Stringfellow himself. It’s a good modern rock album – melodic like you could expect from Ken. And of course there are some power pop songs, too.

Extra points go to Finnish warm-up act Agent Kooper who come from Turku. Their 70s retro-rock sounded great. This was the 2,33th time I saw them, and it was definitely the best gig so far. They performed some new songs too. Those songs were quite epic!

The Disciplines at MySpace
Agent Kooper at MySpace

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