On an August evening I went to Klubi see folk pop band Captain Cougar (as well as Jukka Ässä and Cry Bar) but I definitely have the most vivid memories of Captain Cougar's gig. What was it then? Perhaps the most well-planned concert I had ever seen. The core of every concert is of course music. Captain Cougar performed its latest, second album Of Dreams Long Gone in its entirety. And oh what a concert it was!
I have seen a few hundred gigs and very few of them included any kind of visual stimuli in addition to the band and the instruments. In the field of indie/underground/non-popular pop/rock bands there is rarely anything else on the stage than the band and the usual lights that the venue can offer. The ideal situation often is that there is no need for videos or anything else in the background – the music is so good and entertaining in its own right that extra props, video screens etc. are not needed. On the other hand, sometimes the music and the concert as a whole can greatly benefit from additional visual features. The most important thing is to think what the concert needs, what the band and the music have to say.
Captain Cougar had a good reason to decorate their concert with video screens. The band's latest album has a historical theme: it tells stories that mostly take place in the 1910s Finland. On the screens there were different old photographs and texts that looked like letters or poems.
However, the visuals didn't steal the show. That role belonged to the band and gorgeous lead vocalist Eva Louhivuori who I think must be one of the best and most expressive female singers in the whole country. I also loved to see many wonderful instruments being played: violin, horns, woodwinds, piano. Everything the band did on the stage showed deep respect towards the wonder of beautiful, touching music – music that matters and takes you to a whole different place. It is a good equivalent to reading a good historical novel but with less text and more audio temptation.
This world needs music like Captain Cougar. Music that is down-to-earth but utilizes effective nuances with style. Music that conveys real human emotions, organic instrumentation and stories that shouldn't be forgotten.