Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono / Thurston Moore
at Huvila Helsinki Finland (August 19th 2013)

All images © Sari Gurney / AIU 2013

Huvila

Huvila Yoko Ono 2013 Helsinki Sari Gurney

Huvila Yoko Ono

Huvila Yoko Ono

Huvila Yoko Ono

Huvila Yoko Ono

Huvila Yoko Ono

Huvila Yoko Ono

Huvila Yoko Ono

Huvila Yoko Ono

Huvila Yoko Ono

Huvila Yoko Ono

I was very happy to be in the audience of both Helsinki gigs by Yoko Ono and Thurston Moore (Helsingin Juhlaviikot, August 18th and 19th 2013). Shows were identically constructed beginning with two short documentaries about Yoko Ono's life and work, and then continuing with the show with Ono's films on view in the background (Bottoms (Film No 4), Match, Freedom). I personally enjoyed the entire show immensely and I felt they represented what I most love about Yoko's work and music: a huge surge of energy, real freedom of expression, empowerment, and frankly, really amazingly good rock n roll / noise / alternative music. Listening to her perform my very own favourite "Why" live made me want to jump around in my chair and just explode with emotion and joy. Thurston's guitar and Yoko's voice with the sensitive improvisational drumming was simply a spectacular combination in action.

Tomi Leppänen, a great Finnish drummer, was invited to play with Yoko and Thurston during the Helsinki gigs.

As I rather expected the Finnish mainstream press had very contradicting views on the shows: some of the press reaction was positive but some reduced their view on Yoko Ono's performance as mere "screaming". When people are viewing avantgarde and alternative work from the vantage point of mainstream, the clash of the different cultural viewpoints is often unavoidable. I have been relishing the Finnish online discussion about the two shows because I think many people were positively surprised by what they actually saw and heard during the shows.

The setlist (the order differed slightly each night):

It Happened
Why
Will I
Rising
Thurston Moore solo: Schizophrenia (Sonic Youth: Sister) and Frank O'Hara Hit (Chelsea Light Moving)
Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow)
Hugging Piece aka improvisation with two guitars

 

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