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Jon Anderson Solo Tour of The Universe, Espoo 14.9. ’05

A great, and different concert. I guess there were a little over 200 people in the audience, and the venue, the Tapiola-hall, added to the cosy, almost homely atmosphere of the concert. There were places free even in the first rows, so we changed place from near the mix table to the front. This was good in terms of following Jon’s work and moods close-up, but audiowise a disaster, as an echo from the back of the hall kept mulling the whole thing over. It was something of a surprise to hear Dean Martin on the tape (including alos the Betales, Zappa, and others) before the show. Jos also told during the concert that he keeps listening to Sibelius at home, especially the 3rd symphony. Great stuff.

Jon strolled on stage almost sleepish or sheepish, no grand gestures. At least to me, in the beginning Jon gave the impression as if he had just woken up. One of the first three songs, he missed a chord, stopped, and started again. The same happened while he was starting to tell something – distracted by something in his gear he forgot what he was saying, stopped, and instead just said “It’s so great to be here” and laughed to himself. He also kept burping (sic!) and commenting on that, which lent a humoristic, almost goofy edge to the beginning. After the three songs Jon noted that he was missing his set-list paper, and asked the roadie-technician from backstage to bring it, to great applause.
It seems to me that the goofiness and jocularity involved interacted nicely with the “message” of the whole thing. I mean, Jon’s lyrics and speaches can be a bit on the syrupy-pathetic side, but this time the effect was balanced with the obvious sincerity and genuineness of the delivery + the “not taking oneself too seriously”-bit. A very warm and touching experience. Maybe it was the acoustics, but to me the songs with accompanied only by guitar or piano woprked the best. This let Jon’s voice to be heard in all of its nuances and glory. Of the midi/sample-backed songs, “State of Independence” seemed to function well. The finnish audience reacted, typically, in a quite reserved manner, but the sing-along-with-“give peace a chance”/”for the queen to use”-was a beautiful, beautiful thing. Jon seemed to enjoy it, too.
After the show Jon came to sign autographs and meet the fans, and as he himself said, it seemd like everybody who came stood in line to shake hands and get pictures taken. So now I have a “Change we must”-cd and the tickets with a strange black scribble on them!
Wonderful music, wonderful voice, wonderful person. Thank you Jon!

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