Grace Jones @ Kaisafest 2010


15. Jun. 2010, 15:42

Sat 12 Jun – Kaisafest 2010

Last year, Grace Jones performed at Flow Festival, in Helsinki. At that time, I hadn't yet discovered her music so I didn't participate. After the festival, however, and after reading all those raving reviews, I decided that I just had to give her music a chance. Well, I fell in love with her latest studio album Hurricane and really regretted that I missed the festival. So, when I heard that she would be a part of the Kaisafest lineup I felt like I was granted a second chance. (Nina Hagen was there too but I kind of missed her performance which, I later heard, was quite disappointing.)

(And by the way, with already two elder divas in their lineup I really, REALLY expected them to try to get Siouxsie too but that never happened. Too bad. I wonder if I'll ever get too see her live...)

Well, anyway, back to business. I came to the festival area one hour before her gig in order to get as near to the stage as possible. There was some DJ trying to create atmosphere with his music but I chose to listen to my Grace Jones collection from my mobile phone. Then the DJ stopped playing. Crowd started cheering. And finally, the white curtain hiding the stage was dropped with a loud noise.

People went crazy although the diva herself was nowhere to be seen. Then the lights were turned on and there she was, up in her tower, opening the show with Nightclubbing. The moment was almost surreal, Grace Jones was there singing right before my very eyes. Ah yes. Next song to be played was This Is, and the beginning of the show was very promising.

However, the following songs such as My Jamaican Guy and Demolition Man failed to get the crowd going. She gave her all, but the songs just didn't work and excited as I was about the gig, I must admit I felt a bit disappointed. Only momentarily, though.

Next she treated us with yet another older classic, I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango), followed by Love You to Life, one of my favourite songs by her. This was when the show was getting better, song by song. After Love You To Life, she kept asking "Life and death. But what's in between ? What's between them?" before finally emerging from the curtains, sipping red wine "without a straw this time", as she told and giving us the answer: La Vie En Rose. The song, which hadn't really impressed me before, sounded very tender and, well, graceful live. Things were really getting better all the time.

Then, after announcing that we'd be going to church, I knew what was coming: Williams' Blood. My favourite Grace Jones song ever ! The live rendition of the song was stunning and the audience got carried away with the soaring song. And the chorus was a blast: guitars, vocals, and the crowd, all exploding in a frenzy. After she gave us a moment to breathe while singing 'Amazing Grace' she took us to New York with her classic Pull Up To The Bumper. If the crowd had been wild before, this is where it got totally unleashed. Suddenly, in the middle of the song, while still singing, she disappeared from the stage. She did it after every song when she changed costumes but I was like "WTF? This song isn't even close to ending !" But she kept singing. And all out of sudden, there she was, towering above us on the fence that separated the audience from the stage. She was like 1,5 metres away from me ! Once more, the enthusiasm of the crowd got one level higher while everybody was trying to reach to her. She shouted "Sing it for me !!" and oh boy we did. It was rapturous, the crowd singing as one in the confetti rain, the atmosphere being out of this world.

After whipping us up she finally withdrew and we kept screaming for more, applauding like crazy. After being convinced by the fact that we were hungry for more, she came back to the stage, singing Love Is The Drug with a beam of light pointed at her head and dispersed by her disco ball hat, illuminating the festival tent with a shower of light. She truly rocked and got the crowd jumping up and down and singing along. After changing her headwear once more - this time to a golden cat-like mask - she reappeared from the shadows with a hula hoop, meaning we would be hearing a certain song soon enough. Then she asked the crowd "What's 'I Love You' in Finnish?" which, according to her, sounded more like "In my pussy". "But I promise to say it before I... *laughter*" she said, apparently referring to something that she could be doing later in the night with someone. Oh, that dirty miss Grace Jones ! Eventually the band started playing the next song, Slave to the Rhythm, and Grace kept on hula hooping throughout the song, even while moving across the stage when she was introducing her band.

But it wasn't over yet. She emerged from the curtains one last time, ultimately bewitching us with the title track of her comeback album Hurricane. Wearing a black cape and facing a wind machine she stormed on the stage like a force of nature. The crowd was silent, everybody was just watching her blow our minds away. And when the song ended, I felt bizarre, I felt exhausted; as if it had been me who had been up there giving my all. With Hurricane, she sure took my breath away and I think others felt the same. We applauded, we cheered, we thanked her completely satisfied.

Although I would've loved to see Corporate Cannibal, Well Well Well and Devil in My Life included in the setlist as it was Hurricane the album that introduced me to her music, the gig was still over the top. I had high expectations but definitely got even more. The crowd was alright, there were lots of people who were really enthusiastic about the gig - including me - but some of the older participants were really boring. (For example, one man complained because my bag was hitting him when I was jumping along the music and the same person looked very pissed off, plugging his ears with his fingers, when we were applauding and screaming for an encore. What a jerk.)

Well, not even people like that could ruin the experience. Grace Jones proved to be exactly the diva she is said to be, giving us one hell of a show. She was brilliant, glamorous, exotic, sexy, funny... spellbinding in every way. It's no wonder that she has influenced so many younger female pop stars. After all, her originality is inimitable. In brief, she is something you DON'T want to miss. Trust me.

Grace... ah yes, she was amazing.


This Is
My Jamaican Guy
Sunset Sunrise
Demolition Man
I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango)
Love You To Life
La Vie En Rose
Williams' Blood
Pull Up To The Bumper
- - -
Love Is The Drug
Slave To The Rhythm
- - -


  • smirking-

    tiesin et oot hyvä enkussa & kirjottaan mut... huh! en tiiä, tuli kyllä mielikuvasäväritkin. :'D etenki tuuletin-kaapu-luonnonvoima -kohasta

    6. Jul. 2010, 11:26
  • Jargou

    hihhii niinkö : D siistiä ! oooh mutta oisitpa nähny sen livenä. oisit takuulla ollu tykänny :'>

    6. Jul. 2010, 21:51
  • smirking-

    jea. mikähän siinä hagenin keikassa meni pieleen?

    7. Jul. 2010, 16:50
  • Jargou

    se kuulemma liikaa jauho kristinuskosta ja sen uskoontulemisesta ja sellasesta... ei kai oikein onnistunu sytyttään siihen "vanhaan kunnon hageniin" aikoinaan tykästyneitä faneja tai jotain semmosta :/

    8. Jul. 2010, 13:55
  • smirking-

    oho. aika karua kuulla yhtäkkiä tollasta keikalla ko on oottanu sellasta röllimäistä ääntelyä yms. oliko toi la vie en rose muuten se edith piafin vai joku jonesin oma?

    13. Jul. 2010, 17:29
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