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P2440600Krapinpaja, Tuusula, Finland
18th March 2022
Timo Kotipelto & Netta Skog - “Acoustic Harmonies”

Timo Kotipelto (STRATOVARIUS, CAIN’S OFFERING) and Netta Skoog (Ex-ENSIFERUM) teamed up again to play a series of acoustic concerts. I had seen them with Pekka Heino and Jani Liimatainen in Hämeenlinna back in 2019 and as soon as the gig was announced, I was determined to cover the show, as the show in Hämeenlinna had been one of the best acoustic shows I ever witnessed.

The trip to Tuusula by public transport turned out to be a bit tricky, as spring had not yet melted away totally and left the pavement covered with ice and the walk from the bus stop turned out to be a matter of balance. When I arrived at the venue, I was welcomed by very friendly staff, that saw all the guests to their tables and taking care of them during the whole evening. I regretted that I already had dinner in Helsinki, as the food being served looked quite savoury. The audience was dressed quite differently, one could see some leatherjackets as well as suits and evening dresses and there were people of all ages, from app. 10 years old to elder ladies and gentlemen.


The venue had a wonderful charm, looking like a barn with an upstairs balcony, two bars and tables for seating or bar-chairs on the balcony. The illumination was dense and suited the environment and the sound system turned out to be a very good one. The show started on time and Netta played a wonderful intro based on ‘Phantom of the Opera’, before Timo came on stage and started the show with ‘Sleep Well’, a track from his 2007 released album ‘Serenity’. A RAINBOW classic followed suit and ‘I surrender’ is perfectly made for Timo’s voice.


Between the songs Timo talked to the audience, with Netta adding some information or insisting on a STRATOVARIUS song and the first one for tonight was ‘Black Diamond’, a song that always moves mee deeply and the reduced instrumentation by the accordion gave the song a really intense touch. The next song Timo introduced as one he had recorded with Jani Liimatainen for their ‘Blackcoustic’ Album and it turned out to be ‘Out in the Fields’ by GARY MOORE.


The ultimate STRATOVARIOUS classic could not be left out (I was more than glad, that it was on the setlist) and the acoustic set gives Timo the chance to make use of his incredible voice, while Netta mastered the complex STRATOVARIUS melodies and changes in rhythm with what seemed to be no effort to her. As it happened before, Timo asked the audience to join the chorus and Tuusula was more than ready to join in, giving us the feeling not only to see the show, but being part of it. Since Netta demanded STRATOVARIUS, Timo delivered a killer performance of ‘Unbreakable’ just to ask Netta to a song that turned out to be ‘Alone’ by HEART.


Looking back, you could see this as a warm up, for a performance that really shook the venue. Timo announced that for the next song Netta would be on leading vocals. From previous shows, I knew, that she had a wonderful and intense voice, but her version of ‘Wicked Game’, a CHRIS ISAAK cover impressed me beyond words. Nothing against Timo’s voice, but could someone please ask Netta to go to the studio with Ville Valo of HIM and make them recording this song as a duet? Such a killer accordion solo and lyrics with so much feeling take a lot of practicing and talent. Chapeau.


One of the best ‘Holy Diver’ cover versions you can get, is the one by Timo Kotipelto and it’s always amazing to hear the song with his absolute perfect voice for it. During the show Netta and Timo kept joking or teasing each other, one scene ending as a small BLACK SABBATH contest with the lines ‘Finish with my woman…’ that earned some laughter from the audience. These two are not only very dedicated musicians but also perfect entertainers. A QUEEN classic followed next and since I never heard ‘I Want It All’ by Timo Kotipelto, I was really impressed that he picked such a classic almost mainstream song for this evening.


The show was closed with ‘The Final Countdown’ a EUROPE cover, that was merged with snippets from ‘Killed by Death’ by MOTÖRHEAD. The melody is perfect for the digital accordion and Timo absolutely killed it with the outro, performing the clear and high-pitched EUROPE vocals, to switch to dark Metal style spoken word, to switch to really high-pitched Opera style vocals again. The show took over 90 minutes without a break, but still I wanted a lot more music by these two.


If they announce a show, make sure you grab a ticket and I hope, that they will make an album and go on tour in Europe, so that more music enthusiast can enjoy their performances. /

Music: 10
Performance: 10
Light: 7
Sound: 10
Total: 9.3 / 10


All Pictures by Munich Vampire

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