Wigwam live at the Ruisrock Festival, Turku 02.07.2000

56-minute set:
  1. Just My Situation
  2. Save My Money & Name
  3. Freddie Are You Ready
  4. No New Games
  5. Nuclear Nightclub
  6. Eddie And The Boys >
  7. drum solo >
  8. Do Or Die
  9. Kite
  10. Bless Your Lucky Stars
Line-up: Jim Pembroke (vocals, keyboards), Rekku Rechardt (guitar), Måns Groundstroem (bass), Pedro Hietanen (keyboards), Jari Kettunen (drums).
See a photo of Rick Chafen & Jim Pembroke at the Ruisrock Festival. Copyright © Urpo Hartikainen.
That day was bright and sunny, seemed to me... despite a few raindrops. The Ruisrock Festival was celebrating its 30th anniversary, and Wigwam were given the honour to play the circle closed, even though Jim Pembroke is the only remaining member of the 1970 cast. The line-up '2000' had already got together privately at Pedro Hietanen's birthday party in spring 1999, and basically (Jim, Rekku, Måsse) it is the same band as the one who played in 1975-77 and during the reunion years 1991-94. Pedro had dropped out in 1992, while Jari Kettunen joined in 1993.

Wigwam performed six pieces from Nuclear Nightclub, added to three other classic songs, the set list thus being most predictable. So was their playing, in a good sense, with the familiar sound of the guitar-dominated Wigwam being present. A little bit of groping could be heard on a few occasions but not so as to be disturbing. Slight, perhaps modernising, changes had been made to the arrangements on a few songs. There was also a most surprising - even if a bit useless - drum solo between two songs, something Wigwam's original drummer Ronnie Österberg never played.

The band looked quite harmonic and energetic on stage, especially Jim who had flown over from the USA. They obviously enjoyed playing for the warmly responding crowd. I guess the oldest of us had seen Wigwam on the same stage in 1970, while the youngest attended their first Wig-gig. I had seen Wigwam playing only once before, in 1993, so it was great to find them alive and well again after the seven-year break. Hope we don't need to wait that long for the next time...

-- Mikko Meriläinen