December, the most of gothic of the months... well I don't know about that, but The 69 Eyes were in town in December 2009. Their gig was the first of three we were about to see over a two-week period at Klubi, a venue in downtown Turku. Months and months went by and there were no gigs of interest in the area, and then during the most hectic month of the year, every band seemed to have a gig lined up?! I even intended to see Hardcore Superstar a few days earlier, but had to drop that from the schedule thanks to the season's curse - the flu.
The club had filled up nicely as we entered just before the showtime. The 69 Eyes are a popular band with radio hits and charting albums, but the gig wasn't sold out I believe. Not a lot of bands can draw that big an audience mid-week, especially when a lot of people have their calendars full of Christmas parties and other events of the season. Anyway, they had a good turnout, but the place wasn't uncomfortably crowded which was just fine for us.
The band's love for the legendary "Lost Boys" movie has been well documented, and indeed the show started with "Cry Little Sister" from the said flick as the intro tape. The band burst into the infectious "Back In Blood" from the new album, which may have sounded a bit rough but gave the show a flying, energetic start. The first couple of rows were very much into it, while the rest of the room seemed to be more observing than headbanging. The previous album's hit "Never Say Die" followed, and it got a bigger response.
"The Good, the Bad & the Undead" isn't one of my favourites from the latest album, but I got to admit that it is a good live track with its' simple "Hail! Hail! Rock'n Roll!" hook. Again it was followed by a 69 Eyes classic, the dramatic "Dance D'Amour". The formula of "new song - classic - new song" went on for a while, and it worked quite well. The latest single "Dead'n Gone" sounds like it's gonna stay in the setlist for a long time, such was the crowd response to it. We'll see about the others.
The main set ended with "Devils", another simple yet effective track. Vocalist Jyrki asked everyone to show the "devil's horns", and even the ones in the back of the room seemed to be happy to fullfil his request. Devilish.
The band's early hit "Brandon Lee" and "Lost Boys", possibly their biggest hit so far were the encores, both finally getting a great reception. I guess it takes a while for us Finns to warm up, especially on a cold December night...
This was the second time I saw the band. The first time was in Ruisrock, in sunlight, which wasn't necessarily the best setting for these self-proclaimed "Helsinki Vampires". They were good though. Now in a more intimate setting they were even better, even though the stage was small and the wasn't too much room to rock. But rock, make that ROCK they did. You could actually forget about all that Goth nonsense, The 69 Eyes are a good rock band with a strong selection of catchy hard rockin' tracks. While they might sing a lot about death, dead girls, lost boys and other morbid subjects, as a live band they're pretty damn alive.
Review by Kimmo Toivonen
Photos by Mira Suutari-Toivonen
02 January 2010
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