Hanoi Revisited, Andy McCoy and Michael Monroe
Hanoi Revisited? Hanoi Born Again if you ask me. What an excellent show and what a set of performers. Michael Monroe and Andy McCoy, a pair with talent to spare for a dozen bands but who never really made it big time. Hanoi Rocks was on their way to the top when their drummer Razzle died in a car accident. Vince Neil, a name a bit more familiar to the public, drove the car drunk. After the accident the band decided not to continue and what had been a promising beginning came to an end. Monroe and McCoy have had their share of bad luck. The latest setback happened in June when Mike Monroe's life companion, Jude Wilder, died suddenly due to an unexpected illness. Michael is grieving the biggest lost of his life and fortunately getting a tremendous amount of support from fans. Jude Wilder was a great contributor to his music, a talented musician and a warm personality. Everyone at aor-europe.com wishes Michael all the best and the strength to continue also in the future.
Some people might feel like quitting after such setbacks but not these two. They continue to thrill the crowds. I feel it's a crying shame that the people elsewhere in the world cannot experience their live performance. But I also feel that it won't be the case for long. This experience should be shared worldwide and soon Finland will be too small for them.
Reunion, comebacků when you hear these words you often start to think that the band is cashing in on their reputation for one last time. I can assure you that this is not the case with Hanoi Revisited. And neither of the two ever really went away. Monroe's solo album "Not Fakin' It" in the late eighties included such classics as "Dead, Jail or Rock 'n' Roll" and "Smoke Screen" and his latest album "Life Gets You Dirty" is just as good. McCoy's album "Building On Tradition" is a masterpiece that for some reason got overlooked by many. So the fact that Monroe and McCoy are working on new material skyrockets my expectations for another classic rock album.
So what is it like to see Hanoi Revisited live? The old expression about wine just pales in comparison. Name any ingredient that you think a rock 'n' roll gig should have and I'm sure these two can deliver. Monroe is the glittering dominator of the stage with an energy that could light up an entire city. I had my doubts about McCoy's performance as he sometimes has taken the rock star life style too seriously. Instead I witnessed a relaxed man who mastered his instrument to the extreme giving me shivers on a regular basis. They opened with "Delirious", a song from Monroe's Jerusalem Slim -project which has not been played live that much. The next song had a chorus "You Need People Like Me" and I couldn't agree more, the world would be a lot duller place without this duo. The crowd was absolutely wild and there were some people having a hard time surviving in the first row. But Monroe was quick to react and asked the people to move back and personally went and checked that all the people are OK.
The gig was great but what made it perfect was the rest of the band. Mickey Crane on the guitar, Timpa Laine on the bass, and Lacu on the drums. Crane took care of his task superbly giving Andy the space that he needed. The drummer was spinning the sticks so much that I sometimes wondered does he have time to play the drums at all. Well he did, a great show rock drummer who didn't miss a single beat during the gig. The bassist Timpa is a great character who has always had time for a few friendly words with me but unfortunately he couldn't help me with getting a few comments from Andy or Mike. I've been busting my ass trying to get in touch with them but no luck so far. But if they've taught me something that's not to give up so I'll keep trying to get you an in-depth interview sometime in the future. Luckily Kimmo was able to catch them on a press conference during the summer.
The most well known Hanoi Rocks songs, like "Don't You Ever Leave Me", "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and "Up Around the Bend" got the wildest reception from the crowd. Another classic moment was the last song "Million Miles Away" where Monroe showed just how saxophone was meant to be played. What a perfect ending for a perfect evening. The band seemed to enjoy every minute of the show as much as the crowd. Michael Monroe was enthusiastic for a little crowd surfing and Andy surprised many by showing that he can also play the keyboards very well. Actually there was a classical intro on one song that was so good that for a while I suspected playback but the boys played live. During "Underwater World" Andy started to sing wrong part of the chorus at one point, which confused the band for a split second. But that was the only minor fault that I could spot in the band's performance. Their playing was so seamless that they must have done a lot practising for the Finnish tour. As the band started the encores I moved a bit more back to get a bigger picture of the show. It looked just as good from the back as it did in the first row. As it was time to go home I pondered only one thing: Is the world finally ready for Andy McCoy and Michael Monroe?
Text and Pix by Petri Kautto, .