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Helsinki, Tavastia May 24 2002

“Hanoi Revisited? Hanoi Born Again if you ask me.” These were the words that began my live review of Hanoi Revisited last September. The oracle of rock reviewers? Let me get my crystal ball... but seriously. The rebirth of Hanoi Rocks has gotten the approval of most of the people. Their latest single “People Like Me” has silenced most of the critics and their new album is due this fall. The new single is guaranteed Hanoi Rocks stuff and promises a lot for their new coming. History was written, as Michael Monroe put it, in Tavastia Finland when Hanoi Rocks gave their first gig in over 15 years. Tavastia is the place in Finland when it comes to rock clubs and the concert was sold out long before Friday 24th and many were left outside without a ticket.

I had to use my negotiation skills to get in front of the stage before the gig so I could get the pics. The crowd was willing to help me and I got through pretty easily. Just as they were getting a bit restless from waiting, Andy McCoy released the first tunes from his guitar and we were ready to go.

The gig started with “Delirious” and “Highschool”. The band stormed to the stage and I let the film burn so can’t really comment that much on the songs. The next song was “Lucky”, the second song on Hanoi’s new single. I found myself liking the live version more than the original. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case with “People Like Me” that was a bit tame compared with the single version or “Winged Bull” the third song on the single which suffered because the keyboards were quite blurry.

The crowd was definitely with the band during the whole show. To me it seemed that the guys were a bit nervous in the beginning but the crowd backed them up to perform what turned out to be just one of those nights that you’ll always remember. I was happy to hear “I Can’t Get It” quite early in the show. It’s a great song with a killer solo and even though there seemed to be some confusion at one point of the song they pulled it off well. After that it was time for Don’t You Ever Leave Me”, “Oriental Beat” and a smashing “Underwater World”.

I must say that the new boys in the band (Lacu, Timpa, Costello) are good. Timpa and Costello tend to be a bit more in the background (where else could they be, Monroe is a regular Energizer Bunny jumping all over the stage :-)) but Lacu on the drums always seems to have some kinds of trick up his sleeve and keeps fooling around. A lot has been said about Andy McCoy but I can tell you one thing: he can play the guitar and I’m sure that people who witnessed the gig agree with me.

The three songs (Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Motorvating and Tragedy) built up a real climax before the encores. There were three encores (2 covers) in the first set that kinda let me waiting but then Hanoi Rocks took it home with “Up Around the Bend” and “Million Miles Away”. Check out Hanoi Rocks website for updates on their tour (at least Sweden, Japan, Finland…) and information of their new single and forthcoming album.

Text and Pix by Petri Kautto, .

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