PAKKAHUONE, 12th of Sept. 2002

The "You Can't Stop Rock'n Roll"-tour rolled into town and AOR-Europe was there to see the show and meet n' greet the artists. Pakkahuone is a nice location for a show of this size, holding 500-1000 punters (didn't count' em) in a kind of an old factory building.


First act of the show was Japanese trio Blind Faith, led by Kelly Simonz. They started their set to an empty house really, but that didn't seem to bother 'em. Rarely have I seen a band so full of enthusiasm. Bassist Keisuke Nishimoto was throwing all the classic rock poses, and drummer Tetsuya Hoshiyama was all smiles while pounding the solid beat. Mr. Simonz himself did his best Blackmore/Malmsteen impressions, dressed in black from head to toe, except that he also sung lead vocals.

Musically the set was very Malmsteenish too, neo-classical metal with lots of guitar acrobatics. The sound wasn't the best, but I think the audience got an overall idea about the band. Great musicians, even though the song material didn't really impress as a whole. The third song did sound like a melodic rock hit though! Also, the band provided some comic relief in the form of Spinal Tap-like Simonz was getting ready to do a solo piece, he stepped backwards and lost his balance totally, and almost fell on the drumset. He was pretty cool about it though, and didn't take it too seriously.


We missed the start of german rockers Domain's set as we were interviewing Simonz, but what we heard didn't sound too bad. I guess the song selection could have been better, as the Domain albums I have heard had better songs than some of the ones they chose to perform. The inclusion of my 80'ies favourite "Lost In The City" from the first Domain CD did warm my heart though. The song might have worked even better if the keyboards would have been a bit more audible.

As for the bands stage presence...Lots of showmanship, classic rock poses and plenty of hair...especially the new bassist whose name I didn't catch displayed some thrash metal-influenced hairswirling antics. A special treat was the candy thorwn for the people in the frontrow! Not that were too many people there, as most of the fans seemed to be more interested in what the bar area had to offer.

We didn't interview Domain as they were signing CD's and stuff over at the merchandise stand during the next break. It was a nice gesture to their fans, and we didn't feel like intruding.


The headliners Glenn Hughes and Joe Lynn Turner were the thing that the audience was there to see, and when they started, the floor was filled with a lot of fans.

The band kicked off their set with "Devil's Road" from the HTP album. The band sounded tight and loud, and both frontmen were in good shape. Especially Hughes proved that he still has the range and power. When he hit those high notes I was seriously worried about my ears...second song was the classic "I Surrender", a real crowdpleaser and a personal favourite of mine. Another HTP song followed, the "title track" of the show, which also seemed to be quite popular.

Glenn Hughes took the limelight for "Better Man", a funky number from the HTP album. Then it was time for some "golden oldies", and we got Black Sabbath's "Seventh Star", Rainbow's "Death Valley Driver", "Jealous Lover" and "Spotlight Kid", "Stormbringer" and "King Of Dreams" and "Mistreated" from Deep Purple. The subject of "9/11" was mentioned too, as it had been a year from that tragic event, and the band played a song written about it - HTP's "Ride The Storm". It wasn't a ballad as one might expect, instead it was a furious rocker.

After the show we were looking forward to an interview with Turner and Hughes, but that didn't happen. Apparently the guys were pretty unhappy with the sound system, and stormed out of the venue after one encore...So thanks to Sebastian Eder and Tonio Neuhaus for all their help with trying to set up the interview, too bad it didn't work out...

Want to see bigger photos? Click here! Might take a while to download though...

Report by Kimmo Toivonen,
Photos by Petri Kautto,