Monsters Of The Millennium
Helsinki, Finland 7.5.2001

We entered the Helsinki Ice Hall filled with big expectations. Vesa had suffered a setback just before the gig, when a round of golf that he had agreed to play with Ratt drummer, Bobby Blotzer was cancelled because "something came up". Well, that's rock n' roll for you. For consolation we were supposed to meet Ratt backstage after their show.

A chance to see bands of this caliber in Finland during one evening doesn't come too often. The opener was Sonata Arctica, a Finnish band who played four songs for only a handful of people. After that the stage was clear for Ratt. When Ratt started people were still coming in and many people missed a great show. The songs worked magnificently live. Guitars were loud and raw and we were really enjoying every minute. Ratt has never had that much success in Finland and there were not that many Ratt fans present but the atmosphere was still good. A funny thing about the gig was that John Corabi (Ex-Mötley, Union) who played guitar and sang backing vocals had a lot better voice than the lead singer, Jizzy Pearl. This was easy to spot when Corabi sang some parts of the songs alone. Don't get me wrong, the lead singer, Jizzy, was still good. Old classics like "Round and Round" and "Wanted Man" which were definite high points of the show proved that the band is ratt and rolling and I felt they didn't miss Stephen Pearcy.

After a great show it was time for backstage or so we thought. Everything went smoothly when Nicklas, the tour manager or something, came to meet us and told us to wait for a while and he would check when we could go and meet the band. So we waited and the guy wouldn't show up. Then we saw him half an hour later and he told us that the band had gone eating. No problem we thought and waited some more. We were still waiting when Dio started playing.

Dio has special fans. During almost the whole concert you had the feeling that it was like old friends meeting after a long period of being apart. The interaction between the band and the crowd was intensive and Ronnie James seemed relaxed and happy. The fans were really with them the whole time as everyone got what they wanted from the band: many classics (Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio songs) and some of the newer material.

We had to watch Dio on the floor level because that's where Nicklas had told us to wait for him. We hoped that while they were setting the stage for Alice Cooper we would then have time to meet Ratt. We thought wrong. Nicklas was nowhere to be found and after some 30 more minutes of waiting Alice Cooper started. We thought the hell with it, we wanna see Alice's show properly and went back to our seats which were just next to stage. Our apologies, no pictures of Ratt but an interview will be coming up.

What can you say about Alice Cooper. He is the man! Well prepared show and good jokes about Britney Spears but most importantly, great set of live music. The disappointment of not meeting Ratt was soon vanished as Alice Cooper gave us the "Poison" we needed. The set of songs was picked just right bringing the cream of every decade alive in front of the roaring crowd. New album was well covered but also classics like I'm Eighteen and No More Mr. Nice Guy were naturally there. I was pleased to hear He's Back (The Man Behind The Mask). I was also happy to see Michael Monroe on stage to sing "Under My Wheels" with Alice. Michael was his energetic self but seemed a bit lost at times. Never the less a nice addition to the show and don't come to Alice show wearing a Marilyn Manson shirt.

I was really taken by Alice Cooper, it was the first time I saw him live. Vesa had seen him live a couple of times and he said that Alice has never let him down and it was easy to believe him. With our ears ringing from the loud music after a great evening of rock n' roll music, despite the setbacks, went home happy and had a goodnight beer.

By Petri Kautto,