Kulttuuritalo, Helsinki 24 September, 2006

It hasn't been all that long, since Finns saw the legendary metal group W.A.S.P. live, last time being this past summer actually, but the band visited Finland again in late September for three shows. The concentration wasn't on their forthcoming album "Dominator", which is now postponed to early next year, as no songs were played from it in Kulttuuritalo. The band has been touring a lot lately and the many shows have all been very impressive. The bands line-up (Blackie Lawless, Doug Blair, Mike Duda, Mike Dupke) seems to work well live. The support acts in this show were Finnish melodic rockers Brother Firetribe and Estonian hard rockers House Of Games. Not the best support choices to such crazy and heavy act as W.A.S.P., but still there was a crowd for each band. All in all a good spirit ruled in the sold out event.

The first band to go on stage on Sunday evening was BROTHER FIRETRIBE and people were curious towards this new group. It was interesting to see how they were going down to W.A.S.P.-fans with their cheerful 80's metal, but it was pleasing to see they already had fans at the venue and even got new ones through their energetic show. The sounds were weak in the beginning of the set, but through some changes the band started sounding more powerful and reached close to that certain mood what the band is all about. In thirty minutes the band couldn't play many songs and didn't waste much time for speaches, so the set was a tight and catchy one.

Guitarist Emppu Vuorinen was once again running wild around the stage, while bassist Jason Flinck was doing his strong manoeuvres and singer Pekka Heino took the crowd in a professional manner, just being very active with the crowd. Of course keysman Tomppa Nikulainen was all smiles behind his keys and as active as the rest of the group, d rummer Kalle Torniainen included. The band didn't get the greatest response from the crowd, but whatever Pekka wanted the crowd to do, like clap their hands together, most people standing in the floor level went along with his acts, which in my opinion was yet again another victory for the band.

Setlist: Break Out, Lover Tonite, One Single Breath, Valerie, Midnite Queen, I'm On Fire

HOUSE OF GAMES played a very ordinary set of hard rock-influenced metal, which got less response from the W.A.S.P.-crowd than Firetribe did, even though the bands vocalist Erik Meremaa did a good job. One reason being for such response was the fact, that the band is unknown in Finland, even when they've supported the famous Finnish band The Rasmus on their European tour. House Of Games were still very groovy at times, yet gave a very lean impression with their set, where even progressive influences were heard. But no matter how good they sounded, one still couldn't pick a hit song or anything to sing along to. But they played well and their singer gave the best show from the five-piece band.

Something the W.A.S.P.-fans might've not expected was the introtape the band used before hitting the stage. It lifted a few smiles in the crowd, as The Doors-hit "The End" came through the speakers. Well, it managed to prepare the crowd for one moody, yet kinda hostile show, that seemed to be a treat straight from hell. As W.A.S.P. kicked it off, the lightshow was something very dreary, mostly red and green colours and it went hand in hand with those evil facial expressions of Lawless, who was screaming his lungs off on each track. The band was definately giving their best, eventhough it was hard to get in the right mood in Kulttuuritalo, which isn't the best place for metal bands to play in, concerning the echoing sounds taking place there. Still the floor level was boiling and those who had seats were also partying in the higher levels. Lawless had his great skeleton-mike stand with him again, where he was swaying wildly in. Although he's convincing with his scary act, h is smallish show clothes look a bit ridiculous on a guy, who's passed his best years, and reduce that scary act from him.

The setlist was very impressive, and those who've seen W.A.S.P. live lately, have witnessed sets alike this. Old fans got to hear some material which the band hasn't played live in years and they worked well, although the band played really loud. "I Wanna Be Somebody" was the highlight of the show once again and everybody wanted to be that somebody. Live W.A.S.P. is very loud, energetic, rude in the right amount, but at the same time they care for their fans. To say the least, they age like fine wine.

Setlist: On Your Knees, Hate To Love Me, L.O.V.E. Machine, Wild Child, Widowmaker, Sleeping (In The Fire), Arena Of Pleasure, The Headless Children, The Idol, I Wanna Be Somebody, Encore 1: Chainsaw Charlie (Murders In The New Morgue), Encore 2: Blind In Texas

Links: House Of Games, W.A.S.P., Brother Firetribe

Report by Satu Reunanen, satu [at] rockunited.com
Pictures by Kari Helenius, carda [at] metalphotos.com
Hi-Res versions of the pix and more at http://www.metalphotos.com/Coppermine

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