Welcome to a new STALKER Special where we followed a band on their tour, that means different countries, venues and reviewers. Our first “victim”: The 69 Eyes. What were the differences, what the common features? Well, just continue reading.
Interactive photo gallery at the bottom
Tavastia, Helsinki, Finland, 26.04.2007
Great, just once you do it like the Finns and come later to a gig, and what happens, you miss the opening act… sorry, Maryslim! It seemed the Swedes did their job well, because you could feel the excitement in the tight-pack Tavastia. This was the first of two The 69 Eyes concerts in a row, like a public rehearsal for the Goth´n´Rollers, in order to meet the high demand. Another Finnish tradition that usually also affects e.g. Children Of Bodom or the local faves Kotiteollisuus and Apulanta.
Comparing to what I saw back then when the Finns performed right after the legendary “Blessed Be” Album, there was a huge development, especially in Jyrki´s action radius. I had never expected to see him jump on the drum podium and shake his booty…
The opening song was from the album mentioned, “Framed In Blood”, which indicated a rather “Best Of” than CD promotion show (Don´t Turn Your Back On Fear, Feel Berlin, The Chair, Wasting The Dawn, Gothic Girl, Lost Boys). Only a handful of songs in their set were from their new album “Angels”: Rocker, Frankenhooker, Wings & Hearts, Never Say Die. Despite being on home ground, Jyrki69 hardly talked to the audience, yet he did not really have to lift the spirits. The band, especially Timo-Timo rocked and posed like hell, pretty late in the set there was time to rest with …. The audience kept boiling over, even tired fans sitting in the vestibule could not resist to sing along: Brandon Lee, Perfect Skin and Devils were played as encores. Great show, yet way too short in my opinion!
9,5 Elks Klaudia Weber
Markthalle, Hamburg, Germany, 03.04.2007
Once again The 69 Eyes visited the Hanseatic city, this time to honor the newborn” Devils”-successor ”Angels”. Excited about the live-qualities of the new album, the fans gathered during the two supports Maryslim and Wednesday 13 to a steadily growing deeper black in front of the stage. The few who remained at the bar were finally lured near the stage with the “Blessed Be”-opener “Framed in Blood”. A constantly cheerful-minded Jyrki seduced his audience with old-known Rock-manners and even let himself to quite respectable splits!
With a perfectly well chosen hit-mix from the past four albums The 69 Eyes did their duty, one musical blow-off followed the other. Yet due to the new songs you could feel a distinct contrast to the usual gait, what was at first rather analyzed by the audience, but then in the end always celebrated. Maybe this demureness in the beginning had its roots in the infernal, hell-like temperatures in the Markthalle, what though shouldn´t be a problem for genuine rockers!
Since beautiful moments invariably fade too quickly, alas also this excellent concert had to find its end. Those who still couldn´t get enough have been asked into Hamburg´s Ballroom for the after-show party. There surely, thanks to Astra, many a devil will have seen his angels during the night. In this regard – The 69 Eyes – always worth a little sin!
8,5 Elks Katrin Dietl
Photo: S. Mahrer
Zeche Bochum, Germany, 02.04.2007
Blue sky, sunshine and pleasant 16 degrees, Zeche sold out and an excellent line-up: There could have been no better set-up for The 69 Eyes gig in Bochum, and die-hard-fans should experience a quite “made-over” Gothrock band.
Those Swedish Rock´n´Rollers had the difficult task to warm-up the mainly black-dressed audience. But they were not afraid and rocked the house like the Hellacopters at their heydays, taking the audience over within three songs and even animated them to clap their hands. Their energetic half-hour set included Sisters of Mercy´s “Cover This Corrosion” from their new album “A Perfect Mess”. And there 69 Eyes vocalist and buddy Jyrki had sung the back vocals. Thumbs up!
Photo: M. Setz
After a short break ex-Murderdolls-front man Wednesday 13 presented his new band and his new album, and he had been on tour with 69 Eyes in Great Britain before, in 2005, but then they were the headliners. Unlike past performances he used less grimaces, stage props and make-up, but – at least initially – more power. The new line-up with Eric Griffin (also Ex-Murderdolls), Racci Shay (Ex-Dope) and Nate Manor (Ex-Amen) seemed more professional than the former band, but also a bit spiritless. The setlist was excellent, though: „R.A.M.B.O“, „I Love To Say Fuck“ from his old Frankenstein Drag Queens days, über den Murderdolls-Klassiker „Die My Bride“ bis hin zu aktuellen Songs wie „Want You Dead“, „House By The Cemetery“ sowie dem stadiontauglichen „Bad Things“ Wednesday´s strengths were variety and range of the material. Only „My Home Sweet Homocide“ and „Faith In The Devil“ represented the new album in a fail-safe set although a touring-weathered Wednesday appeared sometimes a bit dull.
The 69 Eyes
The main event of this evening started with a fitting intro: “Cry Little Sister” from the Lost Boys soundtrack, and when those entered – Jussi, Bazie, Timo Timo, Archzie and Jyrki – the audience cheered enthusiastically. The latter began a very energetic show with “Framed in Blood”, totally different from the previous controlled melancholic cynic: Biker jacket, shorter hair in the style of Mötley Crüe, shaking his hips.
Photo: K. Weber
Also Timo-Timo represented the new Rock´n´nRoll Image with Punk-Iro and had a lot of fun on stage, as well as the whole band. Together with the image there were also changes in the setlist that mainly focused on the last two albums “Devils” and “Angels”. Although they cut the 69 Eyes hymn “Wasting the Dawn”, they balanced old and new material nicely: Goth´n´Roll classics „The Chair“, „Don´t Turn Your Back On Fear“, the exemplary „Dance D´Amour“ from the Paris Kills-album and the meaningful „Gothic Girl“, then „Angels“, „Rocker“ , the new single „Never Say Die“ and „Lost Boys“, which was the climax and wrap-up of the first part. In between they modified “Feel Berlin” to „Feel Boch/kum“ and the lights switched from blue-white to green when they played “Frankenhooker” especially for (Jyrki) „the King of Ghouls“ Wednesday13. „Sister of Charity“ remained the only ballad, „Devils“ and „Perfect Skin“ as encores were the grand finale of a fantastic show.
Summing up, The 69 Eyes mutated into a party band, without losing their quality or charm! The credibility question you have to answer for yourself.
8 Elks Nina Remor
Orpheum, Graz, Austria, 30. 03. 2007
After three years it is again time for Goth`n`Roll with The 69 Eyes who visited Austria on their „Angels over Europe“ tour (unfortunately I missed the openers Deathstars). Just returned from a six week-tour with Cradle of Filth in the USA und Canada the set was perfect, and they did not show signs of exhaustion. The 69 Eyes proved the fact that even with a 15 year band history you still do not belong to a Rock`n`Roll retirement home.
The set presented mainly hits from their new album „Angels“ („Perfect Skin“, „Los Angeles“) that still holds a top chart position in their home country Finland, and material from „Devils“ („Lost Boys“, „Hevioso“). But also die-hard-fans had their share of all-time-faves: „The Chair“, „Gothic Girl“ and „Dance d`Amour“from the Platin album „Paris Kills“ 2002 with its wonderful 80s-feeling. A new song in the setlist was the title track of the album „Wrap your Troubles in Dreams“ 1997 which was re-recorded by the band for Bam Maguera´s new film „Dream Seller“ about the professional Skater Brandon Novak. The rhythm section with drummer Jussi 69, Archzie (Bass) and guitarist Timo-Timo played their grooves as if their was no tomorrow. Lead guitarist Bazie proved that good soli don´t have to be very long, and that you don´t need to gesture a lot – this was up to singer Jyrki 69 who entertained the audience.
Photo: M. Setz
In Austria The 69 Eyes are still underground material, therefore the majority of the audience consisted of 15-25 year old Gothic girls who screeched to every move of the 1,90 m tall singer Jrki 69, and they besieged the tourbus afterwards. Yet the rockers took it easy, according to the slogan: „Rocking is my Business, and Business is good!“ The Orpheum could have seen a bigger crowd that night, but still it was an excellent concert that made not only the band sweat. And everybody who thinks that „Rock`n`Roll is dead“ should check out The 69 Eyes. And hopefully they won´t need another three years for their next Europa Tour.
9 Elks Marlene Setz
Z 7, Pratteln, Switzerland, 27. 03. 2007
After some years of abstinence from Switzerland, which might have been an eternity for The 69 Eyes fans, the waiting was finally over. Therefore it was not astonishing to see quite a lot of anxious people in front of the Z 7 entrance. It looked like half of the Swiss Gothic scene had gathered here. And seeing all those die-hard 69 Eyes fans you knew that the opening act would have a hard time.
Jesus And The Gurus
A Swiss band that rather plays at Fetish parties, Gothic-Wave and Techno events because of their SM stage show, therefore rather untypical for Z 7. On stage a girl and Gabriell M.M (Electronics) played drums, singer Son of David and guitarist Tom Alien joined them, but with their backs to the audience. This Intro kept going endlessly until it reached a pain barrier, pure provocation – after ten minutes the audience was fed up and started booing and whistling. Finally the music started, a mixture of Electro, Neofolk, Techno and Gothic with social criticism in the lyrics, and full of cynicism, reminding somehow of Laibach. The booing continued, the front man left stage and returned, dressed up as the pope, in a wheelchair that was pushed by a woman in very tiny nurse costume. After citing from the bible he invited the audience to shout Hallelujah, and some actually did it. Finally he burned the bible, threw it down, knelt down next to it and a nun went next to him to get a good rub during the rest of the show. Marilyn Manson would freak out. During the show more uniforms appeared, and dog-like slaves, girls in leather with whips and Bunsen burners, as well as Gabriell M.M with a instant camera taking photos of his best friend and throwing those into the crowd. Some did not consider this as erotic, they rather felt disgusted. Still it was quite a soft SM show with smooching, electronic noises and vocals. Not quite suitable as opener for The 69 Eyes.
Photo: K. Weber
The 69 Eyes
The Finns were welcomed with loud cheers even before they started playing. Bazie (Guitar), Timo-Timo (Guitar), Archie (Bass), Jussi (Drums) and Jyrki (Vocals) rocked right away from the first moment with the professionality they are known for. A great sound, a perfect performance and this icy, masculine, erotic and flexible voice – simply fantastic. Every single note made you shiver. Their new songs, like„Angels“, “Shadow of your Love“, „Wings&Hearts“, „Never Say Die“ are great and also make fans dance, sing along and freak out. The sympathetic guys with their charismatic singer were put into real stylish clothes, especially Jyrki showed a sense for exquisite taste and flair for clothes that fit him perfectly. His stage show – his turns, his micro stand handling, his moves, cool, untouchable – everything was fitting and sexy. Some Gothic Ladies screamed their love declarations in Finnish towards the stage, but there was no reaction.
Photo: K. Weber
There were also a couple of old hits, and the introduction to the song “Gothic Girls” hit home to all female fans who spent hours to squeeze themselves into their dresses and put on make-up. Jyrki claimed that “in Switzerland there is only one true Gothic Girl, which is Lacrimosa!” You could hear the disappointment, but when he started singing again, the bad vibes disappeared. During “Dance d´Amour” people danced even more, swinging their hips, they sang and shook their hairdos, competing with the singer. It was amazing how perfect and coordinated the band´s stage presence was, no wrong tone, every riff boomed, the bass as well, Jussi drummed like possessed by the devil, and Jyrki´s simply god-like singing created a feeling that was spread into the hall. A successful, great show. Unfortunately all the magic was gone way too soon, therefore we can only hope and wish that The 69 Eyes won´t again need so many years to come back to Switzerland.
Summary: A great, perfect, fantastic concert by The 69 Eyes that would have deserved maximum rating. But the opener sucked, therefore
text: K. Weber, K. Dietl, N. Remor, M. Setz, S. Mahrer