Danko Jones / Black Magic Six

It is a Tuesday, but still many of the believers will enter the sanctuary where one of the big preachers of the Rock´n´Roll gospel – Danko Jones – makes a stop-over – actually the first of a 2,5 year world tour, as he later reveals (details at the band website).

The evening begins with a riddle (yet unsolved) – why is the band called Black Magic Six and then only 2 people are on stage? At this point the club is almost empty, and the Finns ”J-Tan” – vocals and guitar – and percussionist Lew Siffer do struggle a bit to breathe a bit more life into a tired crowd.

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However, their sound is quite inspiring to get dancing, and it´s fun – a sort of Extreme-Rockabilly-Blues-Punk – their latest album has a fitting title: ”Brutal Blues”. After 3, 4 songs more people are gathering in the front of the stage, and some even start moving – you could almost define it as dancing. Cool band, leaving a good impression after their 30min program.

In the short break the situation changes quickly from ”almost empty” to ”totally full”. Whoever tries to get a place in the front surely ends up black and blue, because hell breaks loose as soon as Danko Jones enter the stage, punctually at 21h with ”Terrified” (the opener of their new album ”Rock and Roll is black and blue”). The desciples are also eager to hear the message from the mouth of charismatic Mr. Jones, who winds the audience around his little finger immediately and dominates the stage. The long flight from Toronto doesn´t affect his sense of humour, so it seems: after Tavastia and The Circus they intend to play at every corner of Helsinki-Kamppi: ”We´ll do the whole square, even Pizza Hut”. As Danko is aware of the fact ”I can talk your ears off”, he´s rather playing some past highlights, e.g. ”First Date”, and the crowd gladly sings along. Later there will be another song they have not played in 10 years, ”Too much Trouble”.

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Basically I am surprised the set list doesn´t feature more of the new songs, but they play my fave “Beautiful Day”, which also seems to be a bit more vocally challenging in a live situation … Although the front man enjoys chatting with the fans, he doesn´t succumb to requests and plays only snippets of ”Legs”: ”If you want to hear the whole song, buy the new album.” Moreover, they are a band of that kind: ”every song sounds like the one you wanna hear”. Their hit ”Cadillac” is played later, because ”first we need to milk your attention”. Such attention they draw with a drum solo by Atom Willard, and also JC (John Calabrese) on bass has his chance to shine, e.g. ”Had Enough”. Generally spoken, those two equal their front man in energy and dedication on stage.

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Half way through the show the revelation – maybe so many people came here only for the songs about oral sex (Lovercall)… Well, on the other hand, this community does worship Rock and Roll – which is already a synonyme for the activity of copulation (see also our Danko Jones interview). During the show, Danko mentions several times how much he appreciates the number of pilgrims in the club on a weekday, he even says ”thank you” in Finnish ”Kiitos”. Because this filters the real fans from those ”posers on a Saturday night, thank God for Tuesdays … There is still hope for music out there”. After ”I Believed in God” the band leaves the stage but returns quickly for a couple of encores… and I bet that those who were not into the Gospel of (Hard) Rock´n´Roll yet were converted after such a great passionate fast+hard sweat-inducing gig. I guess everybody went home exhausted but still with a big smile, despite the bad weather outside…

No idea if Danko Jones does believe in God or not (nobody´s business anyway), but I´m damn sure that God believes in Danko Jones…

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Setlist (probably incomplete):
I Want You
Forget My Name
First Date
Get up
Just a Beautiful Day
Baby Hates Me
Full of Regret
Code of the Road
Had Enough
I Believed in God
Too Much Trouble
I Think Bad Thoughts

Klaudia Weber

reckless and merciless dictator, so KNEEL! In other words, editor-in-chief, translator, website and ad admin, "Jane of all trades" - - - addicted to books (everything between Lord Of The Rings & quantum physics) and music, mainly Metal made in Finland. Furthermore, there's painting, drawing, movies, theater... so you can expect some variety on this website too. MA Master of Arts, English and American studies & Media communication = completed two full studies parallel within 5 years; very proud of my achievement - a bit later in life thanks to a scholarship - as a working class girl in a highlyconservative-romancatholic nation...