The 69 Eyes, Generation Graveyard
O2 Academy Islington, London
12th February 2013
The 69 Eyes, a.k.a. Helsinki Vampires, have been touring Europe in support of their latest release, “X”. On February 12th, they sank their goth’n’roll fangs in London’s O2 Academy Islington.
But before that, local death punks Generation Graveyard had the honor of warming things up. Their music may be “a little harsher” than what most of the headliners’ fans are used to, but in general the crowd went along with it pretty well. Someone screamed something less pleasant at some point, but as singer Max pointed out, that someone had paid a ticket and was watching him and his band, so…
They kicked off with “Abominate/Desolate”, showing right away how serious they were about delivering a very energetic gig. An 8-song setlist that included “Suburban Suicide”, “Deletist” and “The Empty”, and which ended after 40 minutes with the title-track of their EP “Poison City”. Maybe somewhat out of place, but they did play a great show.
Before Generation Graveyard got on stage, the background music had been Rage Against The Machine. Now that the stage was being set for The 69 Eyes and the Finns were about to get on stage, the mood changed completely into a Deep South vibe – something singer Jyrki 69 is known to appreciate. Then at 21:20 the Helsinki Vampires “met” the Southern Vampires of “True Blood” as Jace Everett’s “Bad Things” echoed and the lights went down… and the crowd screamed, knowing the show was on.
It started for real with what drummer Jussi 69 claims to be “one of the best rock songs written in years” – “Love Runs Away”. And it felt like one of the best rock performances played in years.
Later on, when introducing “Black”, Jyrki said it was a song with a very philosophical theme – a song about how he loved girls dressed in black. “And I bet you’re all wearing black tonight”, he added in the end. Well if it wasn’t “all”, it was pretty close to it.
Timo-Timo picked up a semi-acoustic guitar and so it was no surprise to hear Jyrki say they would play the second single from “X”, “Borderline”. Despite its softer nature, the bodies kept moving to its rhythm. Same with “Red”, the “real” ballad of the night, where Bazie got carried away during the solo and extended it a bit.
Focusing on “X”, they still played classics such as “Gothic Girl”, “Dance D’Amour” and “Betty Blue”. And some more “contemporaneous” hits like “Perfect Skin”, “Never Say Die” or “Devils”. After the latter, the band left the stage. About an hour had passed, just like that, proving the old saying that “time flies when you’re having fun”.
When returning for the encore, and after Bazie fooled around with the chords from “The Chair”, Jyrki took the chance to thank us for being there that night and supporting them. That they’ve been around for 23 years, and that they can do another 23 “if you want us to”. The applause and roars were even more deafening than when he called us The London Vampires.
“The Chair” was then properly played, followed by “Brandon Lee”, and someone who had been shouting “Lost Boys” for at least half of the show, finally had her wish come true. “You wanna rock!”, Jyrki screamed, and as always, he wasn’t satisfied with the screams he got in return. Also as always, he said that the previous night (Paris) had been a lot louder. Again as always, we booed and destroyed our vocal chords in that final song.
As the band was saying “thank you” and “goodbye” and throwing the usual souvenirs (picks, drum sticks, setlists…), another tv theme was used as outro – “Sons Of Anarchy” “This Life”, performed by Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers. What a bloody great night!
Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino