Not only this year`s festival line-ups were weak this summer, but also good gigs in Helsinki are rare, at least in my opinion. An exception: The 69 Eyes frontman Jyrki69 and Rane Raitsikka, former guitarist of the legendary Smack, as a duo, playing in a tikibar. The venue seems to be a problem among the goth fans of The 69 Eyes, or is it because Jyrki69 couldn`t resist to wear a coloured shirt? My humble self likes this change. Yet a bandname like "The Coconut Teaszers" seemed to be too much tiki culture even for the guys and so they re-named themselves to "The Usual Suspects".
From the musical point of view, 69 Eyes fans might be familiar with such acoustic sets, as the Helsinki Vampires have been regularly playing unplugged shows since autumn 2009. Therefore we believe Jyrki69´s promise: "We will have a real cool time tonight". "Real Cool Time", a cover of The Stooges. The setlist consists of cover versions only: The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols. Personally, my heart jumps for joy during The Doors and the reinterpretations of The Lords Of The New Church`s "Dance With Me", "(I`m Not Your) Steppin` Stone" - one of the biggest hits of Smack but originally by Paul Revere & The Raiders - and "Goo Goo Muck" of The Cramps, where the audience starts clapping. While Jyrki69 keeps most of the time on a barstool, Rane plays the guitar and supports the singer vocally. Tonight`s focus is on the music, the incredibly strong voice of Jyrki69 becomes more evident in an acoustic performance like this – therefore there is no stage action needed at all. "Reinterpretation" is taken literally: The Stooges` melancholic "Gimme Danger" becomes a faster rock song, thanks to Rane`s guitar play. In the meantime Rane got rid of his black leather jacket and performs in a white rip shirt, to adapt to the Hawaii feeling in the packed "Kokomo", as he says...
After one hour, this wonderful concert evening is over. Unfortunately. Last spring, Jyrki69 admitted during an interview, that he isn´t seeing himself another ten or twenty years as a musician on stages but might end up in bars playing acoustic sets with coverversions of Elvis and The Doors. The Elvis songs were missing tonight, but a career like this wouldn`t be an end at all; tonight`s acoustic show had too much class. Let´s hope that this "Summer Hobby Band" becomes an all-year-round project, so that we can admire more shows of The Usual Suspects. It would be also a good way for them to live up to their bandname...
01. Real Cool Time (The Stooges cover)
02. Submission (Sex Pistols cover)
03. Dance With Me (Lords Of The New Church cover)
04. Gimme Danger (The Stooges cover)
05. I`m Eighteen (Alice Cooper cover)
06. People Are Strange (The Doors cover)
07. (I`m Not Your) Steppin` Stone (Paul Revere & The Raiders cover)
08. Love Is Strong (The Rolling Stones cover)
09. Russian Roulette (Lords Of The New Church cover)
10. Goo Goo Muck (The Cramps cover)
11. Riders On The Storm (The Doors cover)
12. Love Me Two Times (The Doors cover)