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Mötley Crüe / Hardcore Superstar / Crashdïet - Rockin` Hellsinki Vol.1

Stadt / City Helsinki 
Land / Country FIN 
Web www.rockinhellsinki.fi/etusivu/
Kaisaniemi Park 
Datum / Date07.06.2012 

With a head liner like this one thing was for sure: No sooner the pre-sale for the tickets had started on 19th December 2011, the "Rockin` Hellsinki Vol.1" event was completely sold out. Or wasn´t it? For some reason, there are plenty of tickets available again just a few days before the show, and actually you wouldn`t have needed a ticket at all, since you can see everything perfectly even from the outside; the stage is directed towards the entrance and there aren`t any covered fences. Instead of paying 60 Euros for a ticket, a pair of binoculars from the nearby 1 Euro shop can provide you with the same experience...

Whatever your general opinion about Crashdïet is: You can`t deny that their performance today is absolutely impressive! Already during the first notes of the opener "Native Nature", the audience cheers frenetically, and when frontman Simon Cruz enters the stage, dressed in a long, black leather coat, the screaming of the female fans knows no bounds anymore. Simon, now with a lightly blued mohawk, poses - as always - like there is no tomorrow - but today he is doing it with such a tremendous passion that it`s real fun to watch it. No matter if he fidgets with the microphone stand or rolls on the stage: Posing is his profession and he takes to the stage like a duck to water. But also the musical aspect is convincing when he sings his heart out during Sleaze hits like "Down With The Dust", "Riot In Everyone" and "Straight Outta Hell". Thanks to "In The Raw", the setlist covers next to songs from "Rest In Sleaze" and "Generation Wild" also a track from the second album "The Unattractive Revolution" which is unfortunately rather an exception than the rule. With "Anarchy", there is even a brand new song from the upcoming, fourth album played which has no title yet. After "Knokk `Em Down", Mister Cruz burns off his own leather pants and continues his performance in black underpants and cowboy boots. Whether that`s sexy or not, is surely a matter of taste. But it`s definitely entertaining...

After the gig of the Swedes from Stockholm, there is a kind of "fashion show" with a questionable dressed presenter and a more questionable point in it shown. And as Simon Cruz needs attention as other people need air to breathe, he runs across the stage after the "fashion show", quite unexpectedly and apparelled with underpants in the style of the Swedish national flag only. Patriotism at its best!

More Sweden power is provided by THE party troop from Gothenburg, Hardcore Superstar. If there is one live-act one can rely on, it`s Jocke Berg (Vocals), Vic Zino (Guitar), Martin Sandvik (Bass) and Adde (Drums). The latter surprises with a new look, he wears a full beard now, but since he had it already three days ago at the "Sonisphere" festival 2012 (which was held in Helsinki, too), "too much party and too little time for shaving" is probably not the reason for the new style. After the well-tried, picture-perfect intro where first Van Halen`s "Dance The Night Away" is played and then interrupted by the opener "Sadistic Girls", "Guestlist" follows whose Finnish intro is once again spoken by Negative`s bass player Antti Anatomy. During the last Finland tour in December 2011, it was almost a standard, so one might be tempted to ask if this is Mister Anatomy`s main job. With a total of 11 songs (including "Kick On The Upperclass", "Medicate Me", "Dreamin` In A Casket", "Moonshine" and "Last Call For Alcohol"), today`s setlist is much more satisfactory than at the above-mentioned "Sonisphere" festival where the Street Metallers got stage time for seven songs only. What a shame! Fortunately, the organisers of "Rockin` Hellsinki" know how to appreciate the quartet. The audience does it anyway, judging from the euphoria...

And talking about euphoria: No sooner it was known the night before that Mötley Crüe had arrived the land of thousand lakes, fans started on various social networking platforms to speculate about where exactly Vince Neil (Vocals), Mick Mars (Guitar), Nikki Sixx (Bass) and Tommy Lee (Drums) might be. Usually, such a fan cult is known from boyband supporters only. Ok, admittedly, the writer of these lines has always been quite sceptical when it comes to the hype around the American rockers, especially since the "Sonisphere" festival 2010 in Pori / Finland, where a thunderstorm destroyed the band`s equipment and Mötley Crüe immediately used this opportunity to not showing up at all (Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden had the same problem but performed anyway, either with acoustic sets or with equipment which has been borrowed from other bands). However: After the expected delay of half an hour, hits like "Wild Side", "Live Wire", "Too Fast For Love", "Saints Of Los Angeles" and "Shout At The Devil" are played in front of a screen with video installations. What the guys themselves can`t afford anymore in terms of stage action, two scantily clad, singing dancers should make up for. "Shake ya ass and shake ya boobies" - or something like that. Ok, it might be in the nature of things that this show is pretty "American", and to be fair, it must be said that I had expected something much worse. From the musical point of view, the performance is flawless, neither embarrassing poses nor bombastic stagecraft - as we know it from e.g. KISS. And when Tommy Lee`s drums turn out to be a rollercoaster in which he plays to the beat of DJ Skrillex while spinning in a 360 degree angle, like nothing is happening, even the most sceptical attendees in the audience are not bored anymore. After that, again a couple of hits like "Dr. Feelgood" and "Girls, Girls, Girls" are played before "Kickstart My Heart" finalises one of the event-highlights in 2012.

Conclusion: Let`s face it: With bundles of energy like Jocke Berg and Simon Cruz sweeping across the stage, almost every band has a tough job to hold the arc of tension afterwards. In this respect, Vince Neil & Co. have put up a good fight. Even the weather was perfect with its bright summer sunshine. Let`s hope that the attendees of "Rockin` Hellsinki Vol.2" with ZZ Top, Philip Sayce, Von Hertzen Brothers and Peer Günt on 21st July 2012 at the same place will have similar positive experiences as we had it today...

Photos: Stefanie Singh, Adrian Perez

Stefanie Singh

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