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Even after 22.00 Tavastia felt empty, but still, as more people were flowing in, until the very end I could not entirely feel the atmosphere of the evening. This night´s show was not so vivid at all, despite all the glam and glitter. Such a difference from the night before with Laibach. The audience was so plain, mostly female and excessively drunk. To be honest I was expecting more colors and a wilder party, after all it was suppose to be a glam night.
Jann Wilde & Rose Avenue
What a lot of pretentiousness, many words in the name and yet so little content! The band´s website looked a lot more promising and exciting than the actual band. Furry, feathery and fluffy costumes were tasteless, also in this style there are certain combinations that fit or do not, but clearly this band is not familiar with them. The frontman Jann Wilde looked more like a techno-raver caveman in the fur of his freshly hunted blue woolen mammoth, guitarist Ardé like a vulgar copy of Boy George, who was quite irritating chewing gum with his mouth open the entire 40 minutes he was on stage.
The attitude from both most vivid members was just as daring and dramatically artistic, the other half of the band was very reserved and quiet. The singer kept on making jokes and comments that the entire Tavastia laughed, but nothing could touch basser René (who was only doing his job and playing, not even a smile throughout the whole set) and drummer Tender Rexx, maybe tender inside, on the outside looked very serious and concentrated. It seemed that this band was solely for the singer´s own self-expression, as the drive, creativity and energy of that guy alone was driving the entire play and he himself “filled” the stage, moving, jumping, dancing, simply leaving the Rose Avenue no space. Another thing is his passion for pantomime, as every song and much of the speeches was generously illustrated. I must admit, he was good at it, and maybe he has not won my ears, but the eyes were there the whole time – even Jonne Aaron did not manage to do that later on!
Tampere is rich in glam-rockers apparently, so this export also has its fans. The girls were screaming so passionately during Mr. Wilde´s performance, at some point even being louder than the singer.
To me their songs were not too catchy, the show was a lot more entertainment. The band is way too young and barely has enough material to make a solid set, neither they have much technique for it: the sound quality was quite poor, both singer and the back-vocalist were constantly missing the notes and melodies, overall sounding quite unprofessional and false. However, a couple of tracks worth mentioning were “Boys Out Of New York” because of the weird and scary lyrics “We like boys out of New York, we like toys…”, following romantic song “Stay with me” was cute and childishly charming...
Overall I think this band has more potential in visual entertainment than in musical, otherwise it is just another Finnish glam act. The band itself feels incomplete, the bassist René looked so bored, shy and quiet, like he himself does not know why was he there… The drummer seemed very serious, but with at least some attitude. So practically, this is a band of 1 artist (Jann Wilde), 1 entertainer (Ardé), 1 musician (Tender Rexx) and 1 simple guy who can play bass (René)…
Speaking in sport-terms, like in gymnastics, the artistic impression was not bad, about 8 points, but the technical side can barely make it to 4.5.
Very beautifully set stage: a backdrop with the sad clown´s face, theme of the new album, was in sight during the set, as if the five musicians were his puppets and he was directing, a very interesting concept, if I understood it correctly. The drummer Jay´s platform was arranged like an old-fashioned train. The keyboarder (although mostly invisible) had his area decorated with a long green snake – seductive new addition to Negative. The rest of the guys had chains and glittery scarves hanging down their microphone stands. All those decorative elements were toy-alike, such bright colors and clear shapes, the band´s new circus theme is definitely very visual and efficient. Sir Christus came on stage the most dressed, but slowly losing one piece of clothing at every one song, by the time of departure he was the least dressed and most revealing.
The sides of the stage had smaller square platforms on it, with white backdrops like sketches of some Venetian stairways with open-mouthed roaring lions. I think I have never before seen the Tavastia stage so crowded. Jonne, Larry, Sir Christus and Antti kept on moving around, changing their positions, so someone was always up on either side platform, or even two members at once – posing, dancing, really enjoying themselves.
When the intro came, a classical circus intro-theme, the floor was somehow crowded, but not as much as I was expecting for such a ´hot´ band. Circus intro, but instead of clowns a skinny blonde Playboy bunny Jonne Aaron jumped on stage and the rocking begun at once! The songs start very bombastic and supposedly ´heavy´ but then suddenly all slips into pop-rock. Jonne´s voice on the contrary, is very consistent and professionally good, the sound overall is excellent – what a huge difference after the supporting act, as if we changed locations. The only flaw was the keyboarder, who was not just almost invisible behind all the stage elements and smoke effects, but also almost mute behind all the guitars and Jonne.
The guitarists were not only very loud, but extremely active as well - a whole encyclopedia of playing techniques on their hot-pink instruments, but also a number of honest sexy moves. Although no one in that band at least can beat Jonne in seductiveness: his dances should be censored – with jeans that tight and hips that active even Shakira would blush…
“Rock´n´Roll to stay” was overdone a bit with the drama... the band was really getting in the mood even more. Barely any talking in-between songs, but quite often during, especially the slower melodic parts, which were not many that night, the set was mostly very upbeat rough tracks.
“Frozen to Loose it All” sounded exactly like on the record, which just again, amazes me of the sound quality those guys have perfected.
The lyrics to “Moment Of Our Love“, declaring that “love is right now” was sung by the entire audience, so clearly and so loudly, without Jonne even asking for it!
By then already more people in the audience, but still, the front 1/3 are the most active, the others are just watching… Balcony is practically empty, strange lack of enthusiasm, except a few clearly not sober ladies shouting and dancing but not managing to stay upright and falling down on the floor. Glam?...
The view from the balcony down looks like Hanoi Rocks no less, but in the atmosphere I am not feeling the audience. I am not sure the band even realizes their surroundings, they have enough going on around them. Sir Christus and his special friendship to the mike-stand, whereas Jonne and guitarist Larry seem to have their own connection, all the time hugging and touching…
Of course an encore – two more songs and a big closing farewell: huge bunch of red roses flew into the screaming front rows, followed generously by musicians´ wet sweaty towels, guitar picks and drum sticks. A few traditional bows concluded the rock´n´roll circus, leaving the audience really in mixed emotions: many passionately kissing couples, many excited talking and laughing, many seriously crying sad faces – Negative pulled all the strings and caused a whole rainbow of emotions – I think even the most experienced clown can be very pleased with such outcome of his difficult art.