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Hardcore Superstar / Avatar / Ammotrack

Stadt / City Helsinki, Tampere & Turku  
Land / Country FIN 
Web www.hardcoresuperstar.com
Tavastia / Pakkahuone / Klubi  
Datum / Date13., 16. + 17.12.2011  
Bildergalerie / Picture gallery HCS_11 
Photos: Sandy Mahrer 

In February 2011, when I fell in love with the music and the live-show of Hardcore Superstar, I would never have dreamed that I could see them again at the same place at the end of the same year. Moreover, Jocke Berg (Vocals), Vic Zino (Guitar), Martin Sandvik (Bass) and Magnus "Adde" Andreasson (Drums) also went on a five-city-tour through Finland, to celebrate the release of their first Best Of album "The Party Ain`t Over `Til We Say So". And so it came that I found myself not only at the show in Helsinki but also in Tampere and Turku...

Helsinki, Tavastia (December 13, 2011)
My three fifths of the tour start, well, less than promising. This time Hardcore Superstar have support acts with them - Ammotrack and Avatar, both from Sweden, like the headliner. Ammotrack enter the stage first and start to rock right away with "Life Is Calling" from their brand new album "Come Die With Us". But at that time, there is only one row in front of the stage. The rest of the audience still stands somewhere in the back and sips beer. It`s a pity `cause the Ammotrack´s music fits perfectly to the headliner with songs like "Scream For Your Mother", "My Sweet Insane", "Hitman", "A Bigger Bang", "Psycho Bitch" and "Living Like An Angel".

It´s a different case with the Melodic Death Metal of Avatar. Wearing a mask as if he had just escaped from the black bloc of a demonstration, singer John Eckerström storms the stage and produces a lot of noise before he reappears on stage with a Brandon Lee clown make-up, a hat and a cane for the second song. Is it the musical direction or the staging of the show? Frankly, I don`t know it, but the audience still looks bored...

The expression of boredom on the faces in the audience is not necessarily linked to the support acts, though. Thus it turns out when the show of the highly anticipated headliner starts: With a felicitous light show and a new intro "Kick On The Upperclass", Hardcore Superstar hit the stage - but the audience still doesn`t really pick up the pace. It changes temporarily, when the guys from Gothenburg play the second song "Sadistic Girls" (which is usually the opener), therefore this track should be kept in the setlist forever. After more smash hits like "Medicate Me", "Still I`m Glad", "Dreamin` In A Casket", "Wild Boys" and "Silence For The Peacefully", the quartet leaves the stage, only to return with a second intro, starting with "This Worm`s For Ennio" and merging into "Beg For It". It looks like a new start and it helps, although of the usual 100% action in the audience, there is only 70% tonight. I wonder why, because Jocke & Co. are - as always - in absolute top form and even come up with some surprises such as a new acoustic song ("Run To Your Mama" instead of the usual "Here Comes That Sick Bitch") and a guest appearance by Jussi69 (Drummer of The 69 Eyes) who speaks the Finnish intro of "Guestlist". A great show but an audience that doesn`t get a move on. A real shame!

More photos in the gallery, link in the top section
Why some ladies had saved their energies becomes clear at the after-show party at "Bar Bäkkäri": I have never seen the downstairs area of the bar so crowded! Cleavages are displayed and make-up is refreshed constantly, some girls even dance on the tables, just to attract the bandmembers´ attention. But those are only interested in the drinks that bar owner Jussi69 hoards behind his counter before they go to Jyväskylä and Seinäjoki. As I cannot believe that there was more action going on at " Bäkkäri" than at "Tavastia", I spontaneously decided to drive to Tampere and Turku...

Tampere, Pakkahuone (December 16, 2011)
Being for the first time at "Pakkahuone", I am first surprised by its large size of it and how quickly it fills to bursting point. Well, it`s the only show of the tour where attendees under 18 years are welcome. Usually, young fans hardly get the chance to see their favourite band live, because of alcohol sale restrictions in Finland (they could simply check IDs at the bar like in Germany, for example). Therefore the young audience seems to be unaware that it`s also ok to rock to support acts. At least some of the adult attendees do so and therefore both Ammotrack and Avatar receive a warmer reception here than in Helsinki. While Ammotrack increasingly please me, Avatar even make me smile...

Then Hardcore Superstar begin their show with a big surprise, namely with their old intro, Van Halen`s "Dance The Night Away", leading to the opener "Sadistic Girls". Within only a few seconds, "Pakkahuone" turns into a boiling pot; everyone is jumping, screaming and clapping along non-stop... I`m totally speechless! And it seems to be the same for frontman Jocke: "It`s so beautiful... I could almost cry!" A few minutes later, he has to add: "Now, you made me cry... Fucking shit!" Tonight`s special guest for speaking the Finnish intro of "Guestlist" is Negative`s bass player Antti Anatomy. Apart from that, the setlist is once again a nearly perfect mix of all albums the band has released so far. This time, both is amazing: The show and the audience. Or in other words: Helsinki can learn a lot from Tampere...

More photos in the gallery, link in the top section
Turku, Klubi (December 17, 2011)
The last show of the tour is completely sold out and before the "doors open", Jocke and Vic make sure personally that the fans waiting outside the "Klubi" won`t freeze to death by providing them with cups of hot coffee. But can the concert experience from last night be topped? It seems to be impossible - but it actually happens! And not for Hardcore Superstar only: How important a wild and grateful audience is for a perfect concert night, becomes even more apparent when Ammotrack and Avatar are celebrated in Turku as if they were Metallica. While Ammotrack convinced me now totally (third time is a charm, right?), the show of Avatar - whose new album "Black Waltz" hit the record stores in Dec 2011 – has lost its looniness impression...

Hardcore Superstar start their show again with the effective intro from last night, but then they first play the order of the setlist from their "Split Your Lip" tour, namely "Sadistic Girls", "Guestlist" (again with Antti Anatomy from Negative as "guest speaker") and "Split Your Lip". Obviously, the Street Metallers are always good for a surprise and no "safe players". And the audience? It jumps, it sings and it headbangs like there is no tomorrow and thus even miracously outshines the Tampere audience. One of the best concert nights I`ve ever experienced! After the end of the show, it takes only a few hours until a certain melancholy is spreading. A wonderful tour came to an end...

Whatever was going (wr)on(g) in Helsinki: According to Vic Zino, even audiences in Jyväskylä and Seinäjoki had been much more euphoric. Luckily we also attended the shows in Tampere and Turku, therefore this tour was an unforgettable experience - and the trips totally paid off...

Stefanie Singh

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