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The summer has arrived Helsinki quite suddenly and then the Finnish capital with its people is blossoming. All of a sudden there`s something going on in every corner and you don`t know where to look, much less where to go. On this summerly Friday evening I choose the option “for the first time Dante`s Highlight as well as Hellcity Punks and Private Line live”. Moreover, my favourite DJ Jussi69, who usually drums for The 69 Eyes entertains the crowd before, between and after gigs.
I have to admit that I just knew the band names before, therefore I am positively surprised about the Hellcity Punks who are offering everything but scratchy punk.
With "My Show" the guys around singer Janze start to rock straight. No wonder that some people can`t sit anymore; it`s getting filled at the stage. Lots of other rock smashers are following before the black vest of Janze is flying into a corner and he performs the intoxicating "Generation Dead" in a white rip shirt. This song has scored number 14 in the Finnish charts like "Destination O.D." did before. That the guys from Helsinki play quite small gigs at the moment is a fact which may be changed soon. When the audience is clapping along synchronously on "White Trash Gone Wild", I can imagine playing them at the next Hafengeburtstag in Hamburg. This band has a high potential; I am blown away. The Hellcity Punks describe their style as KISS, Mötley Crüe and Alice Cooper which sounds very 21st century. I think this description works even if I personally only notice the connection with Mötley Crüe. Typical 1980ies excessive guitar solos are missing which don`t please me anyway. In any case, this won`t be my last concert of them for sure!
Before the headliners enter the stage, it´s getting more crowded in front of it, but without people pushing and scrambling. Yes, that`s the Finnish way... Jussi69 personally announces the band in a charming-humorous way: "Ok, now here comes the best band... Well, probably the second best band from Helsinki... Private Line!"
On-site I had seen a Private Line poster displaying “just other Finnish rockband with good-looking guys / poncy glamrockers”. When singer Sammy Aaltonen enters the stage I am therefore surprised once again: a very likable appearance; a real sunshine if it`s allowed to say something like this about a rock singer.
The music is surprising as well `cause it rocks throughout, like with the industrial-oriented "Prozac Nation" or "1 800 Out Of Nowhere" which they play later as a bonus. In contrast to the Hellcity Punks, Private Line presents with "Sound Advice" and "Forever And A Day" some ballads but even those are not drippy at all. There is also room for some funny moments, for example when Sammy takes an acoustic six-string and the band performs something in Finnish which sounds traditionally and humorously at the same time. As you can see: There is no lack of variety and the guys are smiling the whole time anyway so there is also no trace of arrogance even if they have achieved some noticeable successes already.
The fear of having screeching girls or the like there was ungrounded, despite many fans from German speaking countries present at the show. Only after the concert some of the musicians - especially Private Line`s guitar player Jack Smack - are surrounded by girls but when at 3.30 a.m. the music is turned off and the lights on, even the most persistent admirers realise that no-one here wants become a part of a stamp collection today....
+ photos: Stefanie Singh
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