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No sooner the "Dark Decadence" tour has been announced, it was beyond all question that this is going to be one of THE tours, all over Europe with The 69 Eyes, Hardcore Superstar and Crashdïet, so the creme de la creme of Goth`n`Roll, Glam, Sleaze and Hair Rock and therefore something you definitely don`t want to miss as a lover of those music genres. And if this amazing line-up doesn`t come to Finland, STALKER just comes to the first of the four concerts in Germany which takes place in Hamburg. And, as expected, "Markthalle" is bursting at the seams...
With great éclat the meanwhile third singer of Crashdïet - Simon Cruz - enters the stage while the other three bandmembers start the song "Down With The Dust". Due to their tragic band history (The first singer and founder of the band, Dave Lepard, took his own life in January 2006), Crashdïet are definitely a band that polarises. Some love them, regardless of whether the current figurehead of the band is called Dave Lepard, H. Olliver Twisted or Simon Cruz, others see Dave Lepard as the soul of the band which cannot and shouldn`t be replaced by any other person at the mic. Well, from a pure objective point of view, the boys do a good job when they perform songs like "So Alive", "Native Nature" and "Generation Wild". If you delve into their history and compare the so far three released albums and the individual singers of them with each other, the creative work of Dave Lepard stands out by far from everything that came after him respectively the debut album "Rest In Sleaze". He had charisma, attitude, something to say... Everything that seems to be vanished after his death. You somehow get the impression that Crashdïet is meanwhile only about maintaining a certain image. Therefore it`s not a surprise that the songs of Dave Lepard like "Riot In Everyone", "Queen Obscene / 69 Shots" and "Breakin` The Chainz" are the ones which get the best feedback tonight...
Next to Crashdïet, Hardcore Superstar are the second Swedish band in the tour package. They first appear on stage and wave politely - just to rock balls to the wall with "Sadistic Girls" in the very next second. And from this very next second, the whole "Markthalle" is going wild with enthusiasm! No wonder as frontman Jocke Berg shows the crowd how to party the hell out and delivers the perfect soundtrack for it with songs like "Guestlist", "Split Your Lip" and "Bully". Besides songs of their current album "Split Your Lip", the setlist also contains tracks from previous releases like "My Good Reputation", "Wild Boys", "Liberation", "Bag On Your Head" and, of course, the mega-smash hit "Into Debauchery". Next to all the party, there´s laughter as well, for example when Jocke announces that he wants to perform a ballad together with guitar player Vic Zino. Full of pleasant anticipation, some fans in the first row immediately start to sing the chorus of "Moonshine". "This is not a ballad!" Jocke clarifies and an acoustic performance for "Here Comes That Sick Bitch" follows. Later on, when some fans are in invited to the stage to sing "Last Call For Alcohol" with the band, one of them grabs the microphone overzealously and starts to sing the lyrics, although the only thing needed was to shout the title at the right moment. Finally, the repeatedly and vociferously demanded "Moonshine" is played as an encore as well as "We Don`t Celebrate Sundays". For the latter, Crashdïet appear on stage again and after the guys have left the stage, some fans just sink to the floor, soaked in sweat and totally exhausted. But the evening is not over yet...
The 69 Eyes
… because it continues with the Helsinki Vampires! How they start to rock with "Devils" straight away is felicitous, too, and during the second song "Ghettoway Car" my heart jumps for joy: A composition of their good old Sleaze Rock days! I never thought that I would ever see that! But while my humble self is over the moon with songs like "Wings & Hearts", "Crashing High" and "Still Waters Run Deep", the majority of the "Markthalle" obviously still recovers from the wild Live action with Hardcore Superstar `cause until the middle of The 69 Eyes` set there is not much happening in the audience. Next to "Ghettoway Car", there is another classic of the "Savage Garden" album played with the original version of "Velvet Touch" but no sooner the audience is reawaken to party, the five Finns already leave the stage. Will they play the usual encores "Brandon Lee" and "Lost Boys" now and that`s it? No, fortunately not: They just change the guitars to integrate a small acoustic set into their show!
While the string instrumentalists of the band strike up "Feel Berlin", drummer Jussi69 - who used to live here in Hamburg for a while - starts his declaration of love to the Hanseatic City: "The next song is all about Hamburg; forget about fucking Berlin: It`s Hamburg tonight!" The crowd cheers and waits full of suspense what frontman Jyrki69 - who comes back on stage only now - is going to sing about. St.Pauli? Reeperbahn? No, it remains in Kreuzberg and the "Checkpoint Charlie Blues" - and most notably you still got to "Feel Berlin" what causes unintentional humour. Apparently, the agreement didn`t work that well this time, but therefore we get a brilliant Elvis cover ("Heartbreak Hotel") and "Rocker" before they change the guitars again to play "Brandon Lee" and "Lost Boys" electrical. After that, the three bands go straight to Frankfurt to spread some "Dark Decadence" over there...
Conclusion: In view of the very promising line-up, everything under 10 points would have been a bitter disappointment but in fact it has been a concert night that deserves score full points, mainly because of Hardcore Superstar. Their wild stage show and especially the stage presence of Jocke Berg outshined everything else tonight! However, The 69 Eyes surprised with sleazy classics and especially with their unplugged performance. And despite other opinions, the huge audience revealed that there are enough Crashdïet fans even in Germany, so it shouldn`t be a big deal to let them tour more often in the country where the hair spray giant "Schwarzkopf" has its headquarters. On that note: Keep the hair in shape and the rest in Sleaze!
& photo: Stefanie Singh
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