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With a combination of merciless fights hand to hand and Metal live music Finn-Kanadian Starbuck, Pro Wrestler and „Fight Club Finland“ manager, intends to raise the popularity of his sport in Northern Europe. And obviously the first „Fight Night“ was a success in terms of audience numbers and mood, therefore it´s highly probable “to be continued”!
The combination of Wrestling and Rock fits nicely, but still I was a bit curious how a small league in Finland pulls it off. Most of the fun of Wrestling is the show factor. The first fight of this evening featured
TUHOTORVINEN vs EDDIE ANARCHY
Both are really still pretty bad in acting, the compulsive verbal abuse before the fight appeared a bit forced. But during the fight they showed good action, nothing special really, but the audience cheered like in a big arena, and so it was fun. Therefore it soon turned out that the crowd preferred Tuhotorvinen. First it seemed that he had the shorter straw and was about to lose. But after he wrestled free from several Covers, Eddie Anarchy became to eager to use his chain as “aid”. The judge tried to stop him, so Eddie was to distracted to stop Tuhotorvinen´s attack and the Cover was successful. Another attempt by Eddie to attack after the fight was over was stopped by security. Anyway, I was positively surprised by the mood and the show. Rating: 5/10 (SK)
The first band of this testosterone-impregnated evening fitted like a (boxing) glove, as Starbuck himself stands at the microphone, a force of nature using big gestures. Recently the line-up was totally changed, and the new crew Petteri Hirvanen (git), Rude (bass) and drummer Grandy set it off with covers of Black Sabbath´s „Iron Man“ and Ozzy´s „No More Tears“.
But then it was time for their own stuff, their latest single „Damnation's Own“ in classic Metal style, but in my opinion the doomy „Garden of Hades“ could be a glimpse into the future of the new Stoner Kings. The previously unreleased Metal-Track „Fuck the World“ rounded up a successful premiere of a remolded band. (KW)
STARK ADDER vs HÄIJY-HEIMO UKONSELKÄ
The second fight was an even bigger surprise. The axe dangling from the ceiling was a hint – and indeed, a ladder match, the first in Finland, very exciting. Stark Adder, appearing in a sort of Tarzan outfit, could rather be described as wirily than chunky and raised hopes for some artistic action. His opponent however looked with his red face paint like a wild Viking, and he behaved like that. He didn´t have many fans in the audience that was on Stark Adder´s side. During the fight both parties gave everything and used the ladder quite often, which made the whole thing much more exciting, and daredevil jumps from a ladder are always great to see. After several railed attempts to reach the axe finally Häijy-Heimo made it, by spitting „blood“ in Stark Adder´s face and thus surprising and blinding him, so that he fell off the ladder. Well, audience darlings cannot always win. Rating: 8/10 (SK)
Surely the powerful riff attacks of this Finnish band fitted into this event. Guitarist Euge Valovirta, Atte Sarkima (Drums), Arska Hietala (Bass) and singer Nico Hartonen seemed to be top-fit, too, and swept along the audience. Still dedicated Pantera fans (they were also part of the Dimebag Beyond Forever event 2007), they have developed their own style and sound much more versatile, grooving and melodic. Especially the vocals have evolved, and Nico proved to be quite multi-talented.
The program focused naturally on their recent (third) output „H 8“, that had received amazing reviews in their home country (e.g. Into Oblivion, I will break you, Depth, Under the Fire). Finally the guys also entered the Wrestling arena, just to be closer to the moshpit they had provoked... (KW)
STARBUCK vs VALENTINE vs SALAMA SUOMINEN
The main fight of this evening was a three-some, a so called Triple Thread Match. that means everybody versus everybody, and whoever manages to do a Cover, the fight is over. This time the Finnish Champion StarBuck fought versus Valentine and Salama Suominen. Valentine came with his girl Barbie. As expected, she appeared in full feathers, ranting and screaming like a real bitch and trying to protect her sweetheart. Who is familiar with WWE, it was pretty much like Nitro and Melina. Anyway, both strained StarBuck´s nerves, and first Valentine was the victim of both StarBuck and Salama united. This harmony didn´t last long, and soon everybody fought against everyone.
The audience contained an equal number of StarBuck and Salama fans who cheered to their heroes, only Valentine in his pink pants provoked booing. Barbie tried to intervene, annoying StarBuck who then strictly called her to order. Naturally such a Triple means a lot of action, including some jumps; the whole thing lasted about 20 min. The difficulty during such a fight is succeeding with a Cover without having the third party interrupting that. After many failed attempts Valentine had been thrown off the ring and couldn´t come back fast enough to interrupt StarBuck´s Cover versus Salama. Therefore the title of Finnish Champion remains with StarBuck, who promised Salama another chance, this time in a “normal” fight. Then StarBuck enjoyed the cheers of his fans.
All things considered it was a lot of fun. A bit like the small version of WWE with big show potential. Rating here and Wrestling altogether: 8/10 (SK)
Many called it a night after the main fight of the „fight night“ and took off even though with Velcra, who probably gained their right to perform with their single “Cant Stop Fighting”, a not quite unknown act was supposed to end the evening officially. Since their 2007 album “Hadal” the band has ultimately wiped off the NuMetal sound of past days and focuses now completely on industrial sounds with electronic blast beats and fat bass lines, which, standing directly in front of the speakers, make a pacemaker redundant. Also the atmospheric stage setting with economical lighting and fog machine harmonises perfectly with the music of the Finns. Live the songs come across a bit heavier than on record and so I think I´ve even heard a cover version of Metallica´s “One”. Musically and performance-wise singer Jessi Frey somehow reminds me a bit of Anneke van Giersbergen of The Gathering and because the musical future of the Dutch is still a bit in the dark, Velcra offer a good and a bit harder alternative for all those who like their music electronic and with female vocals. (KG)
Kathleen Gransalke (KG), Sabine Koch (SK), Klaudia Weber (KW)
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