Words by Alan Daly
© Olga Kuzmenko
Photos by Olga Kuzmenko
Roll up, roll up! It’s circus time! Tonight’s show in the Button Factory Dublin has more freaks than you could shake a drumstick at. And that’s exactly why the venue is almost filled to capacity. I wasn’t quite sure what sort of crowd to expect here for Lordi, Shiraz Lane and Silver Dust, and to be honest, I’m still not sure. It’s a funny mix of young and old, punk and metal… and those that fondly remember that time a Finnish Metal (more like shock rock) band won the biggest pop music competition in Europe over a decade ago.
The night starts out with Swiss four-piece Silver Dust who put on an ostentatious performance of theatrical rock, appropriately dressed like circus ringmasters in tall hats and tuxedos. Sadly, their music is somewhat uninspiring and not improved by the weak vocals of Lord Campbell. Drummer Mr. Killjoy tries his hardest to entertain by twirling and tossing his sticks at every available opportunity, but it does little to motivate the majority of the crowd. Having said that, almost the entire audience willingly obeyed when they did the old “everyone crouch down on the floor and jump up when I say so” routine towards the end of their set, so maybe people were warming to their antics. The percussion is indeed the saving grace of the show, and a finale featuring all four members in synchronized tribal drumming is pretty catchy. An appropriate choice of support act given the night that’s in it, but not one I would personally rush out to see as a headliner.
Silver Dust Setlist:
So Let Me Now
The Age of Decadence
My Heart is my Saviour
Shame on You
Now we Request
The Judgement Day
The second band of the night is a Finnish rock quintet although you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise with the Didgeridoo opening to their intro tape and a name like Shiraz Lane. Their set kicks off with the appropriately titled ‘Wake Up’ from their recent debut album For Crying Out Loud and immediately we are reminded of a young Guns n’ Roses from their glam rock sound and appearance with tight leather-look trousers and long hair to their onstage antics and Axl Rose mannerisms. The band is (very) fresh-faced youngsters on their very first visit to Ireland with the energy and enthusiasm to match, and even the sound problems and dodgy microphones during the opening track don’t seem to faze them.
The sleazy style of the first two songs takes a twist in the third track ‘Begging for Mercy’, and even sees them break into a few bars of Marley’s ‘No Woman No Cry’. During their finale of ‘Out There Somewhere’ (for which they have released an official video), singer Hannes Kett and bass guitarist Joel Alex climb down and into the crowd for a bit of audience interaction. It’s an entertaining performance, or at least more so than the preceding act, but not particularly well suited to the bill.
As the time draws near for Lordi to entertain us, much effort goes into setting up the customary stage props and decorations, and the changeover seems to take an age. When they finally take to the stage they are greeted with cheers from the fans as they reveal their newest schizophrenic outfits, designed and created by Mr. Lordi himself, reflecting the split theme of their brand new release Monstereophonic (Theaterror vs. Demonarchy). Mr. Lordi towers above the others in his stilted boots and it has to be said that all of the costumes are truly impressive and effective. The band gets things started with ‘Let’s Go Slaughter He-Man (I Wanna Be the Beast-Man in the Masters of the Universe)’, a mouthful from the new album, and are accompanied onstage by He-Man’s nemesis Skeletor. There’s no break and it’s straight into a typically chauvinistic ‘Babez for breakfast’ (not forgetting bitches for brunch and more sluts for lunch).
Mr. Lordi takes regular breaks between tracks throughout the night to crack a few jokes and generally hear his own voice. He observes that being a Wednesday night, most of us probably need to go to work or school tomorrow. However, he reliably informs us that he has personally called all of our bosses and teachers and told them we’re not coming in tomorrow, allowing us to partake in some magical drinks that make the party better.
After ‘The Riff’, we are treated to ‘Hellbender Turbulence’ from their debut album Get Heavy, a track not played in 13 years (that is if you don’t count all the other shows this year) and we are promised that they won’t suck. Sure enough, none of the songs suck tonight, considering we knew exactly what we were letting ourselves into when we walked in the door. This is classic Lordi; Offensive, obnoxious, theatrical hard rock. And who could fault it? Peppered with theatrical segues and solos from each of the instrumentalists, everyone gets their chance to show off, and yet none overstay their welcome.
Introducing another song from their first album, ‘Icon of Dominance’, we are told that die-hard fans had been asking for this to be played live for years, and only now that the requests have stopped, are they prepared to play it. Next up is another obscene but catchy number from the new album, ‘Hug You Hardcore’ (the explicit video for which features a refined woman sodomizing a gagged man with a strap-on dildo). Other highlights of the night include the Eurovision winning ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’ and ‘Sincerely With Love’, dedicated to all the asshole bosses, teachers, neighbors, and partners, and has the entire venue shouting the chorus “Fuck you asshole, fuck you asshole, sincerely with love”.
An entertaining headline spectacle after a slow start to the night, and definitely more enjoyable than initially anticipated. Looking forward to seeing them again next time they visit our shores.
Let’s Go Slaughter He-Man (I Wanna Be the Beast-Man in the Masters of the Universe)
Babez for Breakfast
Bite It Like a Bulldog
Icon of Dominance
Hug You Hardcore
It Snows In Hell / The Children Of The Night
Down With the Devil
Blood Red Sandman
Hard Rock Hallelujah
Sincerely With Love
Devil Is a Loser
Who’s Your Daddy?
Would You Love a Monsterman?