LORDI – Live Concert Review
Lordi are the infamous Finnish hard rock band, with influences from shock rock, melodic and 80s heavy metal. I was lucky enough to see them play on their tour, after releasing their new album earlier this year. Lordi rose to fame during the 2006 Eurovision, after becoming not only the first Finnish act to win, but also the first and only Hard Rock band to win. They’re also now equally famous for their incredible horror mask, costumes and stage effects. All hand made by the seemingly endlessly talent Mr. Lordi. As a cosplayer, I am in awe of his amazing masks and costumes. Lordi were joined by Egokills and Silver Dust. Egokills are another hard rock and metal band from Finland, who skillfully find a balance between hypnotic yet gentle melodies, fast thrashy drums and electric riffs. Silver Dust are a delectable dark rock and gothic metal band from Switzerland. They lead the audience through romantic yet eerie tales, using magical visual effects. This is not the first time they have toured with Lordi, so it seems to be a reunion of the 2016 European tour!
On stage throughout the support acts there were large objects covered in cloth, before Lordi began, they uncovered an epic drum kit. And a demonic archway to hell, even lit with fire to guide lost souls. The lighting melded perfectly, with fiery reds and yellow, on top of a cool contrasting blue.
After a fantastic job of warming up the crowd, by Ego Kills and Silver Dust, the excitement was at fever point. Even the drummer’s test solo before the start got cheers and applause. The monsters hit the stage, to deafening cheers and screams.
Mr. Lordi took centre stage and addressed his adoring fans: “I know it’s a Sunday, and some of you may have work or school tomorrow. But I have spoken to your bosses and teachers and have agreed that you don’t have to go to work or school tomorrow, so you can rock and party hard tonight”!
They played songs from across their repertoire, including their classic hard hitters like”She’s a Demon”, as well as a slower ballad piece, combined with the lights carried through the smoke, gave a mystical yet eerie vibe. Suddenly the large skull of the archway lights up with neon ‘day of the dead’ style design. Amen takes centre stage, dancing and spinning about. Then Mr. Lordi hits the stage complete with truncheon and police hat on top of the monster costume! And shouts “We are the Rock Police!” – sing it London!”… the audience respond chanting “We are the Rock Police”! Mr. Lordi gets the crowd riled up as Amen steps up for a blistering guitar solo. As each of the band members performs a solo, a single beam of light hits them. He builds the suspense and excitement, shouting “Get yo’ asses ready”! To my surprise they suddenly transition into an almost dance track style. Ox, on bass switches it up, as the strobe lights hit in with almost pop-art effects. Followed up by a “shake yo’ ass”! As Mr. Lordi re-enter the stage through the archway, injecting an extra shot of energy, spirit and fight into the room. Getting the audience chanting and stomping along.
Halfway they asked for song requests, but so many people shouted out in excitement, you couldn’t distinguish any words! So, Mr. Lordi replied “we couldn’t hear any of that, so we’re going to play one off the “To Beast of not to Beast” album, “The Riff”. Then there’s a sudden big scream and crash of the drums and bass. Mr. Lordi crouched down and let the fog consume him. Then Amen crashes in with a fiery guitar solo, as a pillar of smoke rose up around him, under-lit by fiery coloured lights. Amen stands centre stage with his arms crossed, holding his horns out, and the crowd raise their horns in return. Then they hit straight back in with a proper hard rocker. Mr. Lordi then enters with mischievous, evil laugh, and the songs turns to the thrash metal side.
If the costumes weren’t already amazing enough, Mr. Lordi stood with his arms out stretched as amazing wings rose from his back! The keyboardist gestures to hear the crowd chant that they want more! A slow ominous organ tune plays out, then there’s a sudden switch, as they launch into their most famous song “Hard Rock Hallelujah”. Mr. Lordi brandishes his double headed axe mic, raised above his head in triumph.
The green lights flooded the room, mirroring the greed of their namesake ego. A sudden crash of the drums announced the start: “Hello London, we are Egokills! Are you ready to kill your ego?”! Their passion and commitment clearly shows, as one band member had broken is arm but still played. And the slight give-away of Janne shouting out – “we’re so f@cking happy to be here”! In stark comparison to the majority of their grungy hard rock or metal songs, they threw a slower ballad style song into the mix, with a soft lyrical start. Joined by a slow and deep, yet heavy drum beat. Slowly building in speed, heaviness and intensity. Janne combines raspy yet sultry vocals with lots of energy, movement and crowd interaction. Getting the whole audience clapping and dancing along. In his excitement and dancing about stage he even accidentally sent the mic stand flying offstage at one point! Now that’s rock and roll!
All the lights went down, then a Victorian-esque apocalyptic video started playing on a large screen on the stage. Mirrored in their gorgeous Victorian clothes, including Top-hats. Which I absolutely adored, as part of me will always be a Victorian Goth. Watching a Victorian Goth playing electric guitar creates great juxtaposition-imagery.
Silver Dust have a unique and interactive performance style, using video clips in-between songs that told a story. It’s always important for bands, especially as a support act, to interact, captivate and entertain the audience. Silver Dust provide a refreshing yet compelling new way to branch media that attracts and retains a new crowd. With amazing theatrics and stage presence.
The righteous Lord Campbell has an impressive vocal range, hitting the softer, higher lyrical songs as well as the deep heavy metal and emo screams. They exit as the stage darkens. The video plays out and when it stops, all is silent. We think it’s all over and start to turn away. Then there’s a heavy crash on the organ, the video leaps into action and a blue light shines out. The plague doctor on the organ is joined by a blistering guitar solo, and lastly the drums crash in as an alchemy video starts. There’s a sudden increase in pace and energy, as they get the crowd to clap and sing along. As the rest of the band hit the stage once more. The alchemy scene ends with him making a necklace, which now hangs around the lead mic stand.
Just one example of how their whole performance and aesthetics was beautifully crafted, co-ordinated and interlinked. Their whole performance is incredibly well designed and produced. Not only do they play great music, they throw a mini movie and show in too. The video splits the show into distinct acts, yet also merges with the performance as they time their music to fit the video. Their final song had a shot of energy and a faster beat, in a more dance track style. They got the whole audience crouching down then jumping up, shouting and screaming. They even took a photo with the audience behind them to take back to Switzerland.
An incredible show, and so much fun to watch! They brought the theatrics to a new level, with ghostly dolls flying out at the audience, and guest performers joining them on stage to perform skits with them to the songs. The red lights in the eye sockets of the skulls adorning the archway gave an extra demonic hit.
Lordi are still going strong, even after over a decade has passed since they took the world by storm at Eurovision. Touring after the release of their new album “Sexorcism” earlier this year. With many die-hard fans trekking in from about the country to see them play. The love was returned, even after a full heavy show they came out to meet and take photos with their die-hard fans, before setting off to Sheffield for the next leg of the tour. Showing their true dedication.