MICHAEL MONROE: Live at Club Tavastia, Helsinki


23.03 2011



Michael Monroe finally released his long awaited studio album SENSORY OVERDRIVE. Despite this, the band spend the whole last year performing across the globe band now started another tour to support its new release. The new album has received excellent reception here in Finland. It was number one in the official album list here and that’s something, I’m not 100% sure about this, but it’s something that the re-united Hanoi Rock’s was never able to reach with its three albums. For sure it wasn’t an easy thing for Michael to decide to quit Hanoi Rocks but the success of this new album does prove that it was after all a right decision

As expected, the show opened up with new album brilliant opening track “Trick of the Wrist” followed by another newbie “Got Blood”. Michael was as “hyper energetic” as ever and he was visibly very happy to see how the young audience already knew all the new tracks. The old Hanoi Rocks classic “Motorvatin” got its worthy reception and it included, as always, some of Michael’s magnificent saxophone playing. Although it was understandable that the set mainly focused on new material, altogether there was eight tracks from SENSORY OVERDRIVE, it was great that there were plenty of DEMOLITION 23 material included in the set as well. In many ways DEMOLITION 23 is a kind of “sister” album to SENSORY and for that reason theirs material does fit together perfectly.


What was also great was that Michael now is brave enough to drop off most of the Hanoi songs from the set and play only a handful of those. But still, there’s no denying that “Malibu Beach” and “Back to the Mystery City” are classics but are those necessary to hear on Michael Monroe’s show? I doubt it and for sure fans would rather to hear more Michael’s own material. Altogether only three tracks: “Dead, Jail or Rock’n Roll”, “Not Fakin’ It” and “Life Get’s You Dirty” were performed from Michael’s solo career which includes five albums. In a way it’s understandable that some of the solo albums material doesn’t fit with Michael current “punkish” image, like “Man With No Eyes”, but there’s still plenty of good songs to choose from like “Stranted”, “Thrill Me ” or another Demoliton 23 track “You Crucified Me”.


It was good the see a band with such a good chemistry on stage. Michael is still Michael but the whole bands performance was really strong and energetic. The rhythm section Sam Yaffa and drummer Karl Rockfist did a solid work through the set but special mention goes to guitarist Steve Conte who now had some newfound power in his performance. The guy is like a newborn if you compare his current performance to old days when he did his first shows in Finland with New York Dolls some five years. Ginger did really strong work especially with backing vocals but he stayed willingly a little behind Michael and Steve which was still kind of strange when remembers how is he like when Wildhearts is on stage. Perhaps, this is just a good variety for him? 


Like mentioned earlier, this was a really good, pure rock’n roll show with attitude but without any pointless subtleties there. Just pure energy, sweat and in your face music, that’s all about it. Hopefully this lineup will last together and we can enjoy more shows like this in the future?


1. Trick of the wrist

2. Got blood

3. Motorvatin’

4. Hammersmith palais

5. 78

6. Modern day

7. Nothing’s alright

8. Not fakin’ it

9. Gone baby gone

10. Superfly

11. Bombs away

12. Dysfunctional

13. I wanna be loved

14. Later won’t wait

15. Malibu beach

16. Dead, jail or r’n’r


17. Back to Mystery city

18. Life gets you dirty

19. Feel alright




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