SUICIDAL TENDENCIES: Live at Virgin Oil Company, Helsinki

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The 23th of August 2011

Virgin Oil

Helsinki Finland

Article and pictures by Marko Syrjala and Arto Lehtinen

Suicidal Tendencies have regularly visited Finland within a couple of years. A few years back, the five piece crossover masters headlined the Tuska Open Air metal festival, arranging a real nightmarish job for the security. It isn’t any wonder the band has succeeded in gaining the entire new fanbase in Finland after a few memorable gigs. The loyal fanatical ST fans have remained loyal to Mike Muir. The gig in the Virgin Oil Club was arranged at the very last minute, but it was sold out extremely quickly. Even more people were willing to attend the gig. Before going on further about the show at the Virgin Oil Club yet, let’s take a brief moment regarding the historical aspects of ST’s visits to Finland.  Suicidal Tendencies made their first visit to Finland in 1989 along with Anthrax. At that time, Robert Trujillo played bass in the band. Some crackpot managed to throw a bottle aimed at Trujillo as the bottle  smashed on his head. When Metallica visited Finland in 1992 Suicidal Tendencies opened up for them, but the atmosphere was no longer the same.


Back to the present day. Approximately 500 people had crawled to the Virgin Oil club to witness the Los Angeles metal/hardcore legends in action. It could be felt the gig was going be a real mayhem and chaos from the beginning to the end as there were a plenty of tattooed suicidal maniacs with the Suicidal Tendencies “dress code”.

The set was kicked off by the classic  track “You Can’t Bring Me Down” and it was followed by a number of mandatory Suicidal Tendencies classics. Songs like: “Join The Army”, “How Will I Laugh…”, “Possessed To Skate”, “Send Me Your Money”, “I Shot Reagan”,” Institutionalized” and “War Inside My Head” worked out extremely well and made the audience completely crazy. The set list was strongly based on the bands early albums and the most recent Suicidal albums like FREEDUMP and FREE YOUR SOUL, FREE YOUR MIND were skipped entirely. Nothing was played from the excellent THE ART OF REBELLION either but that was the one and only negative thing to say here.

Vocalist Mike Muir is such an interesting person on the stage. He outspokenly unveiled his thoughts about politicians and the state of the world and in general rambled all kinds of weird and odd things and thoughts. What a crazy guy he is, but in a good way. After finishing “the preaching”, the five piece cross over legends unleashed the raging maelstrom causing the total blitzkrieg on the floor.


The whole band was literally on fire on the stage. Apparently it did seem that they were positively surprised about having such intensive and crazy respond and reception in the middle of the week in Helsinki. Mike Muir ran like a maniac across the stage and guitarist Mike Clark appeared to be in extremely good strike and so was the second guitarist Dean Pleasant. As a matter of fact, Pleasant has always been kind of phlegmatic at gigs but now he was like a different person on stage. The current drummer, Eric Moore, turned out to be one hell of a drummer with massive talent. His drum solo was definitely one of the highlights of the entire show. The bassist Steve Bunner has been a part of Suicidal for the last ten years and here we have another virtuoso in the band. Bunner’s somewhat funky but extremely technical playing adds some unexpected but fresh elements for old Suicidal material and that’s not nothing but a great thing here.

And the audience…. Jeezz… The whole crowd went entirely bezerk. The floor was burning up when people were literally rioting, shouting and raging in the pit. In addition to that there was no any barrier between the stage and several absolutely insane stage diving could be witnessed. In fact, the gig and the atmosphere was truly a flashback in time to the late 80’s and the early 90’s, just like the good old days. In brief, the Suicidal Tendencies show was a success in every aspect and for sure both band and audience got what they came for. In the end, Muir announced that once the new Suicidal album, their first in over ten years, is finished early next year the band will then return to Europe for a full tour. Welcome back any day!





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