Heart of Steel: Concert Review

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Hanoi Rocks - Twelve Shots on the Rocks tour
11th of June 2003, Malmö Sweden
Text and pictures by Anders Sandvall

Last year when Hanoi Rocks were in Sweden they played at the Sweden Rock Festival, then they played the Inkonst in Malmö the next day. At that time  they didn't have an album to promote - they only had a MCD called “PEOPLE LIKE ME.” The new album was released at the end of last year. This tour was supposed to land in Scandinavia a few months ago but was cancelled. Instead they came to Malmö at the beginning of June. The day before the Malmö gig they played at Vega in Copenhagen, Denmark and after Malmö they went further up in Sweden to Gothenburg and Stockholm and then back to their home country of Finland again. The last tour they did was based on mostly old greatest hits songs, but this time the new album was in focus and they played a lot of new songs.

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Michael Monroe - lead vocals, harmonica, saxophone

Andy McCoy - guitar, b-vox

Costello - guitar, b-vox

Timpa - bass, b-vox

Luca - drums

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Hanoi Rocks was very late - almost an hour delayed before they went on stage. There´s only two members left from the original Hanoi Rocks: Michael and Andy. Compared to last years show they were tighter, heavier, harder... The band felt and sounded more as a unit then last year and because they had done a lot of touring they also seemed more rehearsed as a band.

Mr. Monroe / Mr. McCoy draw the most attention and Mr. Monroe was all over the stage and worked hard to get the audience going. Mr. McCoy is a real cool person on stage. He played very impressive, music-wise, and he was much better than last year. He also seemed to be in much better shape. The other guys got more space on stage this time too. Last year they were very anonymous.

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The band played almost every song from the new album such as “WHATCHA WANT”, “A DAY LATE A DOLLAR SHORT”, “DELIRIOUS”, “LUCKY”, “OBSCURED” and the minor Swedish-hit “PEOPLE LIKE ME” with the audience helping out in the chorus without Mr. Monroe asking them to, and they sang pretty loud too! They also went through some classic songs like “TRAGEDY”, “BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS”, “MOTORVATIN” and the very beautiful ballad “DON´T EVER LEAVE ME.” They also did a cover of “UP AROUND THE BEND” originally done by CCR, where Mr.Monroe invited us to sing a long. Instead of talking they let the music do the most of the talking. Mr. Monroe still has impressive strength in his voice, and he is also very good on harmonica and saxophone. He used those instruments throughout the show. Of course Mr. Monroe did some talking between the songs. He said the band was not happy at all with the production of the new album and that he and Mr.McCoy is going to re-mix the album and put some new songs on it as well. It´s probably going to be released worldwide. Some countries that it definitely will be released in are USA and Japan and hopefully in Sweden as well. Mr. Monroe also told the audience that he remembered when he played at KB with his band Demolition 23 (that was back in 1995).


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It was a brilliant show by Hanoi Rocks. If I rated it (which Metal-Rules doesn´t do for concerts) I would say that this was 4.5/5. It would have been a 5 but the thing that dragged the rating down was the short play-time. They only played for one hour and five minutes with encores. That is absolutely too short. Hanoi Rocks is a big influence for a lot of the great sleaze/glam bands around the world. Without Hanoi Rocks, bands like Guns n ´Roses, Poison and Backyard Babies wouldn't have existed.

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This is glam/sleaze rock at its best and I´m looking forward for this legendary band coming back to Sweden to play again. Hanoi Rocks is so well rehearsed so they didn't have any set-list, so I don´t have any list on the songs because they change their songs every night.

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I met Mr. McCoy earlier during the day and he told me that the tour has worked very well throughout Finland. In Japan the shows were totally sold out. He was not so happy with the gig in Copenhagen though because the stage was too small - he wanted more space on the stage to move around.

Thanks to Hanoi Rocks manager for the help at the show!