CLUB NOSTURI, HELSINKI
31’st of December 2011
REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY MARKO SYRJALA
2011 was definitely a great year for Michael Monroe. The new album SENRORE OVERDRIVE was a critical and commercial success and Monroe won several prizes from the media including the album of the year award from the valued Classic Rock magazine as well as the band of the year title from Finnish Emma gala. Monroe’s great year ended up with two sold out nights in Helsinki’s Club Nosturi before leaving for a well-earned three month break.
The Stooges classic “I Got a Right Play” was played in the background when Michael and company walked on stage. The band seemed to be in party mode as the guys saluted New Year welcome exactly at 00:00. Everyone, except Michael, was enjoying a class of champagne before jumping into “Trick of the Wrist” followed by two more new album tracks “God Blood” and “Modern Day Miracle”.
As always, Monroe was in extremely good form. The man was jumping and raging all over the stage like a maniac and he is apparently enjoying his time on stage and so did everyone in the band. The sound is tight and band looks good on a whole. Ginger is gone there’s now his Swedish replacement Dregen. Dregen’s trash rock image and hyper energetic stage performance does fit like a glove on this band. Hopefully man will stay this band in permanent bases and does some writing in future releases as well.
Everything was working fine but after witnessing several Monroe shows during the past years I was hoping for more changes in the set list because this was a kind of special show. The good part was to note that the set included now only three Hanoi Rocks songs. Although “Motorvatin”, “Back To The Mystery City” and “Malibu Beach Nightmare” made crowd go insane but the fact is that Monroe does have so many great songs by his own which are often forced to give way for Hanoi songs. Tonight’s set was based on SENSORY OVERDRIVE, of course, a few from Demolition 23 and some from NOT FAKIN’ IT but also many unnecessary cover versions of worn out classics like Ramones’s “Blitzkrieg Bob” and The Stooges’s “1970”. How about doing something like “Man With No Eyes”, “Stranded” or “Thrill Me” instead?
However, as a whole this was another strong performance from the man who’s now having a time of his life. It’s hard to believe that Monroe is turning into 50 years on forth coming summer and he’s still capable to bring out show like this night after night. It’s going to be interesting how things will evolve from now on but hopefully band doesn’t stuck into this situation for too long and we’ll soon hear some new music.