Club Tavastia, Helsinki
REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY MARKO SYRJALA
Danish D-A-D, originally called Disneyland After Dark, was formed in Copenhagen in 1984. The first album CALL OF THE WILD followed two years later. D-A-D had it’s heyday in late 80’s when they released album NO FUEL FOR THE PILGRIM (1989) which became their biggest success to date. Although the album included a highly successful single “Sleeping My Day Away” the final global breakthrough never happened. Despite the failure of the band taking over the world, D-A-D has actively continued its career and nowadays they have an excellent reputation as a live band. And it shows in Finland too. Just last year, the band played at the sold-out Club Circus, and now it was a return this time to Club Tavastia, which was also, of course, sold out.
I remember when I was a fan of the band in the late 80’s, but things changed during the journey. I also remember that it’s been something like ten years since I last saw D-A-D playing live. That must have been in Swedenrock festival around 2003 and at the time I completely lost my interest for the band. For the most part, that was due to the fact that only a year before the band had released SOFT DOGS which is their weakest release to date. I don’t remember much from the Swedenrock show but it was probably just “ok”, nothing less or nothing more. But last year, things started to change again. D-A-D played in Club Circus and, of course, I didn’t go there because I went to see Graham Bonnet instead. He was great, but many of my friends went and praised afterwards that D-A-D were brilliant. So, when band announced this Tavastia show I had no other choice but go and check ‘em out.
The band took the stage about twenty minutes late and opened up with early track “Isn’t That Wild”. At the beginning stage was completely covered with smoke and it was hard to see the musicians at all, not to even mention photography. Classic NO FUEL FOR THE PILGRIMS track “Jihad” followed. Soon the smoke began to fade and in front of me was suddenly the extra ordinary bassist Stig Pedersen. The man’s appearance and the essence is at the very least a “suspicious” or what else can I say about a man who dresses all black spandex and plays with transparent and two string bass? Next band played latest album DIC•NII•LAN•DAFT•ERD•ARK track “A New Age Moving In”. The song has received some playing time on Finnish radio and it seemed that the audience knew the words by heart. The song wasn’t bad at all, I have to admit, but things got definitely got better when band next went back to golden days and played “Point of View”. Vocalist/guitarist Jesper Binzer led a band with a strong experience and did a great work on stage. His singing and the playing was in fine form and a man clearly manages all the necessary mannerisms required for a rock band leader on stage. His guitarist brother Jacob stayed more in the background and focused mainly on playing. The band’s latest addition, drummer is Laust Sonne, seemed very qualified drummer and the man also clearly had some showman’s gestures.
Against my expectations, over one and a half hour went by very quickly. The set list was very audience-friendly and included, not only the mandatory hits, but also material from different phases of the bands career. The highlights were, of course, “Sleeping My Day Away” and other three songs from NO FUEL FOR THE PILGRIMS but also the title track of MONSTER PHILOSOPHY and “I Want What She’s Got” from DIC•NII•LAN•DAFT•ERD•ARK worked out brilliantly. In fact there’s nothing to complain this time and even I have to admit that the band is fully recovered from the “recession” that they once had more than ten years ago. This was a pure rock show with no extra gimmicks. D-A-D was very entertaining, energetic and they are easily one of the best bands in the genre at the moment. Perhaps now it’s time to go to record shop and pick up “the lost albums”, meaning the albums after SOFT DOGS, and just enjoy this great band again.