MICHAEL MONROE: Live at the Cable Factory, Helsinki

December 23rd, 2013
by Marko Syrjala

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe

MICHAEL MONROE

December 7th

the Cable Factory, Helsinki

REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY MARKO SYRJALA

 2013 has been yet another busy year for Michael Monroe. The band completed its long awaited successor to the previous SENSORY OVERDRIVE album and the man has been working on several TV-projects and not forgetting, of course, touring, which has continued steadily through the year. HORNS AND HALOS was released in August, and it presented a more punky and straightforward Monroe.The “Horn and Halos” tour reached rainy Helsinki on December 7’th and the band, which now consists of Monroe, bassist Sam Yaffa, drummer Karl Rockfist and guitarists Steve Conte and Rich Jones, offered a great two hour set of energetic rock without any needless gimmicks. It’s time to “Rock like F**k!”

The show opened up with the title track of HORNS AND HALOS and it was followed by previous album opener “Trick of the Wrist”. Monroe was as hyper-energetic as ever and he continued to entertain in a rock ‘n roll manner with antics such as walking along the barrier and swinging the microphone round his neck while the rest of the band tended to stay in the background. But it seemed that Steve Conte has now taken a bigger role than before. And it’s no wonder, because the man is largely responsible for the new album songs. “Ballad of the Lower East Side” is one of those and it was definitely one of the evening’s highlights.

Michael and Steve Conte

Michael and Steve Conte

As expected, the band played a lot of its newer material. In fact, the first half of the show consisted solely of two newest album songs. SENRORY OVERDRIVE was present with four songs and those worked out very well. Especially “´78” and “Got Blood?” got a good reception. But… let’s put it this way… It’s great that the band believes its new material but maybe eight songs from HORNS AND HALOS was just too much? Rarely played Hanoi Rocks gem “Underwater World” was the first “not from last two Monroe album track”. As a song it’s not very marvelous but it was still well received, certainly mainly because it was a rare treat to hear live. A fan favorites “Motorvatin’”, “Hammersmith Palais”, “Malibu Beach Nightmare” and final number “Dead, Jail or Rock’n Roll” built up a real climax before it was encore time.

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe

The encores consisted mostly of cover songs. Demolition 23 track “Nothing’s Allright” rocked hard and gritty. “Do Anything You Wanna Do”, originally recorded by Eddie & the Hod Rods. Monroe covered the song for his WHATCA WANT album in 2013 and was a nice addition in the set list. In conclusion, the band launched into the sonic maelstrom of “1970 (I Feel Alright)” by The Stooges. After another short break, the band returned to the stage. Surprisingly Steve was now sitting behind the drum kit and Michael took over his guitar. This “line-up” then performed thunderous version of the Ramones classic “Blitzkrieg Bob”. More surprises followed when the band next did a pair of early Hanoi Rocks tracks. “Problem Child” and “1979” haven’t been performed live by anybody in ages and it was now just amazing to hear such an obscure stuff. This could have been a perfect way to finish the show but it was eventually the Damned classic “Machine Gun Etiquette” which was the very last song of the show.

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe

The band took its final bows and left the stage. The audience seemed to enjoy the heart and soul that the band gave during the entire performance which lasted over two hours and, if I counted right, it included 26 songs. The show was energetic, high octane performance with great attitude. The band played tightly through the set and proved that they don’t miss any of its former members. But there were few things I would like to criticize a bit. First of all, the band played definitely too many songs from its latest album. Also, it’s a good question why the band includes so many cover songs on their set and at the same time many Monroe’s solo albums are ignored completely. But… what a heck! This is just niggling when the fact is that Michael Monroe and his band are truly one of the greatest rock bands existing at the moment.

WWW.MICHAELMONROE.COM

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe band

SET LIST

Horns and Halos
Trick of the Wrist
TNT Diet
Eighteen Angels
Ballad of the Lower East Side
’78
Stained Glass Heart
Soul Surrender
Child of the Revolution
Got Blood?
Modern Day Miracle
Underwater World
(Hanoi Rocks song)
Motorvatin’
(Hanoi Rocks song)
Hammersmith Palais
(Demolition 23. song)
Malibu Beach Nightmare
(Hanoi Rocks song)
Dead, Jail or Rock ‘n’ Roll
Encore:
Nothin’s Alright
(Demolition 23. song)
Do Anything You Wanna Do
(Eddie & The Hot Rods cover)
Saturday Night Special
I Wanna Be Loved
(Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers cover)
1970
(Iggy and The Stooges cover)
Encore 2:
Blitkrieg Bop
(Ramones song)
Problem Child
(Hanoi Rocks song)
In the Year 79
(Hanoi Rocks song)
Love Song
(The Damned cover)
Machine Gun Etiquette
(The Damned cover)

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe

Steve Conte

Steve Conte

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe

Rich Jones

Rich Jones

Sam Yaffa

Sam Yaffa

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe

Steve Conte

Steve Conte

Karl Rockfist

Karl Rockfist

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe

Steve Conte

Steve Conte

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe

Steve Conte

Steve Conte

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe band

Michael Monroe band

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