LORDI with SPIRAL CELL @ The Bluebird Theater, Denver CO
Feb. 11, 2017
Review and photos by by Kyle Moore (The Metal Magnus)
Finland’s LORDI suddenly found themselves a heap of fame when they won the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest. This event is something quite unfamiliar to us Yankees, but nonetheless word of them started to spread. My initial reaction upon seeing their publicity photos was “they’re a GWAR knockoff.” Sonically, LORDI and GWAR sound nothing alike, yet their imagery has much in common. LORDI draws a lot of influence from KISS, whereas GWAR derived much of their sound and themes from punk rock. Whatever similarities that may or may not exist, I was cautiously optimistic about seeing their live show. This marks their first-ever North American tour, a sign of their spreading notoriety.
SPIRAL CELL is a one-man band originating from Colorado Springs, a town about 90 minutes south of Denver. They’re hardly a metal band, or even a rock band, but rather more of an ambient or progressive musical experience. This made SPIRAL CELL an odd fit to be matched with a thematic hard rock group such as LORDI, but I found myself enjoying their set nonetheless. Further attempts to describe their act or sound would not be particularly fruitful: SPIRAL CELL is something that must be seen/heard in person to be understood. The performance was well-received by the smallish crowd, which arrived rather late since no other well-known support act was performing.
Musically, LORDI is a bust for me. When I’ve tried listening to their albums, I’ve found myself wanting more. Much more.
There’s a lot of potential in their hard rock/metal hybrid sound, but the pull of crowd-pleasing simplicity keeps them in a relatively small box.
However, that same crowd-pleasing instinct is absolutely killer when experienced live, something that more sonically complex bands cannot often accomplish.
LORDI knows how to work an audience better than most, extracting gobs of fun from each riff. Their horror-movie-monster shtick flat-out works. The silliness of their act is absolutely infectious, featuring a variety of characters from Skeletor (of the He-Man cartoon), a nun, the Pope, and others.
Unlike GWAR, LORDI makes no attempt at political statements with their music. They keep things strictly in party mode.
Bassist OX was a magnetic presence, annihilating the stage with a great bass solo and tons of absurd mugging.
As I left the tiny Bluebird theater, I found myself thinking that indeed, I could love a Monsterman. Go see them!
Let’s Go Slaughter He-Man
Babez for Breakfast
Bite it like a Bulldog
Icon of Dominance
Hug You Hardcore
It Snows in Hell/Children of the Night
Down with the Devil
Blood Red Sandman
Hard Rock Hallelujah
Devil is a Loser
Who’s Your Daddy
Would you Love a Monsterman?