9 – 11’th of JULY, TURKU, FINLAND
REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY MARKO SYRJÄLÄ
Ruisrock celebrated its 40th anniversary in sunny Ruissalo. Although the festival lineup included mostly domestic artists, there were many interesting foreign names, such as the legendary Ozzy Osbourne, former Guns’n Roses guitarist Slash, Arch Enemy, and Amon Amarth the heavier side. At the same time, there was also a long list of bands from pop, punk, prog, and alternative worlds. Such names as Billy Talent, Canned Heat, NOFX, Flogging Molly, and the Sounds show clearly how versatile the festival Ruisrock is, and that mix seems to work out well. Altogether there was over 70,000 visitors in Ruisrock during three days.
Former Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne is a colorful person who always raises a lot of different opinions. The man is a living metal legend, but lately, he’s been on the headlines mostly thanks to other reasons but his music. There have been reality series, books, TV shows, sensations, drugs, personal problems, and whatever reasons, but now Ozzy is here to play his first show here since 2008. Ozzy has just released his 10’th studio album titled SCREAM, and this show at Ruisrock was a part of his world tour, which will last for the next year and a half. It’s time to check how the aging “Prince of Darkness” and his renewed band succeed in front of twenty-thousand screaming fans in Turku…
The Ozzy band hit the stage ahead of time by about ten minutes. They started the set with the classic ‘Bark at the Moon.’ It was nice to notice that Ozzy did seem quite energetic and, at the same time, looking as possessed as always. Next, the band rolled into the new single “Let Me Hear You Scream,” which worked great. It seems that finally, Ozzy has created another song that might stay on the setlist for longer than just one tour. All the classic Ozzy raps like: “I can’t fuckin’ hear you,” “Louder!”, “Let’s get crazy,” etc … became familiar among newer fans as well during the show. It must be granted that Ozzy’s new band worked out great. The rhythm section of Tommy Clufetos (drums) and bassist Blasko played really well together, and they seemed to be a true dynamic duo between each other. New axeman Gus G. of Firewind proved that he’s a perfect addition for the band as well. Of course, many fans stay loyal to Zakk and his Black Label Society, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but Gus did excellent work here. His playing style is quite different from Zakk’s, but Ozzy consciously looked for someone with their own style, and that’s what he has now got with Gus. If you compare his style to any former Ozzy guitarist, only one name which comes to mind is Jake E. Lee, and that’s not a bad thing for the fans of melodic guitar playing.
The setlist tonight was quite a pleasant surprise, and it’s refreshing to see Ozzy giving more time to his mid 80’s material. As well as “Shot In The Dark,” the crowd also got the rarely played ‘Killer of Giants’ which hasn’t been on the setlist since THE ULTIMATE SIN -tour back in 1986!!! Of course, there were some classic Sabbath tunes included as well, like “Fairies Wear Boots” and “Iron Man” plus the usual encore of ‘Paranoid.’ What was also interesting was the inevitable band solo part, which included some Sabbath material as well: the partly instrumental of ‘Rat Salad.’ It’s always great to hear those tunes, but in a way, it was good that Ozzy now only did three and a half Sabbath songs and featured more of his own material. What was strange was that only one song (“I Don’t Wanna Change The World”) played tonight from the Zakk Wylde era? As everybody knows, there are loads of great material there like: “No More Tears,” “Dreamer,” “Perry Mason,” etc., but maybe this was just a logical choice to get some distance from what Ozzy has been doing past twenty-three years with Zakk? On the other hand, why on earth was there only one song played from the new album.
Of course, some early Ozzy favorites like “Over The Mountain” and “Flying High Again” were sorely missed, but doing more mid 80’s stuff was a great thing, and it may be that new guitarist Gus G.. Is behind the decision to play these gems again? At least he must have recommended some songs there!? But in brief, this was a good show from “Madman” and his boys. Like mentioned before, Ozzy was surprisingly energetic, and his voice was working well. Of course, some teleprompters and backing tapes were used but not too disturbingly. It’s strange how things can change in two years. After releasing his two weakest releases in his whole career, Ozzy has now returned with his best work (SCREAM) since 1991’s NO MORE TEARS, and there’s the same thing with Ozzy’s live performances. People haven’t seen this energetic and good of a sounding Ozzy show since the early ’90s, and that’s not bad from the man who’s now living his 60’s.
FOR MORE INFO, GO TO:
Bark at the Moon
Let Me Hear You Scream
I Don’t Know
Fairies Wear Boots
Shot In The Dark
I Don’t Want to Change the World
Killer Of Giants
Michael Monroe and his new “all-star” band: guitarists Ginger (The Wildhearts) and Steve Conte (New York Dolls), bassist Sam Yaffa (New York Dolls, Demolition 23, Hanoi Rocks), and drummer Karl Rockfist (Danzig) performed another hyper-energetic rock’n roll show with no unnecessary tricks or gimmicks there. The set was kicked off with old Demolition 23 classic “Nothing’s Alright,” followed by Hanoi Rocks’s “Motorvatin” and Demolition track “Hammersmith Palais.” Michael has always been one of the best frontmen in the business, and that’s what he still definitely is. He has so much energy on stage that it’s hard to believe that man is soon turning into his 50’s. Michael enjoys playing with this new band, and it especially appears how happy he’s on stage with his former Hanoi Rocks/Demolition 23 colleague Sam Yaffa again. The list was a good combination of old Hanoi Rocks, Demolition 23, and Michael’s solo material spiced up with a couple of new songs, which sounded promising. Especially “Another Night In The Sun” was awesome. Only time will tell how this lineup will carry on from now because they all have other bands/projects going on, but hopefully, this will last, and we’ll someday hear that another Michael Monroe album?
FOR MORE INFO, GO TO:
Not Fakin’ It
Another Night In The Sun
I Wanna Be Loved
The Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
Machine Gun Etiquette
Motorheaded For A Fall
Back To Mystery City
Malibu Beach Nightmare
Dead, Jail or Rock’ n’ Roll
Ain’t Nothin’ To Do
It’s been several years since former Guns’n Roses guitarist Slash last performed here in Finland. In 2007, Slash played in Provinssirock with Velvet Revolver, but it wasn’t long after the band announced their split with vocalist Scott Weiland. Since then, the band has been on “hiatus”? After three years of new Velvet Revolver lead singer searching, Slash decided to break the silence and release his first-ever solo album SLASH. The album is a kind of all-stars album. It includes guest performances from well-known musicians like Ozzy Osbourne, Fergie, Lemmy Kilmister, Ian Astbury, Andrew Stockdale, Dave Grohl.
Now Slash and his recently announced touring band: guitarist Bobby Schneck, bassist Todd Kerns (Sin City Sinners), drummer Brent Fitz (Union, Alice Cooper, Ecoline Crush) and Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge), who also sings on the album, arrived in Turku to headline Sunday on sunny Ruisrock -festival. The Slash band kicked off with the new album opening track “Ghost,” which seemed to be a perfect opener for the show. Slash’s recognizable guitar sound was crystal clear, and the man was running across the stage like a young foal. Ian Astbury (The Cult) is doing an excellent job with that track on the album, but it must be stated that Slash’s current touring vocalist Myles Kennedy didn’t lose an inch here for Ian. Slash’s Snakepit classic “Meanbone” followed before the band headed into a string of Guns’ n Roses tracks. As expected, people went completely crazy during “Nightrain” and “Rocket Queen.” Velvet Revolver classic “Sucker Train Blues” worked out great as well, and at this point, it must be stated that Myles truly is an excellent choice to handle lead vocals on this tour. Not only he has a great voice, but he can also handle all kinds of material, no matter if it’s originally been sung by Axl, Scott Weiland, Rod Jackson, or just anybody else.
The “top hat” himself seemed to have a really good time on stage. He was in really good shape, and he’s happy to be back on the road again with this new line up and why shouldn’t he because the band sounded astounding! There’s nothing wrong with his new album material, either. “Back From Cali,” “Starlight,” and the radio hit “By The Sword” got a good response from the crowd and proved that Slash still has plenty to say with his never material. Nowadays, rarely played Gun’s Roses standard “Civil War” was a good addition for the setlist, but “Sweet Child O’ Mine” was the one that blew up the consciousness, and people went completely nuts. Things calmed down a little when the band next headed in Alter Bridge track “Rise Today,” but that’s likely because most people haven’t heard that band’s material until now. Perhaps things will be different next time because “Rise Today” fits like a glove with the rest of the setlist. The main set was then closed with another Velvet Revolver track, “Slither,” which seemed to sink well with the audience.
The band took a little break before hitting back with Finnish guest vocalist Michael Monroe. Michael and Slash are old friends already from the late ’80s, so it was good to see them now together on stage. They first did a new album track, “We’re All Gonna Die,” originally sung on an album by Iggy Pop, before hitting CCR/Hanoi Rocks standard “Up Around The Bend.” Michael was performing like a super energetic madman. He was constantly running across the stage and over the monitors, climbing on stage structures, and did all the old rock’n roll clichés you can ever imagine. This was an excellent performance from Michael, and it seemed that everyone on stage, including Slash, was more than excited there. Turku is Michael’s current hometown, so everyone can imagine what kind of feedback the band got after finishing the final chords of “Up Around The Bend”… There wasn’t too much time left, but there was time enough to play one more classic. Myles switched back to vocals, and then Slash’s guitar kicked into one of Guns N’ Roses’ finest moments,s and we’re talking about “Paradise City” here. As expected, once again, people went again nuts during the song. In the end, the band lined up in the front and thanked the audience. The show was over, and there’s the time of little summary here.
All in all, this was an entertaining show. The whole band was on fire. Slash’s playing was excellent, and like said before, he enjoyed being on stage. Myles has already been praised enough but let’s not forget the rest here. Bassist Todd Kerns and guitarist Bobby Schneck played great, and they both did some outstanding backing vocals there while drummer Brent Fitz kept the rhythm going and was the main motor behind this extremely tight band. The setlist was built up carefully, and it included songs from Slash’s entire career. Still, excluding the first Snakepit album, IT’S FIVE O CLOCK SOMEWHERE, which was for a reason or another ignored completely. But you can’t ever please everyone here. Welcome again anytime!
FOR MORE INFO, GO TO
Sucker Train Blues
Back From Cali
By The Sword
Sweet Child O’ Mine
We’re All Gonna Die
Up Around The Bend