Heart of Steel: Concert Reviews

Monsters of the Millennium Vol II:
Alice Cooper, Dio, Ratt, Sonata Arctica
Old Icehall 7.5.2001 Helsinki, Finland

Article and photos by Finland's Metal Rules Team

It was the second time that  the Monsters Of The Millennium tour package went over Scandinavia. The tour went through Denmark, Sweden and Finland featuring three old time hard rock and heavy metal veterans on the bill: Alice Cooper, Dio and Ratt. This kind of tour has been meant to happen every year.

The domestic power metal hope Sonata Arctica had been hired to open the night, but unfortunately none of us were able to get there on time and had to miss which it wasn't that big loss after all. But according to stories told by other people S.A were allowed to play a couple of tracks and had utterly crappy sound quality…

But luckily enough we got there in the very last minute to check out one of the well-known LA hair/glam rock bands of the 80's namely Ratt. To be honest Ratt's choice to be involved in the MOM tour package was entirely unexpected and definitely a huge surprise for several people indeed. The line up of the combo has undergone more than less noticeable changes during the last few years, basically Ratt of nowadays ain't the same one as 15 years ago cos the current one consists of only two original members left from the real 80's line up. The other three current members are John Corabi - being the former Motley Crue and Scream guy, Jizzy Pearl - being the former Love/Hate vocalist (and now Ratt's vocalist) and Robbie Crane on the bass having played in Vince Neil's band previously. As for Ratt's set, they definitely sounded really heavy actually, probably a little bit too heavy because occasionally it became a job to recognize some of old tunes. But the glam rockers mainly focused on performing a lot of older material from their 80's outputs from "Invasion of your Privacy", "Out of Cellar" and "Dancing Undercover". Jizzy's stage performance was ok as moving all around the stage all the time and filled the spot left by Stephen Pearcy pretty well all in all. As for Corabi, that was another thing. Corabi had apparently partied a night before the gig and at least must have had such a nice hangover when being on the stage. Before getting on the stage he came out of the dressing room with a few bottles of Finnish beer in hands and he seemed to be out a little bit throughout because he rather remained aside all the time and switched the guitars a couple of times. DeMartini had also partied last night, but he bravely handled his part very well. To sum Ratt's set up - they were better than expected in the first place because of the massive heavy rough sounds and besides got such a nice reception from the Finnish audience. Frankly they should have already visited Finland in the mid of the 80's.

Ratt tracklist
Shame Shame Shame
Wanted Man
Back for More
Walkin' the Dog
Lack of Communication
Way Cool Jr.
Loving You's a Dirty Job
Lay It Down
You're in Love
Round and Round
Slip of the Lip
I'm Insane


Ronnie James Dio is like a wine - getting older, but getting better all the time. That fact was witnessed once again when Dio hit the stage starting out with rather a surprising choice "Sunset Superman". Dio has visited Finland quite frequently during the last four years. He has managed to improve his following quite well and especially generate an entire new fan base - the whole front of the stage was entirely packed by young Dio fans singing all the old classic tunes by heart. It could have been expected to hear some tunes more from his recent album "Magica", those tunes being "Fever Dream", "Magica Theme" and "Lord of the Last Day", but instead the whole set of Dio was a kinda triumphal march of an excellent cross-section of all time ever greens from Dio's career without forgetting classic tunes from Dio's days in both Black Sabbath and Rainbow. It also excellent to see Jimmy Bain back in the rank and brought the lost vibe back to the live performance of the whole band.

The debut album "Holy Diver" usually gets a special treatment on every gig. Here in Finland the set included five tunes off that album. To be honest it would be great if Dio did a couple of other tunes from "The last in line" besides the title track and also something from "Sacred Heart". Dio has always been considered one of the best heavy metal singers ever and even now he didn't let anyone down as his magical voice filled the dismal old ice hall. Welcome back on the next MOM tour!

Dio tracklist
Sunset Superman
Drum Solo
Stand Up And Shout
Don't Talk To Strangers
Magica Theme
Lord of the Last Day
Fever Dreams
Man On The Silver Mountain
Long Live Rock'n Roll
Guitar Solo/Annica
Holy Diver
Heaven And Hell
The Last In Line


Alice Cooper….Can't even remember when he visited here last time, must be in the early 90's. But a lot of water has flown down the river since his last studio album "The Last Temptation" and his last visit.

The opening was really shocking when two masked guys brought out a huge tower and opened the doors and a bizarre looking humanoid figure stuck out making an welcome introduction. The doors closed and the same masked guys pushed the tower aside and Alice Cooper himself appeared on the stage dressed up in a red long leather coat and had the well-known make-ups around him eyes and immediately put a real super heavy industrial gear on. It was obvious the audience seemed to be more or less unfamiliar with Alice Cooper's industrial based stuff, instead basically watching the superb stage show and performance spellbound. The first part of the set was mostly based on the new stuff from "Brutal Planet" until the legendary execution of Alice's head since that the rest of the gig was mostly a kind of nostalgic trip to the older classic material from the 70's ala Billion Dollar Babies and to the 80's Poison. Well at least the crowd woke up upon hearing these recognizable tunes after all. Another highlight from the point of view of the Finnish audience was when Mike Monroe being the former Hanoi Rocks vocalist appeared on the stage to sing "Under My wheels" as a duet with Alice Cooper.

The Alice Cooper band sounded and did a fantastic job and the current Kiss drummer Eric Singer hired for this tour has got his own Kiss fan army.

In the final stage Alice once again surprised the audience, wearing a shirt with a slogan "Britney wants me" on the front and on the back "DEAD!" And surprise surprise Britney Sprears looking mega blond chick appeared shouting "Baby one more time" and Alice….Watching the chick a for while and then literally smacked that bitch up a few times. A couple of seconds later Britney's executed head was brought to the stage and shown to the audience.

Basically the show was pretty faithful to the just released DVD, expect some nice surprises during the gig. In general, seeing Alice Cooper on the stage is a damn good reminder of what real horror hard rock should be.

Alice set
Brutal Planet
Go to Hell
Blow Me a Kiss
I'm Eighteen
Pick Up the Bones
Feed My Frankenstein
Wicked Young Man
Dead Babies
Ballad of Dwight Fry
I Love the Dead
The Black Widow
No More Mr. Nice Guy
It's Hot Tonight
Caught in a Dream
It's the Little Things
Take It Like a Woman
Only Women Bleed
He's Back
Under My Wheels
School's Out
Billion Dollar Babies
My Generation
Department Of Youth

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