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mustaparaati blackparadeNosturi, Helsinki, Finland
14th December 2018
Musta Paraati - “Black Parade”

After a break that lasted 34 years, Finnish band MUSTA PARAATI published a new album. The band changed the line-up quite often and split up several times, only Saku Paasiniemi and Panda Nikander remained in the band all these years. In 2015 the band announced, that they want to record new material and in interviews claimed that the intention was to publish new material with English lyrics for their fans abroad.

Jyrki69 (THE 69 EYES) joined the band in 2018 and provided the lyrics when the band send him the demos. To celebrate the release, the band played several gigs in Finland and performed in Helsinki in Nosturi. The venue is owned by ELMU, Helsinki’s Live Music Association, of Helsinki’s “classic” venues for live-gigs alongside Tavastia, Semifinal and Virgin-Oil, bands like HIM, LORDI, THE 69 EYES, MOTÖRHEAD, PAPA ROACH and many more performed here in the past. A review of the album ‘Black Parade’ will be published on this website in a few days’ time. Doors were opened by 20:30 but the room started filling up by 21:30 with people aged app. from eighteen to their fifties; many of them seemed to be really excited and made sure they would get places in front of the stage. You could spot members of other Finnish bands enjoying their colleagues as well. Of course the colour of the evening was “black” and you could see really Goth people but most of the audience seemed more from the Rock genre. By 21:30 the stage was rebuilt for MUSTA PARAATI and the gig started at 22:00.

There was a special guest that night - Archzie (THE 69 EYES) played the bass instead of Nikander. The band didn’t give a statement why then line-up was changed but the change did no harm to the performance. There were no audible mishaps showing that a “hired gun” must not be a bad thing. After the intro stopped, the band went onstage and the stroboscopic lights blinded the audience a bit (fortunately they were only used in the beginning, vocalist Jyrki69 joined in a few moments later). The first song was ‘Kädet’ and performed in Finnish followed by ‘Radio’. In the beginning it seemed as if band and audience did not exactly know what to make of each other but this changed during the set, people warmed up and started singing along and dancing, but for outsiders it is not always easy to make out if a Finnish audience is satisfied with a band or not, for the Finnish are more impassive at live gigs people in other countries. The set remained English then and contained every song of the album but in a different order. There were not many people singing along in the beginning; maybe due to the fact, that the album is really new and fresh.

There were no obvious mishaps and considered the fact, that the band does not perform together with Jyrki69 (who is also quite busy with THE 69 EYES recording a new album and being on tour with them) for a very long time and Archzie came to help out that night, sound and performance were really good. Saku Paasiniemi’s guitar-play was really energetic and standing in the front-row, you could observe his skills. One thing that should be stressed is that you can really understand the lyrics and sing along, as Jyrki69’s pronunciation is really clear and fantastic. The band seemed to warm up song by song and by the end of the show, Jyrki69 showed this more energetic style and the range of his voice you are used to, when listening to the music of his main and his side projects frequently. When the band left the stage the audience demanded for more songs, and so they performed two more songs in Finnish and their first single, ‘The leader’.

Maybe the band should have interacted a bit more with the audience, like making announcements of the songs. Archzie and Jyrki69 showed up downstairs after the show and seemed to be really interested in what people thought about the gig. Jyrki69 then explained they had started to put the Finnish songs on the setlist only a few days ago and this was quite a challenge for him, as he is used to perform in English. He also explained this project was just for the love of music and not for the money and it seemed that the audience really honoured the attempt of the whole band to come back and do what they can best: music. People remained in front of the stage and did not hang out at the bar, so the band had their fully attention. The show was over to soon, many people bought merch and seemed to be really happy with their purchases, so it seems MUSTA PARAATI have a solid fan base in Helsinki and hopefully won over some new fans.

All in all you could get the impression, that the band and the audience have to get used to each other a bit more, but they have a loyal fan base and people even came from Sweden, Russia and Germany to attend the gig. Let’s hope they will find their path to Europe, so you can enjoy a fantastic Post-Punk live band with a cool Gothic touch. Was it worth the trip to Helsinki? Yes! It was and it leaves you with the feeling, that some people really make music for their fans and not only to fill venues and make as much cash as possible.

Line-up today was
Jyrki 69 (vocals)
Saku Paasiniemi (guitar)
Archzie (bass)
Ykä Knuuttila (drums)
Jari Kääriäinen (keyboards)

01. Kädet
02. Radio
03. Aujourd’hui
04. The race is on
05. Reaper
06. Digital twin
07. Animosity
08. Today
09. Chopsticks
10. Nacht der Untoten
11. If I die tomorrow
12. Peilitalo
13. The leader
14. Romanssi

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Light: 8
Sound: 9
Total: 8.8 / 10

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