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69 EyesLinnanmäki, Helsinki, Finland
25th September 2021
The 69 Eyes

THE 69 EYES started in 1989 as a Sleaze band in Helsinki and over the years developed their very own style the Goth’n’Roll. The band is also known as “The Helsinki Vampires” among their fans and came over to Germany for the first time in 1998. Things kicked off during the early 2000s when they went on tour with PARADISE LOST and won over more and more fans. THE 69 EYES constantly toured during all these years not only in Europe but also in Australia, Japan, Russia in the USA establishing a big and very dedicated fan base. Celebrating the band’s 30th anniversary in 2019 they released their new album ‘West End’ and went on a mostly sold out tour in Europe and the USA. www.69eyes.com / www.facebook.com/the69eyes

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Music & Performance
Vampires and an adventure park… Does that ring a bell? We are not in Santa Carla but in Linnanmäki, the oldest fun park in Finland located on a hill quite close to Helsinki’s city centre. A few weeks before the park is closed for the late autumn and winter, Helsinki’s fun park announces the traditional “Horror Week” and for many it serves as the opening ceremony for the upcoming Halloween season. Over the years it also became a kind of tradition, that the “Helsinki Vampires” aka THE 69 EYES play a show in the their hometown around Halloween and since we live in special times,  the outdoor venue at Linnanmäki was the perfect setting for “The Lost Boys of Helsinki”.

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Creepy fellows greeted us at the entrance of the park and haunted all the paths between the parks rides and restaurants. I decided not to consult a sorcerer concerning my future but head for the stage, where the bands equipment had already been set up. The park was sold out for tonight and the venue started filling minute by minute until it was completely full. The pumpkins on the amps were missing, but the band had leaked, that some skeleton items might be on display tonight and when the intro of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ faded and the band conquered the stage opening the show with ‘Two Horns Up’, they were clad in their skeleton outfits. Coming from Germany, where all kind of restrictions and rules at live show somehow always left a bitter taste, whenever you went to a live show, I was more than happy to attend a show that reminded me of the good old times, where you went to a live show to meet your friends and have a good time with them.

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I was glad to see that Jussi69 was back behind his drums for he had been missing at Rock Castle festival last month (and been missed by all the Czech fans). Tonight, he obviously had the goal to hit the shit out of his drums. From my standing position I couldn’t see how many drumsticks he cracked , but from previous shows with such a high energetic level, I know that it must have been plenty. The setlist was definitely one for those about to rock, with a fantastic selection of their spookiest and creepiest songs like ‘Christina Death’ amongst fan favourites like ‘The Chair’ or ‘Brandon Lee’. The timeless classic ‘Gothic Girl’ was turned into an extended version with fantastic guitar work by Bazie. It was interesting to see, that some of the songs from the band’s latest release ‘West End’ had acquired the status of ‘new fan classics’, if you looked at the crowd’s reaction when the first tunes of ‘27 & Done’ and ghost rider themed ‘Cheyenna’ became audible.

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The setlist was one of the longest I ever witnessed with 14 songs in the regular set and another three in the encore. It was obvious that THE 69 EYES really wanted to give their best for the fans tonight, we witnessed fantastic guitar and drum solos and singer Jyrki69 addressed the crowd frequently. He also explained how much it meant to them, to play at Linnanmäki tonight, for this place had an important impact on the bands career back in time. I was quite happy, that ‘Sister of Charity’ and ‘Don’t Turn Your Back on Fear’ were on the setlist again and I hope they will remain there for a while. A song that is uniquely liked at the bands shows around the world is ‘Feel Berlin’ and it’s one of the songs where you can see Jussi standing behind his drums during one of the bridge parts and it was obvious, that he liked, what he saw from his drumming platform. ‘Dance D’Amour’ and ‘Brandon Lee’ marked the end of the regular set, but as soon as the band left the stage, the crowd demanded an encore.

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When as the stage was illuminated in red light, the crowd started cheering and it was time for ‘Framed In Blood’. THE 69 EYES were determined to drive the crowd even wilder than before, and I must admit that I somehow have to get used to that again, after two years of awkward live show experiences being seated on beer benches. Jussi69 attacked his drums and cymbals with full force and obviously enjoyed doing so, while Bazie and Archie changed their standing positions on stage and so the fans could rock with both of them. Timo Timo once more proved, that guitar playing and circling around once one axis is not impossible (but only recommended to Helsinki Vampires), while Jyrki made sure that the front rows rocked out as hard as they could.

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Everybody except Jyrki who was on vocal duties had the chance to catch some breath during ‘The Chair’ and prepare for the finale furioso of every 69 EYES show, that always starts with the very important question “You wanna rock?”. Of course the Helsinki crowd wanted, and so the band and the fans in the venue rocked as hard and as wild as we were all used to ever since ‘The Lost Boys’ was released. And I must admit that the show tonight felt like the ones I had attended ever since I saw the band live on stage back in the early 2000’s and it was the greatest gift somebody could make me in 2021 and looking at the faces of the fans in the crowd, I’m pretty sure that they felt the same. There was so much energy and dedication in the air tonight and no technical flaws, to make it short: One of the best shows of THE 69 EYES I ever attended.

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The band announced a few gigs in Finland in December and January, before going on tour abroad, so check the bands website for updates and make sure, you’ll get your ticket before the shows are sold out.

Setlist
01. Two Horns Up
02. Never Say Die
03. Perfect Skin
04. Black Orchid
05. Sister Of Charity
06. Cheyenna
07. Gothic Girl
08. Don’t Turn Your Back On Fear
09. Wasting The Dawn
10. 27 & Done
11. Christina Death
12. Feel Berlin
13. Dance D’Amour
14. Brandon Lee
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15. Framed In Blood
16. The Chair
17. Lost Boys

Rating
Music: 10
Performance: 10
Light: 7
Sound: 10
Total: 9.3 / 10

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All Pictures by Munich Vampire
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