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Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, UK
10th April 2009
The Rasmus, Backyard Babies

It’s always interesting to visit a new venue and this one held many surprises, not the least being the amazingly friendly and helpful staff. The hall itself is somewhat old and a little dog-eared here and there, but it’s a proper Hall in which to hold gigs, with good acoustics, facilities well planned and a really buzzing ‘old school’ atmosphere.

THE RASMUS have long been one of my favourite bands, and I’m not ashamed to say that I possess all eight of their albums and have been seen wearing a RASMUS T-shirt on occasions, so it’s safe to say that I was looking forward to this gig, especially since the support for the night was the great and established rock outfit from Nässjö, Sweden, THE BACKYARD BABIES.




The Backyard Babies

The gig cracked up bang on time and the “Babies” entered to rapturous applause. There was a huge contingent of people there specifically to see them and they were soon regaling us with a hard and hot sound that had those in the audience that knew them singing along and those that didn’t humming tunelessly and trying, spurred on by the sheer energy of them. Enthusiasm is something these guys are not short of with powerful vocalisations by Nicke Borg, who has fronted them now for some twenty years and clearly knows how to capture an audience. Solid drums by Pedar Carlsson set a backing that allowed Dregen, the lead guitarist, to go a little crazy and treat us to some very elaborate work whilst bass man Johan Blomqvist laughed and joked with the audience throughout and looked as though he was having the time of his life.

The overall effect was very personal as they interacted with the audience as though we were all old friends and they gave a more than respectable performance that has left me a considerable fan of theirs live. The downside was initially the sound was slightly amiss but that was quickly attended to and also there are no photographs of them as someone had ‘sole’ photographic rights to them in this night, which was something I’m sorry for as they were an energetic band that I would have liked very much to photograph.

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 6
Light: 7
Total: 7.6 / 10


The Rasmus

Their set over with, the take down and set up for THE RASMUS did take some considerable time, but the audience stayed good humoured and were soon singing along to a strange variety of well known music which included Rock DJ (Robbie Williams) and resulted in a sort of audience Karaoke which everyone seemed to enjoy. Finally the lights dimmed and we knew that the time of THE RASMUS was upon us.



They ran into the stage to a euphoric reception and immediately struck up with the old favourite ‘No Fear’, from their 2005 album ‘Hide from the Sun’ which was perfectly executed and set the tone for the whole of the gig. ‘Ten Black Roses’ is their startling new offering album wise and they gave us several tracks from that to remind us of their sharp evolution musically as well as their ever popular old faithful ‘In the Shadows’ which took them into the top 20 in no less than 16 European countries in 2003. By this point the crowd were in a state of rapture, as the slick and well executed vocals of Lauri Ylönen yelped out the familiar “whoah-oh-oh-ohhhh, whoah-oh-oh-ohhhh” which heralded the start of the song. I’m amazed they could be heard at all over the audience singing, and it’s easy to see why he has the nickname of ‘Baby Face’, for he still looks at times almost childlike despite his thirty years.



It’s easy to forget the rest of the band as he’s such a charismatic front man, but honourable mention must go to all of them for a well blended gig that showcased the band at its best. Sound was very sharp and well managed for THE RASMUS and the light show was impressive for a more traditional venue. All too soon it was the final song and I was left feeling sorry that it was all over. Good bands, nice venue and certainly I came away feeling that I’d spent the last couple of hours being thoroughly entertained by people who deserve the obvious success that they’ve achieved.



Setlist
01. No Fear
02. First Day of my Life
03. Chill
04. Ten Black Roses
05. Liquid
06. Justify
07. Your Forgiveness
08. Livin' in a World without You
09. Sail Away
10. Ghost of Love
11. F-F-F-Falling
12. Immortal
13. Playboys
14. Ghostbusters
15. Ufolaulu
16. Guilty
17. In the Shadows
18. Still Standing
19. Funky Jam
20. The Fight

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 7
Light: 8
Total: 8.6 / 10





All pictures by Maddi Isaacs

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