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The RasmusRockhal, Esch sur Alzette, Luxembourg
5th October 2019
The Rasmus - “Play Dead Letters” Tour 2019

It was a wet autumn evening when a predominantly female queue formed in front of the Rockhal. But the demographic distribution was very varied: from children to older couples everything was there on that Saturday night. The reason? The Finnish band THE RASMUS, who presented their latest album ‘Dark Matter’ live last year. Their career has been going on for 25 years now and that could be also a reason to celebrate, but the upcoming party had a different motto. 15 years ago ‘Dead Letters’ was released and this album gave THE RASMUS their international breakthrough, including the world hit ‘In The Shadows’.

THE RASMUS is a Finnish Rock band that formed in 1994 in Helsinki while the band members were in upper comprehensive school. The original band members were Lauri Ylönen (lead singer-songwriter), Eero Heinonen (bass), Pauli Rantasalmi (guitar) and Jarno Lahti (drums). Jarno Lahti left the year after and was replaced by Janne Heiskanen in 1995. Heiskanen quit the band in 1998 and was soon replaced by Aki Hakala. THE RASMUS has sold five million albums worldwide, and estimated about 350,000 copies in their native Finland alone. They have won numerous awards, both domestic and international.

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Music & Performance
Shortly before the tour the album ’Dead Letters’ was released, as a new edition in a fan edition with bonus CD. ‘Dead Letters’ is the fifth album by Finnish Alternative Rock band THE RASMUS released in 2003. It was released later in 2004 in the US, UK and Australia. Their previous album, ‘Into’, had seen some success in some parts of Europe, particularly Scandinavia and Germany, but ‘Dead Letters’ signified the band’s major break-through. The album received 8 Gold and 6 Platinum music certification awards. Lead single ‘In the Shadows’ received 6 gold and 2 platinum awards, selling over 1 million copies and breaking the record for performance royalties received abroad on a Finnish composition. THE RASMUS concert began at 9.30 pm - with a band announcement by Lauri accompanied by music as an intro that got under your skin. He described facts and impressions of the album. Dead letters are letters that were never delivered because the recipient could not be found and could not be returned to the sender. “Each song is a letter to somebody. It could be an apology, confession or cry out for help”, singer Lauri Ylönen explained the album. But then the crowd immediately screamed when the four Finns entered the stage and the first notes of ‘First day of my life’ sounded.

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Next followed the mega-hit ‘In the Shadows’ - band and fans were already on full of energy after a few minutes. With ‘Still Standing’ the atmosphere got a bit more sentimental - Lauri wrote this song for someone he misses very much. At ‘In my Life’ there were again fast sounds for jumping and singing along. For the next song ‘Time to burn’ the audience were waving their arms - from back to front almost everyone joined in - a great sight. Lauri talked quite a lot with the audience and so he perfectly managed to let the fans become part of the evening. “Guilty yeaaaahhheeeaaahhh” it resounded through the Rockhal when THE RASMUS played one of their big hits. Now the fans were no longer to hold. Then came the song ‘Not like the other girls’ and a great guitar solo from Pauli. With ‘The one I love’ and ‘Back in the Picture’ followed two songs that THE RASMUS hadn’t played live for more than 10 years. The end of the ‘Dead Letters’ set, which was after about 50 minutes, was the beautiful single ‘Funeral Song’.

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Now four bar stools were carried on stage and the electric guitar was exchanged for acoustic guitar - Lauri also played guitar now. The next songs were from the new double CD and the first three were presented in beautiful acoustic versions. ‘Sail Away’, ‘No Fear’ and ‘Liquid’ played THE RASMUS for the first time in an acoustic version. The audience was spellbound in front of the stage and could, like the band, take a breath and recover from the first energetic 50 minutes. For the acoustic set, songs were presented that the Finns have rarely or never played. One of them, ‘Dead Promises’, was also on the setlist as a live premiere. With ‘Bullet’, which was played the first time live since 2011, the fans in the first rows were hardly to hold. The next song was ‘F-F-F-Falling’. Slowly it was coming to an end - only two songs left, the first of them was ‘Living in a world without you’.

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Finally there was a live premiere: ‘Last Waltz’. A crowning finale to a fantastic concert. When the musicians had disappeared, a few old live recordings were still running on the video wall. The audience screamed like crazy again and wanted to lure the four guys back on stage. Unfortunately it remained with great, unforgettable 95 minutes of the Finnish Alternative Rock band.

01. First Day of My Life
02. In the Shadows
03. Still Standing
04. In My Life
05. Time to Burn
06. Guilty
07. Not Like the Other Girls
08. The One I Love
09. Back in the Picture
10. Funeral Song
11. Sail Away (Acoustic)
12. No Fear (Acoustic)
13. Liquid (Acoustic)
14. Night After Night (Out of the Shadows)
15. Lucifer’s Angel
16. Dead Promises
17. Bullet
18. F-F-F-Falling
19. Livin’ in a World Without You
20. Last Waltz

Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 9
Light: 7
Total: 7.8 / 10

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All pictures by Elena Arens

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