23rd November 2019
The 69 Eyes - “West End” Tour 2019 - Support: Lacrimas Profundere
After an amazing Halloween gig in Helsinki, THE 69 EYES set off to haunt Europe, selling out many shows. Time for show no. 8 on my personal “West End Tour 2019”. The show in Oberhausen was sold out but with a lot of help from my friends I made it to the show (Thank You! You know who you are!). I arrived early for I know you have to arrive early to get a parking space near the venue and a good spot in the front rows. There was not trench for the photographers tonight, so it was quite a challenge to capture everyone.
LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE are a German Gothic-Metal band founded in 1993 focussing on Death Doom-Metal, then developed to Gothic Metal and then changed more to the direction of Gothic-Rock. The line-up changed several times over the years and in 2018 the vocalist Julian Larre joined the band. Their latest release, ‘Bleeding The Stars’, is his first album with LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE and his enormous range of vocals opened new horizons for the band. In October LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE announced that Ilker Ersin (FREEDOM CALL) joined the band as bass player and new band member. www.lacrimas.com / www.facebook.com/lacrimasprofundereofficial
Music & Performance
When I arrived at Kulttempel one hour before the doors were announced to be opened, there was already a line outdoors and I saw many familiar faces from other shows of this tour. The stage was rather small and so this night would become a challenge for LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE. The band’s van gave up the day before and due to this incident the band had suffered a night without sleep. Just in case you don’t follow them on the social media, there were signs that LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE were working on a video that afternoon, so be ready to be among the first ones who see it. The show was scheduled quite early and by 19:30 LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE came on stage.
The crowd started rocking as soon as the first tune was played and there were no signs of tiredness or exhaustion. A few days ago you could see on the band’s social media that vocalist Julian had injured his foot, but it seemed that he was ready to ignore for he jumped and danced and roamed the stage even more than previously although this seems nearly impossible. I had a perfect view on drummer Dominik and I had to marvel at how fast and loud he could play, whenever a serious thunderstorm was necessary and how delicately he could make the cymbals sound when a rather gentle sound was appropriate.
To me it seemed that gig by gig the band got even closer than the guys already had been after playing a bunch of shows together previously. Julian made frequent use of the rim of Jussi69’s drum-platform and this way he was visible even for those who only got places in the back due to arriving late. Oliver gave us fantastic riffs and whenever it was time for Julian to catch some breath, he and Ilker kept us head-banging by giving us solos from thundering guitars and basses. Then halfway through the set, someone threw a toy-chicken on stage and Julian really reacted fantastic by making it part of the show, when a small technical problem appeared and the techs had to make sure that the show could go on.
The sound was clear and well-balanced so we could really enjoy Julian’s range of voice and compared to Stuttgart the light-tech was a master of his profession (comment: thanks to Frank from the Kulttempel who was doing the lights today) and the light perfectly suited the mood of the songs. I am a Metal head and I am and was a very big HIM-fan and LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE are the perfect combination of both genres and Julian sometimes reminds me of Ville Valo in the early days of HIM, especially if he says “Lovely…” and I always marvel at the fact that he manages amazing clear high singing and suddenly changes into deep growls followed by amazing shouts. I already lose my voice during the shows, especially if the fog-machines are in use, so in my books he’s doing an amazing job night after night.
The fact that there was no crash-barrier between the fans and the stage made it easy for Julian to perform and rock with the fans down in the pit and whenever he does so, you see only happy and amazed faces all over the venue. The end of the show came a lot too early for my taste and once more I wished the setlist would be longer. Oberhausen treated LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE like a headliner and I cannot remember such a loud cheering and applauding at the end of the show, except from Munich.
01. Dead To Me
02. Like Screams In Empty Halls
03. Celestite Woman
04. My Release in Pain
05. Again It’s Over
06. The Kingdom Solitude
07. My Velvet Little Darkness
08. The Letter
09. Ave End
10. Father Of Fate
Total: 10 / 10
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 for them things kicked off during the early 2000’s when they went on tour with PARADISE LOST, played the M’era Luna 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, and Russia in the USA establishing a big and very dedicated fan base. Celebrating the bands 30th anniversary this year, they found the perfect gift for themselves and their fans, their latest release, ‘West End’, with DANI FILTH, WEDNESDAY 13 and CALICO COOPER as guests. www.69eyes.com / www.facebook.com/the69eyes
Music & Performance
THE 69 EYES started the show quite early for their standards and again a sequence of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ drew our attention back to what was happening on stage after the techs prepared everything for the band after LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE had rocked with us. Five skeletons in leather jackets came on the stage, showing us their backs and when Archie played the first tunes of ‘Two Horns Up’ the crows started rocking as if there hadn’t been any break between LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE and THE HELSINKI VAMPIRES. But I was really irritated, I could hardly hear Jyrki’s singing, nearly no bass and only a tiny little bit of Timo-Timo’s guitar on the right side where I was standing. It seemed as if Bazie’s amplifier was directly linked to my earplugs and this had not been the case during other shows I stood in this spot.
It seemed that the sound of the vocals and the other instruments came into my ears like in waves, sometimes clearly audible, sometimes gone. Talking to my fellow rockers after the show, I heard they had the same impression, talking to people who stood on the opposite side of the stage I learned, that they didn’t suffer from this problem, i.e. for our photographer on the other side, the sound was fine. Since I know that THE 69 EYES sound technician is able to deal with whatever sound-system the venue has and balancing out every disadvantage a building might have, I came to the result that something with the sound-system was wrong, for I could hear everything during LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE’s show in perfect quality. Since I know how the songs are supposed to sound and the choreography of the show, it didn’t affect my mood or my will to rock, but for those standing around me and listening only to this gig, it might have been disappointing coming to the sound.
Since I always take videos of the same two songs to have sound-samples and making the gig in Helsinki my reference, I can compare the shows I attended. So at home I watched them to find out if the sound issue was only an impression at the venue or if it really was a problem. Watching ‘Hell Has No Mercy’ I could hardly hear Jyrki, which is a pity for he has an amazing voice and I would say that he’s never been better before than during this tour. I could clearly hear Bazie (thank you for the killer-solo) and Jussi’s drums, I saw Archie playing bass and Timo-Timo playing guitar, but I only could hear them, if Bazie took a break for a few seconds. Still I enjoyed Jyrki’s dedicated performance and the crowd even started applauding and cheering before the last tune was played.
The same happened with ‘Borderline’ one of mine all-time-favourites, although guitars and drums are tuned low and played rather soft and silent, I hardly could hear Jyrki, even when he stood directly in front of me. Knowing the heart and the performance by heart, I could still enjoy the show and sing along, but it really made me sad, I couldn’t hear him. I’m really glad I had other sound-samples to prove that the sound-quality was from ok to very good during 9 of 10 shows I attended, otherwise if I only had samples of two shows, I might have come to a not so flattering rating. Something I really liked about the performance of ‘Borderline’ was, that Jyrki asked the song to sing several lines of the vocals and the crowd knew the lyrics by heart.
Drummer Jussi69 was clearly visible for us, since his drums stood on a platform and there were neither fog nor too bright spot illuminating him but blinding us and I had the impression that Oberhausen was one of the shows he enjoyed most, playing wild and loud and making eye-contact with the fans who stood in the front-rows. Timo-Timo and Jyrki danced in their famous circles during ‘Crashing High’ and Archie entertained the people with grimaces and gestures that perfectly suited Jyrki's lyrics. The fans were often given the possibility to prove that they knew the lyrics by heart and so everyone had a really good time. It seemed that THE 69 EYES really enjoyed the show, at the end of the show Bazie even stood on the rim of Jussi’s drum-platform and played there, a thing he never did during the shows I attended during “West End Tour 2019”.
Before the band started the encore Jyrki gave a short speech, telling that any rumours that THE 69 EYES will disappear anniversary are not true and that “The Helsinki Vampires will never die!” and that we should tell our children and buy tickets for shows in five years at the Merch and then sell them on eBay and they would still be valuable and then directly announced ‘Framed in Blood’. Then ‘Dance D’amour’ followed suit and then it was time for Jyrki to ask us “Do you wanna rock?” and get us ready for ‘The Lost Boys’. Something I really like that Jussi came front during ‘Lost Boys’ to greet the fans, for without him and his dedicated drumming the shows would be only half the fun.
It could have been the perfect gig, but the sound-issue was too severe in my books, so I had the hope that next day in Frankfurt the venue and the show would be perfect again.
01. Two Horns Up
02. Never Say Die
03. Black Orchid
04. Perfect Skin
05. Betty Blue
07. Hell Has No Mercy
08. Crashing High
09. The Chair
11. Wasting The Dawn
12. 27 & Done
13. Feel Berlin
14. Brandon Lee
15. Framed In Blood
16. Dance D’Amour
18. Lost Boys
Total: 8.3 / 10
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)