RoD header


Westfalenhalle 2, Dortmund, Germany
26th October 2007
Sunrise Avenue, Christian Venus, Grand Avenue

SUNRISE AVENUE ‘On the Way to Wonderland’ - there is no better way to describe this band than with their band name and title of the album itself which marks the phenomenal career of this Finnish rock sensation. The last month seem like a Hollywood fairytale from Sunset Boulevard when the band made it to the most successful newcomer in Europe. After several sold-out shows earlier this year, the band is now back in Germany for some more shows, among others the one in Dortmund, supported by GRAND AVENUE from Denmark and CHRISTIAN VENUS, also a promising newcomer.

Grand Avenue

This Danish band seems to have chosen a name appropriate to its sound. ‘The Outside’ is already the third album of the band, but the first one internationally released. The history of the now in Copenhagen living band started more or less in London where the guys met ten years ago at the London Music School. Soon, the four boys parted ways but in 2001, singer Rasmus was looking for contact to the others again and so, GRAND AVENUE was brought to life. The debut album ‘Grand Avenue’ (2003) and the follower ‘She’ (2005) conquered the hearts of Danish rock fans immediately and the band was honoured with nominations for Danish Music Awards. But of course the band wanted more. The third album was recorded together with sound engineer Richard Rainey (also U2). Finally, end of October, the recent album ‘The Outside’ was released. GRAND AVENUE are Rasmus Walter Hansen (vocals), Niels-Kristian Bærentzen (guitar), Marc Stebbing (bass) and Hjalte Thygesen (drums). /

The catchy Indie Guitar Pop presented by GRAND AVENUE immediately got my whole attention. I loved it from the very first to the very last chord. The music is something big for all fans of melodic alternative pop-rock. Wide guitars, glamour and pathos in balanced doses, giant melodies and great chant! What do you need more? Singer Rasmus definitely has a great voice and he presented all his strengths during the Dortmund show accompanied by beautiful sounds presented by his band mates. The six songs grasping set contained several great tunes from the current album, i.e. with ‘London’ a reminiscence to the British capital. Sound-wise, the epic songs of GRAND AVENUE are surely influenced by such big names as U2, SIMPLE MINDS or NEW ORDER. Musically a very good start of the evening, that’s for sure.

This four-piece started an Indie-Rock performance just as you would expect it: exalted drummer, hard rocking guitar players and a singer who was just that excited to be on stage that he even jumped down to the security pit, climbed up the fans and sung there very close to his fans who, how I recognized very pleased, were just celebrating this very first band of the evening. The whole show was illuminated mostly by very nice blue lights. Of course, singer Rasmus took the chance to thank SUNRISE AVENUE for having them and to make some promotion for the new album that was out in Germany just on the day of the Dortmund show.

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.9

Christian Venus

CHRISTIAN VENUE - that is not an artist name but the real name of Christian who has to prove that with official documents in any possible situation. This German artist, born in Kiel and now home in Hamburg, will release his first single on 16th November 2007.

During the last few months, Christian, who is btw working as producer for the debut album as well, was recording the debut ‘3 Uhr morgens’ in Gothenburg, Hamburg and Berlin. The artist himself does not care about any musical genre draws to put his music in. He is just happy when people like it. CHRISTIAN VENUE are Christian Venus (vocals), Sonja (bass), Marco (drums), Kilian (guitar / keys) and Chris (guitar). /

CHRISTIAN VENUS will release his first single mid of November, so, there was not such a big portfolio to choose songs of. But anyway, the guy from northern Germany presented several German only songs from the upcoming debut album, such as ‘Regenwelt’, ‘Alles was Du willst’ or the upcoming single ‘3 Uhr morgens’. After the second song, there were some technical problems which took a while to be solved. But Christian managed to bridge the time gap with some cool statements which seemed to be just planned. Songs like ‘Hysterie’ carried the audience away. Even though I liked the musical style of GRAND AVENUE more, I need to say that Christian and his band conquered the audience by storm.

Christian definitely has very good live qualities. He’s quite expressive, it sweating and he is just going mad. He is just giving everything during the show. During the set, he even took off the jacket what caused loud screams within the girls standing in front of the stage. All the other musicians on stage were a bit more reluctant and left the show to Christian. What I additionally need to mention is the great light show underlining the performance; I think it was the best light show of the evening, very colourful throwing nice shadows of Christian to the walls.

Music: 5
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 9
Total: 7

Sunrise Avenue

Even though the band name brings up thoughts of American states like California, SUNRISE AVENUE come from Finland. These guys are not the first successful band coming from that country is home of such bands as HIM, THE RASMUS or LORDI. SUNRISE AVENUE was founded in 2002 and first the band played lots and lots of life shows all through the home land - with not that much success at the beginning because the audience who is more familiar with Finnish metal, cannot deal with the happy Rock the band presents. But anyway, the guys do not give up and believe that their time would come sooner or later. And the time has come when the band signed a record deal with EMI where also the debut album ‘On the Way to Wonderland’ was released and formed the base for the band’s career, which led the band straight into the Top Ten of Finnish charts.

The first live show in Germany took place on 23rd August 2006 in the very cosy Underground Club in Cologne and was also recorded by WDR (Television) to be aired on the “Rockpalast” show. And now anything went very fast; soon, the band even sold out two complete German tours. SUNRISE AVENUE are Samu Haber (vocals & guitars), Janne Kärkkäinen (guitars & backing vocals), Sami Osala (drums), Raul Ruutu (bass & backing vocals) and Jukka Backlund (keyboards). /

With their album ‘On the Way to Wonderland’ the band proves its instinct for magnificent refrains and sweeping melodies. The setlist during the evening in Dortmund contained all those well known hits from their debut album. Of course, also the single ‘Fairytale Gone Bad’ has been presented, a song with the typical melodic guitar Rock of the band and a strong pop appeal. This song is something special in Germany because it was used for the TV reports of the Tour de France. During the whole show, the band presented its straight guitar Rock without any frippery or bothering solos but with lots of rhythm and clear melodies. People out there seemed to love it, they were screaming and singing. Right the first song of the evening, ‘Choose to be me’, contained a typical Punk rhythm remembering of GREEN DAY in parts. Perfect choice to open the set! But not only faster songs belonged to the set, there was also time for the calmer tunes, such as ‘Only’, a very moody ballad.

First thing you recognized when watching the stage before the show started was a big black curtain covering half of the stage. This one fell down with the first tunes and unveiled the back part of the stage: a huge podium there the drum set and the keyboard were built up. Besides that, also singer Samu was standing there during the first song before he joined his mates in guitar and bass in front of the stage. There were a lot of fans, some holding Finnish flags, in the first rows that started screaming right from the beginning; well, I guess not only there. ;) The mood was really fantastic and SUNRISE AVENUE proved their live qualities right from the start transforming the venue to a Finnish sauna. The shooting stars were rocking the house and still they are very natural and friendly.

Under thunderous applause and after two encores the band left the stage to release a happy audience. That the band had a lot of fun on stage was proved by Samu’s words: “We are on the half of our tour, and you’re definitely the loudest audience.” Also, the Finnish guys proved their good connection to the fans when they came out after the show and took lots of time for the people waiting outside, gave autographs or were available for pictures. So, it was surely an evening to remember for lots of fans.

01. Intro
02. Choose to be me
03. Diamonds
04. Romeo
05. Heal me
06. Only
07. Make it go away
08. Destiny
09. All because of you
10. Forever yours
11. Til dying
12. Fairytale
13. It ain’t the way
14. Wonderland
15. Nasty

Music 9
Performance 8
Sound 8
Light 8
Total 8.4

Comments powered by CComment