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Postbahnhof, Berlin, Germany
19th January 2010
The 69 Eyes & Mandragora Scream

The good news about the concert were the changes in the concert club. The first things we saw in the Postbahnhof were obvious upgrading. Now there was a photo pit before the stage, the lack of which has detained some photographers from visiting the club in the past. The air conditioners seemed to work much better, so the audience in first rows didn't have to breathe the heavy falling fog form the stage. The spotlights were better arranged and one could hope that the sound will be not as horrible as it was before. And indeed, the sound of 69 EYES was loud, but still good and unexpectedly clear. But during the first performance it was unfortunately not as good, as we had expected.

The less pleasant news about the concert was that CHRISTIAN DEATH cancelled their participation shortly before the tour and for Berlin the organizer found no replacement. In the hall we have seen some people, who, accordingly to their clothing style, came to see CHRISTIAN DEATH, but either hasn’t seen the announcement at the entrance or just were content with two bands.

Mandragora Scream

Italian band MANDRAGORA SCREAM was formed by singer Morgan Lacroix in 1997. Two years later the band recorded their first demo album with 4 songs. In 2000, singer, guitarist and composer Terry Horn joined MANDRAGORA SCREAM and debut album ‘Fairy Tales from Hell's Caves’ was released in 2001. The second album ‘A Whisper of Dew’, published in 2003, bestowed the band appraisal critics from rock magazines worldwide. The next album ‘Madhouse’ was released in 2006 and the actual album ‘Volturna’ in November 2009.

Music & Performance
The concept of the first album of MANDRAGORA SCREAM was "a trip throughout the Dantean Hell, tormented by passion, anguish and insanity, where the character of Virgil is surprisingly replaced by an unusual bewitching vampire fairy" And this concept is most suitable to describe the music of the band - powerful melodic metal sounds combined with Morgan's voice, swinging from harsh ominous whisper to clear vocals.

For all fans of MANDRAGORA SCREAM it was great news to hear that the band will be in Berlin and perform the songs from the last album. The songs on ‘Volturna’, energetic like ‘I'm going alone’ or melancholic like ‘Blindness’ are undoubtedly very well suited for concert performance. The front-woman Morgan with her extensive and inventive styling in clothes and make-up, with her strong and distinctive voice is a wonderful entertainer for her fans. So the expectations were big and as the first chords of 'I' going alone' did sound, the audience clapped and shouted. Then the guitars joined the play and... after couple of second some people left their places before the stage. The sound was loud, very loud. But there is a sort of loud and pleasant sound, and there is another sort of loud sound. This was unfortunately the second kind of sound, scratching in your ears, feeling like thousands of needles in your head. The voice of Morgan, that makes the MANDRAGORA SCREAM so unique and interesting, even the drums gone under in trembling noise of guitars. One could recognize the songs, which sound so great on the albums, but which were completely distorted by the mistake of sound engineer. Morgan tried to animate the audience and some people danced and applauded, but the reaction was too restrained for such a good band. Also it was surely not a good idea to fill the concert almost with so many songs from the last album that were yet not popular, as the older compositions.

As we walked to the sound engineer stand, we saw only one girl, who was dancing and singing, while adjusting the modulators, obviously not hearing what she is doing at all. Less dancing and more professionalism would be more appropriate for this concert. We only hope that it was just a replacement for the real sound engineer and on this tour in other cities the sound of MANDRAGORA SCREAM will be much better, as good as the music of this band.

Perhaps the band couldn't know what people on the hall can hear, but the musicians did see the pretty lukewarm reaction. And while the band still played the last song, Morgan briefly wished a nice time with THE 69 EYES and quickly left the stage, apparently disappointed and irritated. Even for those, who love this band and their music, it was really disappointing performance, especially painful because the band has really done its best and it could be a wonderful concert. But unfortunately good music with bad sound is not an advantageous combination.

01. I’m going Alone
02. Deceiver
03. Killing Game
04. A Chance from Him
05. Breaking Dawn
06. Omen Reveries
07. Haunted Heart
08. Dark Lantern
09. Farewell
10. The Calling from Isaia
11. Nails

Music: 7
Performance: 6
Sound: 2
Light: 7
Total: 6 / 10

The 69 Eyes

THE 69 EYES is a Finnish glam metal band with influences of gothic music, the mixture, that developed over the 20 years of band evolution to "Goth’n’Roll" music style, as the band call it. The line-up of "Helsinki Vampires" stayed the same since their creation - for more than 20 years. THE 69 EYES started their career with two 7 inch EPs - ‘Sugarman’ in 1990 and ‘Barbarella’ in 1991. First album ‘Bump 'n' Grind’ came in 1992, containing among others some re-recorded songs from the first two EP. Nine albums followed in the next years and the actual album, ‘Back in Blood’, was released in August of 2009, following the established "Goth’n’Roll" style, that has attracted so many fans during over this years.

Music & Performance
Everyone who has seen THE 69 EYES more than once, know how thin is the line of their performance between exaggeratedly pathetic, almost unwillingly droll and really great and impressive show. And on this evening the reason for this difference was clear, how strong it’s depends on the approach of Jyrki 69, vocalist of the band to his performance. When he’s trying to be too serious, to play a real menacing vampire, it always turns to be grotesque, as it was last year on their tour with TIAMAT. But as long as Jyrki is just enjoying the performance, having fun and not playing any role, the concert turns to be a real fun even for those, who are not big fans of THE 69 EYES. Fortunately it was the second case on this evening. The band was obviously in a good temper, being the headliner of the tour and communicated this good mood to the audience. The lights and sound this time were perfect and it was a real delight for photographers and wonderful evening for the fans.

Starting with a new track ‘Back in Blood’, THE 69 EYES performed for more than an hour a setlist, that consisted of well-balanced set of new and old songs. ‘Never Say Die’, ‘Gothic Girl’, ‘Dead and Gone’, ‘Dead Girls Are Easy’ and of course ‘Feel Berlin’, the must-be song in this city, just to name a few. After short encore the band returned and played two last songs ‘Brandon Lee’ and ‘Lost Boys’, waving goodbye to the fans till the next show, when THE 69 EYES will came back to us, "back in blood" or just back to feel Berlin.

01. Back in Blood
02. Never Say Die
03. The Good, The Bad...
04. Dance D'Amour
05. Lips of Blood
06. Gothic Girl
07. Suspiria Snow White
08. The Chair
09. Kiss Me Undead
10. Perfect Skin
11. Dead N' Gone
12. Hunger
13. Feel Berlin
14. Dead Girls Are Easy
15. Devils
16. Brandon Lee
17. Lost Boys

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

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