The 69 Eyes
Live at The Whisky A Go Go
Los Angeles, CA
February 7th, 2020
Review and photos by Travis Baumann
The 69 Eyes return. Finland's nefarious "Helsinki Vampires" continue their relentless pursuit of goth and roll with a headlining tour in support of their latest album, "West End".
Since 1989 the band has been in the rock business and with their ground breaking album, "Blessed Be" in the year 2000 they became darlings of the goth rock scene world wide.
For over thirty years now the band has remained as a unified whole with zero roster changes in that entire time, which is an amazing feat for a band of any genre.
At the forefront is Jyrki 69, the enigmatic lead singer for the vampires. Joining him are Bazie on lead guitar and backing vocals, Timo-Timo on rhythm guitar, Archzie on bass guitar and backing vocals, and Jussi 69 on drums.
I have seen The 69 Eyes quite a few times over the years and I have to say, this was an amazing set list drawing so many favorites from their most classic albums as well as devoting a lot of time to their latest release.
They kicked off the set with the "West End" opener, "Two Horns Up", which is an aggressive track featuring Dani Filth of Cradle of Filth on the album. Jyrki sang both his own and Dani's parts live which was pretty cool, although he did not go into the black metal growl , he did get a bit more harsh than his usual deep croon.
They followed up with the fan favorite "Never Say Die" from the "Angels" album, which really got the packed venue singing along with fists in the air. "Black Orchid" from the latest album led into "Perfect Skin", hitting another "Angels" era hit.
The 69 Eyes are known for their romantic gothic ballads as much as their hard hitting rock and roll material and they did two in a row with "Betty Blue" from the exemplary "Paris Kills" album backed up by "Borderline" from 2012's "X".
"Hell Has No Mercy" was another "West End" feature followed by the amazing "Crashing High" which was the album lead-in from "Paris Kills" and has been an audience favorite since its debut in 2002.
"Blessed Be" came out at the turn of the century and even twenty years later remains one of The 69 Eyes' most prolific works. A turning point not only for time as a whole, but also for the band in what would prove to be their road to success, the album has so many amazing songs on it. "The Chair" retains its strength and as it became a signature of their sound and introspective lyrics. It still is awesome to hear live after all these years.
"Cheyenna" is one of the deep romantic cuts off the new release and they followed that up with the oldest track of the set in "Wasting The Dawn". The entire audience sang along to the chorus at the top of their lungs.
"27 & Done" encapsulates the fate of so many famous musicians who died young in an ode to those who came before. "Feel Berlin" is a heart-felt tribute to the European city that was split for so long.
They finished up the main set with the awesome ode to a life cut too short, "Brandon Lee". The place was alive with energy as they left the stage. "69" was chanted over and over until they returned.
"Framed In Blood" remains one of my all time favorite songs of theirs. Since it's inception in 2000 this song has rang true: "Things you can resist... Things you cannot, They're Just Framed in Blood".
Continuing with old favorites, they moved to "Dance D'Amour" from "Paris Kills" before ending the night with their signature closer, "Lost Boys".
Another stellar performance by the Helsinki Vampires. You have to love their goth and roll attitude but most of all I love Jyrki's deep voice that seems unchanged despite three decades. As he said as he closed the show, they will be here twenty years from now because rock and roll never dies and vampires don't grow old.
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