The 69 Eyes

March 25, 2006

Whisky A Go Go, Los Angeles, CA

by Travis Baumann

I have had one experience with The 69 Eyes live in Germany previous to this occasion. We have a review on it with photos which can be found through the navigation page once you are done here.

At European festivals, bands are faced with a shortened set time, limited costumes, counter thematic lighting conditions and the like. I am not making excuses for the bands because some still pull it off somehow, but honestly it is about the music.

As my other review will elaborate on, their previous show was all about the music and they were great, but part of their mystique is their Goth-Rock image and their theatrical charisma.

This show at the Whisky, however was a showcase event without a huge bog down load of opening bands and they had their mystique in full effect.

They had managed to get a huge draw too, as it was completely packed and we had to wedge ourselves as close as we could to the stage.

Jyrki came out in full leather gear just like the cover of "Devils". I really like their throw back nostalgic stylings of the Misfits, Sisters of Mercy, maybe even some evil Elvis and a lot of other almost pop-gothic influences like B-horror films and graphic novel infuenced media like "The Crow", and as cheesy as it sounds, I even like the song, "Eyes of Brandon Lee".

This mix of rock and goth, cheesy and serious would normally put me off but they do it with just the right sound, just the right look that they are really captivating on CD and especially in person.

Under these conditions tonight, Jyrki was spot on. His vocals were perfect and the way he spun the mic stand and spun around himself was both hilariously cheesy but at the same time terribly cool in a very unorthodox way, like I said it is the perfect mix of these elements.

They really are showmen as the pictures will attest to. Everything from the drummer,who is shirtless more often than not, standing up and pounding away, arms in the air flailing, to the bandanna clad guitarist's facial expressions as he rips up a solo, to especially intensify Jyrki's vocals combined with his sincere delivery.

I guess that may be part of the magic. The deep voice with a theatrical performance makes it seem, for at least while they are playing anyway, that this gothic fairytale land that exists in their songs can be real in our world and not just theirs.

The set list was very heavy on tracks from their latest release "Devils". I personally really like this album so I thought it was great they were showcasing so they got to play as long of a set as they liked and they hit nearly every great song from "Wasting the Dawn", "Blessed Be", as well as "Paris Kills".

I just found out that they are going to be releasing this show soon called, "Angelcity Live". It was a great show and I really look forward to hearing it again to relive it.

I really love intimate club shows like this over huge stadium style events. The Whisky has it's down sides with extremely limited stage space, but the history of so many seminal bands of the early days of rock having played the place, usually brings out the best in the bands.