The 69 Eyes @ Blender Theatre at Gramercy (6/20/2007)

The 69 Eyes are a very appealing band and while we were originally latecomers to their sound, we have made up for lost time in the support of their unique brand of Gothic Hard Rock. This would be our third time seeing the band and the added plus would be the opening slot by Wednesday 13. To read and see more about this show just scroll past the logo below.

Logo - The 69 Eyes

Artist: The 69 Eyes
Venue: Blender Theatre (New York, NY)
Opener: Wednesday 13
Date: 6/20/2007
Label: Caroline Records

While I have only been following The 69 Eyes for about four years I have to admit that I have aimed to make up for lost time by bringing the readers of the website up to speed on them should they have been in the same boat as I. Many people might not realize this but the band has been together almost 18 years and while other groups can claim this honor and beyond, there are choice few who have kept the exact same lineup as when they began. Yes, The 69 Eyes have not had a change in their membership roster since they all decided to play together back in their hometown of Helsinki, Finland. Originally more of a Trash Glam band that had a very New York vibe to it they became a Dark Gothic Hard Rock act several years ago and have continued to mold and shape the way this genre is enjoyed by fans worldwide. Tonight they would bring their show to the newly opened Blender Theatre (which is also known as The Gramercy Theatre to some) and have Fair To Midland and Wednesday 13 as their special guest openers. Sadly, I would miss Fair To Midland and this was a shame since I not only enjoyed and reviewed their EP for the site – but also since the band was celebrating their full length debut album that has been released on the Serjikal Strike Records company run by Serge Tankian of System Of A Down. The buzz that they are receiving is well-deserved and sure to find them not being on so early in a touring roster very soon. I am positive that I will have many chances to catch them in the future.

Wednesday 13: After hearing “Fang Bang” and getting to see him perform as an opener for Alice Cooper last year, I was really excited about getting a longer set from this groovy ghoulie. W13 is Horror Punk at its finest and his music is not only energetic but it’s also a whole lot of fun. He and the band hit the stage like a lightning strike as he jumps into “I Want You Dead”, which is definitely a great way to say hello to your audience in a city like this. I was curious to see how he would be received by the crowd of mostly Gothic kids and was happy to find them bopping all around me as W13 delivered one insane track after the next. He would not limit himself to his latest album but instead mix the set up nicely between those two solo releases, add music from The Murderdolls and even toss in a little bit of Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13 for bad measure. As a result this made the set list very interesting and loaded with fist-pumping Horror Punk anthems to be. His first Murderdolls song for the night would be “Die My Bride” which worked very well with the following track of “Happily Ever Cadaver” – it’s as if the two songs were meant to be performed together. The Murderdolls track comes off a little more serious than “Cadaver” which is more upbeat and actually possesses a more tongue in cheek lyrical base. It’s easy to see how the singer defines a happy Marriage between the things that go bump in the night. Wednesday would get the crowd involved tonight by prompting them all to sing with him periodically and this was working out fantastically during songs like “Rambo” and “I Walked With A Zombie”. During “Rambo” there were tons of fists in the air and the audience was almost as loud as the band was onstage. Some Frankenstein Drag Queens popped in to visit our ears during “Grave robbing USA” and that was fun stuff to have experienced. After almost an hour of a set he would make ready his escape by letting the audience know that he wanted “Bad Things” to happen to us, but that we should not take him wrong in this statement. The band was on the money and really were able to be a little more lively than W13 himself since they were not tied to the microphone for the entire song. Eric Griffin, Racci Shay and Nate Manor were all just as interesting to watch as they terminated the guitar, drums and bass but believe me once Wednesday is in command of your time you can’t take your eyes off him. I just loved Racci’s fur-lined drums as it reminded me of those old ZZ Top videos. Wednesday would soon bid us goodnight soon and tell us how much he loved to say “F**k” by performing the song that bore the same name. My hopes for W13 and his band is either another direct support spot that makes sense or a full headlining gig that pulls out all the stops. He is very clearly one of the most entertaining people that I have ever seen and he brings to mind the shock of old Alice Cooper mixed in with a new vibe that comes right off the autopsy table. Devilish fun when it comes right down to it.

The 69 Eyes: In just two years time The Helsinki Vampires have come to the USA to tour on three separate occasions and each time they made sure to visit the city that never sleeps. The first was a headlining show at Bowery Ballroom while the second would be as direct support for The Cradle Of Filth. That first show was great since it was the bands first time in NYC ever and while I loved their set during the CoF gig, I felt that it was a little short and I feared they would be lost on the tour to the crazed CoF legions. Lucky for their fans this did not happen and they converted more loyal Goths to their sound which enabled this third visit to take place and find the band headlining once again. Tonights show at Blender Theatre would give those who have seen them the past two times yet another venue to observe the band in and I loved the way they were doing things tonight. The tour was labeled “Angels Love Devils” tour and would primarily focus on those last two albums as until very recently they were the only releases that were even available in the USA. While the set was concentrate on the hits from these recordings, and believe me there are tons of great tunes on each of them, they would not sacrifice their older material by any stretch of the imagination. They opened with “Angels” and it set the mood right up and had the diehards captivated and the new fans fascinated. If you have not seen them yet then you need to understand that Jyrki 69 is a rock star pure and simple. He is a man who not only loves being on the stage but belongs there and after eighteen years of performance with these guys he has it down to a science. “Feel Berlin” was super dramatic tonight and was followed by “Los Angeles”, a song about the singer’s second favorite city outside of New York. The set was very strong tonight and there was not a moment of boredom or disappointment. The brooding numbers like “The Chair” and “Wasting The Dawn” rumbled like the coming of a storm and while I admit I am not crazy about “Frankenhooker”, it is a fun song in concert. Jyrki would take time out to talk to the audience a lot and it’s largely because he is just so into what he is doing. He spoke of his love of New York and even gave some shout out to the band Cycle Sluts From Hell, who apparently had members in the audience as fans/friends and while I am not sure this crowd actually would recall them it was pretty cool of him to do as it shows he knows NYC and its bands. Another comment he made was about one of his first concerts attended in New York City which was the Nina Hagen show with the Throbs as a headliner. I wondered again if this younger based crowd even knew who he was talking about and had to laugh because when I interviewed him last year he said the exact same thing to me during our sit down time together.

The band was kicking ass as I expected them to with Bazie, Archzie, and Timo Timo doing their seasoned professional best on the guitars and bass while through it all the ever-animated Jussi 69 was pounding the drums like an animal. I had to admit that some of his appeal is lost when his drums are not high up on a riser since he is such a visual player and quite fun to see do his thing. He climbs the kit, makes faces and works up the crowd almost as much as Jyrki so he needs this setting to be most effective. Tonight the band would also sound the best that I had ever heard them and even though they had a new album to support they managed to fit in all the older tunes that I enjoyed such as “Dance D’Amour” and my favorite track of all “Brandon Lee”. “Lost Boys” and “Sister Of Charity” are my own preferred tunes from the last album so I was glad to hear them also. A brief breather was taken before the two encores happened and the entire room was on fire and digging what was being presented. “Perfect Skin” would be the pre-closer and this made sense since it was the lead single off the new album, but when it was over it would be “Devils” that closed up the shop for the band tonight. Everyone was spent by the time these eighteen songs had passed us by and it made me wonder how the band would follow up this album and tour for now their entire back catalog is available here and this means more fans know more about their music. They will most likely have to fit in more classics the nest time or perhaps even do some sort of retrospective show to address these legacy tunes. Whatever they decide to do they will have the legions of the night at their disposal. Great job guys, you get better every time we get to see you.

Wednesday 13 Set List:
1. I Want You Dead
2. Home Sweet Homicide
3. Die My Bride
4. Happily Ever Cadaver
5. Look What The Bats Dragged In
6. Rambo
7. House By The Cemetery
8. I Walked With A Zombie
9. Grave robbing USA
10. Faith In The Devil
11. Bad Things
12. I Love To Say F**k

The 69 Eyes Set List:
1. Angels
2. Framed In Blood
3. Feel Berlin
4. Los Angeles
5. The Chair
6. Rocker
7. Wasting The Dawn
8. Frankenhooker
9. Betty Blue
10. Gothic Girl
11. Wings & Hearts
12. Sister Of Charity
13. Never Say Die
14. Dance D’Amour
15. Lost Boys
16. Brandon Lee
17. Perfect Skin
18. Devils

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