Demolition 23. are back and they are here to show what a true rock ‘n’ roll show is. This unit only released one album in 1994 with a lot of critial acclaim, achieving legendary status that still stays almost 30 years later. Michael Monroe, Sami Yaffa, Nasty Suicide from the original Hanoi Rocks and Karl Rockfist from Monroe’s band in place for Jimmy Clark, played to a massive sold out crowd in the heart of Helsinki, Tavastia club, which has a lot, a lot of history with these Hanoi Rocks legends and of course the band Demolition 23. itself.
Well how was it? Can these living legends still deliver? Yes and then some. They delivered a spectacle, a true rock ‘n’ roll show and maybe the best show I’ve seen all year.
The show started the right way, the beginning track of this legendary album, Nothin’s Alright and setting the tone for the whole evening when Mr. Monroe came on stage with his usual high energy, jumping and kicking higher than people can in their twenties, flanked by his partners in crime, ever so enthusiastic Sami Yaffa and maybe the star of the show, Nasty Suicide who visibly was having the time of his life, moving around like it’s the year 1983. It’s hard to put even into words the energy these three bring to the stage, it’s like seeing a happy family reunion unfolding in front of your eyes, and it brings a smile to your face every time.
The show rolled on with songs from the Demolition 23. album, which consists mostly of covers, so it was only right to bring some other covers to the set. Performing classics from the legendary Dead Boys catalog, which is expected cause of the history between their lead singer Stiv Bators and Mr. Monroe has. It’s always fantastic to hear Monroe singing old Dead Boys tunes, so I was glad it dominated their setlist. Other covers, which surprised at least me, were covers of bands like English punk rock band The Ruts and a song from MC5 which is known to have been a massive musical influence during the youth of Michael Monroe. Also covers from the legendary catalog of music from Iggy Pop were heard and the cherry on top, an extremely rare Hanoi Rocks song; Tooting Beck Wreck. This was an amazing surprise and a delight to hear live by the three original members of Hanoi Rocks. It was clear that this specific song and other Hanoi Rocks songs were a true nostalgia trip to not only the audience but also the band.
During the encore for the first song, it was only Michael Monroe and his acoustic guitar on stage, performing a beautiful song from Demolition 23. album, Deadtime Stories, almost like a cool breeze to calm off the crowd before the final two songs of the set. Energy on stage didn’t stop, it almost got more intense as Monroe, Yaffa and Nasty were moving on stage, not showing a single glimpse of the fact that they are all in their 60s. This is something every live performing rock musician can take notes on, this is how it’s done.
1. Nothin’s Alright
2. Endangered Species
3. Scum Lives On
4. Same Shit Different Day
6. Backbiter (The Ruts cover)
7. What Love Is (Dead Boys cover)
8. Ain’t Nothin’ To Do (Dead Boys cover)
9. You Crucified Me
10. Tooting Bec Wreck (Hanoi Rocks cover)
11. Hammersmith Palais
12. Ain’t It Fun (Dead Boys cover)
13. I Wanna Be Loved
14. Kick Out The Jams (MC5 cover)
15. Problem Child (Hanoi Rocks cover)
16. In The Year 79 (Hanoi Rocks cover)
17. 1970 (The Stooges cover)
18. Deadtime Stories (Acoustic)
19. Love Song (The Damned cover)
20. I Got A Right (Iggy & The Stooges cover)
Like said, this was maybe the best show I’ve seen all year. Demolition 23. came back with a massive bang, playing a handful of sold out shows across Finland, is this the last we see of them, or could we see more of rock ‘n’ roll brilliance? Judging off the success of this tour and the fun these guys had on stage, I think this is not the last we see of Demolition 23.
For more pictures go see our gallery here.