In the beginning of February the Swedish rock 'n' roll machine Royal Republic landed at Nosturi in Helsinki for their last stop on their short Finland tour. Their popularity in Finland is rising fast especially since the single "Baby" from their last record gets quite some air time on Radio Rock and we knew we just couldn't miss out on this party! As support they brought along the up-and-coming Finnish violent pop sensation Blind Channel and this is a little look of what took place...
One of our team had seen Blind Channel (***) before as support of American Skillet some time ago and ensured us that they really know how to get a crowd going. Sounding very promising we were present as soon as the doors opened to not have to miss a single beat of these young guys. When the lights went out and the young wolves of Blind Channel ran on stage, they were greeted by high-pitched screaming from a bunch of girls on the front row clearly in awe of the guys. For a short while I thought I was at a Bieber concert looking at the trendy clothes that the guys were wearing and the ear-drum piercing screams. But as soon as Revolution kicked in, I understood why they were getting so popular. They use a really interesting mix of beats, rap and metal to come to their own style of modern metal or like they say themselves "pop metal" or "violent pop". The first few songs they still seemed to need to find their footings and groove, but once the highly contagious Bullet (With Your Name On) kicked in the energy went up a few notches on stage.
Another highlight for me was Deja FU in which they bring a sound that fans of for instance Hollywood Undead will very much appreciate with a cool electronic sound throughout the song and very catchy vocals and lyrics. A few songs later they cranked up the amount of pop with a really cool and heavy cover version of Ed Sheeran's Don't which is catchy as hell! It was a bit of a pity that the room wasn't that full and that a lot of people were there for a totally different style of music, so they couldn't get the whole crowd jumping along in excitement. But these guys are really promising and I see great things for them in the nearby future, the #violentpoprevolution is coming to get you! I can't wait to get to see them again in front of people that are more into their music...
Hold on to Hope
Bullet (With Your Name On It)
Enemy For Me
Don't (Ed Sheeran cover)
Darker Than Black
When headliner Royal Republic (****) mounted the stage, Nosturi was seemingly filled to the brim with people excitingly awaiting to be entertained by the rock 'n' roll party men to take over the reigns. And if there's one thing they know, it's how to set up a huge entertaining rock party! From the very start the guys jumped on stage with tons of energy and especially frontman Adam Grahn knows how to get the crowd going with his crazy antics. His dancing moves, facial expressions and jokes made him have the whole room in his hands for him to control. They kicked off with a highly energetic trio of songs ending it with the rather hilarious Make Love Not War (If You Have to Make War - Make Sure to Make Time to Make Love in Between) during which he aimed a little speech on an unsuspecting girl. He warned the photographers to aim at her, cause he was going to make her cry for sure!
Things got even more hot in the room when they cranked out Underwear from their debut album We Are The Royal after which Adam started talking to the "Weekend Man" as the intro to the title song of their latest album Weekend Man. Another highlight for me was the acoustic version of Addictive from their acoustic "tribute band" times as Royal Republic and the Nosebreakers. Being one of those songs that hints at certain sexual words with the phrase "I'm a-dic, dic, dic, dic, dicted to you", it's always been one of their most fun songs and it being played acoustic really brings a great twist to it. They brought down some more rocking down on the place with the last 3 songs of their set being Kung Fu Lovin', the lately very popular Baby and knock-out track Tommy-Gun. During Tommy-Gun there was a little gimmick during which Adam brought the girl he talked to earlier on stage to play guitar with him. Afterwards he tricked her into kissing him, but hey, the rock 'n' roll life, right?
Since they got everyone at Nosturi hot, sweaty and wanting for a party they of course couldn't let us go without coming back on stage for a few encores... We got Here I Come (There You Go), a more intimate Follow the Sun and Getting Along after which they were wondering what time it was. Adam complained that he everytime asks the venues where they play to put a clock on stage so he can check the time, but never gets it. With the help of the crowd he got it figured out and realized that they actually were ahead of schedule. He knew already how he was going to end the night, but thought he had to figure something out to give us the absolute most they could within the time-frame. So they ended up filling up some time with a little cover medley with Metallica's Battery, Motörhead's Ace of Spades and Lynyrd Skynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama! Last but definitely not least they delivered the much anticipated Full Steam Spacemachine on which the crowd went absolutely bonkers! This was one hell of a celebration of hard rock and rock 'n' roll and they promised to come back to Finland since the country has been so good for them... something to look forward to!
Intro (Music for the Royal Fireworks; La Rejouissance: Allegro)
When I See You Dance with Another
Make Love Not War (If You Have to Make War - Make Sure to Make Time to Make Love in Between)
Strangers Friends Lovers Strangers
Everybody Wants to Be an Astronaut
Any Given Sunday
People Say That I'm Over The Top
Kung Fu Lovin'
Here I Come (There You Go)
Follow the Sun
Battery / Ace of Spades / Sweet Home Alabama (medley)
Full Steam Spacemachine
Outro (The Man in Me - Bob Dylan)