You were born late in the eighties, beginning of the nineties. You thus missed all the greatest rock hits playing on the radio, see them coming live to your town and moreover, while living in Finland, you don’t always get to see those bands live nowadays either. Well, let’s not worry about that. Because luckily Alexi Laiho and Jussi69 came up with a solution for that problem, by forming a project concentrating on those greatest songs from the eighties: The Local Band. It was supposed to be a one time concert only, but luckily for us, The Local Band still plays gigs once in a while.
The band consists out of famous faces from the scene such as Alexi Laiho (Children of Bodom) on guitars, Jussi69 (The 69 Eyes) on drums, Archie Cruz (Santa Cruz) on bass and Olli Herman (Reckless Love) as the vocalist. As Archie Cruz is now on tour, The Local Band found replacement in Samy Elbanna (Lost Society). Check out the gallery here.
With an eerie, yet magical intro, the band comes on stage and soon kicks off the evening with “Lay Your Hands on Me”. I’m at the left side of the stage, which seems to be a good spot in the crammed photo pit (why on Earth did they make it so small?), immediately catching my eye and winning the mechanical heart of my camera is Samy Elbanna’s enthusiasm. Jumping up and down, laughing, shouting along with the backing vocals. What an energy. By looking at him I think that the most important part about this band is that they are trying to have as much fun as possible on stage. The playing thus becomes a bit less important, sometimes the bass sounds a bit sloppy, sometimes Olli Herman‘s singing is a bit shaky. But all-in-all, in my personal opinion, that’s okay, because the premise of the evening is to have fun. It’s not about playing these songs perfectly, it’s about having a party. And that is what we got. The energy, the atmosphere and the fact that the crowd was almost unstoppable when it comes to being hyped up. People were dancing, screaming along and whole Tavastia was packed up.
The hits kept stacking up as we went down the path of memory lane with The Local Band “Looks That Kill”, “Fallen Angel”. The first moment de gloire, came when the band performed “Sunglasses at Night”. Then it was time for Olli Herman to take a rest, while he left Samy Elbanna and Alexi Laiho both in control of the vocals. I had never realized how much word count “Untouched” has, before I started paying attention to Alexi Laiho. How he can sing so much words, without breathing, is still a mystery to me. A smile on his face after the second verse, showed that he seemed to be kind of happy he could grasp for air once again, before continuing. “Untouched” was definitely a nice change in the setup and I can only encourage more songs with Alexi singing in future gigs.
“Nightrain”, “Shot in the Dark” were followed by a personalized version of “Summer of ’69”. “Archie quit, Alexi got married”. I see what you did there Olli. But all jokes and giggles aside, “Summer of ’69” marked the end of a splendid evening.
The audience, however, did not agree with the band leaving from stage. A gigantic applause took over the venue and soon the band came back to stage to treat us with three more songs. The last song of the night was all time Bon Jovi-hit “Livin’ on a Prayer”. For me it was a magical moment to see how excited the audience was from the sideline on.In my eyes that means the formula of these guys playing those eighties hair and glam rock songs is a complete success! What a night!
Lay Your Hands on Me (Bon Jovi cover)
Nothin’ But a Good Time (Poison cover)
Shot in the Dark (Ozzy Osbourne cover)