Eurovision may not have deemed German metalcore legends ELECTRIC CALLBOY‘s highly addictive “Pump It” worthy, but the metal scene knows a lot better than some of those critiques. In just a matter of years, the German band managed to completely take over the scene, so after the release of their latest album, “Tekkno,” they were bound to head on a European tour. Thankfully, the band had scheduled two (sold-out) shows at Vanha Ylioppilastalo in Helsinki. We were there to join the party on March 26th, 2023.
Despite having announced that the band would be supported by both HOLDING ABSENCE and FUTURE PALACE, due to logistic reasons beyond their control, the former had to cancel their performance in Helsinki. FUTURE PALACE, however, was a given and despite not being particularly familiar with their music, I was really impressed by the blend of alternative metal they performed. The trio took over the entire stage and managed to also get the normally tame Finnish audience dance and headbang to their songs. The band performed about eight songs, of which the majority came from their 2022 release, “Run.” The selection of songs flowed nicely together and time couldn’t have gone faster. We hope to see the band in headlining capacity soon!
Then, it was finally time for ELECTRIC CALLBOY. At the back of the stage, there was a large screen showing a flight attendant, counting down to when the party would start. To nobody’s surprise, the band came on stage with a (glitter confetti) bang on and invited everybody onto the “Tekkno Train.” Due to growler Kevin Ratajczak‘s paternity leave, he couldn’t be present during some dates of the tour and singer Nico Sallach took over his growling parts, while also still performing his own clean vocals with ease. Once everybody had boarded the choo-choo-tekkno train, the band continued their set.
The production of the show was top-notch, with projections behind the band on the large screen showing continuous interesting visuals, as well as occasional lyrics so the audience could better sing along. It’s a shame that the band was booked for a smaller venue and thus didn’t have any screens broadcasting the live performance – next stop: Jäähalli!
The setlist was a great mix of songs, mostly from “Tekkno.” The combination of more danceable electronic metalcore songs with more straightforward mosh-pit material made sure the audience was entertained from start to finish. I can vouch for this being one of the better audiences I have seen this whole year, who engaged in everything frontman Nico Sallach asked them to do, including a wall of death and a few mosh pits, to sitting down during one of the songs (except for a few stubborn people). The drum solo had snippets of the famous Finnish DJ Darude‘s “Sandstorm,” which naturally got the crowd even more hyped up… right in time for “Hypa Hypa!”
After a beautiful acoustic song, “Neon,” the band played a BACKSTREET BOYS‘ cover (“I Want It That Way”) to which everybody obviously knew the music. This also introduced the last chapter of the show, with songs like “Parasite” and “MC Thunder.” The band then disappeared for a while from stage, for an outfit change and a final encore. Adorned in ’80s aerobics outfits, the band performed “Pump It,” which was ultimately one of the many highlights of this show. After “Spaceman,” the band disappeared for a little bit again and then a chaos of shouting erupted.
Naturally, the band came back on stage with their notorious new hair cuts and played the ultimate fan favorite, “We Got the Moves.” This was possibly the best part of the show, as everybody was just singing and screaming along and dancing at maximum power, as if the night would never end. The little rave breakdown towards the ending is when the party completely exploded. If you managed to be one of the lucky few who wasn’t able to snatch a ticket for this show, thankfully, the Tekkno train is coming to Tuska Festival this summer. Be there or be square!
- Tekkno Train
- MC Thunder II (Dancing Like a Ninja)
- The Scene
- Castrop X Spandau
- Arrow of Love
- Best Day
- Drum Solo
- Hypa Hypa
- Neon (Acoustic)
- I Want It That Way (Backstreet Boys cover)
- MC Thunder
- Pump It (Encore)
- Spaceman (Encore)
- We Got the Moves (Encore)
Written and photos by Laureline Tilkin