It’s been 23 years since Andy McCoy’s last solo album, so the latest “21st Century Rocks” could therefore be described as a highly anticipated release. The album has surprised both me and the critics positively and ever since the release, I heard good feedback regarding Andy McCoy‘s live shows with his new touring band as well. That’s why, when the opportunity arose, I knew I had to see the Finnish guitar legend’s current form at Tavastia on 3 January 2020. Check out our photo gallery.
Another positive surprise was the number of people flocking to the venue. After a career of over 40 years, his take on music still seems to interest people, regardless of media attention which hasn’t always been so positive – and almost never related to the music. Different discussions regarding Andy and his history were taking place around Tavastia, and the sense of tension was growing stronger as the showtime was getting closer. Our wait was over as Andy McCoy entered the stage accompanied by his band with a tasty guitar lick, giving us an idea of what we were in for.
The show started with the flirting-with-hard rock title track of the new album, “21st Century Rocks.” Andy seemed to feel relaxed with his new band and he was in a good mood to play some rock ‘n roll. He pointed out later that it felt especially good to be playing in Helsinki, the city which he calls his home. Another new song followed along with a story from the beginning of his musical career, as Andy told about his first time at Tavastia, which happened all the way back when he was 13 years old. This was followed by a song that has some years behind it as well, which was, of course, the classic “Tragedy” from the HANOI ROCKS era. These patterns of old and new songs structured the gig very well.
Andy McCoy isn’t exactly known or praised for his singing skills, but that didn’t stop him from doing it anyway. Particularly at the beginning of the show, his vocals worked surprisingly well, and the songs were crafted to suit his voice anyway. Unfortunately, he started to lose his voice further along in the performance, but he got some help with the vocals for “Malibu Beach Nightmare”, as Dan Lagerstedt joined the stage to help his former bandmate. This worked really well – Andy could focus his attention on playing the guitar, and Dan managed to get the audience in the mood to clap along the song’s catchy rhythm sections. I think this kind of lineup unleashed the true potential of the band and it wouldn’t hurt to have more songs performed this way.
In the age of pop music, we’re so used to overproduced music and live shows, that we’re almost every time expecting flawless and perfect execution of songs. Andy McCoy wasn’t necessarily performing without any troubles, but he delivered us the true spirit of rock ’n’ roll. Based on what I heard and read after the show, the majority of people seemed to really enjoy that night. After the last song regarding the title of “Gimme Time,” Andy asked us to give him and the new band some time, and I believe the performance will get better and better as they get to spend more time together and play more shows. We’re lucky to still have musicians like Andy among us.
- 21st Century Rocks
- The Hunger
- Strung Out
- I Didn’t Know She Could Rock’n’Roll
- Seven Seas
- This Is Rock N Roll
- I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom
- Taxi Driver
- Malibu Beach Nightmare
- Gimme Time (Encore)