The end of summer is approaching, but there are still plenty of things happening in Helsinki. One of the bigger events in the music industry was that hard rock act SHIRAZ LANE recently released their brand new album, “Forgotten Shades of Life.” In celebration of this release, they had planned a tour around Finland with a first stop in Helsinki at Tavastia on August 19th, 2022.
While we don’t usually say no to a SHIRAZ LANE show, the main reason for us to attend this event was the support act, LUNA KILLS. This modern metal/rock piece from Kuopio has blown us away from the first time we ever listened to their music, even back then they still went by the name TOCORNAL. Since they’re not from the capital area, it’s rare to catch them in Helsinki. Recently, they were also in the Come To Latin America competition and to our delight, it seems like Helsinki finally caught on to why they should give this band a chance… there were so many people from the start! The band focused mostly on their new material and with songs like “liar, liar,” “here for the drama,” and “BULLET,” they managed to fire up the venue.
Next up were the Norwegian sleaze rockers of THE CRUEL INTENTIONS. Admittedly, we were not very familiar with their material, except for their latest outing, “Venomous Anonymous.” The band played an energetic show behind their mic stands with lots of hard rock songs. After a couple of tracks, we understood why they were paired with SHIRAZ LANE. We were forced to take a break, however, midway through their show, because the temperatures were just way too hot to handle.
There was a surprisingly long turnover in between bands, but finally – around 22:45 – SHIRAZ LANE started their set. By then, the venue had filled up pretty much to the brim. We haven’t yet had the time to completely dive into their latest album, mostly due to our busy festival summer, however, the band selected quite a few songs from their new record. We recognized, for instance, “Back to Life, “Maniac Dance,” and “Letter to Yourself.” All of the new songs sounded great live, despite there being a bit of a mid-tempo moment in the middle of the setlist, which is where we lost our focus a bit (although admittedly, that could have also been due to the insanely Death Valley -like temperatures in the venue). Thankfully, the band managed to pull us back with some older material like “Carnival Days,” “Mental Slavery,” and “Broken Into Pieces.” The last song of the set, “To the Moon and Back” – a SAVAGE GARDEN cover – always provides an explosive conclusion that ends their shows in a fun way.
If there is one complaint about the whole evening, it’s that after a damned pandemic where ventilation became a much more important thing in the fight against the spread of a very contagious, Tavastia still hasn’t invested properly in any sort of ventilation system. The heat inside was almost unbearable. As mentioned, we had to continuously pop outside just to get some air and found that a lot more people than usual were doing the same thing, while instead, they should have enjoyed the evening watching three incredibly good bands.
THE CRUEL INTENTIONS
Photos by Laureline Tilkin