Lordi Put On A Monster Show At The Bristol Bierkeller
Lordi are a band that will usually generate a different reaction to everyone who hears their name. For some, they're keeping the spirit of old school heavy metal alive with their U.D.O. and glam influenced sound, along with their showmanship, while for others they're an imitation of other such previous bands as Gwar and then there are those in Europe who remember them solely for their Eurovision winning entry, "Hard Rock Hallelujah" back in 2006. Whatever the case, the prospect of seeing a Lordi show was a very intriguing one and something I was able to do when they stopped off in Bristol during their extensive tour of the United Kingdom.
Starting the show, and in some fashion, was Silver Dust, from the Swiss municipality of Porrentruy. The band make strong use of theatrics in their performances, using props such as video screens and realistic, if slightly funny looking, guns, while the majority of the group were clad in suits and top hats. It's steampunk influenced gothic rock at its most ludicrous and by extension, its most fun, with the audience made to feel very much part of the show throughout, blurring the line between a hard rock show and vaudeville. Their music may not be to everyone's liking, but Silver Dust do put on a performance to remember.
Following Silver Dust was Finnish glam metal outfit Shiraz Lane. Fans of the old guard glam bands such as Poison and Kix will enjoy this quintet and at a show headlined by Lordi, who take the majority of their musical inspiration from eighties metal, it's a fine combination, though there were a good number in the crowd who weren't so impressed. Many will say that given the ludicrous nature of glam, the only successful way to perform the style in the modern age is to do it tongue in cheek like Steel Panther, rather than rehash the music of Britny Fox and copy the stage persona of Sebastian Bach. Shiraz Lane aren't terrible, or even necesarily bad, but they come across as corny and frankly, a little silly.
Finally, we come to the headline act on this carnival of rock, the monsters of Finland, Lordi. Any show that begins with Skeletor taking to the stage to give the introduction can only be fun and of course, a perfect segueway to the opening number, "Let’s Go Slaughter He-Man (I Wanna Be the Beast-Man in the Masters of the Universe.)" The song was one of several brought out from their new album, "Monstereophonic (Theaterror vs. Demonarchy)" along with "Hug You Hardcore" and "Down With the Devil," while other recent favourites such as "The Riff" and "Babez For Breakfast" were also played.
Of course, the most striking thing about Lordi is their costumes, the use of which has made for polarising opinions since the group's genesis but seeing them up close, one can really appreciate the work and detail that goes into these outfits. They look absolutely fantastic in person and create a real sense of macabre theatre, just like their hero Alice Cooper is able to. These all add to the atmosphere of the music, especially when the likes of "Blood Red Sandman," "Devil Is a Loser" and of course, "Hard Rock Hallelujah" are performed. Whatever your opinion of Lordi is, no one can deny that put on a fantastic show, carrying the flag for the showmen of the past such as Kiss and W.A.S.P. and will leave a lasting impression on anyone fortunate enough to catch these costumed rockers in the flesh, however rotting it may be!
Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.
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