10th June 2013 at 15:07

2013.05.30 - Reckless Love / Mind Of Doll @ Åbo7/10


RecklessLoveMindOfDoll_StartingpictureCity, сountry: Åbo, Finland
Location: Apollo Nightclub
Date: 2013.05.30
Web: Reckless Love, Mind of Doll

Author: Stefanie Singh (FacebookTwitter, BlogSpot)

Rating: 7/10

It's been a while since Neon Lights has attended a concert by Reckless Love for you, more precisely about two years ago. Back then, we saw Olli Herman (Vocals), Pepe (Guitar), Jalle Verne (Bass) and Hessu Maxx (Drums) rocking in Finland's capital Helsinki which didn't really knock our socks off. First of all, "Virgin Oil" itself is a pretty cool venue but a bit too big for an event where Reckless Love is the only band playing, even though the upper floor of the two-storey venue was closed, and secondly, the audience was quite dominated by female attendees which gave you a little bit the feeling that you have ended up at a gig of a Finnish soft rock band like HIM or Negative. And last but not least, we already had seen a handful of live shows during the time of the self-titled debut album "Reckless Love", so maybe it was simply time for something new...

RecklessLoveMindOfDoll_Textpicture1_MindOfDollSomething new came in spring 2011 with the single "Hot" which caused heated debates even among the Reckless Love fans: "A pop song with a guitar solo in the middle" some said while others thought it's the usual (tongue-in-cheek) glam rock. I agreed with the first; "Hot" was musically the perfect soundtrack for a TV commercial for "Wall's" ice-cream. No more, no less. And although the subsequently released second album "Animal Attraction" delivered some highlights like "Born To Break Your Heart" and "Dance", it somehow couldn't compete with the debut album. It seems that the turn for the better came just now at the end of April 2013 with "Night On Fire". Vocalist Olli himself talks about a "perverted Shakira groove" in the song - but this and also the extraordinary music video for the first single of the upcoming, yet untitled third album leave a mark. And when Reckless Love are playing more or less right on your doorstep in Finland's oldest city and former capital Åbo [in Finnish: Turku], why not checking out what happened during the past 27 months in terms of their live-shows?

RecklessLoveMindOfDoll_Textpicture2_RLTonight's event is taking place at "Apollo Nightclub". As the name suggests, it's an ordinary nightclub, on top quite huge, and it's a Thursday evening. The occasion of the whole event is a birthday, but it's not the birthday of Reckless Love guitarist Pepe we are going to celebrate although it would have fit quite well since the band is going to enter the stage around midnight and it's Pepe's birthday on 31st May. No, the whole event is about the 50th birthday of a certain Markku Lintula, also known as Make Lintula. The event was heavily advertised beforehand, but when the support act Mind Of Doll enters the stage around 11 p.m., only a few small groups are present in the vast rooms of the nightclub. But Visa Heinonen (Vocals), Sakari Virta (Guitar), Erik Lundén (Guitar), Ide Miettinen (Bass) and Ville Muru (Drums) keep their spirits up and present highly motivated their "Kickass Hard Rock'n'Roll". Their energy is infectious: Even the guy at the merchandising booth cannot stand still when the guys from Vanda [in Finnish: Vantaa] are performing songs like "Miss Pretty", "Lack Of Chance", "Sick Girl Sad Case", "Marks On My Face" and "No Alibi" from their debut album "Low Life Heroes" (2007) as well as compositions from their second opus "Shame On Your Shadow" ("Shame On Your Shadow", "Wolves", "Dead A.M.", "Bad Shivers" and "Hotel Satan") which was released in February 2013. In consideration of that fact, it's maybe not that surprising that Mind Of Doll already can list a common show with ex Skid Row vocalist Sebastian Bach in Estonia's capital Tallinn on their résumé...

RecklessLoveMindOfDoll_Textpicture3_RLAlthough Reckless Love start their show half an hour later than announced, so at half past twelve, "Apollo Nightclub" doesn't really fill up. Only a small cluster of people can be found in front of the stage; further concert attendees and usual nightclub visitors are standing somewhere in the back. As already mentioned at the beginning: The venue is actually a nightclub, it's a Thursday evening and the show of the main act starts in the night. Not really the best conditions for a successful concert evening even though the online promotion prior to the event was exemplary. So it's more or less the same as it was back then at "Virgin Oil" in Helsinki: A potentially great club atmosphere gets lost due to a venue which is way too big and thus appears quite empty. And tonight's audience IS great: Male and female concert attendees are represented in equal parts, one couple even came from faraway Brazil and the fans encourage each other to smile and dance.

RecklessLoveMindOfDoll_Textpicture4_RLThe show itself starts with "Animal Attraction" and a lot of red light in which Olli presents his newest trademark: A black leather jacket with lots of silver-coloured studs. Apparently, someone got inspired by Black Veil Brides - or whoever was the first with this fashion trend. During the following "Wild Touch", Olli takes off his leather jacket and a black Lady Gaga shirt surfaces. Further slightly nostalgic moments from the time of the debut album "Reckless Love" are delivered with "Back To Paradise", "Romance", "Badass" and "Beautiful Bomb" while the current second album "Animal Attraction" is represented by "Born To Break Your Heart", "Dance" and "On The Radio". And whatever one's opinion about "Hot" may be: At least tonight's audience is singing along the chorus vociferously. During "Hot", Olli's Lady Gaga shirt is flying into a corner and so we get to see his probably newest tattoo: "Noora" is written over his heart, the first name of his wife Noora Kosunen, also known by her maiden name Noora Niemelä. A love that gets under the skin...

RecklessLoveMindOfDoll_Textpicture5_RLDespite the high spirits in the audience and a respectable performance, tonight's show doesn't get under the skin at all: Slight nostalgia alternates with songs I have hardly heard live - but which also never really appealed to me. It just starts to get interesting when the Finns from Kuopio perform their current single "Night On Fire". The "perverted Shakira groove" breathes new life into the routine. And it's getting even better with the second appetizer of the upcoming third album: In fact, "Bad Lovin'" is the highlight tonight. Quite reminiscent of "Badass" but nevertheless damn catchy. Something to really look forward to in terms of Reckless Love.

The gig is finalised by "One More Time" and without any encores. A rather abrupt end. On the other hand, by being a small cluster of people in such vast rooms, you felt so out of place that it's probably more than ok if you can to return home as soon as possible. It's a pity, actually.

Photos by Stefanie Singh

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