Gig Review

Photo Of Wednesday 13 © Copyright TriggerWednesday 13
Hanoi Rocks
London, Astoria
31st October 2008

Wednesday 13            Hanoi Rocks
So tonight’s show is Wednesday 13's first Halloween gig in England and what a better place to play the show than the Astoria in London, as most people are aware this show was actually part of his May/June UK tour which he was doing to promote his new album release 'Skeletons' but due to scheduling conflicts the London date had to be cancelled and Wednesday came up with the great idea of rescheduling the show for October 31st 2008 which is better known as Halloween.

From what I remember the show was originally scheduled to happen at the Astoria 2 which is better known as the Mean Fiddler but as soon as the date was changed and then Finish rockers Hanoi Rocks were added to the line up as main support band the ticket sales went through the roof and the show got upgraded to the Astoria which to me was a bonus as the Astoria is one of my favourite venues in London, it’s a venue thats so small and cosy where thousands of people can fit in, and, just may I add and you can see from pretty much anywhere in the venue, well apart from the Keith Moon bar but that’s your own choice if you decide to stay there, another reason I was happy that the show was upgraded to the Astoria was because over the past few years there have been rumours that the Astoria is closing down and until now the rumours have been untrue but the venue is now due to close in the early weeks of 2009 so any extra shows I can go to at the Astoria before it closes is a bonus and I’m sure pretty much everyone else will agree as there is no other venue quite like the Astoria in London.

Photo Of Wednesday 13 © Copyright TriggerThe doors for tonight’s show opened at 6.30pm, we finally managed to get to the Astoria at 7.20pm and the queue was still pretty big bending around the corner of the venue, we headed to the back of the queue and waited with everyone else to get into the venue, a couple of guys behind us were proper hardcore Hanoi Rocks fans and were talking amongst themselves and one of them decided to go to the gig last minute after hearing that Hanoi Rocks are splitting up once again and hearing that tonight was going to be there last ever London show, after a bit of ear wigging I heard the guy say that he just bought his ticket off a tout for £200, now that just tells you what the value of tonight’s show is to most people.

We managed to get into the venue at 7.40pm, Hanoi Rocks had already been on stage for 10 minutes at this point which led me to think that the guy directly behind me who paid £200 for a ticket could well be slightly pissed off, nevertheless we headed to the cloak room and put our coats in and started heading to the main downstairs room to enjoy the last Hanoi Rocks London show, when we got in the room, it was like a packed out sweat pit, there was minimal room to move and everything was so hot, people were dressed up in their Halloween costumes making the most of the creepy night and others were just dressed in there usual gothic wear with as much make up as they could plaster on to their faces, at times it was quite interesting trying to figure of who was in fancy dress and who wasn’t. You could clearly tell who was mainly here to see Wednesday 13 and who was mainly here to see Hanoi Rocks as the Wednesday 13 fans were dressed in black and had various different make up/ face paint on, whilst the most hardcore Hanoi Rocks fans were in at least there 40's dressed in your usual casual clothes of jeans and t-shirt.

Photo Of Wednesday 13 © Copyright TriggerHanoi Rocks seemed to play their set like they were headlining the show, I saw them earlier in the year next door at the Mean Fiddler and they were extremely energetic and put on a great show, but tonight they seemed to of outdone themselves, their lighting show was big and bright with big blue, green and pink lights spot lighting the members of the band, the band moved about on stage like they had all just taken a massive bag of speed, and the crowd were truly loving it singing along word for word.

Frontman Michael Monroe is one talented man, during the night he sings his heart out whilst running around the stage in his extremely energetic ways, he alternates playing saxophone and singing in such a short period of time and he generally bashes the hell out of his equipment.

In their 50 minute set Hanoi Rocks managed to fit in quite a lot of old material as well as a lot of material from their 'Street Poetry' album, newer songs like 'Fashion' and 'Hypemobile' went down really well with the band putting their all into them. Hanoi Rocks remind many people of Guns N Roses because they do play pretty much the same style of music, it’s just Hanoi Rocks don’t piss about with 10 minute long songs, instead they get straight into it with 3-4 minute long rocking songs. The last song Hanoi Rocks played was their usual set finisher 'Tootin’ Star' and like normal the song went down extremely well.

Photo Of Wednesday 13 © Copyright TriggerOverall, Hanoi Rocks put on a show like they were headlining the Astoria tonight, they even left the stage for a few minutes leaving everyone thinking their set was over but they soon came back to play an encore and this is something that support bands don’t normally do but Hanoi Rocks like to be different, they are special and as it’s their last London show they can easily get away with it, even when their last song finishes, Hanoi Rocks carried on with frontman Michael Monroe throwing and spinning his microphone stand across the stage whilst the rest of the band jam along, and when he’s done with that the microphone gets thrown on the floor and the band leave the stage.

Next up are the headliners Wednesday 13, there’s a long 30 minute wait until the man takes to the stage, the roadies are on stage setting up the equipment for Wednesdays set, and before Wednesday even takes to the stage you can tell that his stage show is going to be pretty impressive with a really spooky Halloween theme. He has dolls heads hanging from his microphone stand, now this is something Wednesday normally has, he can’t play a show without something a bit morbid looking hanging from his microphone stands, then we have a big banner at the back with the colourful Wednesday 13 logo on it, the drum kit has a devil like face on it with the Wednesday 13 logo across it as well and to either side of the drum kit is a big box which is done in the theme of his 'Fang Bang' album cover with black and white swirley circles going around with a big 13 printed on it, the top of these boxes are covered by a cloth but minutes before Wednesday takes to the stage the roadies remove the covers to reveal two scary looking clown faces covered in fake blood, which brings a huge reaction from the crowd.

Photo Of Wednesday 13 © Copyright TriggerA few minutes later the lights go off, the crowd erupts with big screams of joy and a man dressed in a black cloak with a white mask, big glasses and a bright torch takes to the stage marching across the stage to the music of this is Halloween, within a minute he has left the stage and Wednesday 13 and his backing band take to the stage and the fun begins, they slam right into the first song and the crowd go mental.

If you have seen Wednesday 13 before then you will know that the man doesn’t just play songs from his solo albums he also plays songs that he created in his previous bands such as The Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13 and The Murderdolls, and songs from the days of Wednesday 13 fronting both of these bands make up a huge chunk of tonight’s set list but that seems to be fine with the crowd as the majority of people are singing along word for word to each and every song.

One of the main highlights from the set came early on when Wednesday played the classic Murderdolls track '197666' the song was the third track to be played and it went down really well with crowd bouncing up and down from the front to the back throwing their horns in the air at Wednesday's direction. Straight after this song finished they went straight into my personal favourite Frankenstein Drag Queens song 'Scary Song', the song was one of those songs that I first listened to many years ago when I first got into the Drag Queens and the song has always remained a favourite of mine, and it seems that tonight’s crowd agree totally with me and love the song equally as much as I do, Wednesday and his backing band fire through the song in such a fast powerful way.

Photo Of Wednesday 13 © Copyright TriggerWednesday fires through songs from all different stages of his career, it was good to hear him play tracks from his latest album 'Skeletons' as the album features some of the heaviest material that Wednesday has ever made, the songs seemed to go down well with the fans which shows that they fully support the new direction that his music is taking him. At one point he even treated the people of the Astoria to an acoustic track, now I have always loved acoustic music, it really shows how talented a musician is to play just by himself with an acoustic guitar and his vocals and Wednesday proves that he can do it quite well tonight, his vocals are quite dark and raw sounding but you can excuse this because this is the style of vocals Wednesday needs for the musical style that he plays, either way it goes down well with the crowd and it gives them a chance to catch their breath after all the jumping and screaming they have been doing up until this point.

Overall Wednesday 13 seemed much more polished and tight sounding than when I first saw him play solo in March 2004 when Death Becomes You were his backing band, back in those days Wednesdays face was covered in white face make up and had extremely long dread locks, and nowadays the dreadlocks are gone, well nearly all gone as there are a few still left, and the white face make up is nowhere to be seen which makes you think that Wednesday lost his make up bag or has decided to keep things more real, anyway tonight’s show was definitely a lot more energetic than back in 2004 which just shows how far Wednesday has come in just 4 years, I wonder where he will be in another 4 years? Maybe back with the Murderdolls who knows.

I never really realised until today just how hardcore Wednesday 13 fans are, during the day we managed to speak to many fans before, during and after the show and out of the people we spoke to, there were many people who came all the way from Germany to see the man play live, and even better wait outside in the cold for well over an hour after the show in hope of meeting the man, now that is true dedication for you. We also met people who travelled all the way from Manchester, Yorkshire, Leeds and many other places for the show, Wednesday 13 has a cult following of truly hardcore fans and this is something he should be proud of.

Hanoi Rocks 5/5
Wednesday 13 5/5

Review By Trigger

 Wednesday 13

Wednesday 13 (vocals, Guitar)

 Hanoi Rocks

Michael Monroe (lead vocals, keyboards, piano, saxophone, harmonica, harp)
Andy McCoy (lead guitar, backing vocals)
Conny Bloom (guitar)
Andy "A.C." Christell (bass )
George Atlagic (drums, percussion)

 Band Related Links
Wednesday 13 Myspace
Hanoi Rocks Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?