Uploaded to Aural Innovations: November 2003
This was the third time I had been in Finland this year but this was going to be a great weekend of music. The event on this night was quite strange. It was starting off with a book release party with a panel discussion. Two new biographies from the Finnish publisher, LIKE, were released. One a Marilyn Manson Biography and the other Turn Off Your Mind-Mystic 60ís and the Dark Side of the Age of Aquarius by Gary Valentine Lachman. The publishing company actually translated Lemmyís biography to Finnish! Quite cool. Anyway, there were about 150 people there for the discussion and then everyone left, leaving only the friends of the two bands. Eventually, about 50 people were there but not many for this very cool place, which is one of the oldest restaurants in Helsinki and a cool place.
Mesmer is a young three piece band of guitar, bass, and synthesizer with drum machine! The first couple of songs were a strange gothic music. Somewhere in the middle of the set they really played some cool stuff, including a number that had a Russian feel to it. Good vocals and cool dark themes overall from this young band. They have recorded a demo CD and they were really nice guys.
Next up was Dark Sun, good friends of mine. Their last gig was in April with Gas Giant and I was looking forward to the headline set. The band opened with a spacey jam into "Electrified". Janne sounded great and this was his first sober gig ever! The soundman was not sure what to do and Mikko (synths) and Jurtsu (guitars) were a little low in the mix. Ylli, his girlfriend had just had a baby 10 days ago and so he was not there to play with the band. Jurtsu had to handle all the guitars and he did it very well. Jurtsu is a great guitar player but he needs to be more confident and relax so he can glide out into space with the others. Anyway, "Our Man Inside" from the first CD was next. Great to hear this one again from the classic, Feed Your Mind CD (now long out of print). Two new songs, "Blinks of an Eye" and "North From the Living" were next. These are very different. Blinks is quite a fast, catchy song. The more I hear it the more I like it! The old unreleased track "Iskaroit" was just fantastic. A real highlight of the set. This segued into the Pink Floyd cover, "Lucifer Sam", which the band does an excellent job of. A great arrangement! "Astronauts of Innerspace", another newish song is really incredible. Great vocals and bass line and great guitar solos. The band closed the set with "Master of the Universe" with "Set the Control for the Heart of the Sun" squeezed into the middle perfectly. The 20 people wanted more so they come out for a 15 minute space jam to end the night. A great 75 minute set.
Set List: Space Intro>Electrified, Our man Inside, Blinks of an Eye, North from the Living, Iskaroit>Lucifer Sam, Astronaunts of Innerspace, Master of the Universe>Set the Controls>Master, Space Jam
Reviewed by Scott Heller