It may have only been a few months ago that we last caught them performing at this very same venue, but there is just something incredible about Type-O-Negative doing a gig on home ground. Whenever these Brooklyn natives announce that they are stopping by for a couple of shows, the tickets sell faster than the fans can get their hands on them and often many are left saddened at the entry gate to the club. Given they have been one of my favorite groups for some time I like to catch them when they perform in the area and since they were absent from the touring and recording scene for a couple of years, attending this show would be a no-brainer for me. I did wonder if they would do the exact same set as that previous show as the band was rather notorious for that, but we shall see I mused to myself as I made my way inside the Fillmore NY. As I had expected in advance, the event was sold out. For this leg of their tour supporting the album "Dead Again", the guys would bring with them that monster of a band Lordi. This band is a whole lot of fun in the visual sense if you have yet to see them and a continuation of bringing great acts on the road with them. Those who attended the early shows back in May will recall how Heavy Metal legends Celtic Frost opened up for them and while some of the Old School purists balked at the idea of such a group having to come up first, at the end of the day it did them good as it introduced them to fans who may have been too young to appreciate them during their own heyday. Twin Method was also on the bill as the startup band but I didn't get to see them at all. Now as the venue grew dark it was time for Lordi's arrival and their chance to make these fans their own.
Lordi: The Monster Metal of Finland Lordi has been going over great in the USA since they made their first appearance on our shores for the Bam Margera "Bamboozle" festival several months ago. From there they jumped onto the roster of the highly publicized free Ozzfest and it would be the perfect place to pull out the stops for their large stage show. The all too brief set included smoke bombs, flares, fire and a band who came out with various and interesting props during it. Since the Fillmore NY is a smaller and indoor venue we would not have any of the fireworks and flare bombs but we would get some of the rest of their horrific antics to keep us amused and entertained for a little while. I don't think that the Type-O crowd was really expecting what came onstage when Mr. Lordi first stomped out and presented himself as the over seven foot giant that he is in full costume. He was sporting the same wolf's head that he wore at Ozzfest and it adds a little more to an already exciting visual in my opinion. For those who have yet to see what Lordi looks like, well they are pretty much like your worst nightmare come to life or something out of a zombie, Godzilla or space alien film all rolled into one. It's really a lot of fun and their songs all fall along the lines of their image like "The Kids Who Want To Play With The Dead", which while performed Mr. Lordi dangles body parts in his hands. "It Snows In Hell" is a tune that can best be thought of as the bands ballad while "Hard Rock Hallelujah" is their blockbuster smash hit and has everyone singing after only a few moments of hearing it. The band was winning over the crowd who was mainly Type-O diehards tonight and I felt this was a good thing. Perhaps they were complying for fear that Lordi and his mad monster party would climb over the barricades and eat them. Mr. Lordi definitely seemed pleased himself as he watched the crowd from his spot on the stage and while I like to think that it was based on their reaction to the music I couldn't help but thinking that it was also because he was eyeing the bands next meal. They played with body parts and some blood and a giant saw and bat wings for good measure tonight and as a surprise we found Twisted Sister's Jay Jay French come out and play a little lead guitar. It was a nice surprise but since he wasn't in costume I felt the appearance was unnecessary and took a little away from the dramatic presence of Lordi despite his doing some work on their album. The singer would also announce that Twisted Sister would be performing at the same venue in the coming months and while that was nice of him it was hardly necessary to generate applause since he had us won over long before the guest even stepped on the stage.
The band might sound a little like Gwar to you based on the description but in all honesty they are a completely different animal. A Gwar show is intensely gory and the humor scatological while the Lordi show is a lot more like your afternoon giant monster movie fun. There's blood but you should be a little less worried about your cell phone's safety. Check them out when you can or their album now on The End Records as it comes with bonus tracks and a DVD of live footage.
Type-O-Negative: Having seen Type-O-Negative on numerous occasions over the years I have found that the band was notorious in keeping the set the same on their second legs of their tours and sometimes even only changing slightly from year to year. I feared this a little bit tonight because if they stuck to format then this review was going to be quite the déjà vu but as I glanced at the set list which I am lucky enough to see from the brief time inside the photo barrier I could see immediately that it was very different. They would start it off with some of their earliest compositions and you know the crowd just loved that as the powerful and sometimes droning strains of "Pain" was laid down. For "Halloween In Heaven" Steele, who was dressed up as a priest, paused to reflect on the loss of Dimebag Darrell. The bassist had written the song for Dime and he stressed how he still really misses him. Way back in the day Type-O-Negative had toured with Pantera quite extensively and become friends. Songs like "Wolfmoon" and "World Coming Down" I always love hearing in their set but we would not get "My Girlfriend's Girlfriend" or the too often left out "Pyretta Blaze" which I felt was a tad disappointing. While more of their commercial fare, these two tunes seem to get the whole crowd moving and that is something to be said. It was not long into the set that I felt the band seemed tighter and more focused on the show than I had felt they were that last time around. I always have fun at a Type-O show, but perhaps their long absence and playing in front of a home town crowd had them feeling a slight amount of hesitation. This was not the case tonight and the difference not only audible, but visual as well. Peter and Kenny were in great sync throughout the performance and even traded guitar tricks like playing it with their mouths at the same time every so often. Band camaraderie seemed par for the course as Johnny K. smiled as always from behind his kit. Clearly the guy is having too much fun in a band that has such morose and depressing material to them. The dynamic seems to work nonetheless. Up on the keyboard riser stood Josh and he is, well, Josh. Seldom smiling if at all, and ready to flip the audience the bird if need be. He is always intense up there and delivers not only the added musicality of his boards to the mix but also is in charge of all the extra atmospheric stuff we hear on the albums.
As always the crowd gets the band onstage with rousing chants of "you suck" and tonight there was a lot more of that than in the recent past shows that I have attended. I like when this happens because it's not really directed at the band as insulting, it is just one of those Rocky Horror Picture Show moments to their whole vibe. It's the fans getting in on the action and expecting Steele to come out and yell at them like errant school children for doing so. I am pretty sure that he would be annoyed with us if we didn't do it so let's keep it going. "September Sun" is another number off the new album "Dead Again" and this is proving to be one of the most powerful songs in Type-O-Negative's catalog. It's a rich and melodic, almost ballad but not quite. Indeed a powerful track on the album and a crusher in the live sense. Throughout the night Steele would interact with the audience and it's almost like having your older Brother yell at you for being stupid based on the way he speaks to them. They often respond with more "you suck" but that never throws him off his game. He chugs his bottle of wine and even plays the bass with it during the night and if I saw it right he opted to toss the empty into the crowd so one lucky fan has a pretty cool souvenir. They delivered "Christian Woman" a little early if you ask me, but its one of my favorite tunes so I don't care when it happens during the night and this was the song that helped "Bloody Kisses" achieve the platinum level of success it did. Back in the day this song was all over mainstream Hard Rock radio so take that unbelievers. I was happy to hear "Gravity" as well since it's not something they always are able to fit it, but wish to god they would drop "Kill All The White People" once and for all. Perhaps they could slam out a Carnivore tune if they need to thrash it up, yet with Steele also fronting a rebuilt Carnivore nowadays as well this is highly unlikely. "Black #1" would not be the closer for a change (thank you for this) and instead it would be just before the encores of "Too Late: Frozen" and "I Know You're Fucking Someone Else". The snowstorm during "Too Late" remains a show stopping moment during the show as they really let it come down hard while they play, and it really works as a visual. "IKYFSE" is a great finale since its one of the bands oldest tunes and the lead track on their very first album. It was a nice way to have the band present you with music from almost every album they had. Oddly enough they wouldn't even touch material on "Life Is Killing Me" which was a shame since many of the songs are fast and would have worked well tonight. Please drop "Kill All The White People" and bring back "I Don't Wanna Be Me" or give "Angry Inch" a whirl. It would have been nice to hear "Cinnamon Girl" or "Anesthesia" again but they have played them a lot since the tracks appeared and there was no need to do that tonight with the largely different set.
If you don't have "Dead Again" yet you should really pick it up and snare their DVD "Symphony For The Devil" while you are at it. The new CD is excellent and the DVD presents a classic show from Germany in front of some thirty thousand people. Stay negative.
Lordi Set List:
3. The Kids Who Want To Play With The Dead
4. Who's Your Daddy
5. It Snows In Hell
6. Deadite Girls
7. Devil Is A Loser
8. They Only Come Out At Night
10. Hard Rock Hallelujah
Type-O-Negative Set List:
3. Halloween In Heaven
5. World Coming Down
6. September Sun
7. Christian Woman
9. Kill All The White People
10. Black #1
11. Too Late: Frozen
12. Waste Of Life (intro)
13. I Know You're Fucking Someone Else
Official Web site: www.typeonegative.net
Official Web site: www.lordi.fi