Concert Review – Lordi (The Opera House, Toronto, ON, 02/22/2017)

The God Of Thunder finally answered our call, and the most electrifying horde of Rock N’ Roll monsters in the universe stormed Toronto with their sensational, gory and theatrical performance for the first time ever.

OPENING ACTS: Mineta and Bookakee

lordi_toronto_2017The weather in Toronto couldn’t have been better for a night of heavy music, given the fact we’re in the middle of the winter and it was supposed to be freaking cold now. Not only there was no snow or rain, but with a temperature above 10 degrees we simply had the perfect conditions for praising the most awesome monsters in the world of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock, our beloved Finnish metallers Lordi, at the always comfortable The Opera House. But before Mr. Lordi and his horde hit the stage to mesmerize us with their sensational music and performance, we were treated to two very interesting Canadian bands that, if you don’t know them yet, certainly deserve our attention.

img_0141The first attraction of the night, MINETA, which is Polish for “cunnilingus” or “fellatio” (or if you prefer, in plain English it means giving oral sex to a woman), was more than just a music band, but a talented group of street performers blasting a mix of Ska, Punk Rock and Heavy Metal with a circus-inspired attitude, or as Mineta themselves like to call it, they play “Circus Party Punk”. Formed in 2012 in the city of Toronto, Mineta have just released their debut full-length album Polyglamerous, which was the base of their fun setlist, including the entertaining Fag Beef. While lead singer Bella Muerta stapled Christmas lights to her thigh, showed her boobs and urged the crowd to sing “daj mi mineta” with her (or “give me oral sex” in Polish), guitarist Tony Patrick Olivero played his strings while doing some circus tricks, Arty Basinski pounded his drums from the top of his stilts, and Matt Pazzol (bettern known as YuMB YuMB) was the weirdest clown I’ve ever seen to play bass guitar. There was still time for a sexy bunny to take some bloody eggs from her pussy and eat them. Yes, that all happened during their wicked show. Are you excited to see them live now?

Band members
Bella Muerta – vocals
Tony Patrick Olivero – guitar
Matt Pazzol (YuMB YuMB) – bass
Arty Basinski – drums

img_0149The second opening act of the night was just as insane as Mineta, but instead of an upbeat Punk Rock they played a very violent and gory version of Death Metal defined by the band as “Progressive Theatrical Melodic Brutal Gore Death Metal”. I’m talking about Montreal-based act BOOKAKEE, a name that also has a sexual connotation meaning “a sexual practice in which several men ejaculate on the face of an individual woman”. Formed in 2007, the band comprised of Philippe Langelier, Simon-Pierre Gagnon, Mathieu Paré, Jonathan David and Jean-Philippe Bouchard haunted the souls of the fans at The Opera House with the visceral compositions from their latest album, named Whorrific, including the title-track Whorrific and the bestial Bookakee Blast. And just like mineta, those five metallers didn’t only play their infernal, technical and thrilling music, but also “helped” a girl give birth to her creepy baby, scalped a nun and were joined on stage by the one and only Donkey Kong. However, the most unusual part of the show was when what was supposed to be a wall of death became a dance floor to the sound of Haddaway’s dance hit “What Is Love”. I guess no one saw that coming.

Band members
Philippe Langelier – vocals
Simon-Pierre Gagnon – lead guitar
Mathieu Paré – rhythm guitar
Jonathan David – bass
Jean-Philippe Bouchard – drums 

LORDI

img_0164After such unique performances, it was time for Mr. Lordi and his horde of monsters to deliver an absolutely flawless performance to an audience avid for their music. It was the first time ever that LORDI performed in the city of Toronto, and the whole band gave their best to make it a memorable night for their Torontonian fans. Still promoting their latest release, the excellent Monstereophonic (Theaterror vs. Demonarchy), the band blasted all types of songs in their solid setlist, from the beautiful ballad It Snows in Hell to the high-octane rockin’ anthem Bringing Back the Balls to Rock, from the very old school song Icon of Dominance to their newest hit Hug You Hardcore, and so on, putting a huge smile on everyone’s faces the whole night.

But Lordi also had some help in their theatrical performance from the very beginning like what happened with Mineta and Bookakee, with the iconic Skeletor introducing the band and displaying the decapitated head of the sissy He-Man in the opening song of the night, the cheesy but fun Let’s Go Slaughter He-Man (I Wanna Be the Beast-Man in the Masters of the Universe). Also, a priest tried to exorcise Mr. Lordi but failed miserably. Who did he think he was dealing with, right? Anyway, Mr. Lordi was on fire the whole presentation, always interacting with the fans and singing all his classics better than ever. Moreover, before playing the fantastic The Riff, he mentioned the song had the same “special ingredient” (which is obviously a heavy riff, if you have no idea what he was talking about) present in the music by behemoths such as KISS, Judas Priest, Motley Crüe, Skid Row and Black Sabbath, proving that before being a monster, he’s a crazy metalhead just like the rest of us.

img_0166Despite being slightly “hidden” at the back of the stage, Mana and Hella both had amazing performances with their powerful beats and keys, in special our stunning  schizo doll emanating charm and electricity during the entire show. And while OX blasted his strings in an entertaining disco-rock-dancing bass solo, Mr. Lordi’s right-hand man Amen was the personification (or should I say “monsterification”?) of a true Rock N’ Roll guitarist, being unstoppable on stage with his cutting riffs and solos. Let’s say their job gets easier than other average bands as they have tons of beyond-catchy hymns to mesmerize us like Hard Rock Hallelujah and Devil Is a Loser, and when they ended the concert with their two most famous “questions”, Who’s Your Daddy? and Would You Love a Monsterman?, they left us all questioning when we’ll have the pleasure of seeing those incredible monsters of rock once again in the city. I personally hope it doesn’t take another 20 years for Lordi to come to Toronto, but I guess I don’t need to worry too much about it as, based on the flammable response by their fans, it won’t take more than a few months for that to happen.

Setlist
God of Thunder (KISS song)
SCG VIII: Opening Scene
Let’s Go Slaughter He-Man (I Wanna Be the Beast-Man in the Masters of the Universe)
Babez for Breakfast
Nailed by the Hammer of Frankenstein
The Riff
Bass Solo
Bite It Like a Bulldog
Icon of Dominance
Drum Solo
Bringing Back the Balls to Rock
Hug You Hardcore
It Snows in Hell
The Children of the Night
Keyboard Solo
Down With the Devil
Blood Red Sandman
Hard Rock Hallelujah
Devil Is a Loser

Encore:
Who’s Your Daddy?
Would You Love a Monsterman?
The Night the Monsters Died

Band members
Mr. Lordi – vocals
Amen – guitars
OX – bass
Hella – keyboards
Mana – drums

Metal Chick of the Month – Hella

hella01

I am just a little doll… I live here in your yard!

I don’t know if our Heavy Metal babe this month should be called “Metal Chick of the Month” or “Metal Doll of the Month”, but either way she fuckin’ rocks behind her Korg keyboards. Also known as Plastic Chic, Scarbie, HellToy, Burned´n´burried, Forsaken Doll, Sindie, The Living Doll or Schizo Doll (so many beautiful nicknames, don’t you agree?), but better known as Hella, she’s the crazy keyboard player for Finnish Heavy Metal/Hard Rock monsters Lordi.

Hella was born (or should I say manufactured?) on January 2, 1985, and as you can see her character is a mix of human and doll. Her name is an old Finnish female name, which in her own words is “soft but somehow creepy at the same time”. She has created her character together with lead singer and founder Mr. Lordi, and according to her fictional biography, “Hella is one of the victims of the notorious madman just known as Ruiz, and is the twisted result of his insane experiments. Hella was captured and held in captivity for months by Ruiz, until eventually she was brutally cast in plastic and rubber. Ruiz´s sick compulsion was to try to build a real living life-size doll for his own amusement.”

Although our Scandinavian doll has a background with classical piano, she became famous in the world of heavy music by playing keyboards, which came to picture a couple of years ago when she met a Heavy Metal band that was looking for a keyboard player. Then in 2012 Hella finally joined Lordi, with whom she recorded the keyboards and backing vocals for the thrilling album To Beast or Not to Beast, in 2013. And I’m pretty sure I don’t need to say her favorite song from this album is Schizo Doll, right? Furthermore, she mentioned that Lordi, more specifically the amazing song Would You Love a Monsterman, was already in her playlist in 2002, 10 years before she joined the band, which just shows us how thin the line between coincidence and fate is.

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Besides her career with Lordi, she has recently written and sung in Finnish a vocal part for the song Miksi?, which is about the experience and pain of a person who was bullied as a child, with Finnish band Postikortteja Helvetistä (in English, Postcards from Hell). By the way, this project is part of a charity called Sovatek Säätiö, a specialized psychosocial rehabilitation organization, which focuses on substance abuse and mental harm prevention and treatment. Way to go, Hella!

The Schizo Doll is claimed to be a huge Heavy Metal fan, especially in terms of Melodic Heavy Metal, and her favorite bands include great names such as Amorphis, Katatonia, Porcupine Tree, Children of Bodom and Behemoth. Moreover, she also said it’s not difficult to find her listening to other music styles and artists, as for example Amy Winehouse, the Red Hot Chili Peppers or the Scandinavian Music Group. It all depends on how the heart of this gorgeous plastic babe is beating.

The last fact about Hella is something more than common for any regular person born in the land of ice and snow: her favorite drink is, or course, vodka. Well, I’m not sure how a doll drinks vodka, but it would definitely be a real pleasure for me and many other Lordi fans to have some (or many?) shots of Koskenkorva Vodka or Koskenorva Salmiakki with her while listening to some good old Heavy Metal. Kiippis!

Hella’s Official Facebook page
Hella’s Official Twitter

“My influences come mostly from metal music, melancholic and melodic. I also enjoy punk, hard rock, jazz, folk, love playing classical piano notes…so what can I say, I’m a goth-punk-hippie-rock’n’roll-girl.” – Hella (as stated in Lordi Army)