Lordi @ HMV Institute, Birmingham – 10 May 2013

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Lordi - HMV 2013

Review by Jason Guest and photos by Samantha Knight

Tonight, Lordi made the Library stage appear inadequate. With such an elaborate set design as they have, this band’s heavy metal pantomime needs something much, much bigger. The backdrop emblazoned with their name written in skulls and ornate props either side of the stage bear an intimidating presence – or at least as intimidating as it could be for a band known more for winning Eurovision than their music. The music begins and the band members enter the stage one by one. A decrepit and decaying old man, aka Mana, takes his place behind the kit; Hella appears in her “Scarbie” box behind her keyboard; Amen the Mummy guitarist appears stage right; and bassist Ox appears stage left, a giant of a beast whose mighty stature threatens to dominate the stage. That is until the even bigger Mr Lordi appears and is greeted with massive applause.

Lordi’s music may well be a string of clichéd get-to-the-chorus-quick, tongue-in-cheek songs, but their live set is nothing less than entertainment from start to finish. Decapitation, confetti, chainsaws, phallic smoke guns spraying into the crowd, fire-eating girls, and a malfunctioning keyboard player repaired by decapitation mid-solo by a roadie all contribute to this overblown cabaret. Like a diminished Alice Cooper-meets-Kiss-devours-80s-spectacle show, Lordi utilise every OTT trick from the book of heavy metal history and combine it with anthem after anthem for an evening of fun. Fists and horns are held high, heads are banged hard, and every word is sung back to the band.

Take away the imagery and the music perhaps wouldn’t have the same impact. But that’s not what Lordi was ever about. Lordi is a spectacle, a show, an evening where band and audience are united by their love of metal in the live arena. And with the bat-winged Mr Lordi endearing the crowd between songs with his witty banter, Lordi bring that love to us by the bucket-load. Kiss and Alice Cooper – and more recently Rob Zombie and Ghost – have long been considered adepts in stage craft. Put Lordi on a big stage and I’d bet they could pull it off on that scale too.

  • Visit Lordi’s website here

And you can see more of Samantha’s shots from the show below or by clicking here

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