I was very apprehensive about what I would see at tonight’s show at the Academy 2; Hanoi Rocks playing their farewell tour. The Finnish glam punk band, who are cited as influential by the likes of Guns’n’Roses and Dave Grohl, reformed in 2002 and recently decided they have taken Hanoi Rocks as far as possible. When I saw that Hanoi Rocks were playing, my initial thoughts contained words such as, sad, tragic, has-beens, but curiosity got the better of me, and from the numbers in the audience, I wasn’t the only one.
There were two support acts, Dear Superstar and Silverjet. I missed Dear Superstar and from the response of the audience, when Silverjet gave them a shout out, I am not sorry. I did, however, catch half of Silverjet’s set and, to be honest, it washed over me. They played generic rock-by-numbers which was uninspiring and bland, causing me to worry what train crash was to follow, if this was their choice of support.
Dry ice filled the room and Hanoi Rocks launched onto the stage with pure vigour and enthusiasm. Mike Monroe, the vivacious lead singer, leapt around like a teenager, interacting with the audience straight away, whilst the rest of the band tended to stay in the background. They belted through an hour long set which included recent numbers, such as Street Poetry and Fashion, and more classic tracks, like Back To Mystery City, all of which were musically tight and sounded like dirty rock should.
Monroe continued to entertain in a rock’n’roll manner with antics such as walking along the barrier, throwing out stickers and swinging the microphone round his neck. Typically, at points, he plays the saxophone and harmonica, which adds to tracks such as Self Destruction Blues. The encore of Oriental Beat and Up Around the Bend had the majority of the audience singing at the top of their voices and dancing around, loving every golden minute. Hanoi Rocks had taken me by complete surprise, playing a concise set which built to an awesome finale, leaving everyone on a high. In the words of Mike Monroe himself, “Hanoi fucking Rocks”.
Review – Toni Woodward
Photos – Steve Gerrard