Vampires in their natural habitat – The 69 Eyes live at Tavastia, Helsinki 9.2.

Author John Wins - 14.2.2024

The Friday night of February 9th wasn’t a normal one in the cold Helsinki. A sold-out Tavastia was filled with some loyal followers of the most known Finnish vampires, also known as The 69 Eyes.

Promoting their latest record “Death of Darkness”, released last year, the band had a setlist full of hits to show the best of their goth ‘n roll. A few minutes after 21:30, the five members showed up on stage to the sound of Framed in Blood. With smoking effects and bringing the classic music that characterizes the band. It was already possible to feel the gothic atmosphere and see fans dancing, as in Feel Berlin and the third track of the night Betty Blue.

The live sound was already very good after the first two songs of the night while many fans were singing together, but the only thing that took away some of the attention for the wrong reason were the venue’s main lights, which remained on the entire show for some unknown reason.

In Black Orchid, Archzie’s bass and Bazie’s guitar solo are the highlights, but it was before Death of Darkness, the title track of the most recent album, that Jyrki really surprised the audience, revealing that they will soon have new music being released, getting an immense response from the audience.

Jussi and Jyrki are the most known faces of the band, and on stage they show why. Drive and the classic The Chair bring inspired moments from the duo, such as the vocalist’s unmistakable voice, which seems better with each passing year and the always engaging and mesmerizing performance of Jussi behind his classic drum kit, a funny and talented showman.

Never Say Die from the album “Angels” was a good soundtrack to try out some dance moves for those present at Tavastia and it was nice of them to use a special effect smoke on stage again, surprising the fans in the front rows. Before the anthem Gothic Girl, Jyrki pointed out that they have been active for 35 years, (lineup has remained the same since 1992), which is an impressive achievement. An excellent way for fans of the 90s to raise their glasses in salute to the work done by the five musicians in the last three and a half decades.

California, released originally in 2022, has a simple and catchy melody, very well performed, mainly by the duo Timo-Timo and Bazie. Another absolute classic is Wasting the Dawn, released 25 years ago, but still sounds fresh in Jyrki’s deep low voice.

A 69 Eyes show doesn’t have much interaction between the band and the audience, but on the other hand it shows an instrumentally very tight group, as in I Love the Darkness in You, as well with some good backing vocals, like in the track Dance d’Amour. The fourteenth song of the night is Brandon Lee, which not only pays homage to the actor, but at the same time adds another party element to the night that is about to end.

The return of the encore brings the cover of Gotta Rock, which was part of Jyrki’s participation in the Finnish TV show “Vain Elämää”, a program that brought even more visibility to the vocalist’s band.

The end comes with an anthem of Finnish music, which still sounds modern, despite having been released two decades ago. Lost Boys made each of the souls present sing their verses and together they transformed a cold winter night into a temple warmed by the best gothic rock made in the land of a thousand lakes.

In these days when some of the classic bands are ending or others are still resisting with different lineups, The 69 Eyes is a current example that it is possible to continue for many years without losing quality or musical identity, but that is for few, because there are only five vampires in Helsinki, and they are more alive than ever.

You can listen to The 69 Eyes latest album “Death of Darkness” here: