I went to see Lordi last weekend, in Birmingham with Chris Dean. Everything which threatened to go wrong (getting time off at the last minute, trying to get from Cambridge to Birmingham by train in 3 hours, not buying a ticket beforehand) completely failed to (my boss is cool, I timed the trains right, there were touts), and we got into the venue well before the gig kicked off. After hitting the merchandise stand, we waited and commented on how apparently Lordi fans don't understand the proper gig sequence - they were all yelling for Lordi and going crazy every time a song finished, before the support band even came on.
Tourisas, the support were pretty good - they were another costume band, but they just looked like they were wearing LARP kit. There was a viking, and a demon, and a couple of pseudo-zombies, but where they shone was the crazy blend of folk styles and death metal. I mean, they had an accordian. That's just ace.
Their fiddler was the real secret star 'though - the jigs, reels and folk solos throughout really lifted the tone, and made the whole set fun rather than ludicrous. Toward the end of the set, he approached the mic, ragged on guitar solos for a couple of minutes, then justified himself by ripping out an awesome distorted, overdriven heavy violin solo - that alone was worth seeing.
So after a set of cheerful pirate skanking and some stomping, we took advantage of the mass exodus to the bar to move in toward the stage. Some shuffling was required to avoid standing directly behind one of the many huge metallers with massive hair, but we eventually found somewhere half-decent.
When Lordi finally made the stage, it was well worth the wait - the apocalyptic pre-recorded introductions, the cheesy SFX, the awesome-tastic (thanks Pete) comedy horror songs all came together to make up one hell of a set. Neither me nor Chris could work out how they managed to play a full 45+ minute set, plus encores, while wearing all that kit including latex masks! That's just crazy.
Each member of the band had a little solo performance, which gave Lordi himself time to switch masks and props. The guitarist gave a monster speech (Guitarist: "Rarblblbgrrr blaaargh rbblaar!" Crowd: "Yeah! Woo!" Guitarist: "Graaah raaarg rrrrbllllar!" Crowd: "Hell yeah! You said it!") and the drummer played a medley of metal beats, led in by short snippets of the songs they were from, which were all surprisingly recognisable (I never knew I could tell Skid Row apart by percussion!)
All the favourites were there, bar my personal one - 'Chainsaw Buffet'. But they did play 'Blood Red Sandman', one of their old huge hits, which was ace, and pretty much everything else.
The only problem with seeing a cheesy metal band as your first gig in a year is that there ain't much space to actually get down, as such - there's just about enough room for a good headbang, and you might get some moshing in. But I didn't really feel drawn in to the gig - I spent a fair amount of time as usual trying to make sure nobody near me got crushed by other nearby people. I still needed a gig where I could just let myself go.
That gig was Sunday - more on it next time.