Date: 12th February 2009
Headline Bands: Lordi
Support Bands: Brandon Ashley & The SilverBugs
Fatal Smile
Venue: O2 Academy Islington
Comments: I was eagre to go and arrived early in Angel Islington amid a heavy and unexpected snow flurry. After a stop for cookies in Sainsbury's I parked myself not far from the front of the queue an hour early. There I ate my supper (sandwiches, crisps and those cookies) and read one of those naff free London newpapers they hand out on every corner now. That took me until just before opening time. I gave 2 cookies to nearby fellow queuers as they were too sweet and couldn't finish them. Inside I made a beeline for the T-shirt stand as usual. I bought a T-shirt despite a ripoff price of 25 pounds as it was an excellent T-shirt. Then parked myself somewhere just right of centre a fair way forward.

The two support acts I didn't like much admittedly. The first support act, Brandon Ashley & The SilverBugs, seemed a bit alternative like to me. They came on with some girls showing off as much skin as they were allowed to. One guitarist had a horrible looking loose 'tie' schoolkid style. The second support act, Fatal Smile, were more cheesy hard rock. Slightly better but still boring. Although I did like 'Run For Your Life'. I was glad when they were both off and the roadies started setting the stage up for Lordi.

After what seemed like an eternity, and an unfeasibly long intro sequence, Lordi did not disappoint. On they came in all their monster-costumed glory, and proceeded to play Girls Go Chopping. They played a selection from across their albums. All of the songs were excellently played. Although they didn't play my favourites (Monsters Keep Me Company and The Devil Hides Behind Her Smile) I still thoroughly enjoyed the evening, with good lighting and smoke effects, no recurrence of the lead mic problem that plagued the Edguy gig at the same venue last month, and best of all the large array of props that were used. From smoking dolls, snow during 'It Snows In Hell' and confetti to interludes where an assortment of gruesome monsters came on to do some mini-performances. It was almost as theatrical as the Alice Cooper Show and spectacular to watch. There were also guitar and keyboard solos too. After playing 'Missing Miss Charlene' there was a very brief break before the encore songs were played. The very last song was their most famous. 'Hard Rock Hallelujah' was the song that they won Eurovision for Finland with and they did a cracking performance of it.

The gig finished quite late for London too, at about 11:15-11:20pm. So they were on stage for maybe 1 hour 45 min's perhaps. The big disappointment at the end was when I got outside to discover the snow had turned to rain. The kiddie in me was disappointed. But you can't have it all. I'd say this was the best gig I've been to in quite some time. Well worth seeing and I might well see them again if they return.

Someone in the know posted a full setlist online. Here is a full list of the songs that were played:

Fatal Smile:
Neo-Natural Freaks
Out of My Head
Common People
Run For Your Life
Hip Motherfucker
Straight To Hell
Learn Love Hate

Girls Go Chopping
They Only Come Out At Night
Raise Hell In Heaven
Bite It Like A Bulldog
Who's Your Daddy?
Blood Red Sandman
Man Skin Boots
Haunted Town
The Rebirth of The Countess
Bringing Back The Balls To Rock
Monster, Monster
It Snows In Hell
Wake The Snake
Guitar solo
Dr. Sin Is In
Missing Miss Charlene
Would You Love A Monsterman?
Devil Is A Loser
Hard Rock Hallelujah

I also took plenty of pictures. My A650's first trip to a gig. It did struggle in the darkness but I managed some decent shots among the duds. At the time of writing this I haven't yet posted them so keep an eye on my galleries for them.