For many families the idea of taking the kids for a night out at the end of a school week implies simple trips to the cinema or to a popular restaurant.
Those myths were dispelled tonight as an unsurprisingly high populace of pre-teens and adolescent head-bangers were aided by what seemed to be largely unenthusiastic parents to see the current hot rock potato – Finnish rockers, The Rasmus.
I have never felt so out of place, or so old. I could have actually passed as a mature father despite my 23 years. Those days portrayed in Almost Famous, where kids run off to rock concerts without their parents’ consent, may have gone.
The Rasmus opened with this year’s big hit single, Guilty, to the deafening screams of hundreds of teenage fans who spent much of the gig waving the infamous ‘devil-horn’ hand gesture in the air. Yet the rest of the night was a mixed bag with only a small handful of tasty sweets. Although they delivered a tight, well-rehearsed set much of gig felt uninspired, detached and a bit rushed.
The silver platform as the centrepiece of the stage looked like a cheap leftover from a low-budget sci-fi thriller. The little banter with the audience was practically incoherent and boring – such as bassist Eero’s attempts at mass communication with lines like “Is everybody happy” or “Can you sing?”
During the weaker, less heavy parts I fought my way through the ridiculous, frustratingly bright strobe lights, which have surely damaged my already feeble eyesight, to count 12 bottles of spring mineral water on the front of the drum riser.
Of course it’s a band that have nicked Linkin Park‘s fan base so they can’t be seen drinking beer in front of impressionable children – although that didn’t prevent lead singer, Lauri Ylönen, from helping himself to a few sly puffs of a cigarette.
One moment which was amusing but blatantly perplexing to Eero was when he made a reference to the city being the home of Manchester United only to be cut short by boos and hisses from a crowd who were more than likely City supporters. Eero then went on to dedicate a surprisingly good cover of the Pet Shop Boys It’s A Sin to the famed football team.
The Mediterranean-style heat of the venue probably helped me lose a bit of weight and much of the incredibly high pitched, unscathed vocal tones from the obviously excited children had left an unwelcome ringing noise in my head.
In the end it all added to my uncomfortable feeling of ‘I don’t belong here.’ Yet strangely enough I was at this very venue a few months a go to see UFO, a band who formed way before I was born and who made me feel right at home.
The Rasmus pleased much of the young (and even older) crowd especially when they played their brilliant new single, First Day Of My Life and then by hitting the falsetto, which was actually before the encore with their annoyingly infectious breakthrough single In The Shadows.
It reached a point during the song where it felt like this old, vintage theatre was going to crumble and kill us all – and I would rather die anywhere than at this gig.