PHOTOS AND REPORT BY: Samuli Keskitalo
One of the main questions lately around the music business has been ”is rock ‘n’ roll dead?”. Well, there are many answers to that one. Pure rock’n’roll and heavy rock are not very strong anymore and many kinds of new music genres are coming up all the time. While all this is true, if you would have asked me that question after I saw Backyard Babies at Lutakko, Jyväskylä, my answer goes: rock music is alive and good all things considered. Backyard Babies from Nassjö, Sweden have awoken from a few years hibernation and have put out their seventh LP and made a tour, which has now arrived in Finland with four shows. I easily remember the year 2003 and the Stockholm Syndrome album and a couple of songs playing repeatly on a MTV channel, though I never turned into a fan at that time. Thanks to my girlfriend I went to see their comeback tour, which was easily one of the best decisions I’ve made lately.
Another rock group from Sweden, called Junkstars, opened the night. A three-headed punk rock group that played a high energy set on a small stage of Lutakko and played their about 30 minute set with speed and garage rock -styled music. Maybe there wasn’t anything to whine about but the music is kind of simple rock without catchy riffs or choruses and it really wasn’t my cup of tea. Anyway their energy and the drummer’s frenzied drumming was entertaining and perhaps that is enough sometimes.
Like it said, I never turned into a fan of Backyard Babies, so I don’t have any kind of clue about their live show and what songs it’s going to contain. The assumption was, that we were going to get a set full of rock songs, and that is what we got: Thirteen Or Nothing was a bomb at the beginning and the evening continued on with a very hot atmosphere at Lutakko, which was almost sold-out, with songs like Highlights, Made Me Madman and U.F.O. Romeo.
The band ran into a few technical issues with a few songs, when Nicke Borg’s (vocals, guitars) and Dregen’s (guitars) microphones had something wrong with them and in a couple songs the vocals seemed to disappear almost totally. Maybe not a big deal for many, but I felt a little disappointed because of microphone issues on A Song For The Outcast. Anyway right after it the rest of the issues were gone and the show continued with no other problems.
The biggest thing for me was definitely the songs from the new record, Four By Four. I listened to that one very much before the concert and for me it would have been very good to play that record in it’s entirety. Of course it’ reasonable to believe that the band plays a lot of material through their entire career on their comeback tour, but only three songs from Four By Four was a little disappointing. But it’s only because that particular record is so strong. A very big thank you for the Wasted Years, but play White Light District and Never Finish Anything next time, please!
Nomadic was the last song of the main setlist and for the encore Backyard Babies had three more songs to play. Abandon was started with a little bit of a long intro, during which bassist Johan Blomqvist threw a few of his picks to the fans in the front row. Minus Celcius has apparently been one of those biggest hits and the audience could expect that one to come. Very catchy riff by Dregen and the whole song worked live as expected. For me the night could have ended with that one, but the band finished with Look At You to close out the night.
A quote from the band during the night, ”We decided to come back together and that has been the best decision we’ve made”, said Nicke Borg. I agree that. See you again for sure.