The Vintage Caravan, Black Mirrors - On The Rocks, Helsinki, Finland, 06.05.2019

Event: The Vintage Caravan: The Gateways European Tour 2019
Written by: Ivor
Published: 13.05.2019


The Vintage Caravan, Black Mirrors - On The Rocks, Helsinki, Finland, 06.05.2019 by Ivor (30)

When I heard that Black Mirrors were going to play in Helsinki, I kind of knew I'd be there, despite the show being on a Monday and requiring an overnight stay. I was later admittedly dissatisfied to discover that they were going to be the support band to The Vintage Caravan, but the only real reason for my slight disappointment was that I'm so partial to Black Mirrors in the first place. However you look at it, the two bands are a good match - let's face it, they go together like a pair of colourful mittens and are the very definition of rocking your socks off.

Marcella Di Troia (Black Mirrors)

When you're going to a concert and you absolutely love an album, there's a certain feeling of anxiety that envelopes you, and this emotion is usually stronger if it's your first time seeing the band perform. In the case of Black Mirrors, this anxiety was not about how the music would sound live. While sound is obviously important for a live performance, what got me instantly hooked on their spectacular début album, Look Into The Black Mirror, was its energy - so the main question for me was how that energy would translate into a stage show and whether the essence of the underlying drive would come across well enough. Pfft... How silly of me to have worried at all...

Black Mirrors are a strip of firecrackers on stage! The only person allowed to be sitting at a show like this is the drummer. Their act is intense, energetic, and always in motion. With the rich history of rock and roll in full support and the swinging moves that were already polished to perfection back in the '70s, the band deliver a show that just draws you in and along. It's both fresh and experienced. It quickly becomes a self-contained ecosystem of energies flowing every which way. If you are low on battery, this is the place to recharge yourself. For me, performances like this are a clear sign of rock music living a long and healthy life.

Black Mirrors laid a strong foundation with their set, not making it simple for The Vintage Caravan. But as I already mentioned, these two bands are deserving of each other. Without discrediting one and elevating the performance of the other as a given, the only real difference between them is the time spent on stage, both on this one and in general. Either of them can stand their ground and entertain their audience equally well. Whose rock you like more is ultimately a matter of personal taste and preference.

Having already seen The Vintage Caravan before, there was very little doubt that the rocking would be good. What I find very commendable is that the band have grown as performers and entertainers since I last saw them. When they supported Europe, they had an air of striving too hard. You've all been to shows where the support band is desperately trying to prove they are worthy of being on that stage; while their performance may be good, it can also feel a bit strained and a tad fake. It's hard work to make an impression on a crowd that's there for someone else. It feels like years of playing and the recent headlining shows have given The Vintage Caravan considerable confidence and peace of mind in what they do - by now, they have grown into an effortless stage presence.

The Vintage Caravan are an engaging and captivating entity. They are enjoying themselves, goofing around among each other and with the audience. Take this banter for example: "- It's good to be back, man! - Good to be... Batman? - Good to be Batman!! - (From the audience--) What about Superman? - Also nice!" Where other bands throw guitar picks to the crowd, The Vintage Caravan throw bananas. One of these adventurous fruits entered service as a cheering tool and a formidable banana guitar in the hands of a dedicated fan in the front row. Running ahead of events, this notorious instrument eventually ended up getting signed by the whole band after the show at the suggestion of yours truly. There might also have been talks of preserving it in formaldehyde for posterity... (Disclaimer: if nobody has done this yet, I call dibs on the idea.)

Óskar Logi Ágústsson (The Vintage Caravan)

Anyway, from heavy rocking to heavy tripping, with and without the cow bell, this is a show that gets you on your feet. What's notable, though - and I said it the first time I saw the The Vintage Caravan play - is that it's kind of fascinating how something that seems simple on the surface can in fact be more than just rushing through the lyrics in the fast lane with an occasional ballad thrown into the mix. The Vintage Caravan are more layered than that. Whether you like their sound is a different matter, but the tunes are far from being straightforward, and that's what makes the show engaging.

When I saw Vôdûn play a very small gig in Rotterdam about two years ago, I said it was a special privilege to witness the band making their first steps on the stairway to success. The Black Mirrors and The Vintage Caravan concert adds a new layer on that thought for me. The former of the pair are just starting out, having released their début last year. About 3-4 years ago, when Europe were ploughing through, khm, Europe, the latter of the pair were the rowdy, young support band. Now this ambitious trio themselves are rounding up the second leg of their modest headlining tour, with considerable success if the reactions of the crowd in Helsinki are anything to go by. To put hard work and time into perspective, I'm expecting big things from Black Mirrors in the next couple of years.

While I enjoyed the performances of both bands, there's no question where my allegiance lies. I went into the show with the sole objective of seeing Black Mirrors live. If you've read my reviews in the past, you know that I'm a huge sucker for good female vocals, and Marcella Di Troia is amazing at what she does. The Vintage Caravan just can't top that for me personally. However, trust me when I say that their show is no less worthy of your attendance. It's just that, right now, I'd like to go to another Black Mirrors concert, and then another, and another... Fuck, I'll stop right here and say that in my opinion, they were absolutely brilliant. Period.

The Signing of the Fabled Banana (The Vintage Caravan)


Written on 13.05.2019 by I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.

And one day I'm going to start a band. We're going to be playing pun-rock.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 19 users
13.05.2019 - 22:09
Ah, yes...nice, little package. Would love to see Black Mirrors. Well, I know I's just a matter of time.

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