Last time I saw the Eyes was on Back in Blood tour in Zagreb, and yes, since then I haven’t seen them for almost a year and a half, which are really eons in the heart of a fan… but when the dates of the Dark Decadence tour were finally revealed, things started looking up. Nevertheless, after all that time, the chaos of feelings was inevitable – anticipation, nervousness, happiness and fear, all in one breathtaking vertigo which grew as the days to the trip to Italy were getting nearer.
Since the dates in Italy were the most acceptable when it comes to being absent from the everyday life (weekend) and relatively the closest, in the night from Thursday to Friday, April 8th, I started travelling to the first place of the gig – town of Passignano sul Trasimeno in the center of this country. The trip was long (ca 14 hours), but as all other trips I took in all these years for The 69 Eyes, it was certainly worth it! The advantage of finding the club in which the gig was taking place is that you will easily recognise it by the bunch of people dressed in black – and that was the case this time too. I also had a chance to meet Martina from the Italian street team and Nora from the Mexican counterpart, and we spent some time having an excited discussion on the tonight’s gig. “In just a few hours I will see my favourite band again!”, kept ringing in my head, although it never really ‘settles’…
Concert was opened by a local band, after which Crashdïet from Sweden took the stage, a band which I first heard of little before the tragic death of their singer then, Dave Leppard, in 2006., and it was interesting for me to see how much they have been able to recuperate musically and continue their way to the top. During the energy ladden show, Simon Cruz, who took over the microphone and follows the lead slogans of Crashdïet with his looks and attitude, certainly succeeded in presenting his youth rebellion and everything else that makes this band attractive to the sleaze generation’10. Short but sweet, the gig ended in honest enthusiasm of the part of the audience which heard the Swedish group for the first time that night, and then darkness reigned…
Jace Everett’s riff and “Bad Things” burst through the recognisable 69 fog and then I realised its dance rhythm is the perfect intro for a 69 Eyes show! Although it seemed there are no fans of the American vampire show “True Blood” (from which the song itself came) in the audience, driven and highly professional Helsinki Vampires came on stage and played a breathstopping set! Considering the gig started later than scheduled (due to both tour buses’ breakdown) and consequences for the gig, the Eyes haven’t let it be seen on stage, which makes the admiration truly greater. The audience in Auditorium Urbani had a chance to hear a cross section of the albums recorded in the last ca 15 years, out of which, besides the standard good “Devils” and “Brandon Lee”, I would accentuate a fantastic earlier version of “Velvet Touch” from the Savage Garden album. The sound of the bell at the beginning and the unforgettable guitar riff – once more the Eyes have given a phenomenal surprise to the fans – and it’s needless to describe how good this song sounds live!
Passignano got another present in the form of a small acoustic part at the end of the set, which showed the beauty of an ‘unplugged’ concert of The 69 Eyes, which their fans in Finland had a multiple chance of seeing before Dark Decadence. Nevertheless, neither the acoustic versions of their song don’t lose on their rawness and fury of gothic rock, on the contrary, it seemed that songs such as the performed “Feel Berlin” get a completely new, attractive dimension. Jussi presented the acoustic part and his band colleagues and for a moment, it seemed to me, all had already ended. The end was sweetened by the aforementioned ‘The Crow’ song and the anthem “Lost Boys”, and the Finnish rockers went off stage for good this time…
‘Wild Boys’ of Hardcore Superstar started their set after more than an hour (which means, after 1 am), but regardless of the lateness and all the traditional problems surrounding a tour, they gave their fans each and every planned song and set Auditorium Urbani on fire. Between the sets I met Simon of Crashdïet and spent some time with him in a casual and cozy conversation, which confirmed my impression of him as a young and promising singer who can achieve a great deal if he doesn’t turn the destructive way. When the triple bill concert finally ended, it seemed there are only a few moments left until sunrise on the beautiful coast of the lake Trasimeno, and my crew and I started our way to our second goal – Italian summer spot Pinarella di Cervia on the coast of the Adriatic.
We welcomed a much needed rest in one of the hotels in Pinarella, to which we came after ‘easy’ 3 hours of driving through the heart of Italy. The day brought summer-like heat and a real sense of going on a holiday, which was slightly uncomfortable considering the fact that one cannot really go to a 69 show in sandals and some tanning clothes! Luckily, evening brought some relief, so Claudia, my resident companion during 69 trips, and I managed to slip into fake leather without problems and come to the Rock Planet venue. However, inside was a different story! The club itself is decorated top notch, but the big crowd and absence of good ventilation made staying inside a fight for a breath of air. In spite of that, the feeling of the gig was 100% better than the one last night! Good atmosphere which was additionally fired up by Crashdïet became heated on the True Blood intro, and fans immediately started singing and screaming at the arrival of the Eyes on stage! The gig was again opened with “Devils”, then came “Dance D’Amour”, “Wings & Hearts”, “Christina Death” and truly one of my favourite – “Still Waters Run Deep”, which I heard for the last time over 5 years ago! Sadly, Pinarella didn’t get the acoustic part, probably due to a small stage and an overly eager audience, but it was apparent that the Eyes absolutely enjoy the performance, so they gave to the audience in Rock Planet “Never Say Die”, and “The Chair” on encore. All in all, a perfectly performed set!
Heat (both literal and figurative) continued to go through the club in waves, and after the show I have spent a couple of pleasant hours hanging out with Bazie! Always smiling and available, during our conversation he revealed several details about the tour and setlist to me, as well as what exactly happened in the last few days due to the tour buses’ breakdown. Not only that, at the end we, along with a couple of his Italian friends, also members of bands, we cheered with home-made Italian drink (name of which I forgot at the same moment) and laughed to some interesting events from the previous tours. At half past 3 in the morning, Eyes and the crew had to go, and we said goodbye and hugged until tomorrow night!
Filled with wonderful impressions and with new friendships, Claudia and came back to the hotel and rested before the last day, which showed as the most exhaustive of all. Namely, Trezzo Sull’Adda is literally a town with three residents and completely like Hobb’s End from the movie “In the Mouth of Madness” – we were really at the verge of going insane because this place is almost impossible to find! Instead of ‘easy’ 4 hours of driving, after wandering through Milan and 10 hours in the car in total, and million questions on direction (although we had navigation, it proved useless due to the mentioned ‘twilight zone’ quality, detours etc.), we came in front of the Live Club at the last second.
The club has a huge capacity and was filled almost to the last spot, due to its proximity to Milan and many fans who were able to attend just this show. Crashdïet were spectacularly greeted by, it seemed, thousands and thousands of young Italians who were revitalizing the sleaze movement of the 80’s and saw off their new idols with loud ovations and shouting. The 69 Eyes were in the golden middle here as well, and when “Bad Things” started, singing broke out of both their and Hardcore Superstar fans. The concert itself offered a juicy mixture of great 69 hits, similar to the setlist in Passignano, because the fans in Trezzo were also given the acoustic part, and at the beginning they were greeted by the classic “Ghettoway Car”, which truly sounds as if it belongs to their set for a long time now. Acoustic “Feel Berlin”, and Elvis’s “Heartbreak Hotel” were songs to remember! Jyrki channelled his inner Elvis perfectly, and gave the audience a few signature Presley moves. “Lost Boys”, as before, always comes too fast and too soon, announcing my brief parting with the band until the final show in Stockholm, several days later.
Since it became impossible to stay alive before the Hardcore Superstar performance, Claudia and I decided to retrieve to the upper floor of the club and watch the show in peace. Up until this tour I didn’t know these Swedish guys had so many fans in Italy and Europe in general, but once again they showed the strength of a co-headliner with songs such as “Bag On Your Head” and “Last Call For Alcohol”, with which they, along with the rest of the set, they totally made the audience frantic. After the show we again saw the 69 limo in front of the back door and some Jyrki’s fans in front of it, patiently waiting, and we headed towards the car and went home.
I didn’t have the bitter feeling of parting as usual, because a trip to the homeland of Crashdïet and Hardcore Superstar awaited me in just a few days, to another, last in a row, concert of the Dark Decadence tour, but it was nevertheless a bit sad that the entire Italian adventure ended. I also felt and even greater respect towards The 69 Eyes because of their relentless touring across Europe and the world, because in just 3 days I felt great fatigue and couldn’t wait to come home, so big respect to you, guys! Giving an undescribable feeling to the fans on each and every show really demands great sacrifice, but also an immeasurable love for music and audience that listens to it. Big thank you goes to Claudia for spending beautiful time together in true gothic rock style!
Is there something more to say about decadent Italy 2011? There is. A million and one word, Jyrki’s smile on my scream at the “Velvet Touch” lyric “pretty baby screams”, reminescence of the “Lost Boys” dance, seeing again my vampires… That is why I will say only three: thank you, darlings!

SETLISTS OF THE DARK DECADENCE TOUR IN ITALY
PASSIGNANO, 08.04.’11
1. Devils
2. Ghettoway Car
3. Dead n’Gone
4. Wings & Hearts
5. Dance D’amour
6. Kiss Me Undead
7. Crashing High
8. The Chair
9. Lips of Blood
10. Perfect Skin
11. Sister of Charity
12. Never Say Die
13. Dead Girls Are Easy

14. Feel Berlin
15. Heartbreak Hotel (Elvis Presley cover)

16. Brandon Lee
17. Lost Boys
PINARELLA, 09.04.’11
1. Devils
2. Dance D’Amour
3. Wings & Hearts
4. Christina Death
5. Lips Of Blood
6. Perfect Skin
7. Still Waters Run Deep
8. Kiss Me Undead
9. Velvet Touch
10. Sister Of Charity
11. Betty Blue
12. Feel Berlin
13. Never Say Die
14. Dead Girls Are Easy

15. Brandon Lee
16. The Chair
17. Lost Boys
TREZZO, 10.04.’11
1. Devils
2. Ghettoway Car
3. Dead n’Gone
4. Wings & Hearts
5. Dance D’amour
6. Kiss Me Undead
7. Crashing High
8. The Chair
9. Lips of Blood
10. Perfect Skin
11. Sister of Charity
12. Never Say Die
13. Dead Girls Are Easy

14. Feel Berlin
15. Heartbreak Hotel (Elvis Presley cover)

16. Rocker
17. Brandon Lee
18. Lost Boys