CONCERT REVIEW: The 69 Eyes – The Bites – Budderside at The Machine Shop

It was a fine, flowering Friday when The Machine Shop opened its doors for a night of hearty rock and ghoulish gothicness. The prized concert lounge hosts everyone from legends to rising stars making it an ideal stop for the Death of Darkness USA tour. The 69 Eyes have brought their dark music expertise back to the states for a month-long run with support from The Bites and Budderside. Known as Helsinki’s vampires, this hard-working Finnish band has not changed their lineup in thirty-two years and they have routinely been on tour proving their exuberant resolution. They are currently out and about promoting their latest album which was just released last year. 

The merrymaking began when the first act of the evening hit the stage. Many bobbed their heads along to the vibrantly energetic music coming from LA’s own Budderside. The next budding band also called the City of Angels home, and The Bites continued to build the fire the openers started. Their breezy, good-time jams carried a colorful vigor that uplifted everyone’s mood. 

The vibe of the evening shifted gears when the crowd prepared for the headliners. Elvis’ bluesy crooning poured through the speakers as the room went dark and the goth glam guys glided onto the stage. The band blatantly bellowed as they charged into their classic number, “Devils”. The hair-raising sounds charmed the enraptured onlookers and the veteran vamps were able to hold that intensity for their entire sixteen-song set. The roily reverb and soothing minor keys sung true as frontman Jyrki 69 delivered his deliciously deep vocals. The on-point execution of his roaring bass paired with his smooth, rubber legs-like dance moves owned the show. Yet, Jussi 69 had his own eye-catching performance. The drummer exaggerated all his movements to match the monstrous pounding he was able to produce. Each member carried their own weighty drama that was exemplified by their signature looks of leather and sunglasses.

They played their hits like the rock classic “Never Say Die” and the ponderous yet peppy piece, “Brandon Lee”. They also dipped into their new material playing “Drive” and others off their album, Death of Darkness. The suave, smooth swagger from these well-seasoned goth ‘n rollers had the ladies fanning themselves. Their dark chocolate effect of being shadowy, yet sweet had many fans swooning. The black lipstick-clad females cheered extra loud when they broke into the favorite, “Gothic Girl”. It was a night of heated rock ‘n roll raucous, steamy serenades, and melodic macabre. The 69 Eyes has held the banner for the gothic rock scene for many years and may they continue to do so for many more to come. 


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