Jyrki 69 / MGT – Whisky a Go Go – Hollywood, CA 3/21/18
The brief, Jyrki 69 / MGT West Coast tour ended on Wednesday, March 21st, at The Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood, CA, where the crowd was treated to a rare evening of some pure, atmospheric, emotionally driven Gothic inspired Rock.
Finland’s own Helsinki Vampire, Jyrki 69 headlined an evening that also include their Cleopatra labelmates, MGT; the collaboration between guitarist, Mark Gemini Thwaite (The Mission, Peter Murphy) and vocalist Ashton Nyte (The Awakening).
MGT are a band destined to have their name placed alongside some of the genre’s greatest. Infusing their Goth foundation with an alternative, hard rock, sometimes Bowie-esque sound, they offered up a blistering set of some instant classic songs. Mark Thwaite and Ashton Nyte are a duo to be reckoned with. They’re out supporting their incredible new album, Gemini Nyte.
From the first spin I knew I’d really enjoy this band, but being able to catch them performing it live took it to a whole new level of Epic. Ok, you can give me shit for my enthusiasm, but the last time I was able to get to an actual Gothic infused show, ironically, was The Mission in Belfast, Northern Ireland at the Ulster Hall in 1990. (A band that Mark joined 2 years later).
Tonight’s show did nothing to quell my excitement. The band ripped through a rocking set that borrowed heavily from Gemini Nyte, as well as a few from MGT’s previous album, Volumes. Volumes was a collection of tracks that had Mark enlisting different friends to sing on them. One of the standout songs from that album (as well as jumping on to the current release) is “The Reaping“, sung by Ashton which gets a reprise on Gemini Nyte.
The band, rounded out by former The Mission bassist, Rich Vernon and newly enlisted drummer, Jared Shavelson added a great rhythmic depth to kick ass tunes like current single, “Every Little Dream”, “Trading Faces” and set closer, “All The Broken Things”.
Also thrown into the mix tonight was a great version of “Fault” from Ashton’s band, The Awakening. This came right after their special guest, Burton Bell from Fear Factory (who was teased earlier on twitter) came out to help with vocals on “Dystopia”.
MGT have been playing a few cover songs on this tour, namely the Abba hit, “Knowing Me, Knowing You” which Ashton & Mark recorded for Volumes and “Butterfly On A Wheel” from Mark’s previous band, The Mission; but due to great response to the new material those were dropped from tonight’s set to concentrate on their latest offering.
I would have loved for the band to have played longer…Throw back in the covers and add more songs from both MGT albums please! (Would love to hear their version of Stone Temple Pilots’, “Atlanta” performed live). I talked with Mark and Ashton prior to the show and the good news is that there will probably be more MGT material to choose from in the future and hopefully play in a longer, headline set.
Jyrki 69, currently on a break from his band The 69 Eyes, is a Vampire. He’s brooding, charming, has a penchant for the Gothic Girls and is out for your blood! Musically speaking that is…
In order to accomplish this task he brought together an all-star lineup of L.A.’s own “Hollywood Vampires” to escort him on his journey through the West. The band includes Faster Pussycat guitarist, Ace Von Johnson, Static X, DevilDriver bassist, Ashes and MadLife drummer, Kyle Cunningham, and they are a collective beast of a band.
Entering the stage to The Lost Boys Theme- Cry Little Sister (Though Shall Not Hear) and then ripping into his own soundtrack single, “Last Halloween“, the setlist tonight included a great mix of songs from Jyrki’s current solo release, Helsinki Vampire as well as a crowd pleasing variety of songs from The 69 Eyes.
The band also played a healthy dose of covers, including Danzig’s “Twist of Cain“, The Doors’, “People Are Strange” and a great rendition of The Ramones’ “I Just Want To Have Something To Do” assisted by The Throbs‘ Ronnie Sweetheart and Danny Nordahl (who is also Ace’s Faster Pussycat bandmate)
As for Jyrki, he is the bastard child of Elvis, Glen Danzig and Elvira. He litters the stage with some of The King’s dance moves and often throws little nods and finger points to his fans. The crowd sang along, mimicked parts of the videos and basically loved every minute of it. It’s been a while since the Goth Legend made his way to the West Coast and the fans at the Whisky showed him that he’d be welcome back anytime.
As mentioned, this is one powerhouse of a band that he has in tow. This sound and style fits right into Ace Von Johnson’s punk/rock influenced wheelhouse… Ashes, pounding out the low, LOW end with bass slung low and Kyle Cunningham just bashing the shit out of his kit. According to Jyrki there’s been such a great connection on this tour that there may be the opportunity to see them all involved again in some future collaborations.
Opening sets by Sliver (A Tribute to Nirvana) and Blood Wisdom