DORO – HELSINKI 23.4.2013

Text and photos by VILLE KRANNILA

THIS was the second time for me seeing Doro live, this round taking place at the Nosturi-club as opposed to 2011 when I witnessed a shorter festival show at Sauna Open Air. Still supporting her 2012 album “Raise Your Fist,” Doro have been playing great shows throughout the tour and even changing the set list regularly – which always gets awarded with extra points in my book of reviews.

Swedish hard rock group Dirty Passion opened the proceedings with very much a standard set of melodic songs. Nothing special, but from the strength of this I might just have to check out this band’s releases. Doro kicked off the set with one of the absolute favourites, immortal “I Rule The Ruins” followed quickly by “Burning The Witches.” The opening couple proved to be a wise move, as the crowd was now eating from the palm of Doro’s hand in every turn. She kept a constant contact with the audience, and there was a great participation throughout the floor area. The sound picture was also pretty good, but then again most of the shows I have witnessed in Nosturi have at least decent sound.

Third up “Fight For Rock” albeit being an up-tempo rocker from the 1980’s again, seemed to offer a little breather after two previous songs. “Rock Till Death” was first of the new songs getting played tonight and sounded ok, although lost out to two other new rockers coming up later on. “Metal Racer” kept the pace going and being a firm crowd favourite, worked amazingly well as a live number. One of the songs I don’t think they played in Sauna 2011.

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Next up Doro announced it was time for a rarity, a song “many probably have not heard before.” “Evil” might have been a strange song for the casual fan but it was actually originally released as a ’45 single in 1985. “Without You” was not the most known of Doro ballads, and seemed offer a short breather before one of my definite picks of ultimate Warlock song “True As Steel.” The audience were very much involved in singing the chorus of this anthem. The title track of Doro’s latest CD “Raise Your Fist In The Air” continued the similar theme, and I can see this one remaining in the setlist for a while. We returned back to ballads with “Hero” – dedicated to late Ronnie James Dio – and despite somewhat overboard lyrics the sentiment was certainly honest. Next ballad “Fur Immer” was even better in this regard. Latter is probably Doro’s most loved slower and while it never goes down better than in its native Germany, the Finns certainly sang it loud enough.Doro charged back into full on metal with “Earthshaker Rock” added with drummer Johnny Dee’s drum solo. Drum solos usually offer some extra time to take a toilet or beer break (or sometimes both), tonight’s solo wasn’t too long though and served as a perfect breather before “Wacken Hymne” (or otherwise known as “We Are Metalheads”).

The crowd was very much into these newer tracks throughout the show, and along with “Raise Your Fist,” a storming “Revenge” got a great reception. Some monitor problems plagued Doro in the middle of “Revenge” thus some of the lyrics got mixed up, but this hardly affected the song which rose to my personal top position as far as latest album goes. A track fit to stand alongside any of the older Doro numbers.

The immortal Judas Priest-classic “Breaking The Law” was given the “Classic Diamonds” arrangement with first acoustic part leading up to full on metal for two minutes. I’ve always liked this cover version and it was great to see audience loving every second of it. The standard of every Doro show since its inception, “All We Are” is another tune perfect for everyone to get up and join in. Fans shouted back the catchy chorus and kept it going for a while before the song ended. I’ve mentioned this before, but this song is one of those classics I’m not too keen on and I feel could be replaced by newer songs. However, no matter what the crowd thrives on it so they keep playing the song.

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There was really no encore as the band never left the stage but instead dived straight into “Metal Tango,” apparently played as a request. An excellent song, it brought the house down. Compared to previous show, there were two songs less present in the encore. The one I was expecting the most “Burn It Up” got dropped but this hardly deterred the proceedings. Someone gave Doro a black rose and she declared it appropriate for the next song. Thus they played excellent ballad “Love Me In Black.” It was followed by Warlock’s classic “East Meets West” and Doro’s own “Night Of The Warlock” and the night was over. Well almost over. As rest of the band left the stage, Doro herself stayed on stage giving out autographs and posing for photos for at least 15 minutes. Never seen anything like that before, and goes some way to show her devotion to the fans.

So what was the feeling inside after 1,5 hours Queen of Metal’s best of show? Her voice remains as strong as ever, her backing band has musicians who have been there on and off for several years and the songs still have that trademark quality. Their playing was locked in together perfectly and the grip was never let go. Drum solo might have been pointless but other than that, there was very little showing off, just a great metal show from start to finish. Set-list was great with good balance on the older Warlock-tracks and stuff from latest Doro-album. “Calling The Wild” is my favourite CD from the 2000-era Doro, so a tad disappointing not to have one single song from it but then again two other records from the decade; “Fight” and “Warrior Soul” were also ignored. Overall there is not much to complain in this department.

I also respect the fact that, the order of the songs gets switched around and encores especially varying between different tracks on any particular show. This is something each and every artist and band should do. Overall thumbs up for Doro!

Setlist:

I Rule The Ruins
Burning The Witches
Fight For Rock
Rock Till Death
Metal Racer
Evil
Without You
True As Steel
Raise Your Fist In The Air
Hero
Für Immer
Earthshaker Rock
Drum Solo
We Are The Metalheads
Revenge
Breaking The Law
All We Are

encore:
Metal Tango
Love Me In Black
East Meets West
Night Of The Warlock

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