At Newcastle University, Newcastle, U.K., December 8, 2018

VON HERTZEN BROTHERS (Live at Newcastle University, Newcastle, U.K., December 8, 2018)
Photo: Mick Burgess

A tour bus is certainly not the place to be when the dreaded lurgy is in the air and certainly not when you are a singer. Even worse when the band features four layers of harmonies in their sound so when the Von Hertzen Brothers were all struck down at the same time this show looked doubtful especially when lead singer, Mikko, could barely croak a word on the morning of the show.

Despite a shaky start and a few vocal struggles during the epic opener War Is Over, Mikko kicked into gear as his voice warmed up and the fact that he managed to sustain a commanding vocal performance while so ill is a testament to his professionalism.

Jerusalem sounded magnificent with its soaring melody and layers of harmonies while the up-temp You Don’t Know My Name laid to rest the myth that Prog Rock is staid and boring.

A simply sublime Frozen Butterflies shimmered in its beauty and guitarist Kie, weaved his magic to create dynamic ebbs and flows while the glorious trademark harmonies drifted ethereally over the top. It was absolutely captivating.

The tribal drumming of birthday boy Sammi Kuoppamaki drove the uplifting and melody drenched Long Lost Sailor towards one of the many highlights of the night while Sunday Child chimed with stadium Rock authority where you could imagine 10,000 lighter waving arms in the air.

After a quick rendition of Happy Birthday for Sammi, it was left to a forceful New Day Rising to bring the show to a rousing end and what could quite easily have been a cancelled show ended up as an absolute triumph.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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