Brother Firetribe - 'Live At Apollo'

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Brother Firetribe - 'Live At Apollo'

Live gig from the Fins filmed in Helsinki.

Another of the new breed of melodic rockers, Finland’s Brother Firetribe are obviously playing second fiddle to guitarist Emppu Vuorinen’s main band Nightwish, so tourdates are few and far between and headline shows are even rarer. One such event was at the small but rather splendid Apollo Club in Helsinki where this DVD was recorded almost exactly a year ago, but due to delays it’s only just now become available.

With a small but very enthusiastic audience the Brothers run through fourteen songs in a fun and efficient manner, with Emppu in particular looking like he’s enjoying himself and singer Pekka Ansio Heino (also the frontman for Leverage) giving a cool and confident performance in front of the huge BF logo. The stage set-up is simple, uncluttered and brightly lit with Vuorinen occasionally leaving his post to join keyboard player Tomppa Nikulainen on the upper level to exchange solos, although it does look a little odd sometimes that he plays all the solos with the guitar resting on his right knee. Song-wise you can’t fault the setlist, from the pomptastic opener ‘Who Will You Run To Now’ right through to the anthemic ‘I Am Rock’, taking in classy rockers like ‘Midnight Queen’, ‘One Single Breath’ and ‘Play It From The Heart’ along the way.

There are times when the band obviously have some help to re-create the album sounds, particularly some keyboard samples and the fact that bassist Jason Flinck is the only backing singer but sounds like a choir at times. The highlights for me are their version of Mike Reno’s ‘Chasing The Angels’, a rocking ‘Break Out’, the excellent ‘I’m On Fire’ and the duet between Pekka and Nightwish’s Anette Olzon on ‘Heart Full Of Fire’. They lack a little of the youthful exuberance of many of their Scandinavian counterparts but more than make up for it with some precise playing and the occasional overblown arrangement.

To pad out the short-ish set there are a few extras like the usual photo gallery and the promo video for ‘One Single Breath’, but I personally think the title ‘Tour Documentary’ is overstating the case for a collection of camcorder clips of the band fooling around on planes and in the tourbus as they travel across Europe. There are some short snippets of soundchecks and actual gigs that are a little more interesting but on the whole it’s the kind of thing you’ll only watch once.

‘Live At Apollo’ is a creditable first effort as a DVD release but it just leaves you to speculate just how good this band would become if they weren’t waiting around for downtime in Nightwish’s schedule.

Phil Ashcroft

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