Here in the United States, over the past 15 years, we have had varying television programs dedicated to music. American Idol, The X-Factor, The Voice, and other shows captivated the average American TV consumer. While that’s great for the average person, I never quite cared for them. Difference in music taste in conjunction with just how TV is here in the states. Quite simply, I’ve never given a damn.
Ironically, many of these reality music shows are variants on European programs. However, there is one major music contest in Europe which has reigned supreme for over 50 years above all others.
That show is the Eurovision Song Contest.
While the majority of presentations in Eurovision, as it is commonly known, are pretty typical, there are some performances that stand out and I quite honestly enjoy.
Eurovision is pretty simple in execution: European nations send an artist from their country, be it a singer, or a full band, and they compete against each other. Various voting systems have been used but at it’s core, the basic idea is that the most popular performance eventually gets voted as the winner. At least, that’s my understanding of it. Being in the United States, we don’t get the show here, and I can’t really be bothered to pay active attention to it via livestreams, but I have found many songs I enjoy due to youtube uploads from the competition over it’s history.
Eurovsion is so prominent that even at least one meme online, known as “epic sax guy” spawned from it; the clip coming from the 2010 Moldova entry “Run Away.”
Of note, as a general rule in Eurovision, is that music must not be performed live by the bands present – only pre-recorded instrumentals are allowed. In older videos, of course, live orchestras performed the backing tracks, but as recording tech improved, such changed. Regardless this means modern pop and rock groups have to have pre-recored backing music, with only live vocals.
Now, natural “common” music tastes mean that the most “approachable” songs generally win. While the history of Eurovision is indeed filled with irregular tracks as winners, nothing quite beats Eurovision 2006, when Finnish rock band Lordi won.
Lordi isn’t just any kind of band. Take a bit of Kiss, mix in costume design of the class of any top tier horror movie, and mix in a unique grasp of rock styles through the past 40 years and you have Lordi.
I won’t go into too much detail on them here. I’ll save that, as I always say, for another article. What I will say here is that I had never even heard of the band until quite recently, as I watched various Eurovision performances, I saw a thumbnail that looked interesting, for a song “Hard Rock Hallelujah.” How could I not click it?
That one video introduced me to one of my now favorite bands, and showed me that at least once in a while, something far from typical can win the masses over. I can’t stand the blandness of most typical music, and to see something that just plain, well, rocks, as a winner, a decade ago no less, is just awesome. It certainly beats every other winner over the past decade (yes, I have watched them all) that’s for sure.
Winning Eurovision pushed Lordi well into familiarity among many circles, and they haven’t slowed down. Many bands, it would seem, fade into obscurity, with something like a Eurovision win being their “15 minutes of fame” so they say. Not in the case of Lordi, who are now working on their 3rd studio album in 3 years. Their fanbase continues to grow, and I really can’t see them slowing down anytime soon.
Enjoy below their 2006 Eurovision win, their 2007 Eurovision introduction, and a more recent performance of Hard Rock Hallelujah mixed with a more recent song of theirs, Cadaver Lover!