Semifinal 2 starts with a bang with The Rasmus, the once goth emo darlings who made it big with the song In the Shadows. They’ve come back with an impossibly glamorous female guitarist and a song with some questionable lyrics about “a girl who looks like she’s a boy”? UMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. It’s 2022, Lauri!
Now, if you’ll remember, I am an old. As a result I lived through the great Emo Awakening of the early 2000s*. I cried to Dashboard Confessional. I shopped at Hot Topic. I lusted after people with sleeves. I tried in vain to buy a white belt. I EVEN DATED SAD BOIS. It was a dark time for many of us.
So it is from a point of authority that I can look at the video for Jezebel and say:
Dude, that’s a fire hazard. Your homeowners insurance is going to go through the roof. And you’re lucky she didn’t take one of your kidneys to sell on the black market.
Look, I like Jezebel, questionable lyric aside. It’s a great example of how all types of songs are welcome in Eurovision. It’s representative of the gothy rock culture for which Finland is known. And it’s not going to be the first time in the context that someone’s hair dye threatens to leak all over their outfit.
But honestly, I spend most of Jezebel just staring at the fabulous guitarist (Emppu Suhonen, if you are reading this, I will be in Turin during Eurovision and if you would like to go for coffee or simply just punch me in the face I will be in Turin and can free up my schedule for that or anything else that you might want to do).
And when I’m not staring at the guitarist, I’m looking at the lead singer and wondering what his feather budget must be. If he’s been sticking them in his hair for the past twenty-five years, that’s got to be…
…oh, look at that. Less than a hundred pounds a year, then. More reasonable than expected!
Look. The song is fine. It’s an energetic way to start the performance. It’s just a little bit depressing that bands that were in their heyday in my youth are now considered the throwback acts who are retro at Eurovision. I thought that LPS made me old, but watching The Rasmus actually turned me to dust. In fact, I’m just typing these last bits of the review with voice control, as my fingers have lost their corporeal form entirely.
*It is here that I always feel compelled to point out that the originators of emo actually came up in the mid-1980s. The Washington DC band Rites of Spring are generally considered the first “emotional hardcore band” and if you don’t know what I mean, listen to any Fugazi song with Guy Picciotto on vocals. Man, does he exude angst through his every pore.