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Copenhell - Day 2

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    Posted: 13 Jun 2010 at 4:38am
On this second day of the Copenhell Festival, the weather sucked badly, but that's the Danish summer for ya. The bill of the day was:

Adept
Mnemic
Dead By April
The Damned Things
Whitechapel
Suicidal Tendencies
Behemoth
The Dillinger Escape Plan

The bands I saw:

Mnemic: Performing rather early in the day, Mnemic played in front of a small, but very engaged audience. Their groovy style appealed mostly to younger people, as their audience seemed tto be primarily in the late teens and early twenties. Despite the small crowd, Mnemic seemed very fired up and gave a very good performance. They used the stage very well and maintained that improtant connection with the audience. They also seemed to have a genuinely good time on stage, constantly taking the piss out on each other on stage. So, even though it's not really my style, I was quite entertained by their show and impressed by their performance (and I did hear a lot of groovy riffs that I really liked).

Dead By April: Okay, they made me feel old. Firstly, their audience was even younger than Mnemic's audience (most of them were children!). Secondly, their style and performance was waaaayyy to polished and commercial for my taste. They made use of prerecorded keyboards and prerecorded vocal harmonies and a lot of other prerecorded stuff. That's just not rock 'n' roll enough for me. At least they could have brought a live keyboard player. Thirdly, the melodic vocal style sounded a lot like your average boyband vocals, while the agressive screaming style just sounded like a pig subjected to severe animal mistreatment. Dead By April are from Gothenburg, and their music did take the Gothenburg sounds as its core - to be honest, I felt like I was witnessing the mighty Gothenburg sound being mass raped to death on stage. Dead By April are certainly not my cup of tea at all... it's way to poppy, polished and calculated for me. They are obviously very good performers. They made good use of the stage and were very engaged in their audience. They deserve credit for that. And, at the end of the day, their younger audience really seemed into their music, so it's probably just me who's getting to old and grumpy.

The Damned Things: a super group comprising members from Fall Out Boy, Every Time I Die and Anthrax. This was their seventh show ever, and they don't even have a record out yet. The audience was relatively small, and, since most of the audience had never heard any of The Damned Things' songs before (they only have three songs up on Myspace), the primus motor of the audience was curiosity, rather than the type of fan-driven enthusiasm that the bands' members are used to from their primary bands. I don't know if this rubbed off on the band, but they didn't seem very present or engaged at all, and the singer, Keith Buckley, even seemed upset; when he'd finished his last vocal lines of the last song, he just said "Thank you, we're The Damned Things" and went off stage, before the song was actually over, leaving the rest of the band on their own to finish off the show. I don't know if this is just his style, or if he was upset, but it did strike me as being kind of rude to the audience who'd showed up to check out the band despite the rain and strong winds. Only Scott Ian and Joe Trohman were present on stage and seemed like they were actually having a good time and interacted with the audience, which I appreciate and respect immensely. Scott Ian also went up to the mic after the last song and thanked the audience for checking them out, and he seemed like he meant it. That was really nice and pro of him. The music? Well, it's primarily inspired by 70s hard rock with elements of 80s metal and power-pop-metal-core as well as 90s alternative metal. I actually liked most of the songs - especially those that had a lot of 70s elements in them - and the last couple of songs they played were actually really good with a lot of heavy riffs, groovy lines and catchy melodies. Thanks to Scott and Joe for a great show - I'll buy your album when it's out.

Suicidal Tendencies: holy cyco! The best show of the day. The band were very present on stage. They really seemed to be having fun up there. Their bassist was amazing, able to play thrash metal, punk rock, funky slap bass and mesmerizingly complex jazz figures. WOW! Their set contained mainly classics, but also a couple of new songs - and things look promising. Of course, their was a lot of chatter on stage, but that's part of the show and Mike Muir's personality, and it was accompanied by jazzy instrumental backdrops performed by the band. This was the best show of the day for my money.

Behemoth: evil and very entertaining. They made me forget Dead By April and reminded me that real, non-commercial metal for grumpy old men still lives. Thank you Behemoth.

Unfortunately, I missed out on Whitechapel, but I hope I'll get another chance one day.

This was the first Copenhell Festival ever, and for a first it wasn't bad at all. There's still room for a lot of improvement, though. I'm already looking forward to an even better Copenhell show next year.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pekka Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2010 at 3:26pm
Sounds good! Perhaps Copenhell will become the Danish version of Tuska festival we've had in Helsinki for about ten years now. I'm seeing Megadeth and others there in a couple of weeks, perhaps I'll post a similar kind of review then.
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