Saint Rebel

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author PP date 26/09/14 venue Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN

Danish post-grunge band Saint Rebel have experienced a steady rise towards mainstream recognition in Denmark over the years. First, they reached the finals of the Emergenza Festival for unsigned bands, then they won the MTV Nordic Unsigned Band competition, and were voted as the audience favorites at the melody maker contest. They released a solid debut album back in 2011, which drew favorable comparisons towards Audioslave and Velvet Revolver, and now they've finally reached the release stage of their self-titled sophomore album. For this occasion, they've hired Pumpehuset's upstairs room for a unique concert experience where the stage has been constructed in a 360 degree shape in the middle of the room, allowing audience to freely walk around the band and choose to see all the intimate details of their set. Attached at 90 degree intervals are Go Pro cameras constantly recording every angle of the show, no doubt destined to surface online in the form of music videos or on a DVD of some sort in the future.

The circular stage

Saint Rebel

Since we are celebrating the release of the album, it is only natural that the band chooses to play the whole album in order from start to finish. Vocalist Jonas Kaas quickly detaches his microphone from the stand allowing him to roam around the stage freely, although for the better part of the show he concentrates on the area with the most audience. Smoke cannons are constantly triggered to create rising pillars of smoke on the stage, a strong effect that gives their set even more power than it already has thanks to a sharp, crystal-clear soundscape no matter where you were standing in the room. "Feeling Good INC." is one of the early highlights of the set, in a live environment recalling an instant parallel to newer Papa Roach material from post "Getting Away With Murder"-era (i.e. not the nu metal kind). Soon after, we are treated to an intimate story about their new guitarist Jakob and how he joined the band by coming to the first rehearsal and already then suggesting a new riff, which forms the core lead melody of the next song on the album.

Vocalist Jonas Kaas

The band members rotate across the stage enough times to make sure all sides of the audience get their share of solos, shredding, and performance from all band members (with the exception of the vocalist who spends about 90% of the time on the bar-side of the stage). They showcase decent energy, and every now and then play a song with some serious radio potential ("I Give It Up" for example), but it is first around halfway through their set that the crowd begins to wake up properly. With no support band in tow, it makes sense that it takes both the band and the crowd a little while to warm up the audience, but from this point onwards the show is rock solid. One of the guitarists likes to lean down while shredding into the audience to underline the intimate surroundings of this show, whilst smoke cannons are still going in his background. This kind of stuff makes the show work - makes it interesting to watch instead of just a bunch of guys standing still playing their songs as they are played ont he album.

Saint Rebel members rocking out

"Do you want to hear one more!?", Kaas shouts, and the crowd predictably erupts into a loud cheer, before the band finish their album set with "Never", another highlight from the album. The sheer power of Kaas' vocals really comes forward here as he borders screaming in the heavier parts of the song, but it also has prolonged croons and a very catchy chorus to boot. Afterwards, we get a brief pause before the band plays "Once", "The Dying Child", and "Rather" from the old album as a bonus for the ~400 strong crowd that has shown up tonight. They finish their set in a way that leaves me convinced Saint Rebel are onto something - although they do get a huge bonus for the special circumstances of the setting tonight. It's not often you get to experience a band in a 360 degree stage, so it's good to see Saint Rebel taking full advantage of the unusual stage setup tonight.

8

Setlist:

  • 1. My Patient
  • 2. Feeling Good INC.
  • 3. Now You kNow
  • 4. Could Our Kills Endure
  • 5. Mr. Knife
  • 6. One And The Same
  • 7. I Give It Up
  • 8. The New Guy
  • 9. Leave A Scar
  • 10. Desperate Measures
  • 11. Red Zone
  • 12. Never
  • --encore--
  • 13. Once
  • 14. The Dying Child
  • 15. Rather

Photos by: Philip B Hansen

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