Stream City

support Hérö
author PP date 31/01/15 venue Loppen, Copenhagen, DEN

As one of the most anticipated releases in the Danish underground in 2014, the new Stream City album "Hoax" had gathered quite a bit of press hype ahead of its February 2nd release date. To celebrate its release, the band had booked Loppen for a Saturday evening show, where new songs from the record would be aired live and fans would have the opportunity to purchase the album ahead of time from the merch booth. Here, various home-brew schnaps was available for free for the early arrivals alongside plenty of merchandise, all the while good punk rock music was being blasted from the speakers. In the end, approximately 200 people showed up to the first Stream City live show in three years, incidentally also the first one to feature new guitarist Brian Binksby, who was announced as a new member only a couple of weeks prior to the show.

Hérö

Hérö

To open tonight's festivities, Stream City had handpicked Héró from Copenhagen to do the honors. Quite an eccentric bunch, they arrive on stage all dressed up in leather pans, circular sunglasses, and for the vocalist, wearing an airline captain's hat for good measure. Their all-instrumental (aside from sailor-style hey/ho's every now and then) set isn't any less peculiar in its nature, ranging from traditional folk sounds you might imagine in medieval French taverns to relaxed Caribbean vibes seemingly every other song. If you've ever played Tropico, the banana-republic dictatorship game, these songs basically sounded like the soundtrack to the game. There's a French flag prominently visible on stage, and the band consistently use "merci beaucoup" to thank the audience after the songs, so there's clearly some kind of theme going on here. Needless to say, the whole experience is pretty fucking strange with the band engaging in odd dance moves on stage whilst delivering the folk/traditional vibes and grooves in their music. But as is so often the case with instrumental music, vocals are needed very badly to keep things interesting. The non-caribbean material is frankly too strange to be enjoyed by anyone but the quirkiest members of the audience, and so the crowd size slowly diminishes as people venture towards the bar and the seating areas despite a small proportion being very much into their set. For the undersigned, too strange, and lack of vocals meant the set didn't really say much despite not being terrible per se.

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Stream City

Stream City

"Hi Loppen! Have you come to watch or to dance? Let's DANCE", shouts Stream City vocalist Dion Finne, after the band finishes the first two songs of the night, "Dystopia" and "Poltergeist", and right before the violin heavy tunes of "Epoch Of Revolution" and "Witch Hunt". This is truly the theme of the whole night, as the band fires the crowd up into a frenzy of dancing through songs both new and old whilst displaying plenty of energy on stage. Their bassist is in constant headbanging movement, Dion moves in waves towards the crowd while singing the catchy melodies and often lets his voice break into far heavier screams than on record, as the band primarily air songs from the new album to start out with. Understandably, the crowd haven't heard the majority of these songs just yet, so a rowdier reception is reserved to old favorites like "In Limbo", "Fisherman's Tale" and "The Magician", all of which are sandwiched between songs from the new album. This will no doubt change as people familiarize themselves with the melodies on the new album, because after all, they are by far the strongest material Stream City has written to date.

New guitarist Brian is then introduced to the crowd as an ex-member of Stars Burn Stripes via a rather convincing (albeit brief) incursion into their classic "I Lost The Point". A rather neat detail, if you ask me. "SKÅL LOPPEN", shouts Dion at every opportunity, hoping to incite the crowd into a state of drunkeness only matched by the activity in front of the stage. And looking at the movement in the audience during old song "In Limbo", a dancing frenzy seems like a mild way to describe the frenetic manner that people crash into each other. The song is followed by a brief Game Of Thrones theme, before "Sea Of Lies" dazzles us through its brilliant chorus melody that really underlines the strengths of "Hoax" overall. Crazy violin melodies meet complex and progressive guitar parts that bewilder the crowd during their best moments, which prompt current Stars Burn Stripes members Lasse and Leo to lift Brian on their shoulders to play as if on a throne at one point. Later on, crowd surfing ensues and the party seems to get wilder and wilder as the audience is properly warmed up.

Stream City

Still, the critic in me can't leave unmentioned the difference in response between new songs and old songs, so for long periods of the set tonight, the material is not getting the response it deserves. Yet. This is bound to change in the future especially as the band start touring with the new album. Overall though, the energy levels at the show are great, and the event as a whole feels like a party starter, even if there's a nagging feeling present at the back of my head that it could be even better. If you have a chance to catch Stream City on this tour, be sure to do it, and give "Hoax" a proper listen beforehand.

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Setlist:

  • 1. Dystopia
  • 2. Poltergeist
  • 3. Epoch Of Revolution
  • 4. Witch Hunt
  • 5. Brief cover of Stars Burns Stripes - "I Lost The Point"
  • 6. In Limbo
  • 7. Game Of Thrones theme
  • 8. Sea Of Lies
  • 9. Dying Suns
  • 10. Manipulator
  • 11. Fisherman's Tale
  • 12. Watcher
  • --Encore--
  • 13. The Magician
  • 14. Hoax

Photos by: Philip Hansen

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