Get Your Gun

support Narcosatanicos
author BV date 14/02/15 venue Koncertkirken, Copenhagen, DEN

I’ve never experienced a proper gig at a church before. Like many others, I have both seen, and performed, concerts of various kinds at various churches but this night would be my first experience with the strange juxtaposition that is a rock concert in “holy” surroundings; a strange one at that, since the performers of the night boast such names as Narcosatanicos and Get Your Gun. Concepts I would not immediately associate with churches of the traditional kind, at least. Nonetheless, this was what FROST Festival served up for the crowd on this chilly, Saturday evening.

All photos courtesy of Lykke Nielsen

Narcosatanicos

Opening the proceedings, Narcosatanicos wandered on to the stage after a brief introduction by one of FROST’s bookers. Bathed in projections of both twisted, abstract and horrid images projected, Narcosatanicos immediately started by creating the atmospherics that commonly lead into their powerful, and strangely fitting, “Vulvic Church”. With its heavy, fuzz-based riff and the semi-wailing dual vocals it conjured up some powerful imagery one might never think to experience in a church, yet somehow they were strangely fitting as obvious counterparts blended into a twisted reality. Zeki Jindyl’s echo-drenched saxophone playing topped off the initial impression by adding an airy, transcendent sound to the otherwise heavy and noise-laden soundscape. Following with “Vile”, Narcosatanicos kicked the tempo into a new level, producing a noisy, infectious barrage of riffs that had most people in the church headbanging in a mild fashion, or, at the very least, had them drinking their beers with approving smiles on their faces. Joined by an additional brass instrument on this evening, Narcosatanicos became a somewhat different entity than I have previously managed to label them. Somehow it was all a bit more atmospheric, psyched out and trippy than it was the brutal, cacophonic onslaught of noise-riffs that I have to expect of them. It was a nice change of pace that portrayed another layer of an already intricate band.

The constant call and response between the fuzzy riffs from Kasper Skotte, Tobias Holmbeck and Victor Kim’s guitars, the echo-drenched brass instruments and the droning, haunting vocal work seemed to be at its very best on this particular night and showcased a version of Narcosatanicos that has become an increasingly dependable live act; dependable in the sense that they deliver each and every time, although the end result might vary greatly from what you’d have expected. This also holds true to their final song of the evening – a cover version of a song I managed to miss the name of. Joined onstage by the brothers Westmark (of Get Your Gun), this particular song lasted for nearly ten minutes, blending subtle harmonies from the slide guitar and the saxophone with a wider array of percussion and a droning, bottom-heavy rhythm section marked especially by the loose, but never un-tight interplay between drummer Johannes Krøyer and bassist Mikkel Stenholt. Although the sound in the church hall might not have been ideal for the band, forcing cascades of unwanted reverb on the band at various times, the surroundings added an amazing visual aesthetic that really helped blend the visual aspects with the auditory, creating an immersive experience with Narcosatanicos.

8

Get Your Gun

Following a fairly standardized changeover, the Westmark brothers emerged from behind the curtains once more to take the stage under the Get Your Gun moniker. Drenched in stunning visual projections, the band launched into a somewhat slow rendition of “Black Book”; the album opener of their critically acclaimed debut album “The Worrying Kind”. The noticeably slower tempo was initially off-putting but ended up working in the band’s favor, as it added a slightly more melancholic edge to an otherwise aggressive, up-tempo defined track. The melancholy seemed to be the ongoing theme of the band in the live setting, as it has come to be on record, as the band launched into the lengthy, droning “Sea of Sorrow”. Some might argue that you can be trained into becoming a decent performer, but Andreas Westmark prominently shows that being a front-man is something you’re clearly born into. With grand gestures and constant movement, his captivating guitar playing and mournful, wailing vocals stood out that much clearer to an audience already spellbound by his persona on stage. Although many of Get Your Gun’s tracks are of the lengthier sort, it’s hard to find yourself bored throughout their show as the slow build-ups are executed with such nerve that one does not dare miss a single second, in fear of missing the great release of power that would inevitably follow the build-ups.

Occasionally joined by Zeki Jindyl on stage, Get Your Gun also managed to elevate themselves on to a quite high plane with these collaborations, constantly feeding new life into songs that I am not ashamed of admitting having listened to intensely over the last year or so. “Call Me Rage” proved to be an aggressive highlight, showcasing the very peak of Get Your Gun’s ferocity. The soundscape was remarkably clearer than that showcased by Narcosatanicos earlier on, meaning that the noticeably more sparse instrumentation of Get Your Gun was able to utilize the natural reverb of the church hall to great advantage. With their definitive highlight of the evening, “The Worrying Kind”, Get Your Gun moved through a lengthy piece ripe with dynamic shifts that constantly kept the listener on his or her toes throughout nearly 10 minutes of pure instrumental bliss – although Narcosatanicos showcased the kind of mayhem one can cause with the fury of three, fuzzed up guitars, Andreas Westmark managed to showcase the diversity a single guitar player can also achieve. Ending their set with a return to something quite more laid back, I reflected on the evening as I left the church. What seemed to be the constant common denominator was the utter diversity showcased throughout the evening and the highly successful collaborations between the two bands. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing these two bands collaborate on something in the future.

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