Stream City

support Ghost Iris
author PP date 30/05/15 venue Lygten Station, Copenhagen, DEN

It's the tour finale for Stream City, who have been spending the better part of this year promoting their debut album "Hoax" across the country. Naturally, we take a trip to the outer Nørrebro venue Lygten to check out how the band looks like on stage after a few more shows underneath their belt bringing experience. For supporting duties, they've brought the fast-rising Copenhagen djent metallers Ghost Iris, whose debut album "Anecdotes Of Science & Soul" was an equally impressive release as "Hoax" earlier this year, so the night was certainly set for an interesting and varied package from a music perspective.

Ghost Iris

A sizable contingent of concertgoers has gathered in front of the stage to witness the brutally heavy, technically adept djent metal of Ghost Iris early on. If there's one thing to note about "Anecdotes of Science & Soul" in particular is its professional, crystal clear production values which make it easy to distinguish different parts of the song. This has continuously been a problem at their live shows and the echoing surroundings of Lygten Station don't make it much easier for the band to find the balance needed to execute their sound properly. That being said, songs like "Parallel Passage", "Everlasting Bliss" and "Magenta P.t 2" sound pretty good, with vocalist Jesper taking a few moments to kneel down on stage while screaming, as well as to enter the crowd for a couple of brief moments during the latter track. Mirza of Siamese-fame joins on guest vocals, and eventually we get set highlight "Phalanx" which still stands as one of the best metalcore / djent songs written in Denmark to date. At the same time, the band need to be much tighter than they are on stage at the moment. It's easy to see the difference between bands that play a couple of shows a year vs bands who play 200 shows a year, and tonight, Ghost Iris are regrettably one of those prior examples. The songs are technically proficient, which prevents much movement from those playing the instruments, but as a unit the band simply need to be tighter. Sure, they have decent energy, and they do their share of headbanging, but they need to play more shows together right now. Together with the meh sound quality, the show doesn't leave much of an impression despite the high quality of song on offer.

Stream City

As is customary to every Stream City show, the floor rapidly transforms into a dance pit straight from the get go which doesn't cease until the end of the night. Tonight, the band kick off with an older song before treating us to plenty of material from "Hoax", with "Epoch Of Revolution" serving as an early highlight. The band quickly run into technical problems, but luckily frontman Dion has capacity to entertain us with a parody impersonation of Jesper's (Ghost Iris) high pitch vocal delivery, while things get started. "Witch Hunt" then follows and the crowd shifts into a dancing frenzy to its catchy violin-led folk punk melodies. For "Poltergeist", Dion & co attempt to teach the crowd a little wooh-oh-oh-oh-ooh sing-alongs for the chorus, which works to some extent, but perhaps not as well as intended as we note when that part actually comes up.

Later, the band spoil the newest episode of Game Of Thrones while teasing us with the theme song from the popular series, which eventually merges with "Sea Of Lies" in a seamless fashion. "Dying Suns" follows from the new album, before the band announce they're about to play "The Magician" for what could be the last time ever, apparently. Until now, the crowd reaction has been disappointingly mild for a tour finalé, but here the dancing intensifies and we've found our highlight moment of the night. Next up is "Manipulator" followed by older song "Incompetent Doctor", which stand in a rather stark contrast to each other. One is folksy, ambitiously written, and complex, whereas the other one is straight up three-chord punk rock. It's a moment of clarity where it's possible to truly see how the band have evolved from punk into something more complex and multifaceted since then. That's also why the band finish off with newer songs: "I, The Watcher Of Earth" closes the regular set before "The Hoax" sees them return in an encore. So, tonight we've danced, we've partied, we've sung along a little bit, but I think we've all seen Stream City play better shows than this one. Not only was the crowd dynamic mild and at times surprisingly stand still compared to the catchy nature of their music, but the band's on-stage performance also wasn't much to hooray for. We got the songs we expected, and they were played well, but they are a better band than tonight otherwise suggests.

Photos by: Philip B. Hansen

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