Night Birds

support Nightmen + Planet Y
author MIN date 15/04/16 venue Ungdomshuset, Copenhagen, DEN

As soon as I enter Ungdomshuset and the room which I believe to be called ”Dødsmaskinen” (“The Death Machine”), I quickly realize that this is going to be a packed show. Tonight’s headliner, Night Birds, have garnered quite the attention with their last album ”Mutiny at Muscle Beach” (one of my personal favorites from 2015), and people have chosen to show up early to catch the supporting acts, Planet Y and Nightmen, too. As I am not too familiar with the venue’s regular attendance I don’t know if this show of people is just due to the low bar prices or if it’s because of any actual interest in the bands. I hope for the latter, but only the next few hours will tell.

Press photo by Joe Leonard, originally from fatwreck.com

Planet Y

Tonight’s first act is the Danish alternative punk-rockers Planet Y who, without having any online material, have managed to draw in so many people that you can barely move towards the stage when you enter from behind. The first thing I notice about the show is that the lyrics are in Danish and that the female vocalist has a very engaging stage presence. She dances, sways and jumps around with much energy that’s nicely complimented by the bouncing and adventurous guitar riffs being played by the young axeman on her left side. The overall sound, however, is poorly displayed; the drums are completely hollow and the bass is almost inaudible. Honestly, it’s a shame since this young act is putting on a pretty good show. They have the necessary delivery, but only momentarily shine due to this problem. Also, they play for no more than sixteen minutes before leaving the stage, but I’m guessing this is because of the lack of original material – plus, this is supposedly their second show ever. Kudos.

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Nightmen

The second band tonight is the Swedish punk rock band Nightmen who unfortunately have gathered fewer people in front of the stage than what we witnessed during Planet Y. The band consists of three members all standing in line at the edge of the scene with each their bass or guitar, slightly reminiscent of “The Three Caballeros” (if you have an ounce of imagination). Noticeably, the sound is still murky, but luckily the drums are less absent in the mix than previously. Many of the band’s songs are more straightforward than those of Planet Y, and they thus seem like a proper support for Night Birds. Unfortunately, after two or three short songs, the tracks quickly grow tiring and it’s hard to tell one from the other. Furthermore, there’s very little showmanship on display, as the band members just deliver without any real passion. The vocals are shared between the members, but only one of them has a voice I’d consider coming back to. Musically, nothing inspiring is put on display, albeit no one is bad at what they do; every member does his/her job in keeping the show going, but there’s just not much to get excited about. Then again, the last song of the set is a slow-burner and adds a nice tempo change, redeeming the band’s otherwise forgettable performance somewhat.

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Night Birds

Finally, as time draws closer to midnight, American Night Birds enter the stage very nonchalant with vocalist Brian Gorsegner thanking the audience for coming out tonight and complimenting the venue for its intimate setting. A warm feeling of intimacy is quickly created just before the band launches into the lightning-fast album-opener to “Mutiny at Muscle Beach”, “(I’m) Wired)”, which sets the pace for what evidently is going to be a pretty awesome show. Gorsegner’s standing in a green T-shirt and lightly worn jeans, reminding us that a manic stare and flipping the birdie is still “punk as f**k” if you have the right attitude and amount of “coolness”. First tip of the hat definitely goes to him for being an incredible entertainer who’ll do anything from mimicking a blowjob with the microphone to help a fellow man up after falling down into the crowd. Every member, whether it’s on bass, drums or guitar, is remarkably talented in a live setting, no matter if they’re playing surf rock in the shape of a cover of the “Escape from New York”-soundtrack, or if they’re ripping off faces with such awesome punk songs as “Born to Die in Suburbia”, “Maimed for the Masses”, “Golden Age of TV” and many more.

Sadly, after about thirty minutes, the band already leaves the stage. The crowd, who throughout the entire set has been moshing and jumping like crazy, is calling for more, and naturally, the band returns to deliver another four songs. The encore starts without Brian Gorsegner, leaving the rest of the band to play the instrumental “Miskatonic” which definitely gets most people dancing. When the show ends after approximately 40 minutes, it’s hard to find any real flaws. Obviously, the sound was lacking (as it had been throughout the night), but other than that one could only hope that they’d played for longer. But, as I know from experience, 40 minutes is what you can expect from a punk rock show with a still relatively new band. If you’re joining us on our trip to Groezrock Festival in less than two weeks, I’d highly recommend you to go see Night Birds.

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