Eagles of Death Metal

support White Miles
author MIN date 11/08/16 venue Amager Bio, Copenhagen, DEN

I’m sure that most of you know what happened during Eagles of Death Metal’s show on November 13th last year at the Bataclan in Paris, France, so I’m not going to paint that picture for you. But needless to say, the band had to cancel the rest of their tour and post-pone it up until now. Prior to the show I’d received an e-mail that the queues in front of the venue would be longer than usual, apparently due to more focus on security than what Amager Bio was used to. Extra personnel were guarding the doors, equipped with metal detectors, and we were told that once we entered the venue we weren’t allowed outside until the support act had finished their set. Naturally, this also called for an extended break between the two acts.

All photos courtesy of Stefan Frank Thor Straten

White Miles

Despite all of this, support act White Miles went on stage at 20:00 sharp. The duo consisting of drummer “Lofi” and guitarist/vocalist “Medina” quickly got people fired up by displaying an admirable amount of energy; Medina jumping across the stage while playing some bluesy and garage-like “stop n’ stomp” riffs and Lofi burning through adrenaline as he almost flies right off his stool. Medina’s guitar riffs are really well-played and diverse, but unfortunately it seems that Lofi is more showmanship than actual skill. He pounds loud and hard, but his technical prowess leaves much to be desired. Add to this the fact that his hi-hat is too loud in the mix, and you end up pretty bored by his performance after five minutes.

However, after a few songs, during “A Good Pennyworth”, Lofi picks up the pace and plays more nuanced and a lot better than he previously did, and suddenly we have a show where the only problem is the sound mix presented. Continuously, the hi-hat overshadows the rest of the mix, but the vocals are also too loud and muddy during the slower songs, making the songs sound lazy instead of dirty. Luckily, White Miles manage to rise above it by bursting with confidence. Their mix of Royal Blood and The White Stripes blues rock n’ roll is a genre that has a tendency of becoming monotonous and boring on record, but tonight it shines in this live setting. The second-to-last rocker, “Crazy Horse”, features guitar licks that kick like the wild animal it’s named after, and show-stopper “Into Your Spell” leaves the crowd wanting more. The band’s job of warming up the crowd was definitely a success, and I’m curious to see if tonight’s main act will be able to follow them.

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Eagles of Death Metal

A thundering applause welcomes Jesse Hughes and company to the stage. The band is all smiles, clearly happy to be performing for an eager crowd in an intimate, sold-out venue. One, two, three and here we go: The volume is loud, the band’s drive is praiseworthy, and Jesse Hughes is an incredible entertainer. Already during the first song he’s shaking hands with several people in attendance and his charisma in-between songs is incredibly infectious. Admittedly, the kind of rock and roll this band plays is digestive and easy to shake off afterwards, but it’s delivered confidently and convincingly. Especially the one-two show-starter “I Only Want You” and “Don’t Speak (I Came to Make a Bang!)” sets the show off to a great start. The combination of humor, attitude, drive and crispy riffs honestly makes it hard not to have a good time.

We knew it’d be brought up somehow – it was almost inevitable: That fateful night nine months ago. “I’m sorry for our little delay before making it up here”, Jesse Hughes said before continuing: “But there ain’t no Big Bad Wolf gonna stop rock n’ roll!” he then proclaimed. And nothing else was needed to be said. It was almost beautiful in its simplicity. No teary-eyed speech or dwelling in the past, just a short remark saying “fudge ‘em” before venturing on to a get down-boogie in “Complexity”.

Unfortunately, the level of energy which was displayed during the first few songs seems to ebb out, and as the setlist becomes more bland, so does the crowd-activity. The band’s cover of Duran Duran’s classic “Save a Prayer” is honestly really boring, and only a few people sing along – the rest are looking puzzled and disappointed. But what’s worst of all is the fact that the sound is off on several occasions. At one point the vocals are almost inaudible, then it’s the rhythm guitar, afterwards the bass drum is too loud. I tried putting in some earplugs which helped a little when the treble was too evident, but I honestly shouldn’t have to make an effort for the sound to be decent. Still, the band’s doing a good job at keeping us entertained, the problem is just that a lot of the songs, although momentarily catchy, are boring or just sound alike. Luckily, a string of songs before the encore gets things going again, such as “Wannabe in L.A.” and “I Love You All the Time”, but by now I feel that the show has reached its peak and stayed well beyond its purpose.

The encore sees Jesse Hughes taking the stage all by himself, performing a decent rendition of “Miss Alissa”. I’d honestly expected the rest of the band to join him afterwards, but instead he decides to play another two songs, including a subpar cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar”. Finally, the band joins Hughes for the last two songs, and things finally pick up pace again, setting the crowd into a long-awaited frenzy. The show luckily reached another peak by the end, and I find it a little admirable that a band with only four albums in their discography plays for almost 100 minutes. Personally, I could’ve done without the covers and the technical issues, but admittedly I was highly entertained tonight with a decent course of high-octane rock n’ roll and cock n’ coke jokes sprinkled with southern fried quirkiness, courtesy of Mr. Jesse Hughes & co. Eagles of Death Metal proved tonight that they can’t be shaken, and I believe they’ll keep on rocking and making bad jokes for a long time to come.

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Setlist:

  • 1. I Only Want You
  • 2. Don't Speak (I Came to Make a Bang!)
  • 3. Secret Plans
  • 4. Complexity
  • 5. Whorehoppin' (Shit, Goddamn)
  • 6. Silverlake (K.S.O.F.M.)
  • 7. Oh Girl
  • 8. Save a Prayer (Duran Duran cover)
  • 9. Cherry Cola
  • 10. Got a Woman
  • 11. Now I'm a Fool
  • 12. Skin-Tight Boogie
  • 13. The Reverend
  • 14. Wannabe in L.A.
  • 15. I Love You All the Time
  • - Encore
  • 16. Miss Alissa (Jesse Hughes solo)
  • 17. Swallowed by the Night (Jesse Hughes solo)
  • 18. Brown Sugar (The Rolling Stones cover, Jesse Hughes solo)
  • 19. Moonage Daydream (David Bowie cover)
  • 20. I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News)
  • 21. Speaking in Tongues

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