Puto Diablo

support Trusted Few + Knife Of Liberty
author PP date 14/12/07 venue The Rock, Copenhagen, DEN

The whole emo/screamo/metalcore thing dominating the music industry in the US and the UK has never really caught on fire back here in Denmark. Going to shows with some of the bigger emo / screamo shows there are probably more Swedish fans from Malmö than of genuine Danes, but that's probably the effect of that there are less than a handful of local bands this style. Trusted Few, Knife Of Liberty and In All Her Ruin should all be recognizable names to anyone following the Danish emo/screamo scene, whereas tonight's headliners, Puto Diablo, were new to at least myself. As such it was difficult to determine who actually was headlining the show, because at least Trusted Few had a same size crowd if not bigger than Puto Diablo tonight. Nonetheless, a night which I hadn't originally expected much of, took me by complete surprise. Perhaps I had underestimated the scene in Denmark, at least so it seems after tonight's show in The Rock. But in any case it was so refreshing to be able to mosh in a crowds full of screamo fans without the fear of any idiots doing the windmill-trendcore mosh thing, which is the plague of all shows in the UK for the moment.

Knife Of Liberty

Knife Of Liberty was the first band to come on stage, and without uttering more than "we are Knife Of Liberty" to the crowd the band started the show with their instrumental album opener "Murder, My Sweet". With about two or three people in front of the stage at this point, it is clear that Knife Of Liberty came here tonight only to raise awareness, not for the big singalongs that their album otherwise deserves, being the new inexperienced band that they are. And you could tell this was one of their first gigs ever, or at least in a while, because the start of their set seemed awfully forced, with pre-planned simultaneous movements from everyone on the stage.

It hurts me to say this, but Knife Of Liberty really didn't make a good impression tonight with their stage show. They came across a shy, uncertain and slightly unconvincing especially in the beginning, though this improved as the show went on. And I know exactly why. You see, the band has been without a vocalist for a while now, so the lead guitarist had to not only handle the complex riffs, but also the high-end clean vocals and the screamed vocals, too. That painful, weird look you saw on his face tonight wasn't because it was awkward that he wasn't hitting the high notes correctly. Nope. It serves as a reminder that it really IS difficult to pull off all those three tasks simultaneously. You could tell in even the slightest instrumental-only passages in their songs that he was absolutely itching to get away from the microphone, to move along with the rest of the band.

So the problem tonight wasn't the songs, because they have plenty of songs capable of contesting some of the internationally acclaimed bands in the genre. "The May Irwin Kiss", "When Strangers Call", "An Affair To Remember" and pretty much every other song on their album is good enough to initiate large sing alongs. So the material is there, definitely. Now the only thing the band needs to do is to hire a vocalist, but not just any vocalist. He needs to have a dominating stage presence, and to be able to nail both the high end vocals and have much more volume and thickness in the screams than their guitarist tonight. If the band solves that problem, not only does their stage show become highly entertaining and pleasurable to watch, but they will also skyrocket into success. That I'm sure of.

5

Trusted Few

That's probably the most I've ever written about a first support band. Anyway, next up was Trusted Few, a much more established act that has previously been endorsed by mainstream magazines like Gaffa. They've won demo of the month, and received a six-star (out of 6) live review from the magazine as well, and judging by tonight's performance that rating is completely deserved. Launching off into the ferocious opening song of their EP, "Consuming Me", a surprisingly large part of the crowd made their way towards the stage, with people screaming "TRUSTED FEEEEEEW" from the top of their lungs. The band was dressed in Santa Claus props, and let me tell you, it couldn't have been timed better. With Christmas approaching quickly, having three guys mosh on stage in Santa outfits was 'mildly' entertaining. It was like the infamous Victory Records Santa Mosh experienced live.

But back to the actual show. The band plowed through almost every song on their EP and a bunch of new ones, which by the first listen sounded like they could be even better than the songs on the EP with consecutive listens in place. But nonetheless, the biggest crowd response was received predictably with "Rotating Stars And Human Breath", with the loudest singalong all night. The band took every bit of the crowd energy into itself and launched itself into a frenzy of jumps and crazy stage movement with not a member standing still - it's the way every show should look like in reality. Based on what I saw tonight, Trusted Few can be crowned as the best Danish liveband if they keep up their progress.

Puto Diablo

I must say I was slightly skeptical over how good Puto Diablo could be after checking them out on Myspace, where the band labels themselves as "Emo / Rap". Not exactly the formula for instant success. But nonetheless I was caught off guard by their highly energetic set tonight, which left even Trusted Few slightly in its shadow. With even more jumps across the stage than the aforementioned, their bouncy set found its way straight into my heart, where I have reserved a warm place for bands that really put their everything into performing live. The use of dual vocalists created a very Set Your Goals like stage dynamic, with someone in-your-face all the time, contrasted by someone jumping or headbanging in the background, and it clearly works wonders for this band live.

I must say that since their set I've been slightly curios to listen to them more than just on their Myspace page. Their set included nuances from so many bands I like, ranging from the nintendo-core bands like Karate High School to the contrasting break downs of many pop-hardcore bands I like. It even brought back memories from when nu-metal was at its biggest around the globe. They played for about an hour, and thanks to something happening on stage at all times, it was easy to stay interested to the very end.

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