The Blackout

support My American Heart
author TL date 18/01/08 venue Stengade 30, Copenhagen, DEN

You know for a fact a show in Copenhagen is going to be really small when you arrive 2 hours early and only three Swedish girls are camping at the entrance. Not that I'm expecting The Blackout's first show on Danish soil to be anything grand as the band has had absolutely no promotion at all over here, and being an up-and-coming act at best even in their own country, that's hardly surprising either. This is by no means a problem, because Stengade 30 is such a small venue (Brits think of Barfly) that more than 50 people would be a crowd anyway, and seeing any band here is always going to be a worthy experience in terms of intimacy alone. Anyway, enough of me bullshitting you, let's fast forward to the actual sets shall we?

Having listened to My American Heart's album "The Meaning In Make Up" I'll just go ahead and admit that I wasn't really impressed with the band and that I was expecting a rather half-assed performance from them. Taking that into consideration I was very positively surprised as the San Diego dudes take the stage with a conviction far more impressive than what the turnout would imply. The bass player and guitarists are rocking out to the alt rock riffs while frontman Larry sings every word with a passion, and together the boys in the band get the crowd closer and put smiles on our faces. People are nodding and tapping their feet, and a few die hard fans apparently having come out of nowhere are having the time of their lives. I'd say that under the circumstances it would be hard for any band of this size to get a better result. Definetely a more than halfway decent surprise from a band that's traveled a looong way to play to less than 50 people.

After the first set, we sit back, relax and watch what we believe to be the guitar tech treat us to what sounds very close to riffage from "Bulls On Parade" and "Laid To Rest". Smells like Guitar Hero or am I just damaged by playing it too much? In any case, we're surprised to find that the guy is the actual guitarist of The Blackout who get on stage a good 15-20 minutes after My American Heart went off. Now listening to the band's album "We Are The Dynamite", I'm sure there are a lot of people who aren't really sure if it's possible to take their pretty standard emocore setup seriously. Those same people should come and watch a show and have their doubts removed because The Blackout are out for one thing and that is to have a fuckin' party. The lights go on to the sound of their over the top intro with the "WE! ARE! THE DYNAMITE!" chant going, and the band launches into their first song of the evening, "Hard Slamming", and from that moment, the party is ON. All the band's songs are built on alternating vocal lines and in every free moment the singers Sean and Gavin are flying around the stage, dancing, headbanging, swinging microphones around and displaying boatloads of hardcore stances.

I'm not going to be bothered with typing up the setlist, as you can find a picture of it in the gallery, but I am going emphasize that this band gets us all sweatin' hard tonight, despite the fact that there's so few of us. The onslaught of cocks-out rock'n'roll attitude is just plain relentless and you'd feel like a twat standing still in its presence. So therefore we jump and push and everything else in the book of correct concert conduct, including joining Sean and Gavin for scream sessions on the mic once or twice. By the time we reach the closer of the ordinary set "I've Got Better Things To Do Tonight Than Die" it's the second time Sean decides that the dancefloor is actually a better platform for him to deliver his lyrics from, and during the 'encore' (the band decided to just fuck the otherwise traditional leaving and reentering the stage) guitarist James joins his display, and they both show us just what this band is going for, namely a full scale "Fuckin' Riot!". By the end of this final song we're all dripping with sweat and we've effectively forgotten the initial impression of this supposedly seeming like a small and rather 'casual' gig. The Blackout showed us otherwise and proved that if there's a band who's actually a soundtrack for an all out wreck everything party, it's most definetely them.


Photos by Bright Side of Murder Photography

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