The Minds Of 99

support Emil Kruse
author LL date 29/12/18 venue Store VEGA, Copenhagen, DEN

It’s been about half a year since Denmark’s new popular genrebending rock band The Minds of 99 announced a show at Store Vega in December that sold out immediately. Another show was added, and another one, and another one, and here we are, witnessing their victory at the third of four consecutive sold-out nights. They have always been mixing genres with songs at first dominated by post-punk and electronic rave-like elements, and later including elements of pop, funk, and new wave origin, latest on their 2018 hit album "Solkongen". As such, it isn’t entirely a surprise that their support acts, mumble rapper K-Phax on the first evening and pop artist Emil Kruse on the next three, don’t quite fit with what we usually review here at RF.net. Therefore, I will refrain from grading Emil Kruse’s set although he has a fine show tonight, and merely remark that his funky pop songs certainly get the crammed room well warmed up with singalongs and dancing all around the front half of the venue.

None of our photographers were available for this show but you can check out Vega’s own galleries by Joseph Miller here

The Minds of 99

The room goes dark as the clock strikes 22:00, and from the immediate cheers and singalong reception of the floaty “Ud Af Min Krop”, it’s clear that the crowd reveres this band. And yet, as they move through the setlist, it takes a while before more than just the front part of the venue goes nuts. We seem to be an odd mix of new and old fans as well as just curious people of all ages who have decided to come to check out what all the fuss is about. However, the band members still seem to be having the time of their lives as they smile vividly in between songs and groove their way through the set with all the cool swagger in the world. Their set-up includes the red banners from the “Solkongen” cycle, some of them adorning a synthesizer station taking up as much space on the left of the stage as the drum kit is taking up to the right. Likewise, a lot of the lighting focuses on reds and blues that are constantly painting their silhouettes up against the backdrops

As the music kicks in, there’s a very thin 80’s kind of vibe to the sound mix, although it is certainly loud enough, which makes their attempts at kicking off a punk-rave somewhat unsuccessful. Granted, the floor can be felt moving under our feet as people jump in sync for hits like the hard “Det Er Knud Som Er Død” and the sweeter “Hjertet Følger Med”, the last of which also has the audience spontaneously singing along to the crowd parts of the song. This is an effect repeatedly in use at the group's live shows, dominating “Guldregn” as well as “Ung Kniv” later on. Still, it is only for the very last song, the eclectic “Fuglebur” from their debut record, that vocalist Niels Brandt asks for the bass to be turned up, and this has a great effect but one that we could have used a bit earlier in the set. Still, there are good vibes all around the room and on the balcony, and for fans of their most recent release, “Solkongen”, the setlist couldn’t be any better as they play through 10 of its 11 tracks, only cutting out the very last outro song. Of these, especially the wobbly “Ubåd”, the soft “Solkongen”, and the funky “Guldregn” get great receptions, and Brandt himself dons an extra guitar for the latter as well as “En Engel” earlier in the set. In general, he is a great front man, constantly interacting with the audience, introducing songs, and not the least afraid of owning the stage while taking on acapella parts or riling us up with eyes of steel if that’s what is needed to shake us up once in a while.

On that note, while a good part of the audience is willingly singing along without coercion, it seems to me that the band has to work just a bit harder than they expected to get clapping and dancing going in the room. This perhaps ties into a recurring theme, as when Brandt looks surprised after asking us if anyone has been here for the previous two shows, and only a handful of hands shoot up. As such, the megalomania themes of the newest record are also addressed and owned when some sound bites from the documentary about them, “Stor Som En Sol”, are played following the title track “Solkongen”. We hear band members say things like “We’ll end up believing we’re the sun”, and “I’m not especially surprised at the good reviews, because what we’re doing is so fucking great” before coming out on the stage again and playing the second half of the set. Somewhat comically in this light, the encore is interrupted later by two hosts from the Danish P3 radio channel that come on stage with a camera man to announce that the band is nominated for the P3 Award this year. While they seem to unite a huge part of Denmark’s music fans and have had nothing but victories thrown their way lately, The Minds of 99 can still go even higher, it seems.

The encore brings us an especially impactful acoustic version of the old ballad “Hurtige Hænder” performed solo by Niels Brandt with backing by what sounds like the entire room, which is truly magical. Finally, the aforementioned “Fuglebur” ends the set with its loud bass and busy synth riff that Brandt makes us sing along to as well - a bordering on annoying line that can be heard repeated throughout the venue building for the next half hour before we get our jackets and disappear out into the night. Overall, Minds play excellently tonight but altogether, it is not as magical and unifying an evening as it could have been, perhaps simply because it is not just the celebration by fans of the band that I expected, but a show with a very varied crowd.

8

Setlist:

  • 1. Ud Af Min Krop
  • 2. Ideen Er Død
  • 3. Ubåd
  • 4. Det Er Knud Som Er Død
  • 5. En Engel
  • 6. En Fremmed
  • 7. Stor Som En Sol / Flad Som En Pandekage
  • 8. I'm Gonna Die
  • 9. Hjertet Følger Med
  • 10. Solkongen (plus soundbites from the "Stor Som En Sol" documentary)
  • 11. Guldregn
  • 12. Ung Kniv
  • 13. Stjerner På Himlen
  • 14. Et Barn Af Min Tid
  • 15. K Før Ærlighed

— Encore —

  • 16. Ma Cherie Bon Bon
  • 17. Hurtige Hænder (acoustic)
  • 18. Alle Skuffer Over Tid
  • 19. Fuglebur

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