Scars On Broadway

support The Revolt Of Darwin
author PP date 06/09/08 venue Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN

After having spent exactly 9 minutes in an unusually short interview with the Scars On Broadway frontman Daron Malakien, I had a couple of hours to just wander around Copenhagen before my photographer would arrive and the doors would open. To tell you the truth, I haven't wondered around the city for a long while and I've forgotten all about its eccentric early-evening life. It's solid entertainment watching the foreigners scam money off tourists with the three-box, find the ball game, or just sit down on a bench and observe regular Danes walking around on their daily business (which on a Saturday amounts to having a beer in hand, preparing for the night out in hand). I'd recommend it for anyone who doesn't know what to do for a few hours in the city. Anyway, lets get to the gig review.

The Revolt Of Darwin

About half an hour after the doors opened, Pumpehuset was still unusually empty for a high caliber show as Scars On Broadway, and as such Danish newcomers The Revolt Of Darwin had to start their groovy mix southern-fried hardcore and alternative rock in front of only a handful of people. my guess is most people were just enjoying beers downstairs, but it didn't take long before the front of the stage got busier, probably because The Revolt Of Darwin made a hell of a good first impression on a lot of people. They had lots of energy on stage, and their vocalist, whose screams sounded like a mixture between Every Time I Die and Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster, was pouring his heart out vocally in the most non-emo way thinkable. These guys knew how to punk up the show to get the crowd moving a bit despite their relative heaviness (in front of this crowd, anyway). The speed and grooves guaranteed for a good stage show, although a little more movement away from the mic's would make their show that little bit better. Nonetheless, The Revolt Of Darwin played a good warm up for Scars tonight.


Scars On Broadway

Arriving on stage with massive dark sunglasses and a big hat, it was clear from the start that this is essentially Daron's show, and he wants some mysticism around it, some distance from the crowd just like when System Of A Down used to play live. As I had suspected before the show, the crowd consisted mostly of people wearing either SOAD or Serj Tankian shirts, suggesting at first that the only singalongs tonight would come off the singles as I expected most people coming only because they liked System of A Down and were hoping for something similar. After all, it had only been about a month since the first release from these guys, and we all know how slow the Danish music fans are to pick up on new trends. Turns out I was wrong.

From the get go, the crowd was fully into the Scars set. People were moshing, jumping up and down, and even singing along, though I must say it was good that much of their set was structured to be in the same order as on the album. That meant lots of fast songs in the start with catchy melodies and plenty of singalong parts, and until the instrumental interlude, the show was standing strong on the great ratings in my books. I found my feet stamping the ground on more than just one occasion, and as Daron took off his hat and glasses a few songs in, the intimacy feeling just intensified as it was easy to see the crazy movements in his eyes, reflecting the insanity that must go on inside of such a brilliant songwriter's head.

Unfortunately, the interlude lead to the songs mostly positioned around the middle of the album, which are all quite slow.. too slow for a concert. They may not be ballads, but the movement largely stopped from the crowd during these songs, creating a peaceful bay in stormy sea that the concert had been so far. It's of course hard to criticize the band considering they have a very limited amount of songs to choose from (they actually played every single song off the album tonight), but on one level it would've been good to replace at least some of the slower songs with a few System covers or something. I know the crowd was waiting for those.

Lucky for Daron, the show finished on a very good note, first with a cover of Iggy Pop's "China Girl", then with the more experimental song "Cute Machines", and finally closing up with the album's debut single "They Say". Scars were on stage for almost an hour and didn't stop for a single moment to speak to the crowd. Without an encore, the band just said thank you as the song finished and left the stage. Without the mellow bits in the middle of their set this approach would've worked brilliantly, as the whole set flowed smoothly throughout, but as a fan you were left wondering if Scars were here tonight more because of touring obligations or because they genuinely wanted to be here for their fans.



1. Serious

2. Exploding / Reloading

3. Stoner Hate

4. World Long Gone

5. Enemy

6. Scars On Broadway (interlude)

7. Whoring Streets

8. Insane

9. Kill Each Other / Live Forever

10. Chemicals

11. Universe

12. 3005

13. Funny

14. Cover of Iggy Pop/David Bowie - China Girl

15. Babylon

16. Cute Machines

17. They Say

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