Ignite

support The 20Belows
author PP date 15/07/09 venue The Rock, Copenhagen, DEN

Ignite have been to Denmark more times than I care to count or remember, but yet somehow I've never been able to catch these Orange County melodic punks live. Once again though their tour made its way to Copenhagen, Denmark, providing an excellent chance to catch these guys live. And what's better, party starters The 20 Belows had been assigned as the support band, thus guaranteeing that tonight we'd be seeing two good sets overall. Though The Rock wasn't anywhere close to sold out, the turn out was still surprisingly high, with the front of the venue completely packed for Ignite's set. But before that, lets spend a moment discussing The 20 Belows.

The 20 Belows

I've now seen The 20 Belows twice live, and both times the band has, if not directly blown me away, at least impressed the hell out of me with their joyous old school melodic punk rock. Most of their songs receive a one up speed treatment live, giving especially the mid paced tracks an energy injection that's bound to make your heads nod in unison. Cycling through some of their best songs like "Message", "This Boy's Giving Up" and a bunch of tracks from the new, as of yet unreleased album (that's miles better than their debut by the way), the band displayed admirable energy and tightness on stage despite only a handful of people hanging out at a distance from the stage. Not much time was spent in between the songs for stage banter, perhaps because the band itself admitted that "we don't have anything interesting to say" towards the end of the set. That's a shame, because I'm sure that they've got a lot to say during their US shows, so why not extend some love to their home audience as well even if the band isn't super known here just yet. But that's only a minor flaw in an otherwise solid show. Now all The 20 Belows need is a dedicated audience in Denmark and their live ratings should skyrocket.

Ignite

I've seldom seen a band kick off their headlining set in as impressive manner as Ignite did tonight. One riff, one drum roll, and mic pointed straight to the audience and seemingly everyone in the room was prepared to shout "BLEEDIIIING" straight away without any help from vocalist Teglas. Without pausing for a breath in between, the band jumped straight to "Let It Burn" after, where another monster sing along awaited (at least in The Rock scale). Clearly I've misunderstood Ignite's popularity in Denmark. Songs like the two that they opened with made me place a mental note to self to obtain some of their albums, it feels like a crime that your punk correspondent doesn't own a single record by a band able to write such awesome melodic punk songs. Maybe this is different on record, but live Mr Teglas & co reminded me of a cleaner and faster version of Rise Against with a bit of old school The Offspring inspiration, with the performance coming almost straight out of a booklet detailing a Bad Religion live show: vocalist half-running from one side of the stage to another, while the guitarists and bassist rock out seemingly all over the place.

."A Place Called Home" was dedicated to the Hungarians and Poles at the venue (there were at least a handful), with Teglas even speaking some Hungarian (and some polish) in the process given his Hungarian descent. We weren't cheated of some humour either. "Tonight we're in Denmark and tomorrow we're going to Poland. It feels like our booking agent just threw some darts all around the map of Europe and said ok now you guys go there, there and there", he said at one point, later going on about how the band has been trying to play at Roskilde Festival for 15 years now without success, asking "does anybody know the bookers there? We'll even play for free". Such lightheartedness was a necessary balance to all the serious stuff that Teglas otherwise talked about, because Ignite is a very socio-political band. "Children Of The Night", for instance, was dedicated to the organization carrying the same name that specializes in 'kidnapping' child prostitutes from the street and deploying them to families seeking to adopt children, and "Poverty For All" was dedicated to all the millions and millions of people that Stalin killed. A brief drum solo followed, and then it was time for a lull in the band's set with a few less interesting songs (judging by the mellow crowd reaction at least), including an acoustic track that's supposed to be on an acoustic album next year. To be honest, acoustic punk just doesn't sound very good at all, even less so live, so that should've definitely been scratched from the setlist. Luckily, the band played some old stuff towards the end to the delight of just a few guys at the front, mostly material that saw a lightning speed d-beat and guitars being played as quickly as humanly possible in the process. A small circle pit ignited as a result, before the band finished off their surprisingly solid set tonight. Good stuff.

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