Copenhagen Showdown

support Night Fever + The Dreadnoughts
author PP date 08/01/10 venue BETA, Copenhagen, DEN

Admittedly, this review is extremely late and should've been written weeks ago, but what to do you when you're plagued with difficult exams relating to software development simultaneously to spending dozens of hours on our 2009 roundup article along with album reviews, and trying to have a job and a life on the side? There's probably no valid excuse, but better late than never, is what I tend to say, especially when it comes to the third Copenhagen Showdown hardcore/punk event, the best one so far (I promise to make up for it next time, review will be up within 2 days!). It seems like the booking are getting better and better as more time passes by, which reflects directly on the amount of people showing up to the event. If it continues like this, the events are likely to start selling out regularly before we reach Roskilde Festival this year. With more people present than ever at the end of the night, even the slightly monotonous performance of Night Fever seemed good in its own, aggressive, crowd-energizing way. But more on that later, lets first deal with the band that absolutely blew me away; The Dreadnoughts.

The Dreadnoughts

It wasn't difficult to predict that The Dreadnoughts would be fun after just a couple of listens on their Myspace page, after all with a Celtic punk sound based on a combination of Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly, you just can't go wrong. But I never suspected they'd be THIS much fun. What happens when you put a bunch of guys with all the regular instruments plus a mandolin, a violin, the occasional flute, and more beer than any North American should tolerate? A full-blast stream of energy on stage where each band member is constantly in frantic movement, be it bouncing up and down as the bass-guitarist, or thrashing all over the place as the violinist. "We're just gonna hold a small break because we have to drink beer", the frontman proclaims, "our mandolin player will entertain you for a minute in the meantime", and begins to down his beer, while the said mandolinist (is that what you call them?) starts playing the Super Mario Bros theme song. Did I mention he looks like a drugged hippie straight from the 60s complete with dreadlocks and rainbow coloured shirt? Hilarious, and spot on timing to enable a loose atmosphere for the rest of the show.

Now the best part about The Dreadnoughts wasn't just the fresh party mood inevitably brought by their music. It wasn't even the band's jokes in between songs. No, the most memorable part, even weeks after the show as I'm writing this, was how no matter where you looked on stage (or off stage), you'd see someone doing something incredibly weird/strange/hilarious. The drummer, for example, decided to remove one of his big drums and started walking around in the crowd hammering it with just one hand. The hippie mandolinist pulls out a flute and starts playing strange celtic symphonies with it while dancing like a man possessed. The violinist, after having removed his shirt, inexplicably starts repeatedly smashing one of the cymbals - with his HEAD. The bassist, all of a sudden, erupted from the stage to grab one of my friends for a sing a long session (pictured) mid song. That song, by the way, was about cider, where every single lyric in the song was "cider", and the violinist (now without an instrument) was sitting on the shoulders of the bassist, hanging from the ceiling. Moments later, he was back playing crazy violin melodies, except now he was playing the violin like a guitar, with his fingers, and then even using the amp to play it. I could go on, but I think you guys get the point. Not only were their songs awesome, but their performance was unforgettable, because so much was going on at once, not to even mention the sheer amount of energy these guys put into it. Once they stopped playing, my face was one massive smile, but it left me wondering if a large portion of the crowd were a bit too xhardcorexunityx to enjoy the unseriousness of their show, considering their lack of response to the band.

Night Fever

In contrast then, Night Fever's set seemed far more serious than it otherwise would, given their breakneck speed punk rock sound that's deeply rooted in hardcore. But that didn't seem to bother the crowd in attendance tonight, which had only increased as the night passed on, so now the venue was completely packed. When Night Fever kicked off their set with a particularly ferocious, aggressive hardcore punk song, a mosh pit erupted almost instantaneously near the front, which later turned into a circle pit once the band played one of the popular tracks from their Myspace page ("Still Kickin", perhaps, I don't know their songs well enough). It didn't take long before everyone in the band was drenched in sweat from the constant jumping and aggressive storming from side to side, and the vocalist in particular performed with an aura of passion around him as he was screaming in the faces at the front. Now this was something which prompted an active crowd response, a far stronger and wider one than The Dreadnoughts enjoyed earlier, this despite the fact that Night Fever don't deviate THAT much from generic hardcore punk. But what they lack in originality and content, they definitely compensate in raw attitude and passion, so even the most stubborn hardcore hater would've had to admit that the band had the entire venue moving tonight.

Since the venue was packed near its limits, it also meant that any sort of movement in the crowd, or by the band, immediately translated into an intense feeling of energy, something mirrored by the band's stage performance which seemed to get crazier and crazier as time passed. Bands like this tend to fend off from crowd energy and response, and Night Fever is no exception. Some more variation in their songs would make their set even more interesting, I think, given how some of the melody was lost in a live setting, coupled with a few more synchronous jumps; those were awesome to watch.

7

So in summary, Copenhagen Showdown #3 was without a doubt the most successful event thus far. Both bands tonight were really good in their own respective genres, so a definite thumbs up from this magazine towards the bookers. After the generic start, the last two events have shown that the people behind the event absolutely know what they're doing, just look at the bands booked for the next event, the pop punk special:

p.s. next review will come max 2 days after the show!

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