support Oniontree + A Road To Damascus
author TL date 10/02/10 venue The Rock, Copenhagen, DEN

Oh hi guys, guess where I am tonight. Yep, The Rock, surprise surprise, it's business as usual, except of course for the tiny little detail, that The Rock, normally happy to accommodate us, have been failing massively at sorting out our guestlist spots. Something I, carrying a few pints worth of confidence at present moment, find myself in the entrance complaining about in a manner roughly similar to that of an insulted child. Awesome huh? At least it's not like I'm getting in anybody's way, because apart from the following I've brought myself, very few of you seem to have responded to my hype of this show earlier this week. Any particular reason you're not listening to me? Ah well, suit yourself, as the following lines will explain, the loss is exclusively yours.

A Road To Damascus

The first band to step up and support Yashin tonight are the newcomers in A Road To Damascus, whose myspace only wasn't even online until a few days ago, and whom I get a chance to chat with pre-show, as I make good on an appointment to pick up their new EP for review (stay tuned for that). Hence I can certify, that if you look at these boys taking the stage and think "geeh, they look quite young, don't they", then yes, you are quite right, as frontman Mathias reveals to me that he is a mere sixteen years old. Maybe that's partly why I'm personally more impressed with this emo-rock quartet, than it seems to be the case with the rest of the rather scarce crowd that watch their performance from cross-armed postures. Hopefully they're still seeing what I see though, namely a band that's filled to the point of bursting with potential. Amazingly, these youngsters occupy the scene with five individual performances that all suggest that they have been doing this for years on end, playing with attitude and remaining seemingly untouched by the fact that there are barely thirty people watching them. It's hard for me to express the kind of confidence they emit, but it's not hard to understand why, because with their Just Surrender-ish emo/pop/rock, ARTD have penned songs that are retardedly effective, showcasing an eye for dynamics that many older bands should envy. Okay, so Mathias's cleans are even sharper and more youthful (perhaps a bit too much so) than on their recorded material, and this is something for him to improve on, but guitarist/screamer Mads makes up for it with piercing cries that far outshine the ones hidden in the band's recorded production. Okay, so there's next to no crowd response or appreciation, but still I think to myself that this is a blueprint for a soon to be force to be reckoned with, and I merely pray that ARTD can grow without getting any funny ideas or taking any wrong turns.


Next band up is Oniontree, a four-piece from the far off Faroe Islands, whose myspace have represented them so that I expect a much more full-grown performance than that of A Road To Damascus. It turns out I'm partly right, because from second one, Oniontree sound dead on, playing and singing with admirable proficiency and accuracy, rendering their songs in a way that is only really different to the one on record, as an effect of The Rock's sound system. However, while sounding good is naturally infinitely important in the world of music, appearances are also of tremendous weight when it comes to the live performance, and here, Oniontree really need to loosen up. I don't demand that they dress up and match purple tshirt with purple guitar and purple logo (yeah Damascus, I noticed that) but they could at least rock out a little bit? That's not something that seems to occur to Oniontree though, as they seem content with remaining rooted to the spot while delivering their songs, and with the eyes so neglected in the performance, the mind turns its full attention to what is entering through the ears. In this department, more than one friend of mine quickly remark that these guys would sound very 90's and nu-metal if it wasn't for the somewhat punkier beat they tend to employ, and their suspected sources of inspirations are pretty much confirmed as they cover both Linkin Park's "Crawling" and Bloodhound Gang's "Chasey Lain". Now, of course bands should play exactly the style they want, but it begs to be mentioned that nu-metal and the likes is a genre that the music business has moved on from with good reason, and that Oniontree are challenged with re-interpreting it in a very charismatic way if they don't want to come off sounding dated. The lead single off their new EP "Solitude" (review also pending, stay even more tuned) is a good step in that direction, with it's Rise Against-ish drive and added northern-sounding keyboard melody. If time brings more of this stuff and perhaps some notions of showmanship, Oniontree can yet make it big, but under the low key circumstances of tonight, A Road To Damascus did a bit better overall, even while sounding less experienced.



As for Yashin, it's not surprising that more people haven't shown up to see them. After all, British bands often spend years and albums (plural!) on making any impression over here, and Yashin are only in the very early stages of blowing up in England, after releasing their debut LP "Put Your Hands Where I Can See Them" (yep, review also pending, stay fuckin' tuned, I'm not kidding). Still though, the crowd has increased for their appearance, now roughly in it's fifties I'd guess, and a proportion of it has warmed up enough (read: had a few pints) to actually step up to the front of the stage in anticipation of the show. Having given up on being anything but the biggest Yashin fan in the venue, this is where I've herded my friends up to, something for which they quickly seem thankful, as Yashin prove from the word go, what I have been suspecting while power-listening to them for the better part of a week: This band can make it big. As soon as new vocalists Kevin and Harry realize that there are even a few people in the crowd singing their lyrics back to them, party mode is entered with no concern for what people further back may think, but likely they are better entertained by it as well.

And so it's a (sadly small) singalong party, as us faithful few at the front get into synergy with the band, yours truly wailing along to every chorus and the surrounding people joining in as soon as they catch on - Oh yeah, I was planning to mention this in the album review but I figure I can do it twice: Yashin are catchier than the plague, and you can sing along to their choruses pretty much halfway through each song, and if they're disappointed by the small turnout, you'd be hard pressed to trace that in their faces, as they deliver a show that brings back memories of a similarly empty The Blackout show which still ripped more than most stadium tours. Incidentally, The Blackout is a band the kind of which Yashin can very soon become if they continue to provide good times like this one, and despite this show being brought down by the small crowd and the omission of some of the band's best songs ("So We're Named After Saints", "Down, But Homeward Bound", "Stand Up") I still urge you; Get Yashin's album (and EP) and go see them if they play near you. You will not regret it, as the only thing they themselves really did wrong this time, was that they didn't play any longer than they did:

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