Copenhagen Showdown

support The Accelerators + The 20Belows + The Dangerfields + The Murderburgers
author PP date 12/03/10 venue BETA, Copenhagen, DEN

The arrangers behind Copenhagen Showdown voiced some concern initially about their fourth arrangement - the pop punk special - a few weeks prior to the show, because apparently turnouts to such shows are quite modest in Denmark. I beg to differ; the shows I've frequented recently have all had decent crowds, although it depends heavily on what bands are on the bill. Tonight, the venue was probably around half full or so, and the majority of people were faces that you could recognize if you've been to a few Showdown events before. Not to worry; BETA is a good venue for modest crowd numbers, so all four bands on the bill got their share of reception from the crowd. And to get into a proper punk rock mood, the DJs tonight were nothing short of amazing; raw punk rock anthems by seminal bands like The Lawrence Arms were in constant rotation, and even songs by our recently reviewed Canadian pop punkers The Hextalls found their way to the playlist. Awesome. Now we just need Showdown to book one of these type of bands to play.

The Murderburgers

"The first time I saw Descendents, they were the fastest band I'd ever seen". That's a quote from "13 Stitches" by NOFX which refused to leave my thoughts during The Murderburgers set. They were what I'd mildly refer to as insanely fast, I've seldom seen a hand and a pick move up and down so rapidly, in fact I've only seen Captain Everything play faster than these guys. I've also never before seen a guitarist trying to bend the laws of physics; the ridiculous amount of friction resulted into his pick literally MELTING into his hand. Quite the spectacle indeed. The guys were from Scotland, so lots of dry humour in the form of "we're idiots and say stupid shit all the time" constituted as the crowd interaction, which is fine, but nobody in the crowd seemed to know the band, so aside from a couple of individuals, people were content to just standing still and watching the band shred away.

The Dangerfields

If The Murderburgers were characterized by speed, then the equivalent for The Dangerfields was their image: Rock'n'Roll with two capital R's. Lead by their drummer-lead singer and his cooler-than-thou image brought by his Jim Lindberg-look complete with black sunglasses on, their rock'n'roll borrowed heavily from punk rock. So much so, that calling the band d-beat rock'n'roll wouldn't be entirely out of place, and neither is making the required Rock'n'Roll comparison to Motörhead - if they were a punk band, that is. Their punk-fueled rage was spiced with plenty of lightning speed solos, but what really stuck out from these guys was how they played every moment, every note of their set with their hearts poured out through the instruments. The facial expressions told a constant tale of three like minded individuals whose biggest dream is to play in a rock'n'roll band, a dream that they are living every single night despite the crowd size. That kind of attitude to music always translates into an interesting show that's worth looking back to. So although The Dangerfields, too, didn't receive much of a reception, they earn kudos points in my books because of how goddamn rock'n'roll they were about their music.

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The 20Belows

It seemed like The 20Belows were the main event for most people tonight, judging by the amount of people that stood up and approached the stage as soon as the guys kicked off with an old song "Drunk And Uncool". For the first time today, the crowd started moving properly and you could see people dancing left and right, generally having a good time. The sound was a bit off on the vocals, but you probably can't blame the band for that. Not that it mattered much, however, because people were happily singing along to some of the old songs, and more surprisingly, many of the new songs, to which the band itself replied "pretty good for a song that hasn't even been released". From what I can remember of previous The 20Belows shows, they had mixed up the set list a little more, so it wasn't an exact copy of any previous show. Still, it was one of those shows that felt pretty good without having any extraordinary details worth mentioning here. Just a feel good sing along session to some of the best Danish punk songs out there. I'm guessing that since the new album still isn't out, the halving in crowd size towards the end of their set can be attributed to people just not knowing the songs yet. That'll change soon, I've been told.

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The 20Belows setlist:

1. Drunk And Uncool

2. Message

3. Oh Baby

4. For Goodness Sake

5. Only Excuse

6. What A Nightmare

7. Once And For All

8. Loot Out Below

9. Like A Chokeslam

10. My Very Best

11. One Good Reason

12. For Better Days

The Accelerators

The fourth 'the' named band tonight were The Accelerators from Rotterdam, Holland, who played a set of solid melodic punk rock which had a couple of crowd members going absolutely nuts. Must've been their favorite band or something, although I did overhear a few people calling their latest album one of the finest punk albums of 2009. And the songs were fine as well. It's just that The Accelerators played a set that, for someone who isn't familiar with their music beforehand, is neither good or bad, and thus an incredibly difficult one to review. They had decent energy, the songs were good, the band was tight. How descriptive, but there's little else that can be said about their show; shows that are 'decent' are impossible to go into detail. It's not that I don't remember what happened during their set, because I remember precisely thinking about this very issue during their set and saying to myself "well this is pretty good but what the fuck am I going to write about it". So in summary, The Accelerators played one of those sets of punk rock that you're not overly excited about having seen, but still happy that they came over and entertained you for the 40 or so minutes that they played.

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