H2O

support Parasight
author PP date 28/04/10 venue Loppen, Copenhagen, DEN

H2O was meant to play in Copenhagen about a year back, but they were forced to cancel the show with the promise that they'd be back in Copenhagen soon to make up. It took a year, but here they are together with local hardcore act Parasight, playing one of the smaller shows of their tour so far. Only a few days earlier the band performed at the Groezrock Festival's main stage in front of a few thousand people, but tonight, only a few dozen punk rock fans showed up to appreciate the reunited punk legends.

Parasight

First up were local hardcore act Parasight, a weird choice for a support band given how much heavier and more metal oriented their hardcore sound is in comparison to the bright melodies of H2O. Fronted by your typical hardcore scream/yell vocalist and armed by a mildly bouncy stage performance, it took only two songs before the crowd in front of them started to thin and people became content just standing in a showcase style semi-circle while tapping their feet in an arms-crossed position. Why? The thing is, people didn't come here to see a fierce (dare i say generic) hardcore band tonight, which the band also recognized by saying "we're quite a different band to H2O" in the beginning of their set. Add to the fact that Parasight only had a couple of good cuts towards the end, while everything else blended into one monotonous gray mass of hardcore songs, the end result is always going to be a show that's not good, but not particularly bad either, just one on the borderline where you don't mind them being on stage, but one you'll forget instantly the moment they exit the spotlight.

H2O

But where Parasight failed, H2O triumphed tonight. The band simply played so many melodic punk / hardcore classics that most band people in attendance were probably thinking "there's no way my band will ever write even a fraction of songs that good during our entire career", but then again, it's H2O we're talking about so that's okay. You didn't necessarily need full knowledge to "Thicker Than Water", "FTTW" or "H2O", the old masterpieces, because these are the type of albums that have influenced so many bands all across the punk spectrum that you're almost guaranteed to have heard them or their melody-lines somewhere before, whether in original or cover format. "Universal Language","Everready", "Faster Than The World", "One Life, One Chance", or even the newer cuts like "1995" and "What Happened" were, as expected, among the set tonight, and even though the band is well in their 40s, they were still all over the place. I use the word 'bouncy' often in connection with live performances that are energetic, but H2O gave that word a whole new meaning tonight.

"Come on people, lets have a show tonight", proclaims their vocalist, visibly disappointed at the lack of movement and turnout from the rather young-looking crowd tonight, but that's to be expected when most people at the show listened to things like Spice Girls back when H2O released most of their classics, especially in a punk hostile territory like Denmark. He doesn't forget to thank the old people for the support, and the new kids for checking their band out, asking a couple of young-looking kids who are sporting H2O shirts at the front of the stage if they were even born when their debut album was released.

It's clear from the beginning that a large majority of the people here are for the material from "Nothing To Prove", since the band had a 7 year break between 2001 and 2008, and aside from a few hardcore fans who know every song this band has written, it's also these songs that stir up most crowd response, culminating in a circle pit around Loppen's middle pillar. But otherwise, H2O seem unfazed by the low turnout, and deliver the sort of professional, easy-to-enjoy hardcore show that only comes with over a decade's worth of experience on stage.

8

Setlist:

1. 1995

2. Everready

3. Family Tree

4. Faster Than The World

5. Nothing To Prove

6. Thicker Than Water

7. I See It In Us

8. Still Here

9. Empty Pockets

10. Role Model

11. Fairweather Friend

12. One Life, One Chance

13. 5 Yr Plan

14. Guilty By Association

15. What Happened?

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