First Blood

support In Other Climes + Nasty
author PP date 23/07/10 venue The Rock, Copenhagen, DEN

Me and our trusty reader Alan are just settling down with our first couple of beers at The Rock when it really hits me. The rumours of The Rock having financial trouble, to the extent of bankruptcy looming in the not-too-distant future, might not just be rumours, as I observe at the dismal, nearly pathetic turnout to a Friday night hardcore show with California's First Blood headlining and at least one hyped European hardcore act supporting. Come on guys, where the fuck is everyone? A Friday night show where the first support band won't even start before 10pm, you should have no excuse to not a) support the bands, and perhaps more importantly b) support one of the few remaining concert venues in town booking medium sized hardcore- and metal-acts. Maybe this is why the 10kr bar @ 1am doesn't exist anymore? I wish it was just this show, but the last five shows - some of them packed with solid names - have had embarrassing turnout. Support your local scene, guys! /rant over. What better way to start a hardcore show review than with a message of unity, eh? *taps self on shoulder*

In Other Climes

I saw In Other Climes tear apart the tiny venue of Lades last year, and blow some fresh air into the term 'upcoming' band with their hyper-energetic hardcore show that made mockery of their monotone European hardcore style. They're fronted by JC, one of the most active performers I've seen in hardcore, who dominates the stage with a smile on his face, throwing spin kicks left and right, jumping, storming, and engaging in what is sometimes referred to as 'stomping hardcore'. This is what you see the hardcore dancers do - of whom there are at least six or seven in presence tonight - when they stomp across an empty floor in an attempt to break the floor, be it wood, cement or any other unbreakable substance. His passionate performance is admirable especially considering there are just a handful of people watching in a 600 capacity venue, but he does get considerable help from superb riffs which seem to only have improved since the last time I caught these guys. The music is perfect for hardcore dancing, but also for circle pits, both acts of which dominate the scattered crowd behaviour throughout the set, as it varies from chug-chug breakdowns to breakneck speed riffing in nearly all songs. But even if the music is pretty good, it really is JC's show who administers the crowd so charismatically that I don't see what keeps these guys from getting bigger. "One Life...One Chance... NO FUCKING REGRETS" echoes around the room, as six guys prepare for an impressive wall of death in as empty venue as this, and boom, the set is over, and the few people present are impressed, this scribe included.



Next up were Belgium's Nasty, who were fortunate enough for the crowd to have doubled from 12 to around 24 people now - still ridiculously few considering the size of the venue. Though In Other Climes were pretty fuckin' heavy just before, Nasty took it a step further and delivered ear-shattering, down-tuned hardcore clearly inspired by the West Coast scene from ten to twenty years ago. Translated into layman's speak: chug-chug-chug-chug-chug ad infinitum with brutal vocals on top. They did try to differentiate their sound by adding in some experimental stuff like hardcore ambiance, but after watching In Other Climes tear the stage apart, their stand-still, uncharismatic take on performance left me in the cold. Coupled with the fact that the bartender just poured me a completely flat jug of beer, I spent at least 50% of the remaining time arguing with the bar and subsequently enjoying my compensatory drinks just oddly glancing by the stage, because in all honesty, there was nothing interesting to see or to hear for the time being.


First Blood

I saw First Blood supporting Full Blown Chaos in London three years back, and I remembered them being a karate kid wannabe band. I remembered wrong. From the moment these California boys got on stage, you could hear the quality difference to crap like Nasty and even decent stuff like In Other Climes straight away. Gone were the breakdowns that infested their London set, replaced by a more of a punk rock based hardcore sound, a welcome change to the monotone hardcore we'd been hearing so far tonight. The band are as energetic on stage as In Other Climes were, with the centerpiece to their music again being the vocalist, who encourages the crowd with mid-song clean-chants like "LETS GO" etc etc. Small details, some might say, but they make all the difference in the world, as they get the (still minuscule) crowd going, and result in a convincing hardcore performance of the sort you barely get to see these days. The songs are just so much better, and when the vocalist pauses between songs to passionate speeches praising people who are vegetarian, who stand for anything outside the norm/mainstream, you can tell that they are experienced performers with hundreds of shows underneath their belt, which only adds to the crowd energy. He didn't spare us from some light-hearted humour, too: "download our record if you see it online...or steal it from a record store, if you don't like the guy who works there". Hmm, I wonder what their record label thinks of that attitude. Anyway, a solid hardcore show with a disappointing turnout.


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