Taste of Chaos 2010

support Disturbed + Papa Roach + Halestorm
author AP date 20/11/10 venue KB Hallen, Copenhagen, DEN

Why KB Hallen is so popular among bookers is a mystery. The "venue" is an old sports hall with poor acoustics, expensive beverages and slow service, and despite its 3000 capacity, the place is ill-equipped to handle the pressure of a sold out show. It is, nonetheless, the only venue Copenhagen has to offer in this size class, and as such we must continue to suffer concerts there if we want to continue welcoming big tours like this annual "Taste of Chaos" thing to our city. Which - to my utter dismay - does not contain Buckcherry tonight due to a tour bus malfunction in Germany earlier in the day. Shame. Below is, nonetheless, a threesome of reviews from the event, for your viewing pleasure.

Halestorm

Having arrived at KB Hallen with a bitter taste in my mouth, expecting an evening of supreme mediocrity in the absence of Buckcherry, Halestorm did not have a fair chance at showing off their skillset - at least not to me. But if experience has taught me anything, it's that the bands for whom I have the least expectations are usually the ones that blow me away. Halestorm is no exception. A pure bred hard rock band, Halestorm is a maelstrom of attitudinal vocals, groovy licks and tasty guitar solos, but their main assets are without a doubt siblings Elizabeth and Arejay Hale, who might as well play in a two-man (and woman) band. It's not that guitarist Joe Hottinger and bassist Josh Smith are mundane, invisible marionettes on stage; it's that Elizabeth's voice, disposition and charisma are in constant duel with Arejay's drum antics.

The former is in posessesion of a powerful and unique rock n' roll croon which she seamlessly adjusts with the degree of loud n' rowdiness, emotional charge and heartfelt passion. During "Nothing to Do with Love" we hear her at her most vulnerable, chillingly powerful, while in songs like "It's Not You" or "I Get Off" she rasps like Josh Todd, but whatever the style of song, she brings the goods. The latter can hardly stay in his seat, spending most songs standing up, slamming his kit with enough force to burst through the thin skins. While providing additional back up vocals, headbanging frantically, and performing magic tricks. Seriously, during his obligatory drum solo his sticks suddenly transform into baseball bat sized logs, making David Copperfield look like an amateur. Following this impressive feat, the band's four members then converge at the front of the stage behind an array of percussion instruments to perform an equally impressive, Safri Duo-goes-rock concoction.

By then the crowd is absolutely sold, responding to these relatively unknown newcomers as if they were the evening's headliners, and by all measure, they should be. Why don't more bands forget the serious poses, dramatic tension and unrelenting focus and have some fucking fun on stage instead, asks Halestorm rhetorically through half an hour of gripping power and hard-rocking fun. Without a doubt the most surprisingly awesome performance this year.

Papa Roach

Papa Roach might have most people fooled, judging from the crowd reaction, but Jacoby Shaddix's haphazard attempts at MC:ing are so pathetic it makes my skin crawl. Looking like a rapper in a scene kid's clothing, he gives us his entire repertoire of crowd control maneuvers, including a brief excursion into the seated audience during "To Be Loved", but sadly, with a mix as awful as theirs tonight, Papa Roach are not impressing anyone, discounting the thousand diehard fans on the floor who couldn't care less what shit sounds like as long as Shaddix brings the sex. And the awkward instances of vocal playback aren't helping. Neither is, by the way, the duo of security guards who are doing their utmost to stop the horrendous, four-man moshpit upfront, lest some scrawny fringe princess be bruised. These monkeys are flashing their lights at every bout of movement, oblivious to the fact that two strong LED lights flickering in front of a performing band is fucking obnoxious to not only the rest of the audience, but also to the band members themselves. Way to divert attention from the performance, morons. Indeed, looking at the enormous pits forming elsewhere in the mass, the crowd surfing, and the general rocking out that takes place at rock shows, they don't seem to have a clue as to what their job prescription is. Not that it matters as such in this case, with Papa Roach being a miserable, phony excuse of a big rock band tonight. What a disappointment.

5

Disturbed

Disturbed, on the other hand, know how to carry themselves. Unfortunately their recent rise to mainstream rock stardom has transformed this once-cool nu metal monster into a fame monster even Lady GaGa would despise. The number of words uttered by David Draiman during fourteen songs worth of old and new is countable with ten fingers, but it doesn't seem to matter since Disturbed are now huge and have thus earned the right to be pompous. Perhaps if Mr. Draiman could sustain his voice for one fucking song, this choice of attitude would actually make sense, but no. Reading those sentences again, it looks like I am being unforgivably harsh though, because in all honesty, Disturbed are not that horrific. Backed by impressive LED displays bombarding us with digital awesomeness, Disturbed have the capacity to let their repertoire do the talking and the crowd loves it. Call me a cynic, but never had I imagined that such a wide spectrum of people in this country were so passionate about songs like "Prayer", "Liberate" and "Stupify". The sea of fists is immense when the not ambiguously titled "Ten Thousand Fists" is aired, but the show's absolute highlight comes with "Inside the Fire". Which is surprising, considering the discharge of fury that is "Down With the Sickness" - the encore song. But alas, even this beast of a song has the apparent capacity to be an anti-climax when delivered with the utter indifference of David Draiman at a show he perceives as just another notch on his studded rockstar belt. If you like the songs, there's plenty of them to be heard tonight though, and they are delivered with the precision you'd expect from such seasoned veterans, so in that regard all is well. I just wish they'd end their insistence on covering Genesis' "Land of Confusion" despite its singalong potential, because their version is not great.

Setlist:

01. Remnants

02. Asylum

03. The Game

04. Prayer

05. Liberate

06. Land of Confusion (Genesis cover)

07. The Animal

08. Inside the Fire

09. Stricken

10. Another Way to Die

11. Stupify

12. Ten Thousand Fists

13. Indestructible

--Encore--

14. Down with the Sickness

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