Agnostic Front

support Shatterproof + Earn Your Scars
author PP date 09/07/11 venue The Rock, Copenhagen, DEN

Those Danes who love hardcore should be feeling relatively content for the time being considering how all heavyweights from the genre have been visiting the country in rapid succession. We've seen H2O plow through an excellent Loppen show, Madball play an even better show here at The Rock, and Sick Of It All also paying a visit to the dark interiors of the same venue. Now it's Agnostic Front's turn, and in just over a month's time we'll be seeing Hatebreed take over the venue. If I was in a hardcore band, I'd be feeling pretty fuckin' inspired over the events in the past 12-16 months.

Earn Your Scars

First up is Earn Your Scars from Kolding, near Fredericia, who play an instantly forgettable brand of hardcore punk with two vocalists. There are two key things wrong with their show: one, they are clearly very inexperienced in a live setting, but that's really no excuse for a lack of real energy, especially when you can take advantage of two dedicated screamers instead of one. Secondly, they may have a couple of decent songs but the remainder of their material is just so fucking boring. I don't particularly like to go hard on young bands from Denmark, but when I peek into my notes from the evening and find phrases like "everybody in the crowd standing still", "Just soooooo average", or "I bet I won't remember a thing from their show even moments afterwards", you're clearly not doing a very good job. I know, I know, it's getting old ripping on the Fredericia scene all the time but when it produces bands like Earn Your Scars, it becomes awfully difficult not to criticize it. It's bands like them that give the Danish (or Fredericia? Is there a hardcore scene outside of it?) a bad name. The songs are generic beyond belief, which reflects on a completely stand-still audience, which to me is a first at a hardcore show.

Shatterproof

Shatterproof

Although Shatterproof aren't exactly known for writing varied and interesting songs either, in comparison to the opening band they look and sound like the second coming of Jesus Christ. Not only are they much more energetic, but they are also immediately more likable and entertaining because of the light-hearted manner their vocalist handles the crowd in between the songs. "We're only playing tonight because we get paid to do it", he says in a half-serious manner, before later on inviting 'the infamous twins' on stage - the two karate moshers you'll find in every hardcore show in Denmark - only to ask the crowd "hands up who has been irritated over these guys at shows before?" to much laughter from the audience. It's true; in the beginning Shatterproof ask everyone to come closer to the stage, but all it takes is one or two guys to destroy other people's will to move any nearer the stage with a few timely karate chops. Well done guys....Anyway, Shatterproof play with convincing energy and finish their set in just about thirty minutes, a perfect length for a set of aggressive Copenhagen hardcore to warm up the crowd.

7

Agnostic Front

Less than four weeks ago when Madball played this very venue they were facing a challenging crowd that didn't seem interested in moving much or chanting along to the songs. Tonight, despite it being a Saturday, Agnostic Front are facing a very similar crowd, if not a worse one by comparison. I can't for the love of god to even begin to understand what it is about the hardcore crowd that doesn't want to support old school, genuinely good hardcore like that purveyed by AF or Madball, but based on my recent experience it seems to be a real problem here in Copenhagen. Of course it doesn't help that Roger's vocals are really low in the mix, thus lacking power and intensity, which is why it doesn't feel like Agnostic Front share anywhere near the same amount of energy and urgency as Madball did a few weeks ago.

Agnostic Front 'kickin in the front seat'

They choose to play seven new songs from their latest album early on in the set, which would explain some of the inactivity as it seems like there are a lot of curious souls who have come to check out the legendary New York Hardcore pioneers without knowing much of the newer material. And sure enough, once Agnostic Front begin playing older songs in the second half of their set, a circle pit opens and the crowd generally seems a little more into it. Songs like "Gotta Go", "Us Against The World" and "Friend Or Foe" all get a good response from the crowd, but it's not enough for this scribe. I don't know whether it's due to my personal preference of Freddy as a vocalist over Roger, but it does certainly feel like Madball left Agnostic Front completely in their shadow. Normally you wouldn't compare shows like that, but when two NYHC titans play so closely to each other, the contrast is so direct that a comparison has to be made.

7

More photos can be found at Julie Weitmann Decome's Flickr page.

Comments
comments powered by Disqus

Legal

© Copyright MMXIX Rockfreaks.net.