Comeback Kid

support Living With Lions + Devil In Me + Blood Command
author PP date 14/08/11 venue Templet, Lyngby, DEN

It's extremely rare to see such a high-profile tour visiting Denmark as the Comeback Kid-led tour with three other critically acclaimed bands in tow: Living With Lions, Devil In Me, and Blood Command. It's a tour most of the hardcore crew would rather die than to miss on any ordinary day, but unfortunately a perceived lack of communication between bookers meant that you had to make a seriously difficult choice between attending this show at Templet, going to Kødbyen to watch OFF! play their first ever Copenhagen show, or traveling to Århus to see Fucked Up play what was undoubtedly an amazing set of post-punk fueled hardcore. Our choice, however, was obvious: with the strength of "Symptoms + Cures" behind the band and the fact they're playing a 160-capacity venue, there was almost literally no chance the Comeback Kid show wouldn't be fucking awesome. Oh, how right we were.

Blood Command

After receiving a glaring review from AP for their latest EP, the prospect was that we were in for a good one for Blood Command's opening set. Once the band entered the stage, all eyes were on their female singer, who looked intriguingly proper and well-dressed for a hardcore set. It's in stark contrast with her vocals, that certainly require quite some time in getting used to, as to an untrained ear her high pitched screams in the vein of The Blood Brothers will undoubtedly sound like someone is torturing a cat. Quite literally. Her vocals are packed with energy, but it is unfortunate this never translates into real stage movement, as she moves around casually, if at all. Some running around would make a world's difference to the Blood Command live experience. I'm wondering if this might not be an experience issue, because the sheer amount of extremely awkward silences between the songs and the almost complete lack of charisma/communication to the crowd suggests the band looks and feels a little shy even in front of a miniscule audience. Their bassist does his all to try to counter that perspective, however, spending plenty of time in the crowd rocking out facing the stage, as if he was a crowd member himself. His efforts aren't enough, however, and combined with the little amount of great material Blood Command has released so far, their 30 minute set feels a little long-winded for what would've been an excellent 20 minute set otherwise.

Devil In Me

Devil In Me from Portugal were the sole unknown band to the staff at Rockfreaks.net on this tour, which is surprising, considering the overwhelming and impressive stage show they put up tonight. Their hardcore-to-the-bone vocalist might depict the stereotypical "lets get this show started, come on" type of rhetoric throughout their set, but it sounds convincing and engaging, and their overall energy during the songs is undeniable. You know the up-to-the-ears type of jumps many hardcore vocalists tend to sport, where the legs raise up to a level of the head? Yeah, that's pretty much the definition of a Devil In Me show. Plenty of stuff like that, fantastic energy and urgency from the rest of the band, and an overall in-your-face atmosphere is what characterized their set tonight. It's just too bad that didn't translate to the crowd, who stood as still and as inanimate as a rock for the entire duration of their set despite advancing a few steps forward at every invitation to do so, suggesting that I wasn't the only one in the crowd without any knowledge to the band prior to the tour. You have to give the band immense credit for maintaining such a strong and powerful live performance despite standing in front of a half-full venue that felt almost completely dead, with someone even shouting "play something good instead" at the band. Disgraceful behaviour. That said, based on the applauses and cheers after each song, I'm thinking Devil In Me left with a great deal of new fans tonight. It's not often you can score a rating as high as this one without a good crowd dynamic going for you. Plus they played an awesome Devil In Me-ified cover of "Fiend Club" by The Misfits.

8

Setlist:

  • 1. Back Against The Wall
  • 2. Alive
  • 3. The End
  • 4. Push, Twist & Turn
  • 5. From Dusk Till Dawn
  • 6. Live Fast Die Young
  • 7. The Fall
  • 8. City of the Broken Dreams
  • 9. On My Own
  • 10. Fiend Club (The Misfits cover)
  • 11. Brothers In Arms
  • 12. Only God Can Judge Me

Living With Lions

On the back of an awesome show at Hevy Music Fest the weekend before as well as a candidate for the album of the year with "Holy Shit", pop punk/pop-hardcore crew Living With Lions had a lot to live up for tonight. Unfortunately, even a fanboy like myself has to admit that compared to the supremely energetic set of Devil In Me earlier, Living With Lions were no match, especially because the audience participation was limited to myself, TL, and a few others, and the rest seemed to treat them with similar anonymity as Devil In Me earlier. Read some more of our reviews, people ;-) Moreover, vocalist Stu's microphone was terribly low in the mix, making it difficult for the crowd to decipher his melody lines, which are at the center of any Living With Lions show. Again, my oft-preached "no audience, no show" ideology applies, for even though going through awesome songs like "Pieces", "Maple Drive Is Still Alive", "Honesty, Honestly" and "A Bottle Of Charades" among others, no singalongs ever took place, nor did any intense crowd participation or movement in the crowd. The band were bouncy on stage to start out with, but given the mild response, they soon morphed back into a 'another day in the business' sort of appearance, where the passion and back-chilling melody wasn't communicated as clearly as it probably would do in a Canadian headline show. Too bad, because Living With Lions is an awesome band you all should be checking out on record.

7

Comeback Kid

Expectations were high for the Comeback Kid show at a club venue. Normally, we've seen them tear stages apart on various arena-sized stages at festivals around Europe, so tonight presented a unique opportunity to check out how the band fares in an intimate club setting. By now, well over a hundred people had made their way to the 160-capacity venue, which is shaped perfectly in a way that even a show with 50 people seems packed, so all the ingredients were there for a huge explosion of crowd energy as a response to some of the best modern hardcore out there. That's exactly what happened during the next 15 songs. Previously, the crowd had stood still and ignored any stage activity as negligible, but the very moment the ominous guitars to opener "Do Yourself A Favor" echoed across the small venue, you could sense that something special was brewing underneath the surface. Indeed, the exact point when Comeback Kid delve into the first hardcore punk-fueled wave of aggression on stage, the crowd bursts into a basement show-style display of passionate energy, sporting an old-fashioned mosh pit that didn't pause until the last notes of "Final Goodbye" were heard from the speakers.

The karate moshers from Fredericia were in absence for once, perhaps because this tour would make it to Flensburg near the border the next day, and it made all the difference in the world. Instead of creating an empty space right in the front of the band, a crazed, intimate mosh pit took over which made everyone else at the venue experience the real hardcore energy, the real reason why hardcore fans take the genre so seriously, why the fist-pumping, the chant-alongs, the heavy melodies are so attractive. It speaks volumes when even a dad of a 14-15 year old kid at the show was nodding along to songs like "Because Of All", "G.M. Vincent & I" and "Wake The Dead", the latter two of which represented tonight's highlights. Though the chant-along wasn't as strong as you might expect outside of Denmark, especially "Wake The Dead" had the whole venue screaming "you said you said you saaaaaid" in unison. You had people vaulting themselves on stage, you had people throwing themselves against the fans at the front trying to grasp the mic, you had crowd-surfers...basically, the show had everything you'd wish a hardcore show to have. Immense energy, a parade of brilliant hardcore songs, and a solid stage performance made sure that tonight was one to be remembered.

Setlist:

  • 1. Do Yourself A Favor
  • 2. False Idols Fall
  • 3. All In A Year
  • 4. Broadcasting
  • 5. Talk Is Cheap
  • 6. G.M. Vincent & I
  • 7. Defeated
  • 8. Because Of All
  • 9. Pull Back The Reins
  • 10. Partners In Crime
  • 11. Die Tonight
  • 12. Changing Face
  • 13. The Trouble I Love
  • 14. Wake The Dead
  • 15. Final Goodbye

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