Enter Shikari

support Your Demise + letlive.
author AP date 17/09/11 venue Lille Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

It was teased sometime last year that letlive. would be making their Danish debut already in January in the company of Siamese Fighting Fish, but as such an event never manifested itself this autumn show quickly gained heat as one of the most anticipated concerts in the Rockfreaks.net camp this year. Of course the fact that both Your Demise and Enter Shikari were on the bill was a fantastic bonus, but at least for me the main event tonight was to witness the infamous letlive. live for the first time ever. Read on to see whether or not they were able to warrant my colossal expectations.

letlive.

Before the gig there had been some speculation that given the tremendous expectations stemming from letlive.'s notorious live reputation, the band might not be able to live up to them. Whoever thought so could not have been more wrong. Never in my life have I seen a vocalist perform with the sense of urgency, distress and mayhem with which Jason Aalon Butler lunges at us. When he's not pounding his fists against the stage or wall or hysterically screaming into the mic in bone shattering, anguished cries, he's climbing up the adjacent balcony or hanging by his feet from its railing, moshing among the crowd like a lunatic, or throwing a backflip onto the drumkit. You would have to look far and wide to find a frontman so driven, so possessed by his art; even the piss poor sound mix can't stomp over the feeling of intimacy he alone conjurs in the room. What you have in Butler is essentially Daryl Palumbo on acid, mushrooms and cocaine knocked back with a pint of whisky. This is no exaggeration. And while most of the credit must indeed go to him for this demonstration of brute force, the rest of the band isn't sitting still either, with bassist Ryann Jay Johnson in particular giving him a run for his money. Add to the mix a fantastic choice of setlist with instantly recognisable party starters like "Renegade 86'", "The Sick, Sick 6.8 Billion", "We, the Pros of Con" and a cover of Refused's "Deadly Rhythm" and the circle is complete: this is undoubtedly one of the most mental performances in Denmark since The Chariot last visited us.

Your Demise

As such it is no surprise that Your Demise don't top it. Although they're armed with a repertoire of sure shot hardcore songs certain to please fans of the genre in a live setting, Your Demise still seem too surprised by their own success to warrant the hype surrounding them. Ed McRae would be the perfect frontman for this type of band were it not for his feeling that he needs to tell the audience what to do at every break in his vocals and repeat it thrice; his doing so combined with the band's hxc tour crew stood on the left side of the stage actually unwittingly makes Your Demise come across as half hip hop, half hardcore. Which is a shame considering that when they do it right, they do it with formidable power, on the likes of "Scared of the Light", "Miles Away" and "The Kids We Used to Be". But the constant disrupting commands yelled at the crowd and the simple nature of most of the songs combined makes this Your Demise show an entirely unimpressive affair, to the point where a cameo by letlive. vocalist Jason Aalon Butler goes all but unnoticed. What Your Demise need to do in order to strike a chord with me is to focus on the music and trust the crowd to derive enough energy from it on their own so as to express it through violent moshing.

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Enter Shikari

Despite the fact that I feel I am getting a little too old for this neon nonsense, Enter Shikari once again do not disappoint. That is, unless you're a disgruntled old fart like myself. With glow sticks ablaze the crowd accepts even the most feeble elements of Enter Shikari's populism with an open heart, seemingly oblivious to, or unaffected by the numerous dubstep elements that have crept into the set tonight and thus reduce the impact of songs like "Mothership" somewhat. But the energy that has become common stock at an Enter Shikari show is still there like it's 2007, albeit in more professional, reserved clothing. Having played venues much larger than this for the better part of three years the band has sadly lost some of the youthful bliss and recklessness they made their trademark in the wake of "Take to the Skies"; in its place is a controlled yet sufficiently entertaining big rockstar demeanor that seems to go down well with most of the audience, dancing but never moshing to the tune of songs like "Zzzonked" and "Sssnakepit".

We are given a taste of what's to come, too, with the surprisingly aggressive "Arguing with Thermometers", as well as a selection of classics including "No Sssweat", "No Sleep Tonight" and "Sorry, You're Not a Winner". It has become amusing, to say the least, to witness a room full of people rubbing their hands together in the initial 15 seconds of the latter in preparation for the three collective claps which have become something of an institution, but at the same time it is a clear sign that Enter Shikari were always going to be huge. So even though my personal preferences have grown beyond ravecore and the band has subsequently become obsolete in my eyes, there is no question that Enter Shikari still have it in them to not only stage an awesome performance, but also to kick up a fantastic party. If there is anything to criticize the band for tonight, however, it is the drowsy lull into which the set veers with "Quelle Surprise" and "Gap in the Fence". After the last claps Enter Shikari exits and returns again in haste to play "Juggernauts", and almost manage to reinstate the euphoria that reigned in the venue. Had they then thrown "Anything Can Happen in the Next Half Hour" at us the evening would have been crowned, but alas, this was it and most were fully satisfied.

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Setlist:

  • 01. Destabilise
  • 02. Mothership
  • 03. Zzzonked
  • 04. Havoc A
  • 05. Hectic
  • 06. Return to Energiser
  • 07. No Sssweat
  • 08. The Jester
  • 09. Arguing with Thermometers
  • 10. Quelle Surprise
  • 11. Gap in the Fence
  • 12. No Sleep Tonight
  • 13. Sssnakepit
  • 14. Sorry, You're Not a Winner

--Encore--

  • 15. Juggernauts

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