Pain of Salvation

support Cryptex
author AZ date 17/03/12 venue Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN

Saturday night in Copenhagen. Traveling with the S train I arrive at the central station. The weather is somewhat chilly but I cannot sense anything - my mind is set to rock-out the evening with Pain of Salvation.

My first visit of Pumpehuset was an interesting one. I arrived just on doors open time – 19 sharp. Everything running as planned except one thing – where are all the people? I know that Pain of Salvation isn't Metallica (no offense, of course) but all in all we were 7 people that entered the venue. While I was thinking that they could actually cancel the concert more people started to come and the first floor seemed to fill up. When they let us go to the second floor I realized that today's show could easily be acoustic and still have the same effect.

And then I saw the stage... which was full of instruments. Of course, you would say, there are two bands – there should be a lot instruments?! Yes, but all the pianos, synths, drum kits, guitars, mics, etc. made the space look more crowded than what the actual audience had at their disposal.

Cryptex

Without any introduction in the spotlight, on stage came three guys. A little theatrical I may add. And just like the way they came, the band also known as Cryptex started their performance. Soon after the first couple of chords had passed it was obvious why they of all people were chosen to support PoS. Making a surprisingly quick and good link with the people in front of the stage, the trio from Hannover showed their contagious musicality and good sense of humor.

The constant interaction between band and audience that was continuously sought after by frontman Simon Moskon was paying off – more and more people were cheering and dancing to the Progressive/Folk rock beats that the band played. From Elvis Presley's rock'n'roll with blues harp through ballades with a sansula and cajon to alternative rock with heavy distorted guitars – this band had it all.

Surely some people may think that Cryptex were overdoing it by taking so many instruments just to play them on one song, moreover being a support band, but I saw that true joyful emotion that the band was looking to share with every person in the crowd that night. I think they succeeded!

Pain of Salvation

After a 20 minute beer break everyone in the audience was hyped up for the main event. We weren't disappointed. The lights on stage went out and four figures walked slowly out of the darkness. Yes, it was Pain of Salvation and they stepped on the stage wearing their typical stage persona.

Slowly toying with the crowd, the band started off with "Softly She Cries" from the most recent "Road Salt Two" album. Full of lust and and pain, the voice of Daniel Gildenlöw sought to seduce the crowd like a lover speaking to the ear of his beloved damsel. But of course nothing he did could separate him from the band. Just like a glove to a hand, bass, synth, drums, guitars and five voices synched perfectly to produce that spark, that glitter, that glamor... It was not just a concert. It was a spectacle. Something theatrical about the placement of the instruments, the music, the lightning, the way every band member acts - everything. And back to Daniel - almost feminine at times, his high falsetto adds that silky feeling to songs like “Linoleum” accompanied with distorted guitars that bring the dirty feeling and a synth that hops around playfully. Whenever he is fed up with that fragile boy look, he realizes he is holding a guitar wearing a tank top and then goes wild!

I admire bands that can keep up with time. You know, after having played all around the world, you try and stay the same – to some extent, of course. I say thins because every fan that had come that night saw it in their eyes – Pain of Salvation were really living their music. Gestures, singing, manners – either they are brilliant actors or they haven't lost the fundamental part of music – emotion. The best thing was that the guys were trying very hard to share this sensation with us. The result was mind blowing!

The mood had major shifts. As with Cryptex there were many instruments on stage that brought these changes, but in contrast to the band from Germany, Daniel Gildenlöw and friends showed some maturity in the way they played and used the them. While they were doing that it so happened that they played “No way”, the last song of their official set list, after which they left the stage. No fan that night was ready to leave them to that so the sparse public started to chant and cheer for more. Without too much teasing the band came out … and played almost one hour more. This time was full of excitement, which the band provided by switching instruments, playing semi-acoustic and as a grande finale played “Sisters” upon request from the crowd.

During these two hours I realized that the view before my eyes was very rear. Not only physically but emotionally there aren't that many bands – especially nowadays – that can play some much music, and still keep touring, still keep on smiling. I guess that with time these type of band will slowly fade away and disappear but until then – we have Pain of Salvation.

9

Setlist:

  • 1. Softly She Cries
  • 2. Ashes
  • 3. Linoleum
  • 4. The Deeper Cut
  • 5. 1979
  • 6. To The Shoreline
  • 7. Iter impius
  • 8. Chain sling
  • 9. Perfect element
  • 10. Stress
  • 11. Kingdom of loss
  • 12. Healing now
  • 13. No way
  • - Encore
  • New songs...
  • 14. Sisters

Photos courtesy of Lunah Lauridsen - Metalmoments (metalmoments.net)

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