Bane

support Cruel Hand + Rotting Out
author PP date 29/03/12 venue BETA, Copenhagen, DEN

It seems that Thursdays are no good for our All Killer No Filler sessions, at least not until the summer holidays begin and all the students start losing the concept of a weekend. Though we closed down early and only a few people remained at the venue after the show, Bane's show and the performances by Rotting Out and Cruel Hand drew a solid crowd down to Amager on a Thursday night.

Rotting Out

Rotting Out

First up was Rotting Out from Los Angeles, California, who came on stage with an unassuming and uncompromising attitude, realizing they had to win over a crowd that probably had never heard of them prior to the show tonight. And that's precisely what they did: the undersigned wasn't the only one impressed tonight, as their passionate and energetic form of hardcore enticed the crowd moving early on thanks to a bouncy and talkative vocalist, whose missing front teeth only added to his hardcore 'from the streets' character. Sure, his rants in between songs were extremely stereotypical and cliché stuff you tend to run into at hardcore shows, and the guitars were your standard down tuned, made for live show-type of generic hardcore material, but at least the band knows how to write catchy riffs that deviate from the genre baseline and actually bring in the occasional moments of (down-tuned) melody. It also speaks volumes about their show that their vocalist was constantly out of breath in between songs to the extent that one had to wonder whether it was Darth Vader breathing into the mic instead of him pretty much every time they had a pause in between the songs. A few two-steppers at the front ensured that a small crowd dynamic existed as well, ensuring that Rotting Out impressed not only through the quality of their songs, but also through a dynamic and reactive live performance that reflected the few people's energy who knew their songs up front.

Cruel Hand

Cruel Hand

The same can't be said about Cruel Hand, however. It's another tell-tale sign of the kind of performance we witnessed when I jotted down in my notes halfway through the set that I couldn't remember any details about the first half - simply because there were none. They played a mosh-friendly, down-tuned style of hardcore that had all the two-step and karate-mosh kids moving up front, but rest of us rolling our eyes and wondering how Cruel Hand differ from the dozens (or hundreds) of like-minded bands who ignore traditional song writing ideal in favor of a two-step friendly, dumbed down approach that felt one-dimensional and, frankly, boring in comparison to the dynamic sound offered by Rotting Out just before. Their sound is generic, and it's not helped by the least by their vocalist, whose expression borderlines hip-hop (think: nu-metal) at times in the worst possible denotation of that context. Simply put, their riffs aren't catchy, their songs aren't memorable, and they rely solely on cliché power-hardcore lyrics that surely enough resonate two a minority of the crowd well enough, while the rest of us are thinking "uhm... basketballshorts-core, okay then".

Bane

It takes but two songs by Bane to demonstrate that their song arsenal puts both bands tonight into shame. The addition of the faint melodic element to their shouted-out hardcore is the key reason why they are considered a seminal band in hardcore, betrayed by the fact that they are playing such a small venue here in Denmark tonight. Despite their extremely successful showcase at the Hell On Earth Tour last year, people seem oblivious to Bane tonight, or as singer Bedard puts it so well, unable to "commit to the show tonight". He's right. People seem to know the songs, or at least the chorus parts of them, but the mosh pits, the dynamic energy between the crowd and the band is missing. It's as if the people who normally let loose - or those who went crazy for the first two bands - aren't there anymore. Thinking back to the Comeback Kid show in Templet where people were vaulting off the stage and a circle/mosh pit was a constant throughout the show, that sort of crowd presence simply doesn't exist tonight.

Bane

This prompts Bedard to honestly admit that he doesn't know what to take away from this show. He's visibly disappointed even as he jokes about how they try to get things going with sing alongs, fast parts, et cetera, and are maybe even willing to bring in some cello and violins on top, too, if that's what it takes. He points out that a couple of girls are dominating the pit tonight, which is a tell-tale sign of the crowd just not being as into it tonight as they probably should be. As a result, there are long passages where there is virtually no connection between Bane and the crowd, and even playing a song from their very first 7" doesn't ignite the crowd. Indeed, it's not before the last two songs of the set where people start grabbing the mic, stage diving, and moving in a manner that is to be expected from a high-profile hardcore show as this. It's also here that Bedard makes his way into the crowd for the first time, but it is too little, too late. Tonight was simply a night where Bane's setlist was sub optimal to the people in the crowd, and as a result, the set feels inferior to Rotting Out who had more going on with the crowd early on. Still, Bane play a solid set that only suffered from the lack of crowd response.

7

Photos by: Rasmus Ejlersen

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