In Flames

support Death Destruction
author AZ date 12/04/12 venue Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

In Flames(clap)(clap)(clap) In Flames(clap)(clap)(clap) In Flames... This was the soundtrack running in my head while my friends and I approached VEGA. I last saw the band 3 years ago and all the memories were good. They played a terrific show in Sofia(Bulgaria) and even though I had a swollen ankle that didn't stop me from jumping as high as I could or going into the pit a couple of times.

We arrived to see a somewhat full venue. Just by looking around I could feel that it was going to be another night to remember.

Death Destruction

It's always nice for a band or any kind of entertainer to have a crowd that "follows". Luckily, for Death Destruction, this was the case that night. The high energy songs that the band introduced as soon as they went out on stage easily caught up with the majority of the audience and without hesitation most of them joined in by forming pits, headbanging or rising the horns high. Little by little the quartet began to expand their performance. Pummeling riffs, tasty solos, high-pitched screams, slick bass lines - they had it all. Performance-wise the band must be ranked high - courtesy of guitarist Henrik Danhage who is a shredding machine. Bass and drums sounded tight and became a firm base for lead vocalist Jimmie Strimell to put his final touch. "You guys are the best crowd we had" was the acknowledgment the band gave to all those who were keeping up with the tempo.

I must confess, however, that to me DD sounds like a band with a bad musical direction. The guys are exploring a sub-genre that somehow leads to Pantera, Lamb of God, Down again and again within their songs. Nothing bad in that but if they want to make the whole crowd move they got to come up with more ideas.

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In Flames

After a beer break, the main act was about to go on stage and the audience was hyped - filling Store Vega to the point that every new song got you acquainted with a different person. Before going into how it went I must make a note for the people that have never been to an In Flames show. It is a crazy experience that comprises jumping high, singing loud, crowd surfing(get back to that later) and moshing.

Slowly all the lightning faded to black leaving only a dim blue light that filled the place along with familiar sounds of an intro. Without any special preparation the five elements comprising what In Flames is today went on stage with their mind set to take no prisoners. Of course, Danish fans knew what they were up against and without fear everybody welcomed Gothenburg's finest as best as he/she could. Upon hearing classics like "Cloud Connected", "The Quiet Place", "Trigger" and new hits like "Deliver us" and "Where The Dead Ships Dwell" few were the people that stood indifferent in the audience. The pit in the crowd was constantly morphing into a bouncing place that affected everything around it. Those that preferred to view the concert from afar - on the balcony - were holding themselves to the handrail - headbanging hard and singing loud.

The constant interaction between vocalist Anders Friden and the crowd was pleasing the fans. First he made the people seated on the balcony to stand up, encouraged by the booing of the other people in the audience. Then he wrote an SMS from a phone that he got from a person in the audience. At a point in the concert Anders decided that it was time for the crowd to get more intimate with the band so he requested that people try crowd surfing on for size. Being the open-minded person that I am, I welcomed the thought gladly and tried out what it's like to float on top a sea of people jumping as high as they can to "Only For The Weak". Let's say that it's a great way to change the setting and get to know the guards better.

Some say that the long years of concerts and "metal fame" have numbed In Flames to a point where they're only drifting on top of the mainstream success. Yes, their music has changed dramatically over the years but this, however, has no connection whatsoever with their live shows. They are cool, precise as a watch, positive - it struck me that the latest addition of the band, guitarist Niclas Engelin, didn't stop smiling during the whole gig.

"My Sweet Shadow" was the closing song to this spectacle. A fitting way to seal the evening that must be remembered by the Danish (and Swedish) fans as a day that Store Vega was burning brightly in the warm Copenhagen night.

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Photos by: Lykke Nielsen

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