Billy Talent

support Kill The Rooster
author PP date 23/06/12 venue Lille Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

Guest review written by Martin Huss

Billy Talent were supposed to have been playing at this year's edition of Groezrock, but had to cancel their performance due to the drummer Aaron Solowoniuk having open heart surgery in February. But luckily he has now recovered enough to be back on the road. So when offered to see their show in exchange for a review I jumped at the chance.

The last time the band visited Copenhagen, Ungdomshuset at Jagtvej had just been cleared and they played a great show at a completely sold out Pumpehuset. That was in 2007, however, and since the release of their third album in 2009, which did not quite live up to its predecessors, they haven't really been on the radar (not mine at least). So I arrived at the show hoping that they could repeat the success of their last visit, but also a bit fearful, that maybe the band had lost it. This should prove not to be the case though.

Kill The Rooster

But first up was the opening act this Saturday evening, namely local band Kill The Rooster. A band I had never actually heard before their set although I have seen them mentioned quite a few times recently. They play a brand of punkish rock n roll, which during their first song evokes memories of Green Day, which initially triggers my interest, but as their set progresses the band can't really maintain my interest. At this point Lille Vega is about half full and Kill The Rooster does seem to have captured the interest of a large part of the crowd though, which is justified because they are playing with a lot of energy and commitment and even turned up the intensity towards the end with screamed vocals and a light show which really complimented the music. Factor in that the only problem with the sound mix was that the backup vocals of the drummer were a little too low and Kill The Rooster certainly did a good job of warming up the audience during their half an hour-long set. But if Kill The Rooster are to keep me more interested the next time they are going to need some more original ideas, because right now all they are doing has been done (better) before by others, but I do not think that will be a problem because they certainly seemed to have a lot of promise.

Billy Talent

After a short wait Billy Talent entered the stage and launched directly into “Devil in a Midnight Mass” which with its distinct Muse-like riff gets an immediate response from the audience, who by now have filled around two-thirds of Lille Vega. The biggest strength of Billy Talent has always been the charismatic and characteristic vocals of front man Benjamin Kowalewicz and he seems hell-bent on delivering a memorable show. He throws his body around the stage, steps up on the monitors and gets in the faces of the crowd singing. It is nothing that hasn't been seen before, but it does the trick anyway. The crowd too is up for it and songs like “This Suffering” and “River Below” draw some big singalongs. The band recently made available a new song called “Viking Death March” from their upcoming album and as it is pretty unmistakably Billy Talent it blends into the set seamlessly. During the concert Aaron Solowoniuk removes his shirt and a big scar running down his chest is visible even from far down in the crowd, but he certainly doesn't seem to be hindered by his recent surgery giving his all behind the drums. The band ends with their breakthrough single “Try Honesty” receiving the biggest response from the crowd yet before leaving the stage. They are not gone long before it is time for the encore. “Devil on My Shoulder” (including a solo), “Fallen Leaves” and “Red Flag” in quick succession give the crowd an excuse to use the last of their energy and even encourage a few guys to crowd surf.

Billy Talent proved once again, that even though some of their material can sound a bit dated in 2012, they surely are a formidable live band, who can deliver their songs with such conviction that it is hard not to be carried away by them.



  • 1. Devil in a Midnight Mass
  • 2. Turn Your Back
  • 3. Living in the Shadows
  • 4. This Suffering
  • 5. Line & Sinker
  • 6. Rusted from the Rain
  • 7. Saint Veronika
  • 8. Cut the Curtains
  • 9. Viking Death March
  • 10. Surrender
  • 11. River Below
  • 12. Diamond on a Landmine
  • 13. This Is How It Goes
  • 14. Try Honesty
  • --Encore--
  • 15. Devil on My Shoulder
  • 16. Fallen Leaves
  • 17. Red Flag

Photos by Lykke Nielsen

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