Iwrestledabearonce

support Oceano + Vanna + For All Those Sleeping
author AP date 21/09/12 venue Beta, Copenhagen, DEN

We've come a long way with our All Killer, No Filler events, this being our eighth attempt at bringing the Copenhagen crowd a better, fuller concert experience than simply slamming some bands on stage, listening to them, and then going home or to another bar. On this occasion, our target audience is obviously a slightly younger one than we are used to, so when the venue more or less empties just after midnight, we're inclinced to close up shop much earlier than we otherwise tend to and forget any notion of a proper afterparty. But no matter, there will be plenty of other events to come - so keep an eye out.

For All Those Sleeping doing what they do best...

For All Those Sleeping

The first piece of this all-American line-up is For All Those Sleeping, whom I must admit I have never even heard of prior to tonight. Their music - played at frustratingly low volume that all but obscures the two guitars - is a fairly standard form of post-hardcore infused metalcore, with growled/screamed verses supplemented by clean sung choruses and, naturally, breakdowns. Now, this kind of music has the capacity to function extremely well in a live setting, as we shall see, but something about For All Those Sleeping nags me to no avail. Bassist London Snetsinger's clean vocals are so nasal and irritating it makes my skin crawl, and the cringe-worthy cover of Taylor Swift's "You Belong with Me", which the band contributed to the "Punk Goes Pop vol. 4" compilation record, does nothing to help my mood. Everything about the band appears custom designed for teenage audiences, which is why it is hardly a surprise that a small cast of 150cm girls and boys have gathered up front to receive free hugs and hair-messings from frontman Mike Champa. Not impressive at all.

4

Vanna

Vanna

Contrary to my expectations, the next band on stage is actually Vanna, rather than Oceano - my apologies for leading into it with a series of deathcore and death metal songs. It quickly becomes clear that Vanna is one of those bands that can make post-hardcore function at full efficiency in a live setting, as this is without a doubt one of the liveliest, most energetic, and visually exhilirating bands that I have ever witnessed from the genre. What separates Vanna from For All Those Sleeping is essentially their attitude, which stems directly from hardcore rather than pop, as well as the raw edge in their music. The strained clean singing of guitarist Joel Pastuszak sounds as authentic as it does good, while frontman Davey Muise makes a case out of coming across as powerful and imposing as possible. Lead by his strong performance, the rest of the band quite simply appears exuberant to be playing here, throwing themselves and their instruments around in a constant whirlwind of furious, infectious energy. Truly, Vanna prove that they are one of most formidable forces in post-hardcore, one of the few last bastions of what the genre used to stand for before it was discovered by a younger audience.

8

Oceano

Oceano

On this eclectic bill of bands, Oceano is by far the heaviest. In fact, their inclusion on such a tour as this is somewhat baffling, given the sledgehammer assault that is their take on deathcore - or, as vocalist Adam Warren puts it, violent death metal. Sadly though, one of the band's guitarists, Devin Shidaker, was forced to sit out this tour due to his economic situation, and the effect of his absence is all too clear. Quite simply, Oceano do not sound nearly as menacing as they tend to without the extra meat of a second guitar - not that the persistently low volume is doing much to help, either. What Oceano do excel at, however, is coming across as an absolutely colossal force, thanks mostly to Warren's size and demeanor. His muscular physique and slightly terrifying behavior on stage is the perfect vessel to convey the brutality of the band's music, and I find myself much more impressed by his antics than I was several years ago when I caught the band in London, UK on one edition of the Impericon Never Say Die! tour. The rest of the band is content with the traditional performance tricks of headbanging and stomping the crowd, but somehow their performances lack the authority that Warren is able to exude. It's a solid, though somehwat lacklustre performance by Oceano.

6

Iwrestledabearonce

Iwrestledabearonce

Iwrestledabearonce are one of those bands that few people can stand to listen to on record, but lots of people love for their highly amusing live performances. Each time I have seen the band, it has been a madly entertaining experience, even if the merits of the band's self-proclaimed "spazz-core" (a strange mixture of grindcore, alternative rock and electronic music) are completely beyond me. Tonight, however, none of the madness that is so typical of the band seems to be present, with the various band members looking almost lethargic by their usual standards. In fact, bassist Mike Martin seems to be the only member of the band willing to show genuine satisfaction at being able to play for us once again; the remaining musicians do their fair bit of instrument swinging, but without the psychotic flair that has been there on previous occasions. Whether or not this is because former vocalist Krysta Cameron has been replaced by Courtney LaPlante, who is not nearly as eccentric as Cameron, is unclear, but for a band renowned for their less than serious live appearances, tonight just doesn't feel like the band gives much of a fuck. It's still solid stuff though, and guitarist Steven Bardley's technical wankery is as impressive as ever. I just wish the band would have the energy to put on a show in their usual vein.

Photos copyright of Rasmus Ejlersen

Comments
comments powered by Disqus

Legal

© Copyright MMXIX Rockfreaks.net.