support Feed The Rhino
author PP date 23/09/12 venue Lille Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

Although it has now been a while since the much-discussed split between ex-Gallows vocalist Frank Carter and the rest of the band, the band have been living in a transitional phase since then where they are only just now getting used to performing live with their new vocalist Wade MacNeil (ex-Alexisonfire). That has led into some awkward and less-than-optimal live performances (scroll down) in the past, but as they gain experience as a new unit, the older fans are starting to accept the change as final and are either dropping off the ship or embracing the new Gallows identity. After the release of their self-titled album earlier this month, it's beginning to be clear that even without Carter, Gallows are still excellent, and that's the mindset I had when rushing almost directly from the airport to their show at Lille Vega, their first headlining show in Denmark.

Feed The Rhino

But first, lets discuss the hyped UK hardcore band Feed The Rhino. Word of their crazily energetic live performances had reached my ears prior to the show from the UK scene, and as such I was expecting the band to throw themselves around the stage with little regard to their own and others' safety. Indeed, the rumours weren't lying: their chaotic hardcore style lends itself perfectly for the sort of jumps, guitar swinging, and reckless energy that the band display on stage. Whenever the vocalist isn't kneeling or rolling on the stage floor screaming into his microphone, he's flying off the drum kit, crashing into the crowd trying to strangle himself with his microphone cord, and just generally being a pest on stage. The rest of the band follows up with equally furious energy that culminates in an epic finale where their primary guitarist damn-near falls off the stage into the bodies near the front, and proceeds to mow his way through the audience before finally coming to a still on the floor, shredding his guitar into pieces while lying in a giant pool of beer somewhere near the middle of the venue. At the same time, the drummer proceeds to disintegrate his drum set into pieces, and there's a brief moment where it looks like everything - literally everything - is breaking on stage and in the crowd as the final array of feedback is coming off the speakers. This is how to blow away your audience as a support band. And yet they are remarkably humble and down-to-earth, remembering to thank the audience for giving them a chance in a place they've never been to before. Be sure not to miss this band when they roll by your local venue.



"We're Gallows from the UK, and I'm Wade from Toronto!" is how Wade MacNeil introduces Gallows on stage prior to launching directly into "Misery", one of the highlight tracks off "Grey Britain". Immediately all of my prejudices and preconceptions about Wade vs Carter come rushing back, as the song no longer feels as British and as good as it did with Carter behind the pipes, despite MacNeil immediately making his rounds in the crowd from the get go. It gets the crowd moving straight away, though, and from here onwards, a small but effective mosh pit encapsulates the front of the stage at the half-full Lille Vega, consisting of die-hard Gallows fans who seem to know the lyrics to every song, new and old. Fortunately the band has made the right call and mostly focus on their new material tonight, with the majority of their 15 song set consisting of tracks from "Gallows" and "Death Is Birth" EP, where the band shines with their new identity. They lead with "Everybody Loves You (When You're Dead)", "Last June", "Mondo Chaos", and "Outsider Art" in a row where they display some of that intensity and uncompromising hardcore stance that they've produced on the new album, though of course not ever reaching similar levels of energy as Feed The Rhino earlier. They're fierce enough though for their energy to rub off on the crowd, and a brief glimpse around provides evidence for nodding heads, tapping feet, and the seemingly restless mosh pit near the front of the stage.

It's clear, however, that whenever Gallows delve into their older material, anyone who has seen the band in the past will notice that it just doesn't feel quite right. Especially when Wade screams "THIS SONG IS ABOUT A CITY I HATE MORE THAN ANYTHING" before "London Is The Reason", which sounds completely off and fake considering a) he didn't write the song and b) he's from Toronto, so what would he know about that having lived in Watford/London only for a year or two now? The original song was an eye-opener to anyone who's lived in London because of the way Carter translated his pure hatred of the London culture into his vocal style, and that's just something Wade isn't able to do convincingly for obvious reasons.

That said, "In The Belly Of The Shark" sounds almost better with Wade on vocals than the original from the debut album "Orchestra Of Wolves", and "Abandon Ship" sounds solid as well. Here's the thing, though, in contrast to the new material, a song like "Abandon Ship" or the predictable set closer "Orchestra Of Wolves" are just far better songs individually, even though the new material isn't bad per se. So as a Gallows member I would try to minimize these songs as a chapter in the past until they become completely comfortable with their new sound and new vocalist. They could've done it through an encore after "Orchestra Of Wolves", which could've been another new song, as if to suggest that their new material should overshadow their older material, but when three out of the last four songs are material from their debut album, exactly the opposite effect is achieved. Coupled with almost no interaction with the crowd tonight - what the band have previously done lots and lots in the past - I'm left with the feeling that I'm still not 100% convinced. That said, tonight proves that Gallows are again moving in the right direction and don't let a half-empty venue faze them, and deliver a solid set of hardcore regardless of my nit-picking criticism.


  • 1. Misery
  • 2. Everybody Loves You (When You're Dead)
  • 3. Last June
  • 4. Mondo Chaos
  • 5. Outsider Art
  • 6. London is the Reason
  • 7. Depravers
  • 8. Odessa
  • 9. True Colours
  • 10. Death Voices
  • 11. Vapid Adolescent Blues
  • 12. In the Belly of a Shark
  • 13. Cross of Lorraine
  • 14. Abandon Ship
  • 15. Orchestra of Wolves

Photos by: Julie Weitmann Decome

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