Dúné

support 180 Graders Virvar
author HES date 30/03/13 venue Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

I have planned to go to this show for a while because of two reasons: One is that Dúné at the release of their new album “Wild Hearts” proclaimed that they from now on would see themselves as a rock band (replacing their electro-rock-pop label). And second: My best friend is the band’s biggest fan and I’m always fascinated to see why people can become that infatuated with a band that way. Me being a rock reviewer and friend of a mega fan made this experience inevitable.

180° Virvar

Tonight’s warm up band are here under some extraordinary circumstances; they have won the “honour” and possible pathway to the stars through the Danish concept-competition “Local Heroes” which gives the bands of tomorrow the possibility to win the sought-after warm up spot for several Danish grand artists like Barbara Moleko and Xander – besidesDúné themselves of course.

Already before the show, it’s obvious that the warm up is the last thing on people’s mind here. The hall of Vega’s biggest stage is barely filled out as they hit the stage. It seems like some are even surprised there would be anything happening before Dúné. Anyhow, the band starts of in a pretty convincing dark and gloomy electro-rock kind of style. The stage is lit up only by UV-lights and most of the band members have dressed up in white to help the effect reach the back rows. Seeing as most people don’t know what the hell is going on, the confusion hits a high point which is only furthered by the band not introducing themselves before they’re halfway through the set.

Nanna Rytter Nielsen of 180° Virvar - Photos by Peter Troest

Between the songs I notice some quite nice electro-samples by the guy behind the machines. He’s wearing an Indian headpiece and is one of the guys that didn’t get the memo of dressing in white – I get the sneaking feeling that he did get it but ignored it. All in all there are six people on stage. But it’s quite obvious that they are six individuals and not yet a band. The guy in the headpiece is rocking in his own little electronic world. One of the guys on guitar also does a decent job at the mic, but it’s hard to figure out if he’s the front man or if the female vocalist is it. Enter the rap-guy and another contender for the “King of the stage”-title. I don’t dispute that a band can have more than one vocalist, but this seems more like they’re working alone than together. Hence the “who is actually leading the band here?”.

The female vocalist, Nanna Rytter Nielsen has a crisp alto voice with a hint of soul, but her dramatic dancing in a white bat-wing dress seems to get the best of her attention. The rapper of the group is completely impossible to hear due to bad mixing and for some reason he also comes off extremely nasal – the only time I really grasp a word of what he is saying is between breaks when he encourages the crowd by yelling out several cheers to a mixed response.

Through all of these not-so-convincing distractions I do notice a pulsating urban city-soundscape put into the confinement of some very risky and interesting couplings. Sometimes I get a hint of the new urban folk sound that has become popular on the indie-scene lately. But I’m left wishing for a better crowd, better mixing and a more unison presence on stage - instead of different artists not fully collaborating.

5

Dúné

Alright, alright so tonight’s actual stars (whether you like it or not) are here. As the band hits the stage a tornado of high-pitched, ecstatic screaming knocks me a bit back and the lights are blinding. Frontman Matt Kolstrup enters the stage wearing tight fit black pants with stripes of white and red plus a white leather jacket pulling moves reminding me of the late, eclectic Freddy Mercury. He looks a little awkward to me but it seems to be the kind of charms that float the crowd’s boat. They follow his every move and throughout the show he guides several sing-a-longs by the flicker of a finger or a nod with his head.

The band starts off with the first song off their new album “Remember Valentina” with a Muse-esque pulsating rhythm-guitar and voice distortion. But Kolstrup manages to have complete control of the mic and every ghasp, whisper, scream etc. is wonderfully delivered – with the delicacy that is normally lost in translation during live gigs. And now we’re at praising Kolstrup I must give in to his amazing vocal talent; his falsetto is pitch perfect tonight, his voice sounding ever as young as when the band was first discovered. During the night he leads several call-and-response sessions with the audience, for instance during "Hell No" and "Let Go of Your Love", and they swallow it raw.

Matt Kolstrup of Dúné - Photos by Peter Troest

The band is currently without drummer and the name of tonight’s stand-in is Morten Hellborn, who really pulls his weight, even hitting up some hardcore double pedal-stuff half way into the show and generally going at it with complete confidence the entire set. On keys Ole Bjórn is having a party – bordering on leaving our party for his own little world. He is dancing, singing along and generally rocking out so much that no one but Kolstrup is really close to getting to his level of intensity. It becomes a bit distracting – mostly in the sense that all band members but these two end up seeming very immobile and reserved. The guitarist Danny Jungslund is even wearing shades despite of the recent Danish polar-like temperatures and the show being inside.

At the end of the show, Bjórn takes the audience into a massive electro-solo. It might just be me, but I don’t really understand how “becoming more of a rock band” combines with five minutes of hardcore electronica fit for Ibiza? This even shakes - the up until now very loyal - audience, but as soon as toast master and host Kolstrup is back on the stage everything is good again. They rock another few singles and come back for an encore including super-hit "Heiress of Valentina". But for some odd reason I can’t shake the feeling of being at a church meeting praising a deity I still haven’t quite figured out if I believe in. Everyone around me is rocking out in ecstasy but I’m not sure if I’m actually witnessing a good rock show or a cult. Anyway I think I’ll give Dúné the benefit of the doubt. They manage to fully entertain 90% of the venue – but I think it’s perhaps a bit at the expense of the sincerity of it all. It’s very show and not enough tell if you ask me. I had a great night in good company but I’m still left with the feeling of not really getting to know the host.

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