Baby In Vain

support The Wave of Stone
author BV date 04/10/13 venue Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN

I don’t find myself surrendering to a wave of buzz and hype all that often. This time around is something different though, as I have previously heard the tales of Baby In Vain’s epic live performances, rampant outbursts of energy and their peculiar songwriting. I even let myself be affected to such an extent that I picked up their recent batch of 7” singles to hear what the fuss was truly about. It was therefore with great anticipation I entered the venue – which was already packed upon my arrival.

All photos by Peter Troest

The Wave of Stone

The support of the night came in the form of The Wave of Stone – a band I have experienced live a decent number of times. As they opened their set with the rambunctious “Hand Me That Cigarette Mr. Burn”, it became clear that they were here with one mission – to get a serious party going, with their infectious, stoner-infused riff-rock. As they followed in the general footsteps of their powerful set-opener with their various songs, fueled by themes like the apocalypse and casual cannabis-smoking, the band seemed to generally garner a positive response from the venue which, much to my surprise was already brimming with people in anticipation of what was to come a bit later.

The barrage of riffs from frontman/guitarist Mads Jaurnow and guitarist Mikkel Sylvester Larsen seemed never-ending and as their flurry of crunchy tones smoothly transitioned into a variety of lead-figures, they were steadily supported by the incredibly tight bass-playing of Mathias Brank and the powerful drumming of Christian Nordholt. The band was a veritable plethora of energy on stage and seemed absolutely thrilled to be playing – a truly infectious attitude that reflected positively on the crowd who, in turn, cheered tremendously as the band progressed into their last lengthy jam - which resulted in the apparent dismantling of the drumkit in a sheer display of power. As far as supporters go, the dudes in The Wave of Stone sure as hell know how to warm up a crowd.

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Baby In Vain

The Wave of Stone had laid out an extremely solid foundation to build upon: a warmed up crowd, a hall brimming with attendees and a general air of curious anticipation. However, as Baby In Vain took the stage a few minutes past ten, they were almost immediately plagued by technical issues and a sound-mix that was nowhere near as pristine as that of the preceding performance. Nonetheless, the girls seemed unaffected by the issues as they progressed into “Taught By Hand”, the first track to really attract massive applause during their set. As the trio went through their noisy, no-holds-barred performance where rock n’ roll attitude seemed of the essence, the frantic screams of Andrea Thuesen and Lola Hammerich rang through the hall, solidifying their reputation as vibrant and extremely energetic on stage. It became perfectly clear several times though, that the technical issues were increasingly persistent – often going a long way to disrupt the mix in any way possible which, at more than one occasion, left the wild and untamed guitar parts to come across as nearly inaudible in a flurry of howling feedback and thunderous low-end that bordered utter cacophony at times.

Despite coming off as plagued by sound issues, the trio seemed hell-bent on delivering a show that could live up to the hype surrounding them, as the band progressed through their set of mostly new material. The ferocious and technically proficient drumming of Benedicte Pierleoni seemed overwhelming and, to be completely honest, immensely powerful as one could feel the surroundings trembling from the sound-waves. As the band progressed into the absolute highlight of the night, “Sweetheart Dreams”, the crowd-response was thunderous and for a brief moment, one could easily overlook the otherwise all-encompassing technical issues and the occasionally poor mix. After some 80 minutes or so, their frenetic outbursts of noise-rock came to an end, leaving an entire venue to proceed down the stairs for their after-party. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t give in to hype that often – but if the sound had been better, this night could probably have been one of those times. Instead, I’ll remain lukewarm and give them another go sometime soon.

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