support Cancer Bats
author TL date 29/11/06 venue Stengade 30, Copenhagen, DEN

After having made my way to Stengade30 and embraced quite a substantial amount of obstacles connected with getting my planned interview I made the mistake of leaving the venue in order to grab some food and cheap beer with my friends before returning. This meant that we had to stand in line for the doors that for some reason weren't supposed to open before 22.00, then get in an stand in line for the wardrobe, effectively missing half of Cancer Bats' support show that had apparently started at about the instant the doors were opened. Bad planning in my humble opinion, but seeing as it would be a further waste of time to stand around and complain about it, this reviewer got hold of a beer and jumped into the fray.

Before I get too much into that, let me just tell you about how nice a venue Stengade 30 is. If you've ever been to The Barfly in London, you'll have a pretty good idea what the insides look like. The concert room is angled with two bars in one end of the room, and the stage in the other. The dancefloor is about ten meters wide, and around twenty in length (please take semi-drunken eye measuring skills into consideration) and the stage isn't elevated any higher than knee-height. Of course there are no barriers either, and all in all the venue will always hold the promise of intimate shows.

Cancer Bats

About that fray I left you hanging by earlier, as I mentioned, Cancer Bats where already well into their set when I got in. The crowd had split into those who really went with the show, moshing and headbanging in the front, and the people who had assumed the usual 'position' and stood with their arms crossed, checking out the rather unknown support act with cautious attention. I didn't know any songs by the 'Bats from before, and I wasn't really expecting much from them either, since I didn't like their performance too much when they played the side stage at Taste Of Chaos some weeks earlier. Fortunately for tonight's crowd however, the small stage suited the band far better than the one at Brixton Academy, and they delivered their material without unnecessary gimmicks, and instead with amplified it with praiseworthy energy. Definitely a more than decent warm up, without any bullshit, just pure rockin' out. With better material and a bit more experience, this band could actually become quite good.



After Cancer Bats had left the stage, some confusion arose, since This Is Hell were originally supposed to have appeared as a second support act. Unless they played before the doors were supposed to open, they never showed up though, and sound technicians began changing stuff around the stage, setting it up for the headliners. People in the audience started closing in on the stage and settling in for the usual long wait for the headlining act. A wait that to the delight of many, was much much shorter than what I for one am used to, and was concluded by the obligatory screams of passion from the crowd, when their heroes from Alexisonfire took the stage.

Just as they had done in London, the band launched directly into "Drunks, Lovers, Sinners & Saints" and just as in London, it quickly became apparent how popular this band actually is. Most of the crowd started singing along instantly and halfway through the song, the first guy stumbled onto the stage, had his shirt ripped open by George and was sent crowdsurfing back into the audience. The band kept up a regular hit-parade of songs both new and old, making sure to play the usual "Boiled Frogs", "This Could Be Anywhere In The World" and "We Are The Sound" of the new album "Crisis" as well as ".44 Caliber Love Letter", "Waterwings" and "Accidents" from the older records. All received equally amazingly by the crowd that knew close to every word, and all celebrated with frequent cases of stagediving and crowdsurfing. The short wait for the band did have its price however, and even though the audience didn't seem to care much, the sound could easily have been way better than was the case this night. The vocals were having a hard time of standing out from the instruments properly and especially Dallas's' parts were almost unhearable. A problem that was already substantial directly in front of the stage, and only got worse the further back you were positioned. To the majority this didn't really mean a thing though. The crowd sung the lyrics just as high and well as the band could have done, and you can only dream of the ecstasy that ensued when George started climbing the people in the front while still screaming his parts loud and.. well as clear as he could considering the sound quality. I'd say that Alexisonfire did everything possible to live up to their already great live reputation, and that they succeeded in it as well. If you were standing in the back, suffering severely from the sound issues, you might disagree with me and want to grade this lower, but from where I was standing. This was still one of the most awesome rock parties I've attended - and I think I know at least half a room of people who'd be willing to back me up.

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