Comeback Kid

support Xibalba + The Greenery + Malevolence
author PP date 30/03/14 venue BETA, Copenhagen, DEN

Sunday nights are difficult nights to hold a show in Denmark. Half the people of Denmark are ridiculously hung over from the weekend, the beer has been flowing too much for the bar to sell much, and it's just generally a challenge to bring people out. Of course, none of that applies when you have a strong lineup, which is certainly the case tonight. Comeback Kid are known to never disappoint live, and Xibalba are riding on a wave of internet hype as of late. More on all those bands later, because we also have to discuss the opening slots by UK's Malevolence and the Long Beach boys in The Greenery.

Malevolence

As the first of four bands on the bill, the main task by Malevolence is to warm up the crowd, other than to use the slot to promote themselves of course. This is something their vocalist Alex takes seriously as he is constantly yelling at us to bang our heads, to make the place move, calling out "ONE MORE TIME" frequently enough for the phrase to nearly lose its meaning. That's both in between and during their songs, which are aggressive, testosterone driven hardcore punk with a few groovy rock'n'roll riffs embedded in on occasion. It's a fairly uncompromising and ferocious sound, but unfortunately also rather bland and monotonous in the end. Yes, their vocalist has decent energy, pacing from side to side and headbanging throughout the show, and yes, there are a couple of kids hardcore dancing at the front of the crowd, but mostly people are just standing still and nodding. This prompts Alex to scream "WAKE THE FUCK UP", which together with some humongous breakdowns does seem to do just that for a while. Still, it's too forgettable and samey to score higher.

6

The Greenery

"Cool". The music would stop, and their singer would very, very casually and in a relaxed manner say that calmly in between songs. It was repeated often enough to qualify as a leitmotif throughout the show, which represents some of the positivity and humour that makes The Greenery live shows stand out. Not that it really needed it because they are arguably the most energetic band on stage tonight. Their vocalist starts the night out direct on the floor in front of the stage, pacing left and right screaming in his razor-sharp screeching manner in the process. He's the life of the show, demonstrating Cancer Bats style insane live energy and going around the pit inciting activity through banging on people's chests, shaking others, and pretending to smash people in the face during some heavy instrumental parts, all for shits and giggles I might add. This energy is infectious and has people moving towards the front throughout the show. "Cool", he says once again, still to be found in the pit towards the end of their show. "This is our only positive song. We don't ask for much but maybe a circle pit...(deafening silence)...No? Running is kinda hard anyways", he announces to much laughter from the crowd. This is how a hardcore show should look like every single time. So much energy, so much infectious showmanship, and groovy songs that win you over with their relentless pace and sharpened vocal delivery.

Xibalba

The honor of being the heaviest band on the bill tonight goes to Xibalba, whose super-down tuned hardcore/beatdown has bass rhythms vibrating through your whole body tonight. Despite having a few breakneck speed sections, the majority of their set is spent at doom-laden tempos and downbeat rhythms, as well as in trying to sound as heavy as humanly possible with a thick, impenetrable brick wall of riffage underlining their entire set with its down-tuned brutality. It's incredibly macho, and a barrage of heavy unlike few other bands out there, but these are some of the only points you can mention about the band. There isn't that much energy on stage. The instrumentals are far too simplistic and often feel like they are pointlessly heavy. The vocals are hopelessly one-dimensional with almost no variety attached to them whatsoever. And as usual, the growls are totally indecipherable (=not technically proficient) so he might as well just be screaming the same word ad libitum. The overall vibe is one of breakdowncore - that their entire set is one endless breakdown, and even though there is limited activity in the front towards the end of the set, overall Xibalba do not convince me at all why they are hyped, or worthy of much attention at all to be honest.

5

Comeback Kid

Comeback Kid

I've seen Comeback Kid enough times now to be sure that no matter what the day, this band always delivers an intense, high-energy live show that is among the best in hardcore punk. Whether it's Andrew Neufeld sweating like a pig from frantically jumping across the stage or the rest of the band hopping up and down like Duracell bunnies, the whole band performs as a complete unit restlessly and relentlessly, which is also the case for the entirety of tonight. The band only have a slot lasting for a small hour or so, which means they're in a hurry to rush through their 16 song setlist which sees them work a few new songs into their set they haven't yet played earlier on this tour, at least if we are to believe Neufeldt's words on stage.

"Die Knowing" opens the set being one of the heaviest tracks on modern Comeback Kid records, and it's immediately followed by the classic "False Idols Fall" from "Wake The Dead" as well as a new classic "Do Yourself A Favor", ensuring a vicious mosh pit at the front of the stage from the get go. There's minimal interruption between the tracks to save time, so we don't really get to hear Neufeldt talk until "Talk Is Cheap" where they introduce their fill-in drummer from No warning who replaced original drummer Kyle about a week ago. Not that they need to interact much between the songs; the sheer amount of quality melodic hardcore and hardcore punk songs speaks for itself. "G.M. Vincent & I" provides an early sing along highlight halfway through the set - even in a faster and more aggressive version it is a true stand out track in their repertoire. "Wasted Arrows" from new album sounds amazing, as does "Should Know Better", before "The Trouble I Love" is dedicated to original vocalist Scott Wade accompanied by a happy birthday song sung by the crowd and filmed by Neufeldt on stage. "He'll be really happy to get that one I'm sure", says Neufeldt afterwards.

Comeback Kid

Predictably, "Wake The Dead" is still the set closer, and this is where BETA goes unusually crazy for a Sunday evening with people literally vaulting towards the mic to participate in a huge, echoing sing along that fills the entire venue with hardcore power. There's no encore, but that doesn't matter: the setlist has been fantastic from start to finish, and should really convince any critics why Comeback Kid are considered one of the best live bands in the modern hardcore scene.

Setlist:

  • 1. Die Knowing
  • 2. False Idols Fall
  • 3. Do Yourself A Favor
  • 4. All In A Year
  • 5. Broadcasting...
  • 6. Talk Is Cheap
  • 7. Lower The Line
  • 8. G.M. Vincent & I
  • 9. Step Ahead
  • 10. Wasted Arrows
  • 11. Partners In Crime
  • 12. Should Know Better
  • 13. Final Goodbye
  • 14. The Concept Stays
  • 15. The Trouble I Love
  • 16. Wake The Dead

Photos by: Jacob Dinesen

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