Through This Defiance

support In Other Climes + Trusted Few + Manifestation
author PP date 14/02/10 venue Lades Kælder, Copenhagen, DEN

When it comes to rock and/or heavy music, some genres are always more popular than others depending on the area. California, for instance, is where metalcore and skatepunk flourishes; in Denmark, indie rock and straight up metal. Hardcore, a genre that has a significant following in US and Germany, is probably the least popular genre here in Denmark. Hence we rarely tend to see traditional hardcore bands visit Copenhagen nor have any successful hardcore bands in the country. Now that's something Fredericia-based For Real Booking are trying to change, usually in the Fredericia area which is the only known city to man where hardcore flourishes within the borders of Hamlet's country, but this time also in Copenhagen by bringing over Through This Defiance's European tour to Lades Kælder, with the added local support from Trusted Few.


The first band on the bill were Germany's Manifestation, who spent a good while of their set joking around amongst themselves, occasionally engaging in conversation with Through This Defiance sitting in the near corner, and speaking to a considerable gap of empty space between them and the crowd, content on merely standing still and watching from a distance. It didn't seem like anyone was familiar with the band, which makes it all the more impressive how much energy the band put into their show. Rooted in fast paced hardcore punk, their sound was the perfect platform for numerous synchronous jumps and energetic movement on stage, but if I was to pick one negative in their sound, it'd have to be the monotone vocals which couldn't have been more stereotypically hardcore. So while the riffs had people's feet tapping and heads nodding, not more than one crowd member of about 10-15 at this point seemed truly interested in the band's set. Kudos for putting on an energetic show, even though the latter half of it was wasted on messing around and joking, as if the band had partially given up.

Trusted Few

Local screamo act Trusted Few, who should be particularly familiar to anyone reading considering how often they are mentioned here, were the 'black sheep' of the bill, playing the sort of music every 'tr00 xhardcorex kid' despises, and as such the hardcore fans populated the bar area while a significant portion of the crowd moved closer to the stage, evidently having come along just to see Trusted Few. It's an assumption, yes, but there's no way in hell any of those young blond girls came here just to see some brutal, bone-crushing hardcore. The band kicked off with "Dance Dance", the only old song in the set tonight, and gave us precisely the kind of show that's by now become the standard of any Trusted Few performance: passionate, emotionally charged, and erratic, an all-over-the-place type of presence that wins over new fans no matter where the band goes. I've had a chance to hear some of the new songs played tonight in previous live shows, and I have to say, the more I hear them, the more I like them. Especially the guitars have improved massively, now sporting a Dance Gavin Dance vibe in places, and a more aggressive and heavier post-hardcore sound otherwise with breakdowns that actually support the songs, instead of breaking the flow. Vocal melodies, too, superb. The best performance tonight, no doubt.

In Other Climes

Next up were In Other Climes, a French hardcore act that initially checked every tickbox in my list of stereotypical hardcore band traits, from their breakdown-laden, low-tuned instruments to their brutally growling/yelling vocalist whose vocals were nothing short of devastatingly consuming in nature, and the karate-mosh moves they executed with the precision of a band who've spent years upon years in pits during numerous hardcore shows. But as soon as the vocalist ditched his shirt to show off what can be achieved if you more or less live your life at the gym, the show took a much lighter atmosphere, thanks to this dude who's basically performing like someone who lives and breathes hardcore. Now I've seen that go terribly wrong when bands do it in the overly serious tough guy manner, but this dude's facial expressions, continuous smile, and charmingly bad French accent resulted in him coming across in an accessible, super happy, 'I get almost high when I play live' sort of way. The crowd fended off his energy, now moving closer to the stage upon his request and showing much more energy and interest in general, and in turn the band did the same from the crowd's reaction, providing a lively and interesting show that burned itself to my memory in a way few other hardcore sets have in the past.


Through This Defiance

The Americans in Through This Defiance had quite a lot to live up to after the Frenchmen showed how to play a hardcore show without taking yourself too seriously. And although they too joked around a bit on stage, had a female guitarist as the focal point of the band for the 90% male audience probably all hoping to hook up with her, and created the most crowd response out of all the bands, for me, their set was an all too familiar affair. A standard, typical hardcore show with not much else to offer than moshable riffs and some yelled vocals. It's not that the band didn't have good energy on stage, because they did indeed, and the vocalist even shared the mic a good few times to various crowd members who knew the words especially to their later songs, they just didn't emit as much of a positive energy, a feel good vibe as In Other Climes did just moments before. That's why I probably wouldn't go see these guys or Manifestation again, but In Other Climes can count on me the next time they come around.

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