The Ghost Inside

support Road To Manila + Secrets
author PP date 09/10/14 venue BETA, Copenhagen, DEN

As a last-minute surprise, Secrets and Crown The Empire were added as international support on The Ghost Inside Copenhagen date, both well-known bands from the post-hardcore / metalcore genres, and both part of a larger tour where Asking Alexandria is headlining, who decided not to return to Denmark this time around. But for no apparent reason only a few hours before doors opening, Crown The Empire decided to cancel their set and basically take a piss in the collective eyes of their fan base who had bought tickets last-minute to go to the show just to see them live. Word of mouth at the venue reveals the band didn't think the venue was large enough in size compared to the other venues so far on this tour, and so they decided to hold an 'off day' in their bus while all the other bands played their set. In the event of sickness or other emergency, it would be acceptable to cancel last-minute like that, but such total lack of respect at the Copenhagen crowd is practically unheard of. You're literally outside the venue, the gear is ready on stage, all you have to do is sound check and play a 30 minute set...what a bunch of douchebags, I'm sorry to say. Like one fan put it in a comment on the event, "they are like three-four days into the tour. Are they even a real band?".

Secrets

With that out of my system, let's talk bands that did actually play. It was a bit of a surprise to see the heavily Saosin-inspired Secrets on stage first instead of local band Road To Manila, but they get their set going very quickly lead by the characteristically Anthony Green style clean vocals. These are constantly contrasted by heavy chug-chug breakdowns and plenty of screaming by their other vocalist, who for some reason continues to gesture suicidal pistol shots to head with his hand movements throughout the set. On record, there are plenty of electronics backing their sound, but tonight these are almost inaudible leaving behind a rawer and more organic experience overall. During the heavy breakdowns, the band is energetically bouncing around, which triggers a few people to mosh aggressively near the front. "Not a single person stands still", he shouts after announcing a new song and requesting pit movement from the crowd. Generally, they seem to be genuinely happy to be here playing in front of the 80-90 strong crowd that has gathered early, which is reflected in their smiling faces and down-to-earth communication to the audience. It's understandable: the people at the front are really, really into the set throughout, and therefore it's no surprise to see the mic down in the crowd on multiple occasions but especially during the last song in the end. Overall, it's a decent show that seems to split people into two: those who find the high-pitch cleans too sappy and an acquired taste, and those who are practically spellbound by the band's performance. Here, we take the middle road and award the band for energy on stage, decent songs, and getting the crowd going early.

7

Road To Manila - awesome fretwork in progress

Road To Manila

For all my criticism of the Fredericia hardcore scene over the years, there are a few gems to be found in that scene, one of them being Road To Manila. They play very straight up melodic hardcore that's clearly inspired by the usual suspects in the genre, not least The Ghost Inside who are playing tonight, but they do it very well and with complex guitar melodies that linger in the soundscape nicely. It's a great opportunity for Road To Manila to get some live rehearsal for their upcoming European tour as well as to showcase Fredericia hardcore scene to a packed Copenhagen venue, and in both counts they impress yours truly. By the third song they get the crowd moving, who are taking cues from the band's energetic performance on stage, which oozes of honesty and humbleness. Whenever the band speak to the crowd, they do so in a genuine manner that makes them very likable. That being said, it often feels like the band need more confidence in stage despite playing to a non-local crowd. They are doing the right things in terms of performance on stage, but there's a lingering feeling that they could be even more elaborate and outblown in their gestures, the "UGH!" shouts (hardcore style), and generally how they handle themselves on stage. Once they do this, they will enter a whole new territory in our grading scale, considering many of their songs are rather excellent examples of the genre done well in Denmark.

The Ghost Inside's Jonathan Vigil showing impressive levitation skills

The Ghost Inside

As The Ghost Inside are gearing up for the release of their new album "Dear Youth", their setlist is understandably varying on a day-by-day basis with new material being introduced slowly into the mix. Tonight, they open the set with a brand new song "Avalanche", which is always risky but it gets people bouncing straight away. "Unspoken" follows from the critically acclaimed breakthrough record "Returners", but it is first for "The Great Unknown" where the crowd erupts properly. The band showcase great energy on stage, whilst people in the audience are jumping manically up and down transforming the floor of BETA into a huge trampoline, before a wall of death sequence opens up the pit towards the end of the song. "Dark Horse" features the first big sing along during it's "I'm not scaaaaaaaaaared" parts, and stage divers start noticing the band is perfectly fine with their stage being invaded on a regular basis.

We are then introduced to "Faith Or Forgiveness", the oldest song the band plays tonight, which sees vocalist Vigil high fiving people in the front rows while pacing across the small stage. "Out Of Control" from the new album follows, before the crowd once again responds in an explosive manner to more "Get What You Give" songs in the form of "This Is What I Know About Sacrifice" and "Outlive". The former draws immediate and simultaneous headbanging from the crowd, with the venue transforming into a sea of bobbing heads during the heavy riffs, and help sing along during the latter's catchy "No home - no bed - nowhere to hang my head" parts.

The Ghost Inside

The usual "WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR?" shouts are in place for "Between The Lines", but it is clear that the biggest response from the crowd is drawn during the songs from the latest album, as "Thirty Three" and "White Light" prove right after. There has been very little interaction from the band's side, but that's more to do with a tight schedule and trying to fit in as many songs as possible into a fairly short set. That's why the encore is very brief before the band air "Dear Youth (Day 52)" from the new album, which is apparently the very first time they've ever played this song live. Neat. Predictably, "Engine 45" is the final song of the night with a huge sing along that begins already on the intro melody to the track. Once again, The Ghost Inside prove why they are among the absolute elite within the melodic hardcore scene with a strong showing that might not have had the same powerful effect and feeling as the previous time I've had them, but the amount of great songs more than makes for it in my opinion.

8

Setlist:

  • 1. Avalanche
  • 2. Unspoken
  • 3. The Great Unknown
  • 4. Between The Lines
  • 5. Dark Horse
  • 6. Faith Or Forgiveness
  • 7. Out Of Control
  • 8. This Is What I Know About Sacrifice
  • 9. Outlive
  • 10. Thirty Three
  • 11. White Light
  • --encore--
  • 12. Dear Youth (Day 52)
  • 13. Engine 45

Photos by: Peter Troest

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