The Menzingers

support The Smith Street Band + The Holy Mess
author PP date 10/10/14 venue BETA, Copenhagen, DEN

Copenhagen is really being spoiled with top of the line talent rolling down within the different genres. What only a few years ago used to be a rare opportunity to catch punk rock bands of this caliber live is turning to be more and more of a regular affair as the bookers have begun tapping into the growing interest in the scene. Tonight, it means we're guested not just by The Menzingers, who continue to enjoy a meteoric rise to stardom internationally, but also by The Smith Street Band, one of the most promising Australian bands right now, and finally The Holy Mess who have long impressed FEST crowds overseas with their basement style rowdy punk rock energy.

The Holy Mess

The Holy Mess

"Hello everyone we are The Holy Mess", one vocalist announces, to which the other remarks "...as everyone trickles in from the bar". In the best NOFX style they spend a few minutes talking about how their guitarist is already wasted and their bassist is sober due to a 'Copenhagen pact' to not drink before midnight, and how that's an interesting dynamic because usually it's the other way around, at least if we are to believe their drummer. I can attest to this being true having seen them both at pre-FEST and FEST last year in Florida. Either way, they eventually get going and showcase some of that solid energy they're renowned for. At every opportunity for brief instrumental passages the guitarist and bassist meet at the center of the stage to play off each other. It creates an upbeat, energetic vibe to their set, which is of course also brought by their high-octane melodic punk rock. Songs are aired from all three albums with highlights being "Crazy Horny" and "Goodbye 3713 (Must've Been A Good One)", but they get people's heads bobbing quickly with catchy songs and a good, fun vibe throughout the set.

7

The Smith Street Band

The Smith Street Band

They've been here a couple of times, and it shows. Immediately from the first track there is a dance party stationed in front of the stage that just won't go away, in fact it keeps getting better as we go along. There's a passionate sing along already on the second song, and such moments scattered throughout the set creating an excellent dynamic between the band and the crowd. And can you blame them? With The Menzingers and Frank Turner as inspiration, The Smith Street Band's folksy singer-songwriter style punk tracks fit somewhere right in between those bands, and as such they balance between upbeat, optimistic progressive melodies and uplifting, passion-driven sing along passages. It doesn't take long for the band to be drenched in sweat despite only rocking out in their own comfort zones, and the same applies to the crowd at the front who are absolutely loving it. I'm observing this excellent dynamic and listening to their easily likable, yet depth-laden songs live for the first time proper, and I can't help but think that The Smith Street Band look very much like the next big breakthrough in this style of music. As "Young Drunk" finishes their set with yet another sing along, it certainly looks like that, and if their new album that arrives in a couple of weeks is going to be as good as the songs we heard today, it's almost a certainty. Way to blow me away on first listen.

The Menzingers

The Menzingers

Last time The Menzingers played in Copenhagen, they played a capacity 90 venue that sold out within minutes of doors opening. Tonight, they are playing a venue with capacity 150 + guest list, so they've almost doubled in size since last year's performance. The show has been sold out for a couple of weeks now so it's safe to say they'll be coming to Copenhagen again and again as the city keeps giving them unforgettable responses, which the band also recognize tonight on stage as they reference that show at UW for a brief moment. Otherwise, we're on a tight schedule so the band spend little time interacting in between the songs and just concentrate on playing music. This is a great choice as the flow of the songs is near-perfect tonight with every single song drawing a crazed crowd response with loud sing alongs echoing across the walls of the small room. In fact, we have to get all the way to "The Shakes", a song off the little known split with The Bouncing Souls, until we reach first song people don't seem to know.

Stage divers are en masse invading the crowd surfing space, which is quickly becoming a sea of naked upper bodies as the temperature in the venue keeps rising. Constant sing along melodies take us through brilliant, brilliant tracks like "Sun Hotel", "The Obituaries", "Gates", "Nice Things", "In Remission" and of course "Casey" after the encore, with occasionally the band interrupting the music to let people sing along a capella (like they do on the 'I will fuck this up, I fucking know it' part to "The Obituaries". No wonder the band thanks us heartily for singing along so far from home.

The Menzingers

On stage, the band's energy is the same as it always has been. Alternating vocal duties allows each vocalist to take turns in rocking out and pacing across the stage with their instruments, and although it's by no means frantic or insane movement as we've seen by some other bands, it's still enough to generate a buzz on what's happening on stage. Anyway, the most activity is by far happening in the crowd, which is why the band is all smiles throughout their set even though they have been playing far bigger venues elsewhere on the tour. Either way, The Menzingers prove once again why they are currently one of the best bands in punk rock - even the new songs fit in perfectly tonight's setlist and feel like we've known them for years. So even though it isn't as sweaty and intimate as last time around, it's still pretty fucking good.

9

Setlist:

  • 1. I Don't Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore
  • 2. Burn After Writing
  • 3. I Was Born
  • 4. The Obituaries
  • 5. The Talk
  • 6. Ava House
  • 7. Sun Hotel
  • 8. Gates
  • 9. My Friend Kyle
  • 10. Hearts Unknown
  • 11. Nice Things
  • 12. The Shakes
  • 13. Who's Your Partner
  • 14. In Remission
  • --Encore:--
  • 15. Casey

Photos by: Lykke Nielsen

Comments
comments powered by Disqus

Legal

© Copyright MMXIX Rockfreaks.net.