Seether

support Prana
author PP date 25/11/14 venue Lille Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

For years it was simply assumed that Billboard Modern Rock style alternative rock / post-grunge wasn't going to take off in Denmark, so none of the bookers paid much attention to the (admittedly expensive) offers of chart topping rock bands wanting to come over. That has slowly begun to change, and as a result we are starting to see bands like Seether finally make the trip over here; tonight the local scene has responded by selling out the 550-capacity Lille Vega months in advance, signaling to the promoters that yes, bands like this do indeed have an audience over here. Next step, Chevelle, pretty please?

Prana

Prana

Being from South Africa originally, Seether have always made a point of utilizing as culturally vibrant support bands on their European tours as possible. This time around they've brought along Prana from Moscow, who basically make it clear to the audience that Russia has, finally, discovered grunge rock as a genre of music. Both in terms of their image and their soundscape, Prana basically tear through 1989 Seattle inspired material that draws primarily from "Bleach"-era Nirvana but also bands like Mudhoney and other pioneers of grunge from that era. So basically the bands that inspired Seether in a way. The dirtily tuned distorted riffs feel like a trip down a memory lane, whilst their vocalist does her best Courtney Love impression throughout the set with her gruff, passionate, and most of all voluminous and powerful voice. But where they lack in originality they compensate with pure passion and impressive energy on stage. There isn't a moment Natasha Varlamova is standing still on stage; either her long blonde hair is flowing all over the place as she is jumping around erratically, or she's pacing the stage left and right, kneeling down, lying down on her back, and generally displaying the kind of energy that easily wins over even hostile crowds. As a result, the audience cheers grow louder and louder as she makes the stage look like a trampoline, not missing a single (admittedly gruff and grungy) note in the process. Sadly, their songs aren't on Nirvana level and feel kind of dated, but they are a spectacle to watch live, that's for sure.

Seether

Without much fanfare, Seether take the stage and open straight away with "Gasoline" and "NeedLes", a strong one-two punch from their 2002 classic "Disclaimer" that sets the scene straight away. We're knee-deep in the world of roughened post-grunge, where crunchy, heavily distorted riffs lead the way whilst vocalist Shaun Morgan delivers borderline screamed grungy vocals that tonight sound even better than on the original record twelve years ago. The band feel very organic and raw in their performance, like a real rock band with absolutely zero gimmicks or additional bullshit needed to convey their relevance, power and songwriting talent. They follow it up with "Rise Above This" from 2007's "Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces", demonstrating just why they were (are?) considered to be one of the very best bands playing this genre when it comes down to pure songwriting and nothing else. "See You At The Bottom" continues exactly from that vantage point with its foreshadowing heavy riffage that sees the band engage in simultaneous headbanging before the softer part of the song kicks in. Generally, we're thinking Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots at this point, except interpreted through a post-grunge filter. And when another "Disclaimer" classic "Fine Again" arrives straight after and draws a word-by-word sing along from the crowd, the band on stage simply ooze of honesty and rock star vibe, which, combined with their down-to-earth attitude and lack of gimmicks, works massively to their advantage and makes the audience feel like we're witnessing the core elements of rock music laid bare in front of us for all to see without a facade in front. Kind of like the Foo Fighters of post-grunge type of an experience, really.

At the same time I find myself thinking; it has been probably a decade since I've heard these songs last time and yet I can still recite every single lyric from my subconscious mind, revealing the kind of longevity and depth that most bands playing this genre can only dream of. Shortly after, the band display their eerie ability to perfectly balance heavy, driving riffage and somber, balladic material when "Broken" arrives to some shouts of "Where's Amy Lee?" from the crowd (she does guest vocals on the album), again enticing a loud sing along from the crowd. And what good is a rock show without an inventive drum solo, right? Drummer John Humphrey even throws away his sticks to show off his ability to drum lightning speed with his bare hands bongo drum style during the two or so minutes the solo lasts.

The band return on stage for the heavy guitars of "My Disaster" without saying much more than "thanks" every now and then. Indeed, they don't say much throughout the set nor do they need to: their songs speak for themselves tonight, so much so that anyone who might've thought Seether are a bunch of has-beens would've left the venue scratching their head in confusion. Because after all, how is it possible for a post-grunge band to look and sound this good in 2014? It's a powerful, convincing performance that captures its audience through it's this is real music factor. "Fake It", "Fuck It" and "Remedy" close the set in a trio of excellent songs that leave me with nostalgia-induced satisfaction and questions on why I stopped listening to this band in the first place when they are this good of a live band this many years later.

Setlist:

  • 1. Gasoline
  • 2. Needles
  • 3. Rise Above This
  • 4. See You At The Bottom
  • 5. Fine Again
  • 6. Broken
  • --Drum solo--
  • 7. My Disaster
  • 8. Words As Weapons
  • 9. Country Song
  • 10. Tonight
  • 11. Same Damn Life
  • 12. Fake It
  • 13. Fuck It
  • 14. Remedy

Photos by: Lykke Nielsen

Comments
comments powered by Disqus

Legal

© Copyright MMXIX Rockfreaks.net.