Stars Burn Stripes

support We Will Fly + Steelwill
author PP date 22/01/15 venue Lygtens Kro, Copenhagen, DEN

Lygtens Kro. Not exactly a name that rings a bell for most frequent concert goers in Copenhagen. That's because the outer Nørrebro location is quite new to hosting shows, having only done a handful in the past based on the limited information I was able to gather. The place itself is a traditional Germanic pub with extremely cozy surroundings, high quality beer on tap and bottle aside from the usual suspects. There's a tiny side room attached to the bar, which can probably house maximum 35-40 people on a good day - that is, half the size of UnderWerket in Valby for comparison. The walls are decorated with skinned animals and stuffed heads, alongside a section of wood blocks for the fireplace, just to give you an idea of the type of place we're looking at. A slightly unconventional place to hold a punk rock show, that's for sure. All three bands tonight place on floor with instruments and backline set up in one side of the room, with no monitors, sound board or any other tech available, so basically the environment feels like how I imagine house shows to be like across the pond.

Steelwill

First up is Steelwill, whom I've last seen live sometime in 2010 also in conjunction with a Stars Burn Stripes show. They play a varied brand of punk rock that ranges from crusty hardcore street punk style to more melodic material with catchy choruses. A significant amount of heavy metal influence is also present in their expression, which manifests in some fairly impressive technical fretwork by their lead guitarist in the show tonight. Four years ago, their expression wasn't yet at a presentable level for a live audience, which I'm happy to report has improved in the meantime. Somewhat. The band's problem is still a rather standstill performance and generic songs that don't really leave anything interesting behind. A few catchy STEELWILL shouts amidst songs mostly about Karate are the highlights, as well as super awkward and lame humour in between the songs, but the band still need drastic improvement in the songwriting department before they'll escape the vibes of 'this is still very much in its early stages' that their show emits.

5

We Will Fly - taken with mobile phone camera

We Will Fly

German melodic hardcore punkers We Will Fly have been on tour with Stars Burn Stripes for the past few weeks, which suits them perfectly considering how much their raw and energetic songs have in common with especially older SBS material. Their debut album "Bangarang!!" was released four years ago, and contains a few excellent tracks, most notably the title track, "Fervid" and "Archivists", but generally is somewhat inconsistent compared to bigger releases of its kind. That notion is on prominent display tonight, where the band's best material draws a solid response from the crowd and underlines how good the underlying songwriting is for these shows. However, they are mashed in between very standard fare hardcore punk songs that begin to blend into each other very quickly, especially because the DIY style sound tonight that leaves much to be desired (having no monitors is certainly an issue). They dedicate a couple of songs to Stars Burn Stripes, do a couple of brief jumps, play a couple of great tracks and a whole lot of average ones, resulting in exactly the same impression as I felt on their record. Decent, but distant from the best bands in this genre.

Stars Burn Stripes

Given a tip by Stars Burn Stripes vocalist Lasse that this would be their last show for a while, it was a no brainer to catch the best melodic hardcore punk band live. Playing in front of their home audience of mostly faces that have all been there at nearly every Copenhagen show the band have played in the past, the band show renewed passion especially when playing some of their best material like "Straight To My Head" and "Moments" early on. Big jumps and a good amount of energy ensure a positive visual overlay to their set, which is characterized by lots of funny banter and random events. For instance, guitarist from We Will Fly takes over the guitar for "I Lost The Point", and during the song an audience member pours beer down vocalist Lasse's throat from a bottle mid-song. Or for example when the band plays a song dedicated to an audience member who had requested it on Facebook. Or when vodka shots are being slammed down straight from the bottle in between songs. Moreover, in tonight's presence we have both Filip Stanfeld and Brian Binksby, both of whom who have previously played in the band, which creates a curious dynamic for those in the know. Towards the end, vocalist Lasse attempts to get Brian to join in to play the last song in what appears to catch him completely out of the blue, and regrettably, he has to admit he can't remember how to do it. It's a fun dynamic overall though, and soon after the band finishes their set once again demonstrating their capability of matching up with the best in punk when it comes to songs. It's well past midnight at this stage, so the band finishes their set off by thanking everyone who has seen them in the past and supported them, including old members in attendance tonight. Here's to hoping for more shows in the future.

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