Bayside

support Halcyon Hope
author PP date 03/06/15 venue BETA, Copenhagen, DEN

While there might not be an obvious connection between electronic music and Bayside fans as such, the allure of the ultimate Copenhagen experience, the Distortion Festival street parties were too much for many potential attendees tonight. With the venue barely half full tonight, it's obvious where everyone else is tonight in Copenhagen, making the timing of the booking optimistic at best, questionable at worst. Either way, the emotionally charged alternative rockers had finally made their way to Denmark for the first time ever despite already being on their 6th album with last year's "Cult", which mean lots of long-time fans in Denmark finally had the opportunity to show what they're made of.

Halcyon Hope

Supporting honors tonight go to the Odense based emotional rockers Halcyon Hope, who draw significant influence from Taking Back Sunday's material in their expression. Much like their source of inspiration, their songwriting is excellent, with melodic songs standing in perfect contrast to the heavier cuts with alternating sing/scream call/response patterns receiving approving nods from the small crowd. What's more impressive is the incredible range of everyone singing in the band. The lines often follow an entire octave up-and-down in a precision-guided manner that's enough to give back chills for those familiar with the songs on record. Tonight, "Monuments" is the track that stands out with a memorable chorus, whereas the high tempo punk rock material that follows straight after feels a little more anonymous in comparison.

On stage, the band engages in small movement that is decent, but can't escape a relatively stand still vibe throughout the set. That is, until the last song, where they are finally displaying the right sort of energy with passionate movement around the stage from everyone involved. The question remains why this isn't happening all the time, because it would do wonders to their live performance, and combined with the strong songwriting it could have the potential of blowing away most fans of louder and faster emo music of the mid-2000s kind. In between the songs, they appear somewhat shy and a little awkward, but that's just a direct result of not having enough shows underneath their belt just yet. A decent, if somewhat anonymous experience overall.

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Bayside

I had a sneak peek on what Bayside have been playing this tour prior to the show, so I was well prepared for the rapid-fire line of some of their best songs to start the set. "Pigsty" draws a cheer from the audience straight away, and "The Walking Wounded" induces a small sing along that electrifies the small, but passionate crowd. On stage, the band seem to be everywhere at once, delivering an energetic and entertaining performance that's drenched in the kind of conviction that outlines the difference between having played 1000+ shows and what we saw earlier from Halcyon Hope, for instance. Everything looks and feels tight, the songs sound great, and the band are having fun while doing it. "Duality" and "Boy" follow directly after, and we quickly discover the theme of the evening to be Against Me! style rush through the setlist with pretty much no pauses in between tracks. It's good because it helps carry the energy of the early parts of their set into the middle, where they explore some of their older and less single-oriented material. Here, you wouldn't be faulted for a line of thinking implying they have better songs on offer than these, but no matter, because the band are renowned for being highly consistent in their songwriting. So while songs like "Alcohol And Altar Boys","Montauk" and "Already Gone" might not strike gold, we certainly aren't bored, even if the crowd frenzy quiets down a little from the frantic opening moments.

That is, until we reach "Stuttering", which is treated to a moderate sing along from the small crowd. We're then told that the band barely made it here for the show due to being stopped by the German police for an overweight van along the way in one of the few moments of crowd interaction tonight, the other one being when the band thanks us for coming out to the show and asks if anyone of us have seen the band before, for example when they played Malmö recently. A sizable chunk of hands go up in the air for this one, given the proximity of KB to us Copenhageners. "Sick, Sick, Sick" also draws a small sing along, but more importantly, it underlines Bayside's impressive songwriting that has been on prominent display tonight. Pretty much every song is rock solid and leaves behind a good impression, especially because of the great energy the band shows on stage. I mean if you see crowd surfers in a crowd of about 50-60 people during your set, you're doing something right. And so we move forward in assembly-line fashion through the setlist with encore being inexplicably dropped for some reason tonight, which is a shame, but not enough to remove the feeling of satisfaction we're all left with when we leave the venue tonight.

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Setlist:

  • 1. Pigsty
  • 2. The Walking Wounded
  • 3. Duality
  • 4. Boy
  • 5. Megan (Smoking Popes cover)
  • 6. Already Gone
  • 7. They're Not Horses, They're Unicorns
  • 8. Alcohol and Altar Boys
  • 9. Mona Lisa
  • 10. Montauk
  • 11. Stuttering
  • 12. Landing Feet First
  • 13. Sick, Sick, Sick
  • 14. Blame It on Bad Luck
  • 15. They Looked Like Strong Hands
  • 16. Big Cheese
  • 17. Devotion and Desire

Photos by: Lykke Nielsen

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