Bad Religion

support Broadway Killers
author PP date 15/08/15 venue Kulturbolaget, Malmö, SWE

"Three tickets for Bad Religion, please", I overheard the a group of guys say ahead of me in the line while finishing up their Tuborg Classics. Not a chance, replied the doorman since the show had been sold out for months in advance. No surprise there, considering the 850 capacity Kulturbolaget at the center of Malmö is one of the smallest venues Bad Religion is playing on this tour, not to mention in general. A perfect setting for an evening's worth of mass sing-alongs by true fans of the band, which is also exactly what happened during the night.

Broadway Killers

Broadway Killers

To open tonight's festivities, Bad Religion had once again picked our local boys in Broadway Killers to do the honors, just as they have done in the past whenever they're in this region. They opt to start with a quiet, almost balladic opener for some reason, so it takes a little while for people to get into their set, especially because standing on the left side it appears as if all sound is coming exclusively from the backline and not the main speakers in the venue. The sound improves as the set goes along and the band's high-energy hard rock assault starts drawing the usual parallels to later Papa Roach albums ("Never Gonna" in particular is like something straight outta post-"Getting Away With Murder" records). The crowd packs out the floor early on, prompting vocalist Jakob Møller to remark that he now understands why Denmark is a black hole between Sweden and Germany in a reference to the tiny punk scene we have in the country. On stage, the group display a passionate showing of solid energy with plenty of jumps and other movement to keep things interesting. At the same time, the tracks provide lots of catchy elements for people to nod along to, and especially the second half of the set seems to win over the crowd, which at this point has been content to merely stand still curiously checking out the newcomers they're not familiar with just yet. A few more infectiously catchy tracks follow, and the audience reaction changes from casual listening to positively energized. Since the opening band's primary job is to warm up the crowd for the headliners, Broadway Killers definitely were excellent at doing just that.

Bad Religion

Bad Religion

Despite occasionally hinting at stopping their inspirational career as one of the most important punk rock bands of all time, Bad Religion keep coming back to Europe on a regular basis, each time leaving us fans hanging on with the possibility that this might have been the last time we'll see them. Looking at the band on stage anno 2015, this worry materializes in the aged look of especially 51-year old vocalist Greg Graffin, whose balding appearance is characterized by gray hair and professor-akin glasses that suggests retirement from the live circuit is certainly not many years off. But that's just the initial impression. As soon as the band kick off with "Spirit Shine" and "Supersonic", they are as energetic as ever with Graffin commanding the audience from the center of the stage with small, but firm hand movements that symbolize the different lyrical passages int he songs. Their bassist is jumping around constantly along with the rest of the band, who are trying their best to fit on a stage that seems far too small for the whole band to fit on properly.

Tonight at Malmö, they've chosen to focus on the older part of their massive 16-album strong back catalogue, with the majority of songs coming from 2002's "The Process Of Belief" and the records that were released prior to it. That means we get to hear a true hit parade of "No Control" material with select cuts from "Against The Grain", "Recipe For Hate", "Stranger Than Fiction" and "The Gray Race" complementing the mix. We only get a song or two from "The Dissent Of Man", "True North" and "New Maps Of Hell", which is a refreshing change from past few shows I've seen with the band despite all three being solid albums. But let's not kid ourselves: we're here to sing along to "Modern Man", "I Want To Conquer The World", "Wrong Way Kids", "Sorrow", "Against The Grain" and many others they play tonight.

Bad Religion

That said, the obvious candidates are all there as well: "21st Century Digital Boy" has a massive sing along, and "Infected", "American Jesus", and "Fuck Armageddon...This is hell" each make an appearance in a set that easily surpasses 30 songs throughout the 90 or so minutes it lasts. The intimate confines and a jam-packed crowd means that we're all sweating like pigs and there's really no room for a proper circle pit, but if there's one thing we're all doing, it's singing along. Pretty much every song gets a thunderous response from the crowd, save for some of the older rarities the band air tonight, and the big ones echo in the venue long after everyone's gone for the night. When you have a discography as ridiculously strong and consistent as Bad Religion does, it doesn't really matter what you play, the audience will lap it up anyway. And that we did. Another great showing of just how many amazing punk rock tracks Bad Religion have written over the years.

Setlist:

  • 1. Kyoto Now
  • 2. Supersonic
  • 3. Prove It
  • 4. Can't Stop It
  • 5. Recipe For Hate
  • 6. Against The Grain
  • 7. Wrong Way Kids
  • 8. Fuck You
  • 9. Dharma & The Bomb
  • 10. Skyscraper
  • 11. Dearly Beloved
  • 12. 21st Century Digital Boy
  • 13. Delirium Of Disorder
  • 14. Do What You Want
  • 15. Change Of Ideas
  • 16. Big Bang
  • 17. No Control
  • 18. I Want To Conquer The World
  • 19. Sanity
  • 20. Henchman
  • 21. Billy
  • 22. You
  • 23. Come Join Us
  • 24. Let Them Eat War
  • 25. Sorrow
  • 26. Infected
  • 27. Generator
  • 28. American Jesus
  • 29. Overture
  • 30. Sinister Rouge
  • 31. Fuck Armageddon...This Is Hell

Photos by: Lykke Nielsen

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