The Dandy Warhols

support Telegram
author BV date 25/02/17 venue Amager Bio, Copenhagen, DEN

It has been quite a while since I’ve set foot in Amager Bio. As a matter of fact, it’s been a while since I’ve been at a gig in general. As per my latest count it’s been approximately four months since the last gig; give or take. A well-deserved break in some regards as I feel it’s quite healthy to distance yourself from live music once in a while to truly get back in there and appreciate fully once more. Tonight’s choice of a live-show comeback is an odd one for me, really, as I have no prior history with The Dandy Warhols other than the handful of their material I have checked out beforehand and, well, preconceived notions one might be affected by after having watched “Dig!” – Even when approaching it with caution, continuously noting that this might be a very skewed version of the filmed events. Regardless, I entered Amager Bio with a somewhat excited atmosphere about me – after all, a lot of people hold The Dandy Warhols in high regard so I might just too after the show.

All pictures by Peter Troest

Telegram

Before we can get to The Dandy Warhols, there is the ever-present matter of the support act to tend to first. Hailing from London, Telegram entered the stage with a sort of ferocious energy to them. It takes mere seconds before a mic-stand has been tipped over by the vocalist’s rather large movements. The same kind of energy translates directly into the first song of the evening as the four-piece bursts into the punk-reminiscent riff with massive arm-movements, foot-stomps galore and a drummer who’s looking just about ready to kick the shit out of his bass-drum whilst simultaneously looking to break the ever-so-fragile looking drumsticks. You’ve really got to admire such a display of energy for what it is. However, song-wise it would prove to be a fair deal more monotonous display as one song would just kind of take off from where the previous one ended in a near-constant flow of similar sounding tracks. If only there could be larger diversity in the songwriting – one that matches the visceral energy of the front-man in particular, then you might have yourself a powerhouse here. As it turns out though, tonight it’s a rather lukewarm affair displaying that boundless energy can only get you so far.

The Dandy Warhols

Following Telegram’s high-energy performance, things were dimmed down a bit whilst the crew was setting up The Dandy Warhols’ gear. At roughly 22:15 the band went on to a sizable applause, starting things off with a rather ambient-sounding “Mohammed” – immediately slowing the proceedings to a gloomy and sullen performance right from the get-go. – A bold choice, some might say. However, as the band went into “Crack Cocaine Rager” over through “Get Off”, things got started, so to say. Even though the tracks can be highly energetic in and off themselves, it’s hardly appropriate to say the same for the band in general. Front-man Courtney Taylor-Taylor displayed limited movement and crowd interaction throughout the night, as was the case with Peter Holmström. The most energy was without a doubt displayed by synth-wizard/percussion-basher Zia McCabe with her constant blend of stoic synth-playing and relatively energetic tambourine playing. With the track “Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth”, lifelong fans of the band got their well-earned kick of nostalgia when singing along to lines like; “I never thought you'd be a junkie because heroin is so passe”, however the real party I figured a track like that would bring never really got going.

Ironically that’s really the perfect description of the show in general. There’s a heap of songs at The Dandy Warhols’ disposal that should, in theory, be able to stir up quite the party on equal grounds nostalgia and merciless hooks – so why is it that this never really happened, save for a few sparse moments? It can hardly be due to sound or musical performance as I’ve got to say The Dandy Warhols were playing their material extraordinarily well – hardly a flaw to point out musically. Nor could you blame the sound of the venue as it seemed quite balanced throughout the night. In the end, it seemed like a lack of interaction from the band coupled with a perhaps hesitant crowd, but when songs like “We Used to Be Friends”, “Bohemian Like You” and “Godless” can’t get things boiling in the room, then it’s an uphill battle from there.

All in all I’d say it was an average experience for me. Die-hard Dandy Warhols fans might have gotten a good kick out of it, but I’m not entirely sold on the concept based on the show alone – even though I can gladly admit to having quite fond thoughts of some of their material.

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