Seether

support LTNT + Sons of Texas
author PP date 18/09/17 venue Amager Bio, Copenhagen, DEN

Seether's latest Danish appearance is almost sold out by the time that the doors to the 1100-capacity Amager Bio open tonight. Yet glancing around the venue I'm hard pressed to find any familiar faces, an observation that I share with my fellow reviewer colleague from Devilution. Given the sheer number of concerts and festivals we attend each year, you tend to start noticing the same people at the same type of shows, yet the so-called mainstream rock crowd is a difficult one to pin down as they seemingly don't really come out to shows otherwise: the fact that band t-shirts are a negligible percentage in the crowd certainly suggests as much. So where does a band like Seether draw their popularity from? It's not like MTV is around anymore and myRock alone doesn't explain their allure, so discovering a band like Seether in normal Danish circumstances seems rather unlikely. A mystery indeed, but good to see a solid foundation of support for the alternative/mainstream rock bands not named Nickelback as well.

Sons of Texas

Sons of Texas

The first band on tonight is Sons of Texas from the Cowboy state, although the immediate reference that comes to mind is rather the TV show of Sons of Anarchy. The band basically look like an outlaw motorcycle gang that just escaped from prison: the guitarist is sporting a giant bandana, and the vocalist looks like a thug from a street gang. Add in their sleazy attitude-driven soundscape and the mental picture is complete. Stylistically, they draw from the likes of Nickelback and indeed Seether, whilst their performance resembles Papa Roach at their best. It's an energetic set characterized by synchronized jumps and headbangs that make it look like the band have decades of live performance underneath their belts, assuring an entertaining spectacle that's basically a perfect fit for a Seether audience. Catchy choruses and radio-friendly, BillBoard modern rock influence to their southern spin on post-grunge ensure that the songs are easy to get into on first listen, yet have enough edge to feel authentic given the semi-scratchy style of their vocalist. Together with a boatload of attitude and an ability to get the crowd cheering, the band is pretty good without being particularly spectacular. The high point of their set has to be their bassist, though, whose facial expressions suggest he's having the time of his life throughout the set. An altogether positive experience.

7

LTNT

LTNT

"Bleeeeaaaarrgggghhhh", the LTNT vocalist screams to his microphone to get people's attention as the band get ready to start their set, which is an entirely different beast compared to the easy-listening rock tunes of Sons of Texas just before. What follows is an intriguing journey through the main styles and soundscapes of the biggest rock bands around, interpreted through an experimentalist, post-grunge styled lens of LTNT. For starters, the heavy, fuzzy guitars recall CKY in the beginning, but then the song morphs into a pop-punkish chorus, and back into groove-laden, Wolfmother inspired riffage. There's a bit of Aerosmith's larger than life rock'n'roll in there as well. Then the next track echoes Metallica's "Load"/"Reload" style arena metal ballads. Later on, there's a song that sounds like Nirvana, and another one that draws from the grunge revitalization scene (think bands like Superheaven or Basement), and finally a Foo Fighters style alternative rock piece. Yet each cut is drenched in experimentation and innovative songwriting that appears to go way over the heads of Seether fans in the audience. This scribe, however, is impressed by the passionate scratchy vocals and the daring experimentalist takes on all big rock bands while still managing to sound original in the process. Very interesting to say the least, although the same can't necessarily be said about their static stage show.

7

Seether

Seether's new album is their heaviest work since their early years, and the band has stated in interviews that they were held back by record labels in writing heavier music during the past few records. So it's almost as if they're making a point by starting out heavy with new track "Stoke The Fire". The guitars are crunchy and ripe for headbangs to break out during the instrumental sections in front of a vivid and receptive crowd. "Gasoline" follows suit, although the vocals are too low in the mix early on, so we're left staring at the bear-like presence of Shaun Morgan, whose lengthy curled up hair conceals his face almost entirely as we're accustomed to seeing from Seether for pretty much their entire career. The stage is drenched in murky blue lighting until "Truth" shines the spotlight on Morgan and small sing-alongs break out in the crowd in response. When the song kicks in, the floor is vibrating from the heavy bass tones and thus the re-introduction of Seether as a down-tuned, halfway metallic alternative rock band is complete. So far so good.

Seether

From here onwards, the set runs into an anonymous segment. "Nobody Praying For Me", for instance, has plenty of muted sections where it's clearly intended that the audience sings along, but it just doesn't happen, at least not to a sufficient extent. Bit of a downer vibe catches on as a result, but fortunately, the catchy chorus of "Rise Above This" lifts the mood in the crowd. Why the band chooses to play the lift-your-lighter style "Save Today" right after is a mystery as it breaks the flow they had going. As such, when the band plays "Country Song" it feels like the band wakes up from a coma as everyone starts clapping along. It's worth noting that we've now reached seven songs in and Seether are yet to say a word to us at all. Instead, the songs are bridged by pointless jams and references to other songs that needlessly stretch the set length onwards without really adding anything of value. As such, it quickly starts feeling very uneventful and anonymous, especially because the usually dominant stage presence of Morgan & co seems a little off today. Sure, we sing along to "Broken", but is it really necessary to then spend several minutes jamming with a reference to Joan Osborne's "What if God was one of us..."? Why not just get straight into "Fine Again" and keep up the good mood and crowd participation? The medley ends early as Morgan cracks up about the sheer absurdity of covering that song, and then we all sing along to "Fine Again", their best song if you ask me. We see a similar right after the song with RATM's "Bombtrack" teased out just before "Betray And Degrade". It just doesn't make any sense or fit into the atmosphere nor the set particularly well.

Seether

A quick encore and they're back for "Fake It", "Let You Down" and "Remedy", but at this point, it's too late for the undersigned. There's been too much jamming and pointless feedback and noise in between songs to create a consistent set. It doesn't feel like the usual tour de force of alternative rock and post-grunge that Seether are capable of delivering, and that the band bridge into "Remedy" by introducing themselves as Weezer and teasing us with a bit of "Hash Pipe" in the process only fortifies my opinion. In short, a disappointing show by a band that normally looks and sounds much better than this.

6

Setlist:

  • 1. Stoke the Fire
  • 2. Gasoline
  • 3. Truth
  • 4. My Disaster
  • 5. Nobody Praying for Me
  • 6. Rise Above This
  • 7. Save Today
  • 8. Country Song
  • 9. Words as Weapons
  • 10. No Jesus Christ
  • 11. Broken
  • 12. Fine Again
  • 13. Betray and Degrade
  • --Encore--
  • 14. Fake It
  • 15. Let You Down
  • 16. Remedy

Photos by: Lykke Nielsen

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