Millencolin

support Menudå
author PP date 10/11/17 venue Tivoli, Helsingborg, SWE

For a while, it didn't look like this show was happening. The Tivoli, a rock bar just by the Helsingborg C train station and ferry terminal, had filed for bankruptcy. A series of shows were canceled until a go-ahead call to make the Millencolin show happen was given a few weeks before the concert. I had a brief chat with the venue crew upon arrival, and they assured the future looks brighter and Helsingborg won't lose one of its rock bar classics at least for the time being, so that's a good thing.

It's a pretty cool venue with two floors: the upper floor is exclusively reserved for eating guests, so if you want a great view of the stage from the above, that's a possibility because you get to keep your tables and regular guests are not allowed up there. The lower floor houses around 600 people at maximum capacity, and by the looks of it, we're near a sold-out state tonight, which makes getting to and from the lone bar a pretty difficult task throughout the night.

Menudå

First up is a local skate punk band called Menudå. They sing exclusively in Swedish - even when they cover Against Me!'s "I Was A Teenage Anarchist", which sounds pretty funny as a result - but otherwise follow a standard melodicore skate punk formula to the letter. Their expression echoes old Millencolin songs to an extent, but the one band that instantly comes to mind is No Use For A Name. Many of the melodies are like straight off "Making Friends"-era NUFAN, which sounds good on paper, but unfortunately the band's performance is totally uncharismatic and static on stage. They're a young band without much experience, I'll give them that, but some movement and passion would do wonders for the overall perception of their show. Unfortunately, the venue does them no favours sound wise, as everything but the vocals is coming off the band's own monitors only. As a result, their catchy riffs and upbeat songs don't catch on the crowd as well as they probably otherwise should. Luckily, the band improves significantly throughout the set, and towards the end of their 30-minute slot, "Fossiler" leaves us with a positive impression.

6

Millencolin

Ooga chagga, ooga chagga, ooga chagga, ooga chagga. Kind of a weird intro to the Millencolin set as it sounds like tribal African music from the worst portrayals of the 'dark continent' in the 80s. Can't decide if it felt slightly racist or not. Either way, one-by-one, Millencolin enter the stage and kick off straight away with one of their biggest bangers "No Cigar". The venue immediately erupts into a massive sing-along that makes it clear we're at a hometown show of sorts (yes, I count all Swedish shows for Millencolin as hometown shows), and that tonight is going to be a special kind of a sing-along party. And the continuing sing along for newer tracks "Sense & Sensibility" and "Ray" straight after confirms exactly what I expected: given a great setlist and a relatively intimate indoor venue, Millencolin are a brilliant live band, which hasn't always been the case. For almost a decade between 2005 and 2015, bad setlist choices and boring festival sets meant that I almost always left a Millencolin show disappointed.

Since then, the band has come to their senses and every show since the "Pennybridge Pioneers" full album tour that I've seen has been excellent, primarily because they channel so much old material to their set. Tonight is the perfect example: more than 50% of the material comes from "Pennybridge Pioneers" and before, which is the Millencolin era where they practically couldn't write a bad song even if they tried. "Home From Home", "Kingwood", and "Machine 15" aren't awful albums by any means, but let's be honest here: they are no match for "Life On A Plate", "For Monkeys" or "Pennybridge Pioneers". So as a result, the crowd goes mental as the band tear through "Olympic", "Penguins & Polarbears" and "Fazil's Friend" in a row. We're talking crowd surfers everywhere, enormous punk rock community style sing-alongs where you turn your head to sing your heart out with complete strangers, and the like. The intimate confines of the venue only elevate the spirits in the crowd, so there's little the band can do wrong tonight, especially because the sound is crystal clear throughout.

"Bring Me Home", "Cash Or Clash" and "Autopilot Mode" is the only meh part of the night where the crowd calms down a bit, probably because the newer songs, while decent, don't lend themselves for as big sing-alongs as the rest. Because as soon as Nikola Sarcevic returns to the stage with an acoustic guitar for "The Ballad", the show picks up once again. The huge sing-alongs lead to an electric guitar finish before "Twenty Two" takes us all the way back to 1997's "For Monkeys". And from here onwards, the crowd reception and dynamic is absolutely fantastic. We're all singing along to "Lozin' Must", "Kemp", and especially "Pepper" with it's memorable "It's all in you" segments after the band spends some time introducing each other during the song. And let me tell you: the crowd roars to "Mr. Clean" - the first song they ever wrote - is deafening.

En gang til, en gang til, the crowd chants as the band disappears after "Mr. Clean" for an encore. They're quickly back for a series of songs that keeps the party going: "Egocentric Man" is an excellent cut off "True Brew", but it is "Fox", "Bullion" and "Duckpond" from the old records that steal the show. On stage, the band play tighter than ever and spend little time on crowd control or other bullshit. Tonight's about skate punk classics and nothing more, nothing less, which together with an amazing crowd response makes this one of the best, if not the best out of the 10+ Millencolin shows I've been to. So reluctantly, I have to exit right after "Battery Check" even though it looks like the band is about to play one or two more tracks due to having to catch a ferry and the last train back to Copenhagen, or risk waiting more than an hour after the show. Great set and a great venue.

Setlist:

  • 1. No Cigar
  • 2. Sense & Sensibility
  • 3. Ray
  • 4. Olympic
  • 5. Penguins & Polarbears
  • 6. Fazil's Friend
  • 7. Bring Me Home
  • 8. Cash or Clash
  • 9. Autopilot Mode
  • 10. The Ballad
  • 11. Twenty Two
  • 12. True Brew
  • 13. Lozin' Must
  • 14. Kemp
  • 15. Pepper
  • 16. Mr. Clean

— Encore —

  • 17. Egocentric Man
  • 18. Fox
  • 19. Bullion
  • 20. Duckpond
  • 21. Battery Check
  • [probably two more - had to catch a ferry]

Unfortunately none of our photographers were available for the concert, so all photos are taken with a mobile phone

Comments
comments powered by Disqus

Legal

© Copyright MMXVII Rockfreaks.net.