The Queers

support Fall Back Down + Dungeon Days
author PP date 08/04/19 venue Underwerket, Valby, DEN

Despite having critiqued Monday night shows in the past, I find myself in a great mood tonight looking forward to an intimate punk rock show for the first time in months, perhaps in part due to not having been out for beers all weekend. The Queers, a legendary US pop punk who have been writing songs for as long as anyone cares to remember, are paying a visit to our favorite basement venue in Copenhagen where turnout is all but guaranteed to make the venue a sweaty experience. Together with them, we have a couple of fine representatives of the Copenhagen underground scene.

Dungeon Days

First up is Dungeon Days, a local Copenhagen punk rock crew who are debuting their brand new bassist Jakob Pries for the first time. This is a man that comes with plenty of experience from the scene, having been a part of the excellent no-frills, Midwestern punk band The Respirators in the past, and the couple of new songs that are aired tonight already suggest he's making an impact. In the past, Dungeon Days have been known for flashing their influences on their sleeves a little too vividly, where songs like "Copenfornia", "Castles" and "Bandshirts" echo a mix of NOFX and Blink 182 in a fairly obvious fashion. The former and the latter are decent songs - as is also evident in tonight's set - but as soon as the band feature a brand new track with "Pray Away" and delve into Midwestern style punk rock, the soundscape instantly feels like a natural fit in a way that's just never been the case with Dungeon Days material so far. It feels like the right direction for the band to go towards, but let's see what happens on their next record. Tonight, the band's stage presence is surprisingly fresh for a Monday night, with Anders firing a few jokes like "you know who you are" after dedicating songs to outrageously specific people in the crowd, or faking a crowd requesting for an encore to play "Copenfornia" by miming right next to the mic. Overall, a decent showing.

Fall Back Down

Fall Back Down is playing just about every show they can get for the time being, and why shouldn't they? It's a brand new band featuring members of Rovers Ahead, Leo & The Lineup among others, which already gives them a wealth of experience underneath their belt, yet they keep improving each time I see them. The interplay between vocalist Maja and guitarist Lasse feels as natural and fun-filled as it gets on a Monday night, where the two exchange the occasional wink in the process that just adds to a fun-filled, danceable atmosphere that's complemented by the band's upbeat energy on stage.

They can barely fit on stage, but that's part of the charm, and when they throw on a few Hammond organ solos segments for good measure to contrast a hardcore inspired, in-your-face punk rock track, they complete the Rancid vs. The Interrupters vs. Streetlight Manifesto vibe they have going on in perfect fashion. No wonder the crowd cheers louder and louder: you can hardly find a better, more attitude-driven frontwoman than Maja to deliver their tight, catchy, high-energy set with a twist of charisma that makes the whole package just work. These guys are ready for the prime time already now - just wait 'til they release their debut album - as they are truly excellent and highly entertaining tonight, turning an otherwise mundane Monday night into a party!


The Queers

"We're the greatest band in the fucking world, we're called The Queers", is how vocalist Joe Queer introducers one of the original no-frills pop punk bands tonight that's loosely (or perhaps, rather directly) inspired by Ramones. Because let's be honest here; The Queers sound more like The Ramones than The Ramones did towards the end of their career. Their bassist is even sporting a Ramones shirt tonight in case there was any doubt about where they're coming from. But that's also part of the charm; with The Queers, you know exactly what you're getting and you're getting it good. Tonight, the band races through their set with barely a pause in between, rushing from one song to the next in natural transitions that create a high energy vibe in Underwerket that leaves no breathing room in the process. This is straight up basement punk rock, and even though they do not showcase the same youthful, humorous spirit of their more youthful colleagues in Teenage Bottlerocket or Direct Hit!, the instant bridge between each song ensures that even these old boys can rock out like there's no tomorrow.

It's a curious piece of evidence of just how much energy levels can elevate in a level just by avoiding pauses in between songs, a feat many bands could learn much from, as The Queers deliver quality no-frills pop punk with literally no bullshit nor added showmanship in between. Sometimes all you gotta do is play a shit ton of great songs in a row and the crowd - including the undersigned - will lap it up like it's our last meal. That it leaves behind a solid, positive memory afterward is a testament to the strength of The Queers back catalogue, as we go through twenty-something songs without ever feeling like there's a bad song in between.


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