The Dopamines

support Kill The Rooster
author PP date 02/10/09 venue Lades Kælder, Copenhagen, DEN

I mentioned in my recent review of the Black Stone Cherry concert that the best shows are always those that you have no expectations for, perhaps because it's impossible to be disappointed, but mostly because you aren't just waiting for your favorite song all show long. That turned out to hold true for tonight's injection of awesome pop punk as well when Ohio, US based The Dopamines guested the tightly packed Lades Kælder, bringing along local Copenhagen punk act Kill The Rooster and a third band whose name I can't remember just now, probably because they never showed up! Doh. Anyway, the hype about The Dopamines must have reached other ears than mine as well, considering how many people from the Danish scene were present tonight: members from at least The National Shut Up, The Psyke Project, The 20Belows, and if my memory serves right, also Stars Burn Stripes were in attendance tonight.

Kill The Rooster

But first up were Kill The Rooster, a band that mildly impressed me back in mid-June at a Stars Burn Stripes show with their ability to play variety of different styles of punk without appearing too incoherent overall. Tonight, they posed a somewhat more confident stage appearance, perhaps because of a more intimate venue, but still, I'd so much like the band to do one or both of the following: move much more on stage, because they are far too static at the moment, and display way more emotion/passion when they are playing their songs. It could be that they don't have enough confidence in their own material - because in between songs they were quite funny - but based on what I've heard now on two shows as well as their Myspace page, they've got the material to play a much better show than they currently do.

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The Dopamines

The Dopamines, on the other hand, were a completely different story straight from the opening moments of their show - adhering perfectly to my earlier mentioned "best shows are those you don't have expectations for" rule earlier. Yeah, I've known about these guys for a while and heard a few tracks on their Myspace page, but that's about it - something that has changed big time since the show. Think of them as the little brothers to Teenage Bottlerocket because of their simple, straight forward, raw brand of punk rock. The rough edges are present from hardcore, while the vocals and melodies often reference norms from pop punk. Throw in some serious feel-good, happy-go-lucky moods in a live environment as well as commendable energy, and well, the end result is crowd spilling to the stage, desperate to join the sing alongs at the mic stands in between small mosh sessions, whilst the band itself is drenched in sweat, all smiles, visibly gearing up at every chance and feeding off the crowd's energy. This is what a great underground punk show looks and feels like.

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