Bullet For My Valentine

support Twelvestep
author AP date 14/12/05 venue Lille Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

As most bands of this genre don't, Bullet For My Valentine decided to drop by in Copenhagen for a show at club Vega in Enghave. Due to the band's not-so-known status in the country, the venue was selected to be Lille Vega, which can capacitate a maximum of 500 people. Good choice, as the turnout for this concert was absolutely appalling. Our party arrived at Vega at 20:45, fifteen minutes before the show was set to begin, only to be greeted by zero people standing in queue, and a ghastly silence in the entrance hall. Apart from Mikkel Schläger and his friend, there was no one there, which came as a rather discomforting surprise to us. Our fears were further obscured as we observed that the number of jackets hanging in the robe was no greater than fifty. My greatest worry at this point was that the band would express utter disappointment by not playing as intensively and passionately as possible. Fortunately, this worry had no foundation and my fears were completely reversed as the show began, read on.

Twelvestep

The four-piece Welsh group had chosen the Swedish Twelvestep as their support band for the night, a bad choice if you ask me, a band which was about as similar to Bullet For My Valentine's sound as black is to green. This sextet unleashed a series of extremely unmelodic hardcore songs that nonetheless inspired the small crowd to manic headbanging and moshing. The vocalist's grunts can be likened with those of Brian Fair of Shadows Fall, as can his dreadlocked hair, though it lacks the length of Fair's hairdo. The guitarists and drummer were for some reason dressed in chemical suits and masks (some kind of failed Slipknot impersonation I presume) and exhibited quite an array of curious face expressions, clearly in an attempt to alleviate their otherwise monotonous sound. This, too, failed. In conclusion, the performance of Twelvestep can be described as nothing short of a fiasco. Well, some liked it.

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Bullet For My Valentine

After this disaster had spent a good half an hour cleaning the stage for our Welsh mates, the lights dimmed and the familiar tune of the intro to "The Poison" began lingering in the club. One by one, the band entered the stage and took their respective positions. Matt Tuck entered last, promoting his guitar high in the air. In the same way that the intro didn't, "Her Voice Resides" exploded from the amps and the front of the venue morphed into a mosh pit. "Good", I thought, "at least there's something happening in the audience this time", remembering the unwillingness of anyone at Astoria to show their appreciation of Bullet For My Valentine's effort. The band was apparently impressed by the commitment of the audience to whatever it was that they were trying to do (it was difficult to tell) and put on a much more passionate performance than I recall from Astoria.

The number of spectators in the club had actually increased after Twelvestep departed the stage, not surprisingly. As the lone, high-pitched lead of "Four Words to Choke Upon" began pouring from the speakers, the crowd was getting out of control, managing to punch Mikael in the face, causing him to lose his glasses. This didn't matter though, because as the joint screams of "Look at me now!" from Tuck, James and Padget engulfed the room, the atmosphere became divine. This was what a concert should be all about. Passionate band, passionate fans. Hell, most of the people in the room were even singing along to every song - something which came as a complete surprise to me, given that Bullet For My Valentine is by no means a known band in rainy Denmark.

The absence of songs like "10 Years Today" and "Curses" on their set indicated that they were here to demolish the set with their more hardcore songs. I guess somebody had told them about Hatesphere and As We Fight - how to play metal in the Danish standard, and so they did. "Room 409" and "Hit the Floor" were also omitted from their setlist, and for this I have no rational explanation, except lack of sufficient time because of Twelvestep's not so hasty clean-up operation after their set. "Tears Don't Fall", "Cries in Vain", and "Hand of Blood" were of course the songs that bewildered the audience, and inspired every single person in the room to sing along creating an indescribable atmosphere.

In conclusion, Bullet For My Valentine's debut concert in Denmark was by no means a failure. Besides the amount of people who actually bothered to turn up, their set was close to perfection. Matt delivered his vocals with enviable passion and precision, and the sound was excellent - nothing like Darkest Hour's set in Malm? in August - the riffs, leads and vocals could all be clearly distinguished from the otherwise metally sound. The crowd, which was of smaller size, was at one with the band, moshing and headbanging aggressively, and singing along to almost every song. Hopefully these Welsh fellows will return to Denmark some time, perhaps with a larger audience this time. Thumbs up from me!

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