Copenhell Festival 2010 at Refshaleoen Copenhagen, Denmark

August 1st, 2010
by Anders Sandvall

 

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Copenhell Festival


Refshaleoen

Copenhagen

Denmark

11-12/6 – 2010

 

Reviewed and live pictures by: Anders Sandvall

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Copenhell is a brand new festival that was held at the middle of sunny June on the outskirts of Denmark’s capital Copenhagen. The festival was held at an industrial compound and at the same time that Kiss paid Scandinavia a visit as well as Sweden Rock Festival was held. There were two stages at the festival. The larger one was called Helviti (means Hell in Danish) and the smaller one was called Hades. The festival threw also showed hardrock/metal movies and they also held spoken word performances there. A few side shows were also going on where Fuel Girls showed their stuff. The bands that were going to perform during the two day festival were Dead By April, Danko Jones, 3 Inches Of Blood, Megadeth, Napalm Death and The Damned Things to mention a few. The main focus was music wise set on death metal, mallcore and pure metal. Mastodon was also supposed to perform but they had to cancel and The Dillinger Escape Plan them. Devildriver also cancelled their performance. I was looking forward to Danko Jones, Napalm Death, Megadeth, The Damned Things and of course my favourites in Suicidal Tendencies.

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It took a while to get to the festival due to the lack of transportation. The buses went once an hour so if you missed the bus you had to wait an hour until the next showed up. And of course that happened to me. When I finally arrived at the festival I fetched my media-pass and walked into the area. Lots of merchandise stands, a large beer tent and food vendors greeted me when I came into the are. Unfortunately I missed the Danish act SuperCharger because of my late arrival. They opened the festival on the Hades stage. Instead I walked around and took a look at the area waiting for Danko Jones to enter the Helviti stage. The weather wasn’t the best and you could feel the rain hanging in the air. The festival was located by the sea so it was quite windy as well. Not good festival weather but that didn’t bother the people there. At least not the ones who had found their way to the beer tent. The two stages was located besides each other facing a grassy hill and asphalt pavement. A few minutes before it was time for Canadian rock’n’roll hero Danko Jones to enter the stage a Danish presenter got on stage to welcome the band. He said that Danko Jones had travelled the world and played on numerous of festivals and they’re growing larger and larger. The band has released 6 albums and we are happy to welcome Danko Jones on stage.

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Danko Jones

The band entered the stage and the three guys are:

Danko Jones – lead vocals, guitar

John Calabrese – bass

Dan Cornelius – drums

The trio kicked off with the excellent song “I Think Bad Thoughts” that went straight into “Active Volcanos”. Both songs are taken from the latest studio album BELOW THE BELT. The guys felt really tight and Jones stood at the  left side of the stage and Calabrese at the right. Behind the drummer hung a large backdrop with the band-name on it. Jones looked, as always, really cool with a leather jacket, a black t-shirt and black pants on. The show continued on straight away with “Play The Blues” and “Forget My Name”. Both Jones and Calabrese worked their ass off to get the crowd going and everyone who has seen the band in action, and especially Jones himself, knows what I’m talking about. This band do as Motörhead do, they crank up the bass-guitar so it sounds like a guitar and just kick ass.

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“Sticky Situation” followed and then Jones took of his jacket and spoke out to the audience for the first time this late afternoon. The first thing he said was if the one who was responsible for the smoke machine could be nice to turn it down a notch so that the audience could see who was standing on stage. Jones asked us if we were able to see what was standing on the backdrop and no – we couldn’t. So Jones said that the smoke machine were gonna be turned off in order for everyone to see that it said Danko Jones. Jones continued with saying that he knew that he was playing at a festival but that the band wasn’t like Manowar and that Danko Jones doesn’t need smoke. Everyone in the audience just laughed together with Jones. “Never Too Loud” and “Code Of The Road” followed and the crowd sang together with Jones in both of the songs. Despite that Jones didn’t run around much on stage, he mostly stood still be he did get the crowd going with his speeches. He’s a really charismatic man that can sell sand to a bedouin. Jones once again asked us how we were doing and said that it’s was fun to play at a metal festival even though we are a rock band. He continued on with saying that rock’n’roll and metal can unite and that rock unites Copenhagen. The show continued with the crowd pleaser “First Date” in which the audience sang the chorus. “Had Enough” followed and I could tell that Jones had a limited amount of time to play for because he had toned down the talk about how sexy he is that usually takes up a lot amount of time. “Baby Hates Me”, “Full Of Regret” and “Sugar Chocolate” shortly followed. Jones asked us to shout for their friends in 3 Inches Of Blood and Hatebreed. He also asked us to give a shout out for Megadeth who Jones didn’t know personally but looked forward to meeting later on during the evening. But what is a Danko Jones show without sex-talk? Nothing, so in “Sugar Chocolate” he said that he had something that every girl wants to come home to. What has that? Well, his tongue which he showed off for the audience. “Sugar High”, “Invisible” followed as well as the song he dedicated to all the ladies in the audience – “Lovercall”. “Mountain” was the last song for the show. In the middle the song stopped because Jones had something to say – again. Jones said that he thought that all of our heroes were looking down on us this day and mentioned Johnny Cash, Cliff Burton, Dimebag Darrell, Johnny, Joey and Dee Dee Ramone. And of course the great icon Ronnie James Dio. He also dedicated the song to all of the girlfriends that had cheated on him when he was out on tour. To manifest that he had been doing great despite their betrayals he shouted “This heart gets stronger, this skin gets thicker, this mouth gets louder” and asked everyone to do as him.

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“Mountain” ended the show with the great Danko Jones and altogether the show lasted for about 65 minutes even though he was scheduled to play for 90 minutes according to my papers but it was 65 minutes filled wit hard garage punk rock ‘n’ roll. I have seen Danko Jones in small clubs and venues as well as on festival stages through the years and he and the guys has always given their all. There’s nothing that Jones can’t take on and he is a brilliant stage personality. The set list was excellent and I didn’t miss any song I think. I have understand that even though that Danko Jones are from Canada he is not so known to the people over there. How could that be?

He and his band are very big in Europe but not for some reason back home which is strange indeed.

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Set list

I Think Bad Thoughts

Active Volcanoes

Play The Blues

Forget My Name

Sticky Situation

Code Of The Road

First Date

Had Enough

Baby Hates Me

Full Of Regret

Sugar Chocolate

Sugar High

Invisible

Lovercall

Mountain

The festival didn’t have a program instead had they put up huge signs on containers on the area where it said what time the bands would play. Next band up on the agenda was the Danish act The Psyke Project in the smaller Hades stage so I walked there to see the Danes in action.

The Psyke Project

The presenter once again entered the stage and said that it was an honour to introduce The Psyke Project. He said while the band toured in England the singer hurt his leg so he had his leg in a plaster cast but despite that misfortune the band was here in Copenhagen and ready to rumble.

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Even though I have most of the bands albums have I never heard them live. The show started out pretty good with the bands modern death metal music but it felt that the singer was pretty limited because of his leg and couldn’t give his all. While the rest of the band did headbang and run around, he was forced to stand still during the show. But one thing that I noticed now that I heard the band live was that their music for some reason felt to be influenced with progressive parts and that made it all sink enormously for me. It made the music hard to listen to and after 45 minutes I left the Hades stage. However, it was time for me to leave the show either way because it was time to get ready for Hatebreed on Helviti stage.

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Hatebreed

Out on stage ran

Jamey Jasta – lead vocals

Wayne Lozinak – guitar

Frank Novinec – guitar

Chris Beattie – bass

Matt Byrne – drums

And as soon as the band showed up on stage the crowd went crazy and the show kicked off with “Hands Of A Dying Man”. Needless to say the tempo was  furious from the start and the band members were all crazy. Jasta wondered how the fuck we were doing and he thanked everyone for being there and said that it was fun to be playing in Denmark because the band has such a loyal and solid fanbase in Denmark.

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“In Ashes They Shall Reep” and “Merciless Tide” followed shortly before Jasta said he wanted to see a huge mosh pit during the next song which was “Everyone Bleeds Now”. Everyone in the band had great contact with the audience and Jasta ran often out on the edge of the stage in order to get closer to the fans. “To The Threshold”, “Facing What Consumes You” and “Hollow Ground” shortly followed and the audience was totally mad. It was clear and obvious that Denmark loves Hatebreed. Jasta asked the guy responsible for the mixing if it was OK to form a gigantic mosh pit but unfortunately it wasn’t so Jasta kicked off “Last Breath” instead of doing more talking. Many of the songs transcended into each other just to save time. And in “Last Breath” the crowd formed a pretty huge mosh pit to the delight of Jasta. “Defeatist”, “Burial For The Living”, “As Hard As They Come” and “Doomsayer” shortly followed and Jasta said that it was great fun to hear and see that hardcore and metal music have got a strong hold of Denmark. The next song was dedicated to all the old hardcore fans of the band and it was “Empty Promises” taken from the bands debut album. The show continued on with more songs that were highly loved by the crowd. When the Slayer cover “Ghosts Of War” was introduced the crowd were ecstatic and if this had been an indoor show the roof would have been blown off by the audience’s screams and cheers. “Destroy Everything” ended the 90 minutes show and Jasta and the band thanked everyone in the audience again for being there to support Hatebreed despite the rainy weather. The show was great and it was fun to see that Hatebreed has such huge support in Denmark. The only negative thing with the show was the sound that was a bit messy during parts of the show. Otherwise it was a great performance and it seemed that the fans were happy – and that is the most important thing after all.

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Set list

Hands Of A Dying Man

In Ashes They Shall Reep

Merciless Tide

Everyone Bleeds Now

To The Threshold

Facing What Consumes You

Hollow Ground

Last Breath

Defeatist

Burial For The Living

As Diehard As They Come

Doomsayer

Beholder Of Justice

Empty Promises

Live For This

Puritan

Straight To Your Face

Perseverance

Pollution Of The Soul

Smash Your Enemies

Ghosts Of War

Never Let It Die

Tear It Down

This Is How

I Will Be Heard

Confide In No One

Destroy Everything

 

The bad weather got worse and the rain poured down and on the Hades stage did the Canadian act 3 Inches Of Blood got prepared to go on. There weren’t long gaps in between acts. As soon as a band had gotten of one stage did another band go on the next stage.

3 Inches Of Blood

The band consists of members:

Cam Pipes – lead vocals

Justin Hagberg – guitar, vocals

Shane Clark – guitar

Ash Pearson – drums

Steve Eriksson – bass

The music was nothing but old 80’s heavy metal and the band members all looked like old heavy metal fans. It was really hard to take them seriously and in my ears they sound like a cover act. But the audience seemed to like what they saw and heard and when Pipes thanked everyone at Copenhell for bringing them over the audience screamed and cheered. It was a pretty small crowd that saw the band if you compared to how many that saw Hatebreed. But the venue was pretty big so it was hard to judge how many that actually stood in front of the stage.

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The band had one hour to play and they did their best to use the time wisely. While Pipes mostly stood solid behind his mic the rest of the band ran around and got the crowd going. Despite the lack of space on stage the members played like there was no tomorrow and like if this was their last show ever. I watched the band for about 40 minutes and then it was time for me to go over to Helviti stage to see the evenings highlight in Megadeth.

Megadeth is celebrating the 20th birthday of their monumental album RUST IN PEACE and therefore they play the album from beginning to end. David Ellefson is also back in the band after a few years absence so I was really eager to both see and hear the band. The Helviti stage was jammed with the bands equipment, their huge backdrop portraying the bands mascot Mr Vic and the cover art-work of RUST IN PEACE. Besides the drums were two smaller backdrops placed and they had the image of coffins on them. It was a really massive and great site.

Megadeth

People had lined up and had waited to see the band for several hours and you can imagine the roar they have up when the band entered the stage. The members are:

Dave Mustaine- lead vocals, guitar

Chris Broderick – guitar

Shawn Drover – drums

David Ellefson – bass

Drover, Broderick and Ellefson came on stage first and Mustaine entered while the intro was playing. Even though the rain practically flushed down from a pencil grey sky the audience screamed and cheered for the band. Megadeth was no doubt the most awaited band this day. “Dialectic Chaos” taken from the new album ENDGAME kicked off the show and shortly followed “Wake Up Dead” and “Headcrusher”. Mustaine mostly stood solid and looked down in the stage floor while singing and it was really hard to get a proper picture of him in action. The sound was really poor in the first songs but I guess that the weather did its best to bring down the entire experience as well. Mustaine said straight after “Headcrusher” that he wasn’t there to talk but to play and that’s what we’re gonna do and kicked off “In My Darkest Hour” but during the opening songs the audience seemed to be keen on knowing if the band really was gonna play the entire RUST IN PEACE album. When the next song kicked off there’s was no more wondering going on. “Holy Wars The Punishment Due” echoed out to the festival and the audience was satisfied. It’s no exaggeration to say that the band gave all they had and that they did their best to get the crowd going. Everyone who has seen Megadeth and Mustaine in action knows that he mostly stands still and sings and is not very talkative at all. However that didn’t stop the audience from enjoying the music and the show continued with “Hangar 18” and “Take No Prisoners”.

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The problems with the sound haunted the band and it took the engineers until song 4 or 5 before they could get a hold of the problems and solve them. “Five Magics”, “Poison Was The Cure”, “Lucretia”, “Tornado Of Souls”, “Dawn Of Patrol” and finally “Rust In Peace….Polaris” continued and for every song the band played the fans got crazier and crazier. I leaned back and enjoyed all of the great songs that I grew up with and thought to myself that this was probably a once in a lifetime moment to be experience that Megadeth plays the entire RUST IN PEACE from back to back. It was really nice to hear the old songs again and they sure had stood the test of time. They felt as solid as ever . Everyone I know played this album when it was released and to hear the songs again took me back in time and to all the great memories I’ve had with this album. The band felt tight and solid like a well oiled machine and Ellefson seemed to be glad to be on stage with Megadeth again. Broderick did impress me on guitar and he could handle both the rhythm and the lead parts brilliantly. Drover on drums contributed with some hard hitting fills and a driven flow. Maybe it’s a smart move of Mustaine to play the entire RUST IN PEACE album back to back because his latest albums haven’t went so well. And this is maybe a way for Mustaine to create a hype for Megadeth again. The last song from RUST IN PEACE was “Rust In Peace…Polaris” and then was it time to travel forward in time and play “Trust” and the massive hit “Sweating Bullets”. Mustaine thanked us for being there and kicked off the crowd pleaser “Symphony Of Destruction”. After the last note had faded out and the crowd was soaked in sweat and rain and happiness Megadeth went off stage.

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The ecstatic audience demanded more music and the band went on stage again and Ellefson grabbed the mic and thanked Copenhagen for a really nice welcome. “Peace Sells” was the first and only encore and Ellefson did a bass solo part in the intro. Mustaine let the audience sing the chorus and after the song the band went off stage leaving us with 90 minutes of magic and pure joy.

It was a really long time since I last saw Mustaine and Megadeth on stage and even though there were problems  with the sound in the beginning the band delivered a solid and heavy show jammed with excellent songs. This was truly a magical moment despite Mustaines reluctance towards the fans and audience. It was great fun to see Ellefson back in the band again even though I treasure the line-up with Marty Friedman and Nick Menza and Ellefson and Mustaine the as the best one.

Set list

Dialectic Chaos

Wake Up Dead

Headcrusher

In My Darkest Hour

Holy Wars The Punishment Due

Hangar 18

Take No Prisoners

Five Magics

Poison Was The Cure

Lucretia

Tornado Of Souls

Dawn Patrol

Rust In Peace…Polaris

Trust

A Tout Le Monde

Sweating Bullets

Symphony Of Destruction

Encore

Peace Sells

Down at the Hades stage was it time for another iconic act to kick off their show and I ran as fast as I could to the other stage. At exactly 23.00 sharp did  the inventors of grindcore go on stage.

Napalm Death

The members are:

Barney- lead vocals

Mitch – guitar, vocals

Shane – bass, vocals

Danny – drums

The band kicked off the show with the furious song “Strongarm” taken from their latest album. Then followed “Unchallenged Hate” and “Suffer The Children”. Barney opened with saying that you’re looking at Napalm Death from Birmingham if you haven’t noticed that and then he kicked off “Silence is Deafening” and “Life And Limb”. Unfortunately Napalm Death also had serious problems with the sound just like Megadeth did. The guitars and the vocals were placed too high up in the mix and it drowned bass and drums. It felt like the guys hadn’t done a proper soundcheck.

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Everyone who has seen the band live knows what Barney looks like live and this time was no exception to the rule. He ran around totally crazy and spastic. Mitch and Shane stood on each side of Barney doing their thing. The next song was “Diktat” and it felt like the guys were in a bit of a hurry because Barney didn’t do a lot of talking at all. He normally has a lot to say regarding politics and mankind. Barney thanked all for being there and said it was nice to be back in Denmark again. He said that they had been playing a lot of newer songs and then fired off a songs from about 2 albums ago called “When All Is Said And Gone”. The sound didn’t improve at all and the audience was pretty cold and wet after the constant rain. But a few fans kept warm by forming a small moshpit in the front of the stage. The crowd was also pretty small but that didn’t bother the Birmingham boys. They kept on doing their thing and delivered furious grindcore like there was no tomorrow. Barney said that it didn’t matter if you were white or black or which sexual preference you have, you are all allowed to dream and to achieve anything that you want and no one should stop you from doing your own thing and with those words he introduced “It’s A Mans World”.

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Later on followed “From Enslaved To Obliteration”, “On The Brink To Extinction”  and “Scum”. Barney thanked the Danish band Konkhra for letting Napalm Death borrow their equipment. Mitch helped out with vocals but his mic was also too high up in the mix so he overpowered Barney. It’s a pity that the band didn’t do a proper soundcheck before they went on because the sound really was a problem and brought down the entire Napalm Death experience. The audience shouted for an old classic song but Barney said it wasn’t really time for one at the moment. But when he introduced “Scum” was most fans satisfied. The crowd pleaser “Life?” followed and then came “The Kill”. All of these three extreme fast songs did wake up the audience from their coma. Tracks that followed were “Deceiver” and “Mass Appeal Madness”. Then was it time for a cover and the band played their version of the Dead Kennedys song “Nazi Punks Fuck Off”. Barney introduced the song by making the entire audience scream the title of the song and again the crowd went crazy. The end of the show was soon to come but they had a few songs left to play. The next song was about react on the madness that are going on around the world today and that it’s start to do something before the world has gone completely mad, it was “Time Waits For No Slave” which was followed by the last song for the evening “Siege Of Power”. When the last tone had faded out the band had been on stage for about 60 minutes and the show was over for this time. And because of the short time in between the bands, about 5 minutes, many already left the show in order to go and see the last band for the evening which was Deftones.

I thought that Napalm Death had a pretty great show despite the weather and the poor sound. Of course the sound left more to wish for but I guess the guys did the best they could. I’ve seen the band in better shape but Napalm Death has a high low-point and do almost deliver excellent shows. For me was Napalm Death one of the major reasons why I visited Copenhell.

Set list

Strong Arm

Unchallenged Hate

Suffer The Children

Silence Is Deafening

Life And Limb

Diktat

When All Is Said And Done

It’s a Mans World

From Enslavement To Extinction

Scum

Life?

The Kill

Deceiver

Mass Appeal Madness

Nazi Punks Fuck Off

Time Waits For No Slave

Siege Of Power

After the Napalm Death show it was time for me to head over the bridge and home to Sweden again. To the tones of Deftones I left the area to get to the trains. I haven’t listened to Deftones before and both my feet and back ached of the many hours standing on concrete. The rain was also one of the factors why I didn’t see Deftones. But of course I missed the bus by a few minutes and had to wait  60 minutes until the next bus came. I was really glad to come home and catch some sleep before it was time to head back to Copenhagen and day two of Copenhell.

Read on for day two of this festival.

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