Feast On Europe Tour 2013, Scandinavian leg
The Generals – support act
The brand new Annihilator album, their 14th(!), entitled FEAST was released at the end of August. The band is also now backed up by a brand new record label. I saw them perform at Wacken Open Air this summer and even though they had quite a short time to play, they delivered a solid show. This show was the first one the band did before they headed further up to Norway and Finland and Sweden until the tour finally ends in Russia. The Swedish act The Generals was the support act. They released their second album BLOOD FOR BLOOD at the beginning of 2013. The show was held at Pumpehuset, which is located in the downtown Copenhagen. The venue consists of two floors, the bigger room is located on the upper floor and takes about 600 people. The ground floor, which also was where Annihilator played, has a capacity for about 400 visitors.
Friday when the show was held, marked the release of the annual Christmas beer in Denmark so everyone I met was holding a can of it in their hands. A small line had formed outside the doors when I arrived and the doors were set to open at 7 o’clock. The band was still doing sound a check when we got in, so the doors into the actual hall wasn’t opened yet. To my surprise, Annihilator was going to perform at the smaller place on the ground floor and not on the floor above as I thought. I thought the band was going to lure more people than about 400. The stage was really small and narrow and no fence was put up in front of the stage. And so about 8 o clock came the support act walked towards the stage and the evening was about to start.
“Dig Two Graves” opened the show and it was shortly followed by “Stand Up Straight”. The tempo was fast and heavy right from the start and after the first two songs the singer greeted Copenhagen saying that it was really nice to be in Copenhagen performing. He said that he was going to speak in English because they had been out in Europe touring. The show then continued with “Blood For Blood”. The Generals are:
Hedner – lead vocals, bass
Dick – guitar
Rickard – guitar
Metal Martin – drums
Though it was really crowded on the small stage, that didn’t matter to the band and they kept on playing in the fast tempo they begun the show in. “Shotgun Serenade” and “Hunger” followed and it was something with the sound that bothered the singer. And the sound wasn’t good, neither was the lighting. “My Own Demise” continued the show and The Generals sure delivered some strong Swedish old school death metal music. It seemed like the audience also appreciated the music because they supported the band with cheers and a few fans also formed a small circle pit in front of the stage.
When the band started, Hedner said that their aim was to play death’n'roll and the next song was taken from the first album and it was “The Illusionist”. Just before the last song, the guitarist Rickard had problems with his gear and Hedner said that he took the moment to introduce the last song for The Generals of the evening. A song from the new album BLOOD FOR BLOOD was about to end the show and it was “Evil Transcends”. However, the band could only play a few minutes of the song before technicality struck again and the song was interrupted. Finally the problems were over and both Hedner and Dick went out amongst the audience and played. The show ended after about 45 minutes and even I was a bit impressed by The Generals. I think it’s hard to say and think something about you never heard before but in this case I can make an exception.
Dig Two Graves
Stand Up Straight
Blood For Blood
My Own Demise
Consulting With The Sinner
Blessing In Disguise
More people had arrived during The Generals show and a few more kept coming while the crew prepared the stage for Annihilator. It was a bit crowded in front of the stage and because the stage was so low I knew it was going to be hard to take pictures. It took the crew about 30 minutes to get the stage in order and about 10.15 it was time for the Canadian legendary thrash machine Annihilator to conquer Copenhagen.
The members entered the stage to the cheers and roars of the fans and Waters said that it was time for a good time. “Alison Hell” was the first song out and the entire venue exploded with ecstatic fans. “W.T.Y.D” followed and the fans continued to clap and cheer for the heroes. Annihilator today consists of:
Jeff Waters – guitar, vocals
Dave Padden – lead vocals, guitar
Mike Harshaw – drums
Alberto “Al” Campuzano – bass
Padden thanked for the warm welcome and said it was really nice to be in Copenhagen then he introduced “Knight Jumps Queen” which was sung by Walters. Padden once again thanked the fans and “Reduced To Ash” and “Set The World On Fire” followed. Is was Waters and Padden who moved around on the small stage connecting with the fans and as soon as they moved Campuzano went out of their way.
The fans went crazy and there were a lot of circle pits, jumping around, and headbanging going on through out the show. Padden said it was time to “Refresh The Demon” and once again exploded the crowd from bliss. It was really fun to see such a dedicated fanbase. Waters said it was time to go back in time and to the 1990 year album NEVER NEVERLAND. Waters said that no one thought that the band was still going to be alive today back when that album was released. So was it time for the title track “Never Neverland”. After that classical song was it time to raise the tempo a bit with the song “No Zone” taken from the 1993 album SET THE WORLD ON FIRE. Annihilator continued to line up those classic songs and the fans loved it. It has been a while since I last experienced such a dedicated fanbase as Annihilator’s.
As always, Water’s impressed on guitar and he and Padden shared the talk in between the songs in a perfect way. It felt like the 2013 edition of Annihilator is a band in harmony. In the middle of “The Fun Palace” jumped a fan up on the stage and stage dived back and it went so fast that no one in the band had time to react. They just starred at him. Waters once again thanked for the support and said to the fans in the front not to push so much on each other. He said that everyone in the venue is here to have a good time and he didn’t want anyone to get hurt.
He asked if everyone thought that they sounded good and announced the song “Fiasco”. Waters wanted everyone to help him out with the lyrics in the song “Bliss” which was followed by “Second To None”. Annihilator’s back-catalogue consists of songs of quite a varied style. They have songs in the thrash, progressive thrash and straight up metal genre, and now was it time for a medley consisting of a few of their slower songs. “Phoenix Rising” and “Sounds Good To Me” followed as well as “Snake In the Grass”. The last song was dedicated to all the lousy ex-girl and boy friends and the audience sang a long with Padden.
So was it time for a drum solo by Harshaw. It was a standard solo which I forgot the minute it was over. Padden got handed a glass of whiskey which he handed over to Campuzano and Waters took over the mic. He asked how many of the fans who had bought the new album FEAST and said that it now was time for a new song taken from that album called “No Way Out”. “Smear Campaign”, “Time Bomb” and “Ambush” followed until it was time to play the last song which was a tribute to all thrash acts that made Annihilator want to begin to play thrash metal. “Deadlock” was the song which made the fans crazy once again. Waters thanked the fans on Swedish and said that they had been amazing. He hoped to see Copenhagen soon again and that ended 1 hour and 45 minutes of thrash metal madness.
All of the fans wanted to hear more from their heroes and shouted out the band on stage for encores. A few minutes later came the band back and fired off “Ultra Motion” as the first encore. Waters wanted to hear the fans scream a little more and asked if they really wanted to hear one more song. “King Of the Hill” followed as the last encore and Padden wanted everyone to sing along in the song. Those songs added an extra 15 minutes to the show and altogether treated Annihilator the fans for 2 hours of some excellent thrash metal.
This show was one of the best I’ve seen this fall. Waters and Padden are a brilliant front duo. The band feels like a solid unit and I really hope that Waters can maintain this line-up well into the future. Unfortunately, the venue was totally wrong for a band of this caliber. The stage was too low, the lighting was poor, and there were no photo pit. No band with more than two members should be playing on that stage, it was way too crowded with four members. That stage is better suited for singer/song-writers or for bands in a softer genre. Next time, they really should put Annihilator on the stage on the top floor. It was fun that they began with songs from their early career and not the opposite. Usually, bands begin with songs from their latest album, but not Annihilator.
Both The Generals and Annihilator did a great job at Pumpehuset this night and I pity anyones who didn’t make it out to see the bands. It’s not often that Annihilator plays in Scandinavia on their own, so this was a rare moment for all thrash fans. It was an early Christmas gift!
Note: Annihilator is already confirmed for Sweden Rock Festival 2014.
Knight Jumps Queen
Reduced To Ash
Set The World On Fire
Refresh The Demon
The Fun Palace
Second To None
I Am In Command
Phoenix Rising/Sounds Good To Me/Snake In The Grass
No Way Out
King Of The Hill