Copenhell Festival 2011
17-18/6 – 2011
Review and live pictures by: Anders Sandvall
Guest contributor: Ulrika Henriksson
The second edition of the Copenhell Festival in Copenhagen Denmark took place at the middle of June and the venue was held at the same place at last year, the old industrial area at Refshaloen located a few minutes outside downtown Copenhagen. Bands like Korn, Judas Priest, Deicide, Morbid Angel and Anvil performed at we thought it was time to head over and to pay the festival a visit. Check out our review of the festival!
The second edition of Copenhell Festival took place at the middle of June in the outskirts of Copenhagen on two cloudy and partially rainy days and nights. Last year the festival collided with the Sweden Rock Festival so this year the organizers put the festival a week earlier so it wouldn’t collide with SRF this year too. However, the festival collided with Metaltown which took place in Gothenburg Sweden on the same days. Copenhell was located at a industrial area and just as last year were there two stages available. The large main stage was called Helviti and the slightly smaller one was called Hades. There was also a movie tent where movies of various kinds were showing. The organizers had managed to get the infamous Leatherface to visit the festival or at least the actor who played the character Leatherface. Burn Bitch Burn were also there and blew fire and flames.
Because the festival area was pretty close to Copenhagen, you could choose to either stay at a hotel or as we did, go home and sleep for the night. But if you were a long time traveler it was also possible to buy a tent that stood and waited for you at the camping area. One of the main sponsors, Royal Beer, had a stage where demo acts performed and there were 7 bands playing there during the 2 days. The bands that performed on the main stages were Opeth, Korn, Mayhem, Deicide, Morbid Angel, Judas Priest and Bullet For My Valentine to mention a few. The festival mascot was made by the famous illustrator Ed Repka who made albums covers to Death, Venom and Megadeth and was called Plague Doctor.
The same day as the festival was about to begin was also the day of the first cancellation when Kuyss Lives announced that they weren’t going to come to Copenhagen. They were replaced by the Danish icons in Artillery. We arrived pretty late to the festival and it was a windy and rainy festival that welcomed us. It went smooth to get to the area because the festival had installed shuttle buses that took the visitors straight to the festival from the metro station and back again. There were no problems to get our press and photo passes and we hurried in to see the first band on our agenda. The two stages were standing on each side of the area with the small Royal Beer stage and the beer tents in between. A lot of people was already there enjoying the music the atmosphere, not the weather but the beer and food. Our first band to see was the Swedish act Opeth that was going to perform at the Helviti stage and 7 o clock. A few seconds before every show began huge pipe blew in between the beer tent and the main stage with a gigantic burst of flame that announced that a show was about to begin. The same happened at both stages. Each performance was presented by either Anders Botter or Camilla Jane Lea who works at Danish Radio.
Neither one of us had ever been big fans of Opeth and to be honest this show didn’t convert us to fans but we understand that the band are great at what they’re doing and that they in many ways are a ground-breaking band in their genre. We decided to give it a shot. The band consists of:
Mikael Akerfeldt – lead vocals, guitar
Martin Mendez – bass
Martin Axenrot – drums
Fredrik Akesson – guitar
Per Wiberg – keyboards
The first song was “The Grand Conjuration” which was followed by “Deliverance”. Akerfeldt stood in centre of the stage with Mendez and Akesson besides him and to be honest not much happened. Besides playing music wasn’t there hardly any movement on stage but on the other hand haven’t maybe Opeth profiled themselves as a party band either. Akerfeldt chose to speak in English and introduced the song “Face Of Melinda” to the great joy of the audience.
It was kind of hard for us non-fans of the band to separate the songs from each other…I mean come on, the songs are quite looong. However “The Lotus Eater” seemed to be a favourite amongst the audience. The fans stood mostly still enjoying the music and there wasn’t a lot going on in the crowd. Akerfeldt said that singer Klaus Meine in Scorpions calls his audience his baby and asked if we thought that he also was going to call us that, everyone screamed NO. The sound system worked great and “In My Time” was heard perfect. Last song for Opeth was “Hex Omega” taken from the 2008 album WATERSHED and after that was it thank you and good bye from the band. We can understand that fans thought the gig was great but we found it a little too slow and dull for our taste.
The Grand Conjuration
Face Of Melinda
The Lotus Eater
In My Time
The Drapery Falls
Straight after Opeth was it time for us to head over to the smaller stage to see Baptized In Blood. The lines to both the food tents and to the beer tents was really long and we couldn’t but wonder why the festival hadn’t hired in more food stands and places where we could buy beverages. At 8.30 was it time for the new comers Baptized In Blood to enter the stage and kick off their show.
All of the members entered the stage together and the names of them are:
Johj Fendley – lead vocals
Josh Torrence – lead guitar
Nick Bertelsen – rhythm guitar
Alex Johnston – drums
Matthew Harris – bass
Just like many of the other bands during these two days Baptized In Blood stod pretty far back on the stage so it was hard to take pictures of them. “Sinking Ships” was the first song for the night and while the song played the fans formed a circle pit in front of the stage to the bands delight. “Mental” then followed and Fendley asked how we were doing. “Up Skirts Down Skirts” and “Go If Alone” followed then shortly and it would be an understatement to say that the bands thrash metal worked well. The fans went crazy and supported the band heavily throughout the show. It was not only Fendley that worked really hard to get the crowd going but also Harris and Torrence.
A lot of headbanging was going on during the show by both the band and the audience. “Event Horizon” and “Last Line Lady” continued as well as “Dirty’s Back” and “Down And Out”. Fendley thanked everyone there for being such a warm and welcoming crowd despite the shitty weather and to the tones of “Down And Out” we walked over to the larger stage to get in order to see Korn.
At the stroke of 9.30 entered the band the stage and the fans gave the guys a really warm welcome.
The weather had gotten really chilly by know and because of the closeness to the ocean blew the winds really hard and cold. It was said on the festival website that they had their own vodka for sale Copenhell Vodka and we looked everywhere to find a bottle of vodka or any of the Copenhell Beers that they sold last year to buy but we couldn’t find any. Overall was there not enough signs that pointed you in the right directions to where you could find food or facilities and we couldn’t find any info on what movies the cinema was about to show. In front of both stages were a grassy hill located so even if there sometimes weren’t many people in front of the stage there were a lot more sitting on the grass drinking beer and eating food or snacks. The mix of people was pretty huge but the main priority was guys and more guys.
The next act we were going to see was Deicide with the infamous Glen Benton behind the mic. Deicide was supposed to be playing in Europe last year but cancelled their shows due to some fuzz with managements or bookers. But this night did the band actually turn up and we looked forward to see and hear the band in action. TO HELL WITH GOD is the name of the bands latest studio album and when the clock struck 11 it was time for the unholy foursome to invade Copenhagen.
“Once Upon The Cross” marked the start of the show and it was only to surrender right from the beginning. A circle pit was formed instantly and the bands raging music only encouraged the fans to kick, jump and scream harder and more. “When Satan Rules His World” continued and was followed by the mighty “Serpents Of Light”. The band consists of:
Glen Benton – lead vocals, bass
Ralph Santolla – guitar
Jack Owen – guitar
Steve Asheim – drums
The songs went so fast that the fans had no time to catch their breath and when Benton thanked everyone for being here and supporting the band he was greeted by a symphony of cheers, claps and shouts. Benton said that there were many that didn’t think that Deicide was going to come to Europe to play for their legion of fans but the doubters were wrong and here we are. The next song that followed dedicated Benton to all the doubters and it was the song “Hang In Agony Until You’re Dead” – pretty suiting.
When Benton didn’t sing he stood with his back facing the crowd and he didn’t seem to like to be standing facing the audience this night. “They Are the Children Of The Underworld” was dedicated to the fans and it was followed by “Witness Of Death”. The lighting during the show was pretty bad and the stage manager seemed to be in love with the smoke machine. “Into The Darkness You Go” and “How Can You Call Yourself A God” continued and Benton dedicated the last song to all the Christians in the world. “Lunatic Of The God’s Creation” and “Sacrificial Suicide” ended the show and by then had Deicide been on stage for 50 minutes. The show was OK and the fact that they even showed up on stage was a positive thing. Deicide have a history of cancelling as often as Ozzy.
Once Upon The Cross
When Satan Rules His World
Serpents Of Light
Hang In Agony Until You’re Dead
They Are The Children Of The Underworld
Witness Of Death
Into The Darkness You Go
How Can You Call Yourself A God
Lunatic Of God’s Creation
The last of the daylight had now fleet the area and it was time for the headline act to present themselves for Copenhagen. We went over to the large stage really exited and we saw a huge curtain that covered the stage and on the curtain it said EPITAPH in huge blood red letters. You could almost touch the electricity and the excitement amongst the fans and many of the ones who bought tickets to the festival had come only to see Judas Priest. At midnight came “War Pigs” out from the speakers and the fans cheered and clapped their hands in anticipation for the show to begin many sing the words to “War Pigs” to. Then the song stop and the real intro come on out from the PA. The letters on the curtain lit up and it looked really nice and from nowhere was intro turned on and the icons arrived on stage.
As soon as the intro was over kicked “Rapid Fire” off and the metal god himself showed himself. The fans screamed in bliss and really gave the legendary Judas Priest a warm welcome. Band members are (as every one knows):
Glenn Tipton – guitar
Rob Halford – lead vocals
Ian Hill – bass
Richie Faulkner – guitar
Scott Travis – drums
The drumkit was placed on a podium and stairs led up to the drums. At the side of the drums hung chains and on each side were also huge barrels placed where smoke came from. The backdrop was the cover art work to the monumental album BRITISH STEEL but the backdrops changed like during a slide show now and then and showed a few of the cover art-works of various Judas Priest albums. Now and then came bursts of flames out from the edge of the stage and the entire stage show was really fun to watch with laser-beams, pyro, chains and tridents.
The fans hadn’t hardly any time to catch their breath in between the songs and the classical crowd pleasers followed and followed. “Metal Gods” continued the show as the second song and Halford and the rest of the band seemed to be really pleased with the warm welcome they got from the Danish crowd. Halford looked as cool as ever and because he was coolness personified he didn’t have to do much to get the crowd going. After having heard the crowds loud sing a long in most of the song walked Halford across the stage with his thumbs up and smiled. After “Metal Gods”, Halford said that the Priest is back in Copenhagen and that this was their last world tour and that it was time for us to follow the band out on the road in the song “Heading Out To The Highway”. Even though Halford looked a little stiff in his movements that hadn’t the slightest impact on his voice.
Faulkner did a great job and he blended in really well with Tipton and the rest of the band. It was Faulkners mission to run around on stage and to get the crowd going and it was a job he executed really great not hard to think though he is about 30 years younger than the core of the band. The fact that Faulkner looks like a young version of KK Downing can’t be denied! He is a well needed fuel injection for Judas Priest. “Judas Rising” followed as well as the next song which was taken from the 1977 year album SIN AFTER SIN and it was “Starbreaker” and while the song passed were laser beams shot out from the back of the barrels. Halford had the crowd in the palm of his hand the audience followed his every move. “Victim Of Changes” followed with a guitar duel between Faulkner and Tipton while Halford went of stage to take a few minutes of rest.
Now it was time to look back 40 years in history and to the album ROCKA ROLLA and the song “Never Satisfied” which many of the fans seemed to enjoy hearing a lot. Faulkner kicked off the slow “Diamonds And Rust”, a song that Halford said they hesitated to do a cover of back then but that the end-result turned out really well. Halford entered the stage in a sequin covered coat-like thing with a hood wrapped around him when it was time to sing “Prophecy”. He sang the entire song standing solid on one spot squatting and the audience loved it and while he sang came two huge trident up from the two barrels. After the song Halford said that it didn’t matter how old we are because the only thing that matters is if we love heavy metal or not and if we do then we all stand united.
“Night Crawler” roared out and Halford invited everyone to sing a long in the song. Halford walked from time to time up and down the few stairs to Travis while Faulkner ran around messing with the audience. When the last note of “Night Crawler” had ended said Halford that it was time to head back in time and while he sad that he laughed and added that he saw that many of the fans in front of the stage wasn’t even born back in 1986 which is the year we traveled back to. The song was of course “Turbo Lover” and even though maybe not some of the fans weren’t born then that didn’t stop them from singing their lungs out.
“Beyond The Realms Of Death” and “The Sentinel” followed as well as “Blood Red Skies” that transcended the fans into a pile of love. “The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)” followed and after that was it time for the song we bet many of the fans had been waiting for. Halford shouted Breaking the what?, Breaking the what? And the ecstatic fanbase shouted THE LAW and the bands infamous hit broke loose and Halford let the crowd sing the entire song from beginning to end. After that followed the long awaited “Painkiller” and intro “The Hellion” then came the song “Electric Eye” and the first signs of voice weakness showed in “Painkiller” where Halford again squatted to get enough power to squeeze out the high tones. “Electric Eye” was a grand closure of the show but you don’t think that fans settled for that? One the icons had gone off stage the fans screamed at the top of their lungs for the band to get back on stage. 1.40 wasn’t enough to please the crazy fanbase but when we turned around to look at the hill in order to see how many people that attended the show we could see many that actually walked away from the show. The hardcore fans didn’t stop shouting for their idols to play more and after about 5 minutes we could hear the familiar noise of a motorcycle coming out and there he came, Halford came out on his bike and kicked off “Hell Bent For Leather” he encouraged the audience to sing a long with him which the fans did. As soon as the song ended went the band of stage again and returned singing “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” and the ones who left the festival really missed out on a wonderful performance.
The band left the stage for the third time after the second encore but the audience still wasn’t satisfied and shouted for more and of course were the band eager to please the fans and came out a fourth time to do the last and final encore in Copenhagen this night. A Judas Priest show isn’t over until they’ve played “Living After Midnight” and this show was no exception. When everyone heard the familiar guitar riffs that begins the song the festival went crazy and it was the perfect way of ending a stunning show. Faulkner did a great job as the new band member and he is a well needed vitamin injection for the rest of the guys. Ian Hill on bass stood as solid as ever on his spot beside the drums and contributed with heavy bass lines and some serious headbanging. The set list was brilliant and we had a great time singing along in the old classical songs. The guys felt solid and rock hard and it also seemed like they had a really good time on stage. Halfords change of outfits was also a source of fun and he had on a number of different outfits that was more or less good looking on him. Most fun was to see him wearing his trademark leather cap with studs.
The negative thing was that Halford looked really stiff and that he sometimes had serious problems to hit the high notes in a few songs and even though Faulkner was great it was a bit sad not to see KK Downing live up there. After all, he was one of the original members and what can beat that. I think that most of the fans was as pleased as we were and a few minutes of 02.00 was it time for everyone to head over to the shuttle buses and go home and prepare for day two of Copenhell Festival 2011.
Heading Out To The Highway
Victim Of Changes
Diamonds and Rust
Beyond The Realms Of Death
Blood Red Skies
The Green Manalishi
Breaking The Law
Hell Bent For Leather
You’ve Got another Thing Coming
Living After Midnight