“They’re f*cking loud! Bring your earplugs.” was the advice I repeatedly received when I told friends that I was going to check out A Place to Bury Strangers. The band started playing at 9pm and my friend and I turned to each other and said, a bit disappointedly “Oh, they’re actually not as loud as I thought.”
We spoke too soon. APTBS were just warming up. Soon the strobe lights were flashing, guitars were turned up to 11 (the band’s preferred volume level) and we promptly reached for our earplugs before hearing damage took place. Disappointment dissipated and was replaced by cheers that absolutely no one could hear as guitars were thrown in the air, with the set culminating to a somewhat intimate finish as Oliver Ackermann inserted himself into the audience and treated the surrounding fans to a laser-infused solo set of distorted guitar and vocals. Cell phone photo ops were abundant.
The 20-minute delay into Iceage’s set provided enough time to replenish drinks and peruse the merch table. It was slow-jam night once the young Danish punks took the stage, leaving more raucous tracks like “Simony” off their set list. That didn’t seem to bother fans in the least. Hands were raised and audience members insisted on grabbing onto Elias Bender Rønnenfelt’s microphone cord. He did have a simple solution for this obstacle; just kick the hands off with his feet.
The highlight was the excitement of the crowd when they heard “Plowing into the Field of Love”. My concert buddy was so happy that he kept threatening to cry tears of joy. Well done, Iceage. Well done.