Copenhell - 2017

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

To kick people into gear on the second day of a festival, you’d do well to have some handy party music. Something easy, not taxing on the old grey mass. For this purpose, Copenhell had hired Airbourne, and what could be more fitting than that, I ask you?

These Australians were the first to enter Helvíti, the main stage of the festival, this day, and for all intents and purposes, they were the obvious choice. Their easy-going AC/DC inspired hard rock, with instantly familiar choruses, is accessible enough to speak to even the Neanderthal brain of those who have not yet fully woken up out of yesterdays’ binging, and their energetic performance is wild enough to inspire some movement in stiff tent joints.
Ready To Rock (the song, not the tabletop game) was the obvious place to start here, and the musicians made an almost flying start, as they came running onto the stage at full speed as the song began.
Knowing Airbourne by now, it wasn’t surprising to see that this same energy was kept up on max through the rest of the concert – Joel O’Keeffe at the forefront as always, with Harri Harrison and Justin Street close behind him, leaving it to Ryan O’Keeffe to keep things earthbound just a bit, right there behind his drums.
The band performed about as fast as it took the stage, yet Joel O’Keeffe did manage to get a word in edgewise now and again, and of course he got to do his solo as well, complete with bashing a beer can and everything. He had a lot of beers with him this day though, and was kind enough to share with the fans, by way of hurling beer cans down into the audience once in a while.

Not necessarily that the audience needed it – it wasn’t a hot day per se. Well, not as a thirst quencher that is, but a beer is always useful in one way or the other.
Despite the near constant drizzling rain, thankfully it had lessened since earlier in the day, the Copenhell crowd seemed to be in good spirit. It wasn’t quite the action-packed crowd of the first day, but people were enthusiastic enough when it came to shouting the band along, and brandishing fists and devil horns in the air. Joel O’Keeffe even got a good sing-along going for that “oh oh oh” part at the start of Rivalry.
Most noticeably, the first part of the show displayed a distinct lack of the many crowdsurfers that had been a constant companion to every show the day before. My guess is that the weather, in combination with this being the first major show of the day, was the reason behind this, because it began to loosen up during the show, so that towards the middle and end, more and more people came drifting by on the arms of their fellows. Not a huge amount, but we were on the way. Heck, there was even one point where Joel O’Keeffe threw a beer can into the crowd, and it was caught one-handed by a crowdsurfer! If you’ve seen the video on YouTube with David Achter de Molen, vocalist of John Coffey, then you have a good idea of what was going on. This wasn’t quite as graceful as that, but a good attempt nonetheless.

There was no doubt that the simple and direct ways of Airbourne were working their way into the Copenhell crowd’s hearts. For me, it’s still a bit too simple though, and nothing that manages to hold my attention for extended periods of time. It was a good shot of energy, but nothing more.

Setlist (incomplete):

Ready To Rock
Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast
Down On You
Solo (Joel O’Keeffe)
Cheap Wine & Cheaper Women

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