Bad Religion

Copenhell - 2022

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

A new day rose over Copenhell, Friday no less, and it was time for someone to get the party started. After eight years, we saw the return of Bad Religion, and even though I had been sorely disappointed by their last visit, I was up for giving the old punk rockers another go. But how would it go?

“It’s a beautiful day here at Copenhell! Hope you’re up nice and early like us.”
- Greg Graffin (vocals)

I gotta say, it at least started out pretty damned well. The band played Helvíti, and they did it with their usual empty stage show - no extra frills, just music. Quite the contrast from Kiss who’d closed the stage down the day before, to say the least.
Anyway, Bad Religion made a quick entrance, and went directly for Recipe For Hate. Quite good energy pumping out, the musicians were all in on giving a good performance, the sound was good. This was already looking way better than the 2014 gig, and I was carefully optimistic. Also, I was having fun, and that’s the most important thing anyone could hope for.
Bad Religion had a long setlist in store for us, very generously so, and while there definitely were a lot of songs I’m not terribly familiar with, there were also a lot of songs spread throughout that I did know and could sing along to, to my heart’s content. Stranger Than Fiction was my introduction to the band, and as such, the album holds a special place in my heart. Hearing Infected was one of the highlights of the show for me.

“The beer lines are completely empty right now, in case you were wondering.”
- Jay Bentley (bass)

While going into the meat of the set, the guitarists calmed down a bit after the energetic opening, Jay Bentley and Jamie Miller really kept it up throughout the entire concert, and especially Bentley was good at keeping an eye on the crowd, and flirting them into participation.
It wasn’t the biggest crowd the Helvíti stage had seen, but it was still a good sized one, and people were, like me, having fun. To begin with, it was mostly applaus and shouts that carried the band, but the action grew in time with people waking up. Some way in, the mosh was kicking up a veritable dust cloud, and when we reached Stranger Than Fiction, the crowd surfing set in for real.
The fact that the crowd got wilder as the show went along, might have had an impact on the band; while the guitarists might have taken a little break in the middle of the set, they came back strong for the end, literally leaving the show on a high note.

“We’re having a great time tonight! Oh, wait, today.”
- Graffin (vocals)

So Bad Religion started strong, took it a bit easier in the middle, and then went out strong as well. We still had a problem with chewing gum being chewed on stage (I mean, seriously. Stop that.), but all in all, this was one hell of a show, exactly what I wanted from this band, and so much better than our last run in. The day was already looking up.


Recipe For Hate
New Dark Ages
Do What You Want
Fuck You
Los Angeles Is Burning
Come Join Us
End Of History
Stranger Than Fiction
Struck A Nerve
We’re Only Gonna Die
Dept. Of False Hope
Along The Way
Punk Rock Song
I Want To Conquer The World
21st Century (Digital Boy)
American Jesus

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