Children Of Bodom

Pumpehuset, Copenhagen - 2017

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

More and more bands are following the trend of celebrating the anniversary year of their old albums with a special tour, or other form of live show. This time, it Children Of Bodom’s turn, as they hit the road with the debut album Something Wild, which celebrates 20 long years in existence this year.

“Well, well, well. Copenhagen hate crew! It’s good to be back! How the fuck are you doing?”
- Alexi ‘Wildchild’ Laiho (vocals/guitar)

Before us stood a more barren stage than what we’ve become accustomed to, but the “Bodom, Bodom, Bodom” chant rising up from the crowd made us feel right at home. Out came the band members, and the chant changed to cheers. I could see a new face with the guitar – I had forgotten about Roope Latvala leaving the band, and by this time Children Of Bodom had found a fulltime replacement for him in the former Norther guitarist Daniel Freyberg. By the looks of it, maybe a better fit for the band actually – no, there’s nothing wrong with Latvala’s playing, but there was a difference in age and style that shone through, one that wasn’t noticeable in Freyberg. Most of the time, he also played a Laiho signature ESP, which only helped to enhance the image.
Children Of Bodom kicked off with Deadnight Warrior, not a surprising choice as it is the opener of the album after all, and then followed suite with In The Shadows. This is where things started derailing, in a sense. You see, instead of following the album tracklist, which is the norm at these anniversary gigs, Children Of Bodom began throwing in songs from other albums, mainly Hatebreeder, making the whole thing seem more like a regular show, instead of a special anniversary event. Even worse, they left two entire songs out! I mean, c’mon, the album is just 35 minutes long, I’m sure you could have squeezed them into a regular length show like this if you wanted to! Also, we were looking forward to finally hearing Red Light In My Eyes, Pt. 1, which has been an early favourite in this household. Oh well, there’s always the 40th anniversary to look forward to, right?

“Do you want something faster? Do you want something heavier?! Well then, you’re gonna fucking get it!”
- Laiho (vocals/guitar)

On a more positive note, there wasn’t really a finger to point at the performance. Takamo the Duck was in place to keep an eye on the proceedings, and I’m sure it was happy. The band displayed a lot of energy, and especially Freyberg and Henri Samuli ‘Henkka T. Blacksmith’ Seppälä took me by storm with their lively and positive performance.
There was in general a lot of playing going on amongst the musicians. Laiho was locked down by the microphone for most of the time, but even he had time to visit his friend Janne ‘Warman’ Wirman for a guitar/keyboard duel. At another point, Jaska W. Raatikainen threw a drumstick to Wirman, who juggled it right back at him – this was repeated later on, at which time Wirman threw the stick into the crowd instead.
And the crowd deserves a mention as well, no doubt about it. We didn’t even get through the first song before the first moshpit broke out, and it was a good one at that! It didn’t take long before crowdsurfing was picking up either, although this never really gained very much traction. I guess the problem was that there was no security pit at the front, and people were simply too polite to just get up on stage, so hanging there, and having nowhere to go, confounded the surfers and their ‘wave’, and it sort of fell apart then.
The craziness didn’t though, and between every song, the loud “Bodom” chant could be heard, loud enough to pull Raatikainen out of his seated position at several occasions. Interestingly, it was actually a quite small crowd present, less than half of the room was filled, but they were a happy and enthusiastic bunch.

This wasn’t a perfect gig that will go down in the annals of time, but it was highly entertaining while it lasted, and the band did it as well as they possibly could, as far as I could tell. Also, we got a first ever in Black Widow, which according to Laiho had never been playing in Denmark before, and that’s always fun.


Deadnight Warrior
In The Shadows
Needled 24/7
Black Widow
Lake Bodom
Angels Don’t Kill
Red Light In My Eyes, Pt. 2
Hate Me!
Everytime I Die
Hate Crew Deathroll
Bed Of Razors
Children Of Decadence
The Nail
Towards Dead End
(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!) (Beastie Boys song)

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