Pumpehuset, Copenhagen - 2015

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Dagoba is a name that has frequently shown up on my radar over the years, and not just because I’m a Star Wars fan, but it wasn’t until November of 2015 that I got to hear the French quartet. This happened because Moonspell had rolled into town on their Extinct tour, and they had brought Dagoba, a modern industrial metal act, along as support. A strange mix if you ask me, but there you go…

“Are you alive Copenhagen?!”
- Pierre ‘Shawter’ Maille (vocals)

As should be evident by the genre description, we were definitely in the aggressive and hard end of the musical scale, energetic and good for ass kicking. As the show took place on the small stage at Pumpehuset however, there wasn’t quite the physical room for the band to unfold quite as much as I would imagine they could. Even so, props should go to them for effort – especially bassist Werther Ytier was lively to watch and very playful, and the best one to embody the energy of the music. Shawter was good as well, he spent a lot of time with a foot on the monitor, grabbing out for the close-standing audience. Guitarist Yves ‘Z’ Terzibachian was more closed in, standing still by his effect board most of the time, focusing on his instrument. Frank ‘Franky’ Costanza was also focused on his instrument, but as a drummer, that wasn’t surprising. He beat away fervently though, and did a good job underlying the music with the amount of punch it needed.

“Copenhagen, horns up motherfuckers!”
- Shawter (vocals)

Shawter did as much as he could in firing the audience up between songs as well, calling out for participation in every form. Hell, he even ordered a drink from the bar at one point, mentioning sadly that there hadn’t been any Jack Daniel’s backstage!
It didn’t do him or the band much good though – even though we were in the small hall of Pumpehuset, a certain lack of people was easy enough to notice, and of those who had shown up, there were none who were ready to match the energy of the music. Some raised fists, a single headbanger or two, and polite shouts and applause between songs was all that Copenhagen could amount to.
It didn’t hinder Dagoba in going in with as much as they could – Shawter spread a thick layer of thank you over us, and in the last song, the band-members at least were warm enough to see both Werther and Z jumping!

Yes, Dagoba certainly did what they could to make this a memorable experience for those who had come out to see them. Musically, they delivered, even though it wasn’t completely up my alley, and performance ways they worked well with what they had.
If I am venture a guess, I think they just encountered the wrong audience. As mentioned, the musical gap between Dagoba and Moonspell is pretty large, and the crowd clearly held more Moonspell fans. Not surprisingly, since it was their show. I think Dagoba would do better headlining their own tour, mixing with bands closer musically to themselves, like Fear Factory or Denmark’s Mnemic.


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