Copenhell - 2013

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Having seen Danzig twice live in concert before, the first of which was highly entertaining and the second abysmally bad, I really didn’t know what to expect as he was closing Copenhell down the first night from the Helvíti stage...

Still, the small man took the stage with such a large authority, together with band-mates Tommy Victor on guitars, Johnny Kelly on drums and Steve Zing on bass, that I could only hope that this would be a repetition of my first experience with them.
As if answered from above, or below more likely, already in the opening tune SkinCarver, the band proved that this wouldn’t be a run of the mill closing show. Danzig had the crowd in the palm of his hand, and Zing and especially Victor ran all over the place filled with energy and pumping out riffs left and right!
I was completely taken aback by this explosion of a show, and it took me a song or two to get my chin off the ground over how good this really was, before I too could start to sing along as so many others had begun to do before me. By then we had reached a stretch of old Danzig favourites from the I-III era, and as this was obviously a comfort zone both for the band and the audience, no one objected to letting much of the set stay in that vicinity.

“We haven’t played this next one in about twenty years, so just relax...”
- Glenn Danzig (vocals)

Honestly, the crowd was all over songs like Her Black Wings and Devil’s Plaything, but then Danzig took the tempo down with Blood And Tears, and with this slow and deep ballad the atmosphere completely changed. Not for the worse, not with anyone being disappointed, upset or anything, but up to this the show had been very rock ‘n’ roll, and now we got this soulful piece of solitude like a calm before the storm.
Dirty Black Summer picked it up, but the real storm didn’t until a little later, where Danzig brought in an old friend to assist the band and him through the next part of the set. The friend was Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, and for the next section it was all old Misfits material!
I admit, most of my Misfits knowledge lie in hearing other bands cover their songs, but even so the new change in atmosphere was deep and involving – just seeing this huge man trample around the stage in his spandex pants, bare muscular upper body and skull painted face and literally abusing his instruments as he was blasting out hyper-speed punk tracks put a whole new dimension to the evening!
As expected, there were songs that I didn’t know from earlier, but I was glad to hear that they had included one of my favourites in Astro Zombies, and for Metallica fans the more well-known Last Caress (thought I’d say something different, didn’t you?), a song that was introduced by Danzig as the closest thing to a love-song he could get back when he was a fucked up kid.

“Are you getting tired?”
- Danzig (vocals)

After this Doyle silently exited the stage, and we were back to Danzig songs on the setlist; three more songs were played, ending with the phenomenal Mother, and then the night had reached its official end.
But wait, what?
The crowd and weren’t by far finished with Danzig, and to our luck Danzig didn’t feel finished with us either! Who says you have to stop playing just because you don’t have more songs written on the setlist? Danzig sure doesn’t!
So what he did was to enter the stage again and asked us whether we would like something off of Danzig I or Danzig II (how’s that for improvising?!), and after settling on Danzig II, the band gave it another twist of the arm with Snakes Of Christ without even hesitating. As an added bonus, Doyle then entered the stage again, and Victor and he competed playfully about who had the largest stage persona as the band finished the night completely off with Die, Die My Darling (yeah, that’s the one you thought about before, right?).
No more songs were played this evening, but the band stuck around for a while longer, taking in the loud appreciation and dedication from the crowd, and giving back in form of guitar picks, drum sticks and setlist, and whatever else they found lying around that could be thrown off the stage.

Technical aficionados may complain that there goes too much punk in the show when Danzig gets carried away on stage, and pitch and tune gets thrown overboard in favour of presence and attitude, but being half of an old punk-fan myself, I don’t mind that part one bit, and if the man himself can’t hit the notes, then why not join in and miss them with him, like we all did in a splendid way during How The Gods Kill, to name just one?
Honestly, this was such a kick-ass show that exceeded every one of my expectations for it and landed easily in the top position of the day, and just as easily in the top four of the entire festival. God damn it, this is how it’s done!


Hammer Of The Gods
Twist Of Cain
Am I Demon
Her Black Wings
Devil’s Plaything
Blood And Tears
Dirty Black Summer
How The Gods Kill
Death Comes Ripping (Misfits cover, feat. Doyle)
Vampira (Misfits cover, feat. Doyle)
I Turned Into A Martian (Misfits cover, feat. Doyle)
Astro Zombies (Misfits cover, feat. Doyle)
Skulls (Misfits cover not on setlist, feat. Doyle)
Last Caress (Misfits cover, feat. Doyle)
Soul On Fire
Not Of This World
Snakes Of Christ
Die, Die My Darling (Misfits cover, feat. Doyle)

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