Dark Tranquillity

Pumpehuset, Copenhagen - 2022

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Dark Tranquillity was the Swedish half of the Swedish/Finnish mash-up, where Ensiferum made up the second half.
With Dark Tranquillity taking the stage last, and their song setlist compared to Ensiferum’s songs, there was no doubt which band was the true headliner this evening. As mentioned in the Ensiferum review, I don’t know if this was the deal every night, but it sure was here.

“Fucking hell, Copenhagen, how are you doing? We’ve got a thousand songs we thought we’d play for you, is that ok?”
- Mikael Stanne (vocals)

Dark Tranquillity had really brought the A-game as well, decorating the whole stage to resemble the cover art of Moment, their latest album, released in 2020. In addition to that, they also used the projector backdrop (not album) to the fullest, with a full blown video projection going from start to finish of the set. It looked great, and complimented the show in a good way.
More than that though, I’ve just liked the band’s material and especially their live shows for a great many years by now, and I was really looking forward to what they would give us.

Well, the band started out with Phantom Shift, opener of Moment, and the musicians entered first and started playing straight away. Mikael Stanne didn’t enter until a little later, but when he did, he came in full of energy and pumped to go. Already at this point, we could tell we were in good hands.
What we got going forward was a good mix of songs, mostly concentrating on the Moment and Atoma albums, the prior winning out; not so surprisingly perhaps, as Stanne commented that they had released the album two years ago, and then - nothing. Due to covid restrictions, they hadn’t been able to go touring or even play a single gig in support of the album, and he said that this had been a very empty and dissatisfying feeling for the band, making this tour all the better, as they could finally see the reaction of their now two years old material directly in the faces of the fans.
And trust me, the fans were on board!

“My earliest memory of Pumpehuset is me standing right where you’re standing now. It was back in ‘94, and Manowar was playing.”
- Stanne (vocals)

Ok, so even in the face of loud cheers, the crowd was actually taking it rather easy when the show started, but with the aid of good music, a superb vibe, and Stanne making relatable and personal smalltalk between songs, it didn’t take long for Dark Tranquillity to win the Danish crowd over.
It may have started out with cheers and some bopping heads, but soon enough there was a moshpit, several crowdsurfers, and even a few stage divers, eagerly helped in their endeavour by the band. In Treason Wall, Stanne helped a girl up on stage, who just wouldn’t leave again, hanging out for most of the rest of the song just dancing and headbanging - cool thing is, no one seemed to mind! On that note though, there was one occurence that made me question the guards priorities. Moshing they were fine with, crowd surfing was ok, and stage diving hardly got a raised eyebrow, but when one guy took his shirt off (it was a warm night by this point) they rushed into the throng to make him put it back on again. Why?

“We’re taking requests now, what have you got? (several suggestions shouted) Ok, we’ll take that one later,”
- Stanne (vocals)

Another thing that truly surprised me was that nearing the final lap of the concert, more and more people were starting to trail off, and the floor was decidedly emptier at the end of the show than it had been when Dark Tranquillity started out. In contrast, the spirit of those of us who were still here, was much, much higher!
To put it plainly, Dark Tranquillity delivered a stellar show from beginning to end, and they were without doubt the winners of the night’s musical brawl.


Phantom Days
Focus Shift
Monochromatic Stains
Forward Momentum
Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive)
The Dark Unbroken
Final Resistance
The New Build
Identical To None
The Treason Wall
Lost To Apathy
Misery’s Crown

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