Disneyland After Dark

Den Grå Hal, Christania - 2014

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

The year had come when it was time for Danish grand old rockers D-A-D to celebrate their 30th birthday.
This was not surprisingly celebrated in style, by touring the homeland with 30 shows in 30 different venues. To make it even more special, the setlist was promised to contain a lot of material the band doesn’t usually play live.
As the tour came to an end in Copenhagen, and more precisely in the Freetown Christiania, in the venue Den Grå Hal (the grey hall), Metalmoments was of course on spot to make a full report. And get traditionally tipsy.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I think we will have a pleasant evening.”
- Jesper Binzer (vocals/guitar)

Excitement was running high as the quickly sold out venue stood in anticipating wait for the show to begin. D-A-D custom beers were being sold feverishly in the bar, and the mood was definitely in the right place.
And so the time was at hand. The lights went down, and as a loud chant from the crowd filled the room, the band members took their places on the stage. All who stood, stood with their backs to the audience, and after a short moment of tensed serenity, they all took to their instruments and played a jammed version of the main riff of their Rin Tin Tin demo song (available on the The Early Years compilation), without vocals and all the while with their backs turned.
After a minute or so of this jamming, the time for intros was over and the band turned round and went directly into Riskin’ It All, Ride My Train and Overmuch, all played in quick succession, but Overmuch containing a short birthday song jam from the band, because Jesper Binzer said we might as well get that part over with without delay.
D-A-D wasn’t rushing things though, and they certainly seemed to be in a good enough mood – why wouldn’t they be, with a large hall filled to the brim with screaming fans in front of them? It was more likely that they were anxious to get the show underway, we had after all a long way to go before the night would be over!
Accompanied by more and more enthusiastic shouting, the band then turned their eye on some much older material as Jackie O’ from the first full length was the next song to grace our ears. There were of course times where Jesper Binzer would lead us into shout marathons and sing along’s, but most of this wasn’t necessary as everyone seemed intent on proving that they knew every word to every song...

“Christiania, we’ve done something you’re not supposed to do. Christiania, we’ve fucked with an old song!”
- Jesper Binzer (vocals/guitar)

The setlist lived up to its promise as it held a lot of songs we haven’t or usually don’t hear live, but most of them were delivered in the form we know them from the albums. There were however two deviants from this form, not counting the intro that is. The first was introduced as positive proof of the possibility to be in two places at the same time, where they had done a masterful mash-up between the oldie Trucker and the much newer Monster Philosophy – someone has named it Monstertruck. I don’t know if this is official, but it is brilliant. Admittedly, I would have been happy to just hear the original version of Trucker, but I can’t deny that this medley of sorts was a true stroke of pure genius, where one line of Trucker was sung followed by a riff from Monster Philosophy. The song continued on in this fashion until we reached the chorus where Jesper Binzer would sing the Trucker chorus and between each line be answered by Jacob Binzer and Stig Pedersen who sang “you’ve got a monster philosophy!”. The song also held a girls against boys scream contest where the women would shout the “yippee, yippee, yippee ay yeah” line answered by “you’ve got a monster philosophy” by the men. In recognition of the International Women’s Day, which coincided with the show, also got a scream along all of their own, but that wasn’t until later...
The other speciality, and the song Jesper Binzer was referring to in the above comment, was none other than Counting The Cattle. Not that I realized that it was Counting The Cattle until the band reached the first chorus, this was how far it lay from the original. This new version had dropped all of the country references of old for a groovy, funky, rockin’ rhythm that took a bit of adjusting, but as soon as this was done we could see that this was also pure, unadulterated gold!
Only one thing really disappointed in this speciality gig, and that was the fact that even with all of these changes, the band was still for some unexplainable reason unable to play anything else than the worn to pieces Reconstrucdead from their heavy Helpyourselfish album – for shame D-A-D, and what the hell!?

Apart from that one final (but devastatingly idiotic) hiccup, the setlist and music truly lived up to what had been promised of this unique tour, but what about the performance?
Well, D-A-D and especially Jesper Binzer were in a good mood, no doubt about that, and the fact that all the well-known gimmicks like an enlightened Molly backdrop, Pedersen’s fire-cracker helmet and Laust Sonne’s drum-trippin’ had been cut didn’t hurt as long as the atmosphere and feeling was in place.
The problem was that despite the band rocking out, it was impossible to miss that they did so to a far lesser degree than we are used to from this quartet. It didn’t feel like laziness, but rather weariness from the road perhaps (this was the last gig of the tour after all), and especially Pedersen and Jacob Binzer had a hard time keeping up to their own reputation. Pedersen made many wardrobe changes and even more bass changes (the new Molly bass was a very nice touch), but since his performance often could be described as tired at best I wasn’t as sucked into it as I have been in the past.
It is as unanswerable a question as the one about the hen and the egg, whether the crowd should be fired up by the band, or if the band feeds on the energy of the crowd, but the fact of the matter is that the crowd wasn’t very wild either. Oh, they were into the show, no doubt about that as they were constantly singing along or simply shouting and throwing hand-signs, but apart from a couple of crowd surfers nothing much else was going on. Sure, the place was sold out, but we weren’t so tightly packed that some headbanging at the very least couldn’t fit in, but mostly people stood still and gently bobbed their heads.

D-A-D in its 30ies proved that surprises and highlights were still very much available, as seen in the music, but it also proved that the band was moving towards a midlife crisis where the loss of youthful energy was desperately trying to be hidden away by buying a flashy convertible, metaphorically speaking.
When it all comes down to it, this was one of the most uninspired gigs I have seen from D-A-D’s side. I am truly happy for what I got out of going, especially the two songs I wrote about above, both of which can and must be checked out on YouTube, and wouldn’t change it for the world, but I also hope the band takes a well needed siesta before hitting a new stage so that next time we’ll see them they will be running on all cylinders again.


Rin Tin Tin (instrumental)
Riskin’ It All
Ride My Train
Jackie O’
Cloudy Hours
Call Of The Wild / Jonnie
Trucker / Monster Philosophy
Lawrence Of Suburbia
Money Always Takes The Place Of Life
Empty Heads
Little Addict
Everything Glows
I Want What She’s Got
Counting The Cattle
Ill Will
Evil Twin
I Won’t Cut My Hair
It’s After Dark

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