Disneyland After Dark

DR Koncerthuset, Copenhagen - 2009

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

This special event, the 25th birthday of Danish super group D:A:D (or Disneyland After Dark if you will) was held in the concert hall Koncerthuset of DR Byen (Danish Radio and Television’s main office), and was hosted by the famous Danish radio host Alex Nyborg Madsen (also singer of Savage Affair). The small attendance (about 250 visitors) was by special invitation only, and we were lucky enough to win a pair of tickets from the competition hosted on the bands homepage the week before.
So, even though we weren’t actually there as press, we decided it would be a fun thing to cover for you our dear readers, as it was a very special day. So, here it is, enjoy!

“This will be strange.”
- Jesper Binzer (vocals/guitar)

This short sentence uttered by vocalist/guitarist Jesper Binzer was in every aspect true. Not only would the concert be interwoven by some interviews; this was also D:A:D’s first all acoustic concert (ok, so they didn’t stick completely to this, but almost) and they were also visited by four members of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra who backed them up in several of the songs.
Apart from doing his usual duty as frontman, Jesper Binzer was also using his time sinking down considerable amounts of tea. This was apparently due to him feeling a bit worn after spending some time playing in Finland just prior to this show. The rest of the boys seemed to be in good health though; Stig Pedersen was dressed in a (for him) conservative white jacket and scarf as he played on a transparent bass filled with blue lights. Jacob Binzer was playing a variety of acoustic and electrical guitars, as well as a ukulele for some parts, and Laust Sonne was for this evening renamed The Laust Quartet as he was on both drum, guitar, piano and chorus duty.

The show started out, after a crowd warm up by Nyborg Madsen, with three songs which really got the show going, just as they should. First up, and setting the mood was the great rock track Everything Glows; it was later followed by songs from all ages of D:A:D, although the recent years were much more visited than the older stuff.
The crowd (which was a mixed bunch of people as all Danes, no matter sex, status or whatever seem to love D:A:D) was into it from the first note and all the way to the final thanks; some even longer as they hung around afterwards, hoping to get a glimpse and perhaps a word or two with the band.

But we’re not that far into the show yet; after the first three songs it was time for Nyborg Madsen to share the stage with the band members for the first interview part. The questions put here stretched from the very beginning of the career to the point of their first visit in the U.S.A.
One interesting question to arise was of course why exactly the 3rd of March is considered the birthday of D:A:D, and the answer was simply that this was the date for their first gig with a full line-up as Jesper’s brother Jacob had just joined the ranks, and it was also the first gig for which they got paid. The salary was a staggering amount of 1100 DKR each (about 140 euro or 180 US dollars).
D:A:D’s first ever radio interview was also played, in which they were asked why they play music. After this, Nyborg Madsen fittingly asked them why they play music now. The answers from then were; for fun, money and fame, whereas the answers from today were more in line of it being a necessity of life (and also, with a grin on their faces, that they missed their chance at an education).

After some more questions and also interview clips from crew and friends of past, it was again time for some music.
This time he band were on their own, as the string quartet was taking a break and the first song was It Changes Everything, which also came with an explanation. The song was written in the US, and at first they couldn’t find a theme for it. At the time they were working with an American producer, and after 9-11 he more and more took up drinking which ended in the band firing him. But at least the song finally found something to be about.

So, three songs later it was again time for an interview intermission, which took of where the other one had left off. It started with talking about how the American company, who did not understand Danish humour, thought the band was childish and that their music video (Bad Craziness) belonged on Nickelodeon rather than any serious music channel.
After the ‘normal’ questions it was time for the questions the audience had had the opportunity to submit prior to the show, and they ranged all the way from shampoo brands to future dreams. As a last thing the band was presented with a birthday cake in the shape of Molly, their sweet cows-head mascot.
As soon as this was finished it was time for a short break for the band, as the technicians set up for the last, and longest, part of the concert to begin. This was also supposed to go out live via TV Avisen (a Danish news-TV program), although later we found out that it didn’t appear there anyway. Probably some technical problem, but I’m not sure.

Still, the most important was that we were all there to witness this incredibly intimate, entertaining event.
Again, the band was joined by the string quartet from the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, whom they said they had missed during the last three songs.
This, the main part of the set started with something good; Something Good, and it lasted for another forty or so minutes, where the bandmembers, still sitting on their chairs (well, not Sonne as he moved around from instrument to instrument) displayed a nerve which is normally not possible on the larger stages with the higher volume and more distortion. Jesper Binzer’s voice may have been in a bad shape after the Finland tour, but to me the lower keys and gruffer sound worked very well with the theme of the night, and where it was needed Sonne was there to pick up the high stuff.
Jacob Binzer gave a blazing ukulele solo in what was to be the final song of the evening, Sleeping My Day Away, but as neither the crowd nor the band was ready to go home, they were kind enough to play a real encore in the form of Marlboro Man.

The only thing I didn’t understand about this very special event is why they did not close with It’s After Dark. Ok, so it’s been played a lot of times, but when you’ve done the ultimate ending song (as D:A:D certainly have done with this one) why not use it?
Apart from that rather small thing the evening can be counted as nothing less than a complete success, and we can’t wait for what will happen in the next 25 years.


Everything Glows
Money Always Takes The Place Of Life
To Deep For Me
(Interview pt.1)
It Changes Everything
Little Addict
Soft Dogs
(Interview pt.2)
Something Good
As Common As
Mad Days
If I Succeed
Grow Or Pay
Up Up Over The Mountain Top
Sleeping My Day Away
Marlboro Man

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