Copenhell - 2013

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

“Danish is in my blood!”
- Phil Anselmo (vocals)

That’s what he opened with, but whether he meant that he had Danish relatives, or that he had gotten drunk on the official Copenhell Moonshine before the gig was more unclear.
That he was in fact drunk wasn’t.

“You don’t have to cheer at everything I say, this ain’t no fucking Mötley Crüe concert!”
- Anselmo (vocals)

Drunk or not, the band was putting on quite a spectacle for the Copenhell audience – a lot of the hit songs, if one can call them that, were played, dedications were handed out left and right, and the band was... Ugly...
Yes, ugly. This was in fact something Anselmo took great pride in; as Kirk Windstein threw of his shirt in Stone The Crow and Anselmo began making stupid looking grimaces, he commented that he loved being ugly and old. Neither was he too clever looking as he tried to use the microphone as a bandana during the solo in Pillars Of Eternity, a song that also saw Windstein use a pipe that someone had thrown up from the crowd...
Old or not, Anselmo still proved that he had some of the old Pantera energy in him as he delivered a rather powerful performance as well, in the songs he wasn’t too busy messing around in. The rest of the band was also very into the whole thing, where Windstein was Anselmo’s biggest playmate (not in the fold-out sense) and the rest of the gang seemed to take it just a little bit more seriously, without losing their sense of humour though – when the crowd’s band name chanting grew louder, the whole band was right there ready to play along, and Pepper Keenan was even seen doing a short set of dance moves in appreciation.
In the same way, the crowd was shown appreciation by having a song dedicated to them, Ghosts Along The Mississippi, and as I mentioned above, more dedications were handed out over the evening, like Lifer to Dimebag Darrell, Lysergik Funeral Procession to Jeff Hanneman, and New Orleans Is A Dying Whore went out to, well, Anselmo himself.

As I haven’t seen Down for nigh on four years, it surprised me to see that Rex Brown wasn’t with them on bass anymore, even though the change to Patrick Bruders of Crowbar fame should come as no news to fans that follow the band more closely than I do. This wasn’t the only new face on the stage however, even though it was the only permanent one – during Witchripper, Testament’s Chuck Billy (whom the song was also dedicated to) was pulled in on stage to loud cheers from the crowd, and he even got to do some backing vocals at the end of the song before returning to the side of the stage where he could enjoy the rest of the show.
Or almost at least. You see, the largest line-up change was yet to come, and it happened in the final song of the evening, Bury Me In Smoke, where Windstein took over on vocals, and guitars were handled by Alex Skolnick (Testament) and some blond guy I didn’t immediately recognise (Anselmo had already in Stone The Crow tried his luck with the instrument but messed it up as he was too drunk), and the drummer of Testament took over for Jimmy Bower so that he could join his band mates in the farewell party they were having on the stage.

The party wasn’t just up on the stage though, and the dedication earlier wasn’t just for show either, the crowd was really grooving on Down.
This was quite possibly the largest crowd of the day, and the pressure was on. I have already mentioned the loud chants that went up between several of the songs, but it didn’t stop there.
No, the good old mosh was there and it was impressive, although not as impressive as the amount of crowd surfers sailing by. It had started out in a calm manner, but by the time the band was playing Losing All, this activity really hit the stride and gave the guards their money’s worth of work!
Of course there was singing as well, but never as much as in the very end when only Anselmo was left on stage and he demanded that we all join him in singing a few lines from Stairway To Heaven or he wouldn’t leave. I don’t actually think that anyone wanted him to leave, but everyone joined in anyway and it was an oddly serene ending to an otherwise slightly chaotic show.

The Copenhell crowd simply loved Down. Me, I wasn’t as convinced. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the show a lot, but I wasn’t as blown away by them as it seemed most of the people around me were.
Still, a very good and entertaining show, even though I wasn’t too drunk during it...


Eyes Of The South
Lysergik Funeral Procession
Hail The Leaf
Ghosts Along The Mississippi
Pillars Of Eternity
New Orleans Is A Dying Whore
Losing All
Underneath Everything
Stone The Crow
Bury Me In Smoke

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