Jakob Stegelmann & Aarhus Symphony Orchestra

Copenhell - 2023

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Five long years since Jakob Stegelmann & Aarhus Symphony Orchestra devastated Copenhell.
Five long years of fans wondering; “Is this the year they’ll come back?”
Five long years, and the wait was finally over…

“When I was younger, my hopes were that a giant monster would come along and trample us. Wouldn’t that be awesome?!”
- Jakob Stegelmann (host)

Like last time, Jakob Stegelmann (and from now on you’ll have to fill in the rest yourself, because I can’t be bothered writing it all out every time) played early on in the day, possibly to lure more festival goers out of sleep and into the festival area, but strangely, especially given the amount of support and praise the act got for their last visit, they had now been bumped down from the main stage, Helvíti, to the second stage, Hades, and you could feel it! The crowd was completely overpacked straight from the start, and I don’t think you could have fitted one more person in there!
The orchestra kicked things off with John Williams’ The Imperial March, and the doom-laden melody was the perfect way to get things going, as the crowd sang loudly along and threw their devil horns in the air.
The orchestra started out with several classical film score themes this day, mainly from monster and horror movies, but ending the first section and lightening the mood quite a bit, we were given Gioachino Rossini’s William Tell Overture.

“I know there’s a band called Gojira, but I thought you should have the original stuff!”
- Stegelmann (host)

The middle section of the set was made up of two longer medleys, because apparently this constellation can’t just go on playing for as long as they want, which is a shame in itself.
Anyway, the first medley consisted of video game themes, and I was delighted to hear F-Zero being picked as the first one, as this is a game I’ve played a’plenty in my youth, and is one of my favourite racing games.
After this, it was time for a cartoon medley, because who doesn’t love cartoons, honestly? I loved hearing Danny Elfman’s The Simpsons Theme, and well, so did everyone else as well - and the orchestra, what musical madness. That was truly impressive!

Mentioning Danny Elfman; if John Williams was the composer sweetheart at Stegelmann’s last visit, Elfman was certainly the man this time around, what with getting not only The Simpsons in there, but also his themes from Batman and Avengers: Age Of Ultron.
What you might have been able to glean from this, is what the theme of the third section of the set was. Yep, you’re right, it’s super heroes. Definitely another topic close to Stegelmann’s heart, no doubt about that. Still, for all the shiny and new Marvel and DC adventures being spat out at us at an alarming pace, nothing could beat Neal Hefti’s classic 60ies Batman Theme, in which the conductor, Peter Ettrup Larsen, also conducted the crowd’s sing-along, something both he and the crowd cherished highly.

Crowd participation was a large part of the show in fact, especially impressive given that it was still early in the festival day. When not loudly chanting “Jakob” over and over, the audience was applauding and singing/humming along to several of the themes played.
There was a great old circle pit for In The Hall Of The Mountain King, which was timed with the tempo of the music, first at a walking pace, then slowly increasing to the final crescendo where everyone was running flat out. For Avengers: Age Of Ultron, the crowd was asked to make their best superhero crowdsurf, and they delivered, of course. Nothing got quite the cheers going though, as the Batman Theme mentioned above, and of course with the final melody of the day, The Gremlins Rag, which we of course also know as the theme music for Troldspejlet, Jakob Stegelmann’s revered TV show.

We’ve circled around the music for a long time now, but of course none of this would be happening without Danish nerds media darling number one, Jakob Stegelmann. He was there and ever present like a guiding light throughout the show, and he has of course been one of the main planners of the setlist, as well as sharing personal anecdotes and funny stories between the songs, keeping everything running smoothly, just like we know him to do in all of his outlets.

Yes, Jakob Stegelmann & Aarhus Symphony Orchestra delivered a superb win one more time at Copenhell, where the band (using the term loosely here) seemed to have as much fun as the crowd! We want more for the future, but Copenhell, please for the love of whatever deity you follow, put this act back on the main stage where it belongs!


The Imperial March (The Empire Strikes Back, 1980) (John Williams cover)
Main Title (Jaws, 1975) (John Williams cover9
Halloween Theme - Main Title (Halloween, 1978) (John Carpenter cover)
Main Title - The Terminator (Terminator, 1984) (Brad Fiedel cover)
Main Title (King Kong, 1933) (Max Steiner cover)
Main Title (Godzilla, 1954) (Akira Ifukube cover)
William Tell Overture (Gioachino Rossino cover)
F-Zero / DOOM / Castlevania / Sonic The Hedgehog / Street Fighter II / Super Mario Bros.
Disney Sjov / Merry Melodies / The Simpsons / Woody Woodpecker
In The Hall Of The Mountain King (Edvard Grieg cover)
Spider-Man (Spider-Man, 1967) (Paul Francis Webster & Robert Harris cover)
New Avengers - Avengers: Age Of Ultron (Avengers: Age Of Ultron, 2015) (Danny Elfman cover)
The Batman Theme (Batman, 1989) (Danny Elfman cover)
Batman Theme (Batman, 1966) (Neal Hefti cover)
The 20th Century Fox Fanfare (20th Century Fox, 1933) (Alfred Newman cover)
Star Wars Theme (Star Wars, 1977) (John Williams cover)
The Gremlins Rag (Gremlins, 1984) (Jerry Goldsmith cover)

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