LKA Longhorn, Stuttgart - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

The Into Darkness tour was drawing to an end, only two more dates after this one, and it felt as though Pain was really trying to squeeze it for all it had now before the finish line.
How was Stuttgart going to handle it..?

“How are you doing? Let’s drink some vodka! No vodka?! Aw...”
- Peter Tägtgren (vocals/guitar)

First of all, I’d like to point out that I was quite impressed with the sheer size of the place. I have never been to the LKA Longhorn before, or Stuttgart for that matter, and being placed out in some industrial looking neighbourhood, the Longhorn mostly reminded me of an abandoned warehouse or possibly airplane hangar from the outside. Going in, it still looked quite massive, still reminding me of a large warehouse that had been completely stripped from everything but the necessary shell and then brought back to life as a concert hall. Judging from the sparse decorations (mostly consisting of wall-paintings and some old tour posters), I’d say this place was mostly or even entirely used for rock and metal concerts, which was fine by me.
To the right of me, there was a small local metal market next to the official merch stand, followed by a long bar which reached almost all the way to the stage, and in the middle (to about halfway through the hall) and to my left, there were heightened podiums with chairs and tables for the older and/or quieter audience. Above right was the backstage area in a closed off room with windows facing out into the hall, and from that place a single staircase wound down to the side of the stage.

“Stuttgart, we’re going in!”
- Tägtgren (while pushing his one index finger through a circle made from his opposite index finger and thumb - you get the idea)

Striding down the stairs, Pain once again took the stage as the main act of the event, and with a hall well filled with expectant faces they went straight for it with Same Old Song.
So far, things were looking quite as they had done in Hamburg two days ago (check the previous review), which of course was only a good thing as that show had rocked! It didn’t take long to notice that something was different though...
It wasn’t the set, that looked just as it had done before, and it wasn’t in a sense the performance either, as it was as good and lively as it ever was (maybe even better); no, the difference I noticed tonight was that Tägtgren seemed much more talkative than he usually is. Sometimes firing up for the jokes, he also spent some time speaking seriously to us, especially so with a much more effective advertisement of their newly released DVD, We Come In Peace, than he had managed in Hamburg, but without forgetting the usual stuff about how great it was to be here and such. You know bands say that to each and every crowd they see, but you eat it raw anyway as long as it’s said convincingly, and that was something Tägtgren succeeded in doing here tonight.

The performance, as I entered into earlier, was nothing short of stellar. I usually like Pain’s live performances as you can gather from our earlier reviews, but these two Into Darkness shows pushed the upper limits further into space (check the DVD cover to see what I did there), and after discussing this with Lunah (Lauridsen, our photographer), we both agreed that one of the best things about Pain is their constant progression and reinventing of themselves on stage. How many bands have you seen, where you can say the lines the frontman comes up with almost before he does, as they always seem to fall in the same place? Too many am I right?
Well, it would seem that for whatever reason, Pain doesn’t fall into this category, at least certainly not as hard as many other great and small bands we know does. One evidence of this was Michael Bohlin and Johan Husgafvel settled in making Tägtgren nervous only by looking at him before Shut Your Mouth this evening, but when it came to the actual pushing and shoving they went after each other instead!
The only one not quite up to beat this evening was David Wallin who was sitting hunched over and drooping with his head every time I looked his way. Rumours about illness in the tour-bus have been floating around the internet, and maybe that was what had gotten to him, who knows?

The crowd certainly wasn’t drooping or hunching though, it was very much alive and loud!
Even though I noticed that the audience was much smaller in the back than it had been for Moonspell, who had played just before Pain, it was nothing that could be felt up front where the pressure was just as high as it had been earlier in the night!
People were gladly shouting, clapping and headbanging along to the tunes, where Dirty Woman stuck out as one of the more appreciated of the show, and Shut Your Mouth got such a loud sing-along going that Stuttgart got to take the first few verses all by themselves. Personally, I was just glad that the vocal sound was better fitted for Dark Fields Of Pain this evening that it had been earlier on the tour.
The crowds enthusiasm didn’t go unnoticed by the band, and it certainly didn’t go unrewarded either; when the show was done, and the hall was filled by a resounding “Zugabe!”, Pain quite surprisingly did pull a real encore song out of the sleeve, a song which hadn’t even been on the setlist or anything! The song was Bye/Die, a classic which hasn’t been played as a regular part of the set for a long time (early 2009 by my calculations), and it went down with delight as the evening at LKA Longhorn finally drew to an end.

Once again, Pain delivered, and showed just why they were able to make the headlining cut of a tour in which they really didn’t fit in. They started out well, but they are also clearly a band on the rise, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ll think of next to surprise their fans.


Same Old Song
I’m Going In
Walking On Glass
Zombie Slam
Dirty Woman
Monkey Business
End Of The Line
The Great Pretender
Dark Fields Of Pain
It’s Only Them
Let Me Out
On And On
Shut Your Mouth

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