Markthalle, Hamburg - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

In the late fall of 2012 Pain was headlining the Into Darkness tour. At the same time as being the main act out of the five bands of the tour, they were also definitely the odd man out of the bunch.
Scar Of The Sun, Lake Of Tears, Swallow The Sun and Moonspell can all easily be bunched together under a gothic rock/metal moniker, one which Pain certainly does not fit into with their techno/hard rock style of metal. Still, they were there, so why not make the most of it?

“Let’s do something funny, I don’t know what...”
- Tägtgren (guitar/vocals)

Pain was sporting an all new stage setup for this tour, which saw the cover art of their newly released DVD We Come In Peace in heavy use both on the backdrop, the standing stage banners and the banner on the front of the drum-podium. The double bass drums were once again decorated with the metal outcut of the Painhead mascot which the band has used for a while now.
Upon entering the stage, we saw that Michael Bohlin was sporting sport shoes and a V-shaped Jackson guitar in a matching red and black design, Johan Husgafvel was wearing an all new dark eye-shadow to complement his techno metal outfit, and to complete the insane mishmash clash of styles and colour, Peter Tägtgren was dressed in a straitjacket. Even with all of this, they didn’t manage quite as wide a diversity as Lake Of Tears had presented, but then again I can’t see how that would be possible for anyone...

In an unusual turn of events, Pain started out with Same Old Song, a song often played but almost always towards the very end of the show, already here giving hints that this would be anything but the same old song...
What Same Old Song also showed us was how extremely guitar heavy this show would be in the sound department; the sound in general was actually very nicely set up, letting everything get through clearly, but the keyboard sounds were low in the mix, giving the overall sound a heavy and aggressive tone which fit the band well this evening. A song which this really was a benefit for was one of my all-time favourites of this band, Dark Fields Of Pain, which sounded better than I believe I have ever heard it before, live at least. Now, if only they had remembered to keep Tägtgren’s mic turned on during the song... (ok, that’s exaggerating it, but the vocals were set very low in Dark Fields Of Pain or maybe the lower key also came with a lower volume, I don’t know)
All in all though, the 13 songs the band had time to play were nicely stitched together, and even though this specific set gave no real surprises, the songs were arranged in an effective manner to bring some dynamics to the overall set.

It was in the performance that the band got to really shine though, and truly prove its worth as a headlining act as the four musicians blew the competition out of the water even though it was Pain itself which didn’t really belong in this crowd.
Sure, mostly it was the walk around and headbang kind of thing we were presented with, where Tägtgren should be careful not to trip on the long sleeves of his shirt, but the connection to the audience while doing so was amazing! Especially Tägtgren and Bohlin were good at this, whereas Husgafvel, even though being lively enough in his movement, didn’t seem to make any direct eye-contact with anyone. David Wallin is of course excused in discussion as he was sitting quite in the dark for most of the time on his podium in the back and didn’t have much to work with in this aspect of the performance...
Bohlin was also the bravest of the bunch, taking a carefree jump down into and run through the security pit (no broken toes this time around I hope), whereas Tägtgren grew visibly nervous as the “push and shove” part of Shut Your Mouth was approaching, proving once and for all the effect of punishment and muscle memory...

“It’s the last dance for tonight people!”
- Peter Tägtgren (guitar/vocals)

The Hamburgian (or is that Hamburgese?) crowd was apparently not bothered either by the sudden change of style of the night brought on by the four Swedes; it was still quite large, filling up most of the floor and the upper sections of Markthalle.
I’ll admit to it being a rather calm crowd with the exception of some loudly appreciative shouts and applause between songs; sure, there was headbanging and the likes as well, but not nearly to the extent that I had imagined it. This should however not be misunderstood as if the crowd wasn’t interested in Pain though, as I hinted at above Hamburg was very enthusiastic about being visited by Pain, this was a feeling that was very much present at the concert! This was possibly helped along by the fact that Tägtgren didn’t mess up this night by calling the city by another name, something that apparently has happened so often in the past that the crew felt obliged to plaster no less than three large notes saying Hamburg in capital letters on the stage in front of the frontman!

So the odd man out came, saw and conquered.
With a winning combination of a truckload of energy, a good sound, a humorous nature and a willing crowd, Pain ended up being the best act of the evening!


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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