Metalcamp - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Pain had the prominent slot of being the last band before the main act on the main stage on the final day of Metalcamp, and this was their time to prove their worth to the Slovenian crowd, as they had not been there since 2007.

At a first glance, things were looking good for the band as well, as they had a very large crowd gathered even before the gig began, but I was surprised to see that the large crowd didn’t really do much even as the band entered with the fast set-opener Crashed. The band on the other hand looked full of motivation and energy, but to a start they seemed more intent on directing it towards each other. There’s nothing wrong with a band having fun with each other, which the members of Pain were clearly having, but you have to involve the audience at some point as well.
I’m guessing this had a strong factor in the lack of crowd involvement in the beginning, but don’t think for a second that we were facing a complete stand-still, as there were both crowd-surfers and regular shouters and screamers; it was only that they didn’t fill all that much in the complete number of the crowd.
Things could not go on this way without heading for disaster, and you know what? Things did not go on this way – little by little the band opened up to let the audience in on the fun they themselves had had from the second they entered the stage, and at the same rate Slovenia was opening up to the Swedish band. In the 4th song, Monkey Business, there was a clearly audible “hey” chant going on in the crowd, and from there on out the party would only grow!

An unusual trait that really helped the band along as well was that they had managed to get a very good sound going for this show, allowing for all the instruments to come through clearly without losing any heaviness or aggression. If you’ve been to a Pain show before, or more than one for that matter, you will be familiar with what I’m talking about here, and as Pain has some very melodic parts in their music which is oftentimes played on the keyboard which they don’t use live, I have witnessed too many concerts with this band where all of the effects were forgotten as if someone didn’t consider the pre-recorded track not worth shoving in there.
This was, as I mentioned, not an issue here though, and it was a delight to hear the songs coming out nearly as they were intended!
Pain is, maybe not first and foremost, but certainly in equal parts at the least, a live act as well, and in this setting more factors than the sound play in. I’m glad to report that the members of the band were doing their bit to keep these going as well; Peter Tägtgren didn’t get to speak very much between songs, but I got the feeling that this was because of their limited stage-time (they had an hour) more than anything else, and in their defence, if such is needed, the band kept the energy up throughout the entire show.

I mentioned earlier that both band and crowd were moving closer to each other, and at that time I was meaning it in a (for lack of better word) spiritual sense, but towards the end of the show, this became a reality in a strictly physical way as well, as Michael Bohlin jumped down unto one of the speakers in front of the stage and then further into the security pit to play during On And On. As the band was going to do their recently created trick with changing mic’s with each other during the chorus, Tägtgren and Johan Husgafvel now had a hell of a time reaching from one end of the stage to the other before having to sing again!
Bohlin actually broke a toe because of this stunt we later learned, but it wasn’t visible on him at the time, as he kept up the tempo for the rest of the gig.
The band was also in a very giving mode this evening, and thus we saw David Wallin throwing a can of beer after Husgafvel during The Great Pretender, and we saw Bohlin throwing several of his guitar-picks out for the fans even as they were still playing the final song. The fans were craving more at this time though, and they were doing so in a very loud manner. The interesting bit was that the band was also all for playing us more songs, but they were cut off from the side of the stage, as the crew had to get the stage ready for Sabaton who were up next (could one hope for a Tägtgren guest appearance in Got Mit Uns?). Still, they did spend some time throwing a bunch of drum-sticks and guitar-picks out for the now warmed up fans who were still yelling for more!

This was a definite win for Pain, not from beginning to end, but in the building and reaching the top kind of way, and for many of the factors which I have already mentioned, this ranks high amongst Pain shows I have seen.
The best part about the band though, is the fact that they have proven time and again that they aren’t afraid of trying new things, both in their performance, but also when it comes to re-writing the setlist in the middle of a tour – even though I was sad to see Dark Fields Of Pain gone, especially since they now had a sound that would do it justice, I was impressed that they had done the kind of changes they had since we saw them at Rockharz less than a month earlier!


Walking On Glass
I’m Going In
Monkey Business
Dirty Woman
Zombie Slam
Suicide Machine
It’s Only Them
Dancing With The Dead
The Great Pretender
On And On
Same Old Song
Shut Your Mouth

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