Rockharz - 2011

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Many genres were represented at the Rockharz 2011, and so it was quite possible for us to move straight from Norwegian post black metal to American old-school hardcore in the beautiful form of Pro-Pain.

This was to be a no frills full on blast of metal straight to the face, loudly kicked off by Foul Taste Of Freedom, Death On The Dance Floor and Murder 101, the same way the bands’ first album which was celebrating its twentieth birthday, starts out. After this we quickly moved from song to song without any pauses to catch our breath, or at least this was the way of things in the beginning. Eventually, vocalist/bassist Gary Meskil would address the crowd with little comments here and there, but still without taking much time away from the music.
Normally, this is something I would appreciate if more bands would learn from as you get more songs for the same price as it were, but as with everything, things can go too far as well and at this gig I actually missed a bit of band/audience interaction.
But what our dear vocalist may have lacked in performance this day, the two guitarists, Tom Klimchuck and Marshall Stephens, tried their best at making up for. With their wild sprints back and forth, some jumping, and intense yet happy expressions they came a long way, and actually lifted the show quite a bit.

Exactly how many people were around to witness this is hard to say, as they covered a lot of ground but also kept a respectable distance to each other. Some life was shown here what with the frontline being heavy headbanging addicts and the audience sending out the first crowd-surfers of the day, but I would have thought that Pro-Pain would be the instigators of a much wilder mosh than what we got here. I suppose the exceedingly warm weather could have had its share in this, but again I must return to the fact that a better crowd-connection might have done the trick as well.

Still, if it was music you came for, you would have been truly satisfied. Newer songs were mixed up with older classics, and even though some wishes probably went unsatisfied, it was still a good enough selection for the 50 minutes of stage time the band had at their disposal. The ending Make War (Not Love) saw some good action and scream-along starting up, but it was a bit late at this point to truly get into it…
Despite this, Pro-Pain surely did deliver a good show, but it is not something they will be remembered for in light of some of the other shows at this festival, and certainly not one of their own best gigs either.

Setlist (incomplete):

Foul Taste Of Freedom
Death On The Dance Floor
Murder 101
In For The Kill
Make War (Not Love)

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