Copenhell - 2016

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

The opening day of Copenhell provided us with the biggest rock/sleaze band the festival had on its roster – Sixx:A.M.!
If someone here doesn’t know, this is the current band of Nikki Sixx, of Mötley Crüe fame. Together with him, we have guitarist DJ Ashba, previously of Guns N’ Roses among other things, and vocalist James Michael, who has this as his main claim to onstage fame, otherwise mostly working in the background for other bands and artists.

With them on tour, we also have drummer Dustin Steinke (or is he a full-time member? I’ve found ambiguous info on the subject), and the two dancer/backing vocalists Amber Vanbuskirk and Melissa Harding. With this amount of people on stage, one could fear that even the Hades stage would be a bit small, but they managed to pull it off quite well.
It wasn’t only crowded on the stage however – Sixx:A.M. was clearly in high demand amongst the Danish fans, and a huge portion of the festival goers had shown up to watch the show. Needless to say, they pulled it off as well!
Sixx:A.M. kicked the show off with the lively punch known as This Is Gonna Hurt, and while the crowd loved it, I must admit that it showed me a problem that wouldn’t go away for the rest of the show. Well, apart from me not liking this type of music very much. A given fact is that this type of rock/metal/whathaveyou demands rock stars to lead them. Rock Stars. Now, Nikki Sixx is a veteran at this game, he has honed and perfected his style through the years, and even though I’m not a fan of DJ Ashba, I can’t take away from his inherent rock stardom. James Michael however, is a different matter. He certainly does dress the part, and technically, he does everything he should, but somehow, there’s not enough of a fire in him. He doesn’t stand out. Neither vocally nor in his performance.
This made me lose a bit of the focus the show needed, which was sad, because the band as a whole had certainly lined up to deliver a quite entertaining time.

Even the weather turned against Sixx:A.M. in the end. It had been raining to begin with, but it took a turn for the worse during the show, going as bad as knocking out the electricity at the festival. I can’t say just how much of the festival was affected by this, but it was bad. We had found shelter in a nearby bar, which went black, and at the same time, everything went silent. I couldn’t see the stage properly from where I was, but even when the power was finally back on, there was no time to pick up the pieces and carry on.
For the fans of the band, which I have already mentioned there were several, I regret this outcome, but for my own sake, well, I won’t lose any sleep over it. Let’s just leave it at that.

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