Disneyland After Dark

Ballerup Super Arena, Ballerup - 2014

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Mid-November had reached the country of Denmark in the year 2014, and with it came the grand finale to the 30th anniversary tour of everybody’s favourite rock band, D-A-D.
The show was set in the sports hall Ballerup Super Arena, located a short way west northwest outside of Copenhagen, and the band had promised a blast of an evening. Two bands had warmed the crowd up, and now it was time for the grand old masters themselves to blow the roof off the building…

“Do you think that the west can take some heavy metal?!”
- Jesper Binzer (vocals/guitar)

The lights went down, the western-music intro began playing, and in the dark we could see Stig Pedersen’s blue-light bass moving around – the lights came back on, and on the now opened up and larger stage with the large Molly head in the back and the Overmuch speaker racks looming beside the sky-scraper drumkit of Laust Sonne, we could see D-A-D ready for action.
The audience shouted and cheered, and the band went straight into the classic Jihad which has proven time and again to be a powerful and cheerful way to start a show – straight to the point.
Now, this marks the fifth show we’ve seen with D-A-D on this tour, which for us began back in the spring of this year in Den Grå Hal in Christiania, going through a couple of festivals and a single support stint for another band, and the big question on everybody’s lips would easily be; “How can they renew themselves, how to keep it fresh?”
A mighty fine question I’d say, and one we were going to find an answer to…

Well, let’s start by saying that on some levels D-A-D managed to do something new, and on others not so much. This was a show that varied from great and positive surprises to involuntary Spinal Tap references.
The setlist in itself was pretty much how we remembered it from earlier shows on the tour, no surprise there. Good and solid songs which everyone knew and could sing along to. What I didn’t get here, was they had chosen to drop the new version of Counting The Cattle, which had been a huge success when we saw that, and instead of the highly entertaining Trucker / Monster Philosophy mash-up the band decided to just do the original take on the latter song, again a great mystery as to why.
Also, for some unknown reason, nearly every single song had a prolonged solo of some kind put in it. Mostly it was Jacob ‘Cobber’ Binzer who got to show off his string-bending talent, but Sonne also got no less than three drum-solo sections. If my calculations are correct, I believe they could have managed another three, maybe even four, entire songs if they would have kept down the jamming. To each his/her own if that’s a good thing or not, but for me it sucked some momentum out of the gig after a while, even if it was fun to begin with.

“These shoes have been to 100 D-A-D concerts. There are two guys in this room that have been to every single D-A-D concert around the world however. That’s Nasty Stig and myself!”
- Jesper Binzer (vocals/guitar)

Being the main spokesman of the band that he is, Jesper Binzer took to talking between most of the songs, and some jokes I hadn’t heard before, whereas several others are staples of the show as much as some of the songs are. It was ok, it never took too long, and he seemed genuinely present in saying them, so that was ok.
Also ok was the look of the band – the stage setup and all looks good, and a new detail had been added to the attire, as Pedersen was now sporting long lumps of hair from the plastic jacket he wears at the start of the show.
What was on the not so ok side, and feel free to call me old-fashioned here, was some of the missing gimmicks, most notably Pedersen’s rocket hat which he wears in Sleeping My Day Away.
Then there were the broken or near broken gimmicks as well. Take for instance the burning drumkit (which had been moved to Everything Glows this time), which didn’t burn. Now, they might have skipped that part as this was an indoor show, but I doubt that’s the reason simply judging by all the other pyro they shot off during the concert, and that was a lot!
There was also the new thing with the large balloon-filled nets hanging from the rafters – these were opened in Bad Craziness, except that one nearly wasn’t. We could see the crew guy pulling and tugging at the release-string, but for a very long time nothing happened…

Things were definitely not all bad though, if you got that impression. For one thing, and the most important one at that if you ask me, it didn’t seem like one of the ‘another day at the office’ shows, but actually felt like this was something the band had been looking forward to and were excited to give us!
Another thing was the audience – since D-A-D is such a commonly appreciated band, the audience tends to be a group of people who not necessarily attend as many shows as I’m sure many of you, our dear readers, attend, and because of this, crowd behaviour can be a swinging factor. No one behaves as badly and egotistically at shows as the common Joe and Mrs. Joe in my experience, but here the mood was good and behaviour within very acceptable limits. My favourite memory to pull from this is the guy in the wheelchair that was doing one-man circle-pit wheelies, and having the time of his life!

Overall, this was a good and solid way to end the band’s 30th anniversary. They had a strong start, went down a bit during the show due to all the solos (hell, the thrash metal section in Reconstrucdead was so long that even Pedersen went for a smoke!), and then there was a nice little twist towards the end. Yes, here we need to go back to the setlist discussion – I know I said it was traditional, but there was one song that I had definitely not seen coming, and I’m absolutely thrilled that it did. For the encore, the brothers took centre stage with their acoustic guitars, but instead of the well-known chords of Laugh ‘N’ A ½, we got Jacketless In December, a song I have only heard before on the Psychopatico live album and never thought I’d hear live!
Did D-A-D renew themselves? Yes and no, and have you come this far you should know what I mean by that.
Did they blow the roof off the building? Not quite, but they did deliver an enjoyable and entertaining show, and for now that’s good enough for me.


Evil Twin
Girl Nation
A New Age Coming In
Riding With Sue
Grow Or Pay
The Last Time In Neverland
Scare Yourself
Monster Philosophy
I Want What She’s Got
Everything Glows
Bad Craziness
Sleeping My Day Away
Jacketless In December
Laugh ‘N’ A ½
It’s After Dark

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