Astra, Berlin - 2016

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

It’s been four long years since we last saw Pain. Meanwhile, Peter Tägtgren have been keeping himself busy in Hypocrisy, and with other stuff, but now it was time to return. Pain just released their eights studio album, called Coming Home, and it was time for the band to do just the opposite of that. It was time to go on tour.
Things kicked off in Berlin, and Metalmoments was there to cover it.

“Hello Berlin! How are you doing? Lots of crazy things going on.”
- Peter Tägtgren (vocals/guitar)

Not only was there a new album out, but the stage setup was new, and even more surprising, the band was new! Ok, bassist André Skaug (Clawfinger) have been helping out several times in the past, but I had never seen guitarist Greger Andersson (De Van) and drummer Sebastian Tägtgren (Infestation) before this. And yes, that is Tägtgren, as in Peter Tägtgren’s son. The apple doesn’t fall far, and all that.
It’s always a pleasure watching Skaug on stage, a fact that was cemented by the outstanding Clawfinger concert at Copenhell earlier this same year. Peter Tägtgren on his hand seldom disappoints either, so it was the new kids in class that we kept an extra good eye on. The easiest by far, of course, being Andersson, got the first scrutiny.
Andersson was an odd fellow to behold – a mesh of clothes hinted as much at urban pirate, as glam rock retro. And a bit in between, and outside. No matter what the look though, the kid could play! Although new in the outfit, and following Skaug’s lead, he could still easily rock out with the rest of them, both musically and in pure performance! Andersson was also the one handling the acoustic guitar, in the songs that required such an instrument.
Sebastian Tägtgren was well adapted to a life on the drum stool, his playing technique quickly told us that much, but what he had in his hands, as it were, he lacked in showmanship. Tägtgren the younger had an impressive way around the drums, and he utilized all his cunning as far as I could see, but he did not, regrettably, utilize the audience. It was hard enough seeing him behind that big rig, but he didn’t exactly seek out attention, which would have been nice.

Still, the show as a whole was really rockin’! Sure, this spoke more to us musically, than much of the support had done, and it is an extra treat to know the songs you want to sing along to, but it was more than that – Pain reached out over the edge of the seat, and grabbed the audience by the short hairs! In a positive way. There was an underlying energy to it, that worked in another, more profound way, that wasn’t just the moving about part. All bands had been good at that, but this was more gripping. This compelled us to join in, instead of being silent bystanders.
It seemed rather clear to me, that the size of the audience had in fact grown yet again, as it had between each of the bands. It was now becoming increasingly hot at Astra.
The Berlin crowd was also becoming increasingly vocal – people were singing during the songs, cheering between them, and as Peter Tägtgren was finishing up introducing his band mates, someone called out “Where’s Peter?”, to which he, wittily, replied “I don’t know. My name is Luka, and I’m the pain in the ass!”. Guess what song came next.
In the setlist, the focus lay heavily on the album, with a total of seven songs played from it. My own personal favourite of them was Black Knight Satellite, which to me spells classic Pain song-writing. However, it was interesting, as well as entertaining, to hear A Wannabe, Coming Home, and Starseed. They sounded good of course, but I’m unsure how often they will actually be played after this tour, as they require an acoustic guitar.
Then again, Call Me didn’t require Joakim Brodén, as they used a pre-recorded vocal track for him. Not my favourite option for dealing with such adversities, but at least the band member played along, and walked around to find out where the sound was coming from. An amusing take on it, always good.

Peter Tägtgren, an experienced stage man, knew how to butter the crowd as well of course, calling Berlin his second home, following the Lindemann project. Till Lindemann was also dedicated a song, It’s Only Them, but if that should be taken as a positive thing, given the nature of the lyrics, is hard to tell.
He also gave the crowd room to go crazy, as they took over singing in the ending anthem Shut Your Mouth, after which all parts of Pain took a well-deserved bow.
It’s interesting with premieres, as this show was, as they are usually full of built up energy, but not always as sleek and trained as later shows down the road becomes by the daily extra rehearsal. This particular show, had all the energy we could wish for, but I never really noticed any beginner’s mistakes being made. It was clear to me, and everyone beside me, why Pain was the main attraction of this tour – they were simply the best.


Designed To Piss You Off
Suicide Machine
Th Great Pretender
A Wannabe
Zombie Slam
Monkey Business
End Of The Line
It’s Only Them
Pain In The Ass
I’m Going In
Coming Home
Call Me
Black Knight Satellite
Dirty Woman
Shut Your Mouth

Latest uploads: