Vanir

The Rock, Copenhagen - 2011

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

The main act of the folkmetal night at The Rock was Vanir, a Danish act which combine heavy riffing, oldtime instruments such as flutes and bagpipes, and death-grunts from their two main vocalists. Soundways, they go close to another Danish act, Svartsot, but still remain certain personality traits of their own. Still, a fan of the one should have no trouble getting into the others music as well.

Vanir made a fast and hard start with Af Brages Æt, no compromises neither wanted nor given. This seemed right up the large crowd’s alley however, and dancing and moshing was quick to commence in the wake of the heavy music.
This may have had something to do with the deal singer/keyboardist Andreas was trying to make with the audience, which was basically intoxication or moshing, or as he himself put it; ”If you stand still, you drink!”
Not that this was a deal really needed to be called attention upon, as by this time of night everyone was already rather affected by the flow beer from the taps, and people had also already warmed up their dancing shoes to the music of Huldre who played moments earlier.
Still, there were some crowd participations worth a special mentioning if you ask me. The first one happened rather early in the set, as a very drunken guy in red kilt and pink top managed to crawl his way up on the stage, and then was in no hurry to leave again. The band-members only smiled at him though, and had a good time with it, and eventually he decided to leave of his own accord; a bad choice it would turn out, as he fell flat from the stage, smacking down hard on the stone floor below.
Later he would return though, and just as the elephant in the old child’s tune, he had now brought another one, in the very same outfit. To be honest, the crowd made it seem more and more like a New York hardcore gig than the folkmetal concert that it really was, what with all the moshing on the floor, and all the people taking the stage. I mean, honestly, Vanir is no small group to begin with, having no less than seven members under its banner, but at one point I think the number of audience on the stage still outnumbered them, and that stage isn’t even THAT big.

Still, both crowd and band enjoyed themselves at the gig, or to be more accurate; seldom have I seen a band radiate such pure, blissful joy to be playing. In stark contrast to the grim vocals and heavy riffing being used, the large grins never left the faces of the musicians, not once! This is certainly something that wears off on the audience, and altogether it was one fun gig.
Song-wise, it was all new to me as I have no prior knowledge to speak of as it comes to this band, but they did mention that they were trying out some new material this night with the song Thyrfing, a song which saw a triplet (don’t know if this is actually a word, but basically it would mean the same as a duet, only with three persons) in the chorus between Andreas, the other singer, Mike, and the flute-girl Amanda, and I must confess that this was one of the most catchy parts of the entire night in my humble opinion.
At one point, Mike also tried to get the audience to sing along by holding his mic out, but the poor chap who had it pointed at him looked thoroughly confused by this, and didn’t produce a sound until Mike leaned down and helped him…

After Vanir was done playing, and the stage had been filled with people (in contrast to normally being emptied), there was nothing left but to head on over to get some of the cheap happy-hour beers, before skipping along homewards, whilst digesting the fun-filled evening in our hearts and ears…

Setlist:

Af Brages Æt
Elverkongens Brud
Rejsen Til Udgårdsloke
Lokes Listighed
Scotland The Brave
Thyrfing
Togtet
Langt Over Havet
Niddings Dom
Holmgang
Sutungs Mjød
Høsten
Gildet
Heimdals Kvod
Særimners Kød
Hymers Krus
Drikkevisen

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