June 2011

Concert: D-A-D

Unexpectedly I ended up at a D-A-D concert last night, arranged by Aarhus University to celebrate (some would say ‘apologise for’) the new restructuring of the university administration. Two things came to mind as I was watching the show. Before continuing I should mention that as a teenager I listened to D-A-D a lot, like so many other Danes born in the 80’s.

So, the first thing that occurred to me was that D-A-D is not unlike an American burger chain (pick your favourite among McDonald’s and Burger King, but exclude Jack in the Box and Wendy’s — they’re too good):

  • it’s good, but not amazing
  • always the same, you know what you get
  • you can go without it, but if you haven’t had it for a while a need starts to build

Musically D-A-D is not amazing, neither the lyrics nor the guitar riffs. They are good, but not amazing. Perhaps one illustration of this is that the bassist didn’t move his right hand doing most of the concert.

Moving on to the second point, they have hardly changed since I saw them ten years ago. Most importantly: the songs are the same with one or two exceptions, but also making it very easy to shout along. They still bring a huge cow’s head, and the band members still run around the stage, only a bit slower now.

To an extend these two things imply that you can go for a while without any big need to see or listen to them. However, after some time, you’re really happy to see them play again, which brings us to the second thing that occurred to me: why I find a lot of concerts today boring. The music can be great but often the performance on stage is straight-off boring, most recently noted at Northside Festival — the music was good but nothing to watch. D-A-D on the other hand put on one hell of a show! Unlike most bands this includes:

  • smoke — but also proper 2m tall flames
  • light effects — but also fireworks, including a scene where the bassist run around the entire stage wearing a Mohawk fireworks helmet
  • drum solo — only with D-A-D the drummer is put in focus by being suspended from a crane 10m above the audience, or by strapping himself to his chair and then being raised into a full vertical position (in both cases complete with drum kit of course)
  • fancy guitars — which for the bassist means both a transparent guitar, a rocket guitar, and an obscure reversed guitar

As mentioned above there’s also a big cow’s head in the background, featuring a screen projecting film clips matching each song. And the tight leather clothes of the bassist with the word ‘nasty’ printed across the arse, which he on at least one occasion clearly pointed out by bending down.

So there it is: growing up with these sort of concert is bound to make concerts where they just play boring! It was a great pleasure being entertained by these guys again, thinking that instead of growing up they have spent the time coming up with new stupid things to do on stage. Besides making it very easy to sing along they also made it very easy to smile.