Tag Archives: D-A-D

Northside Festival, Day 2: Kashmir

I was introduced to Kashmir half way through secondary school – for some reason that I haven’t investigated further they are particular popular among this part of the population. And as far as I can tell as much today as 10 years ago.

Going back to these days they had just released their third album, The Good Life. And what an album! Mom In Love & Daddy In Space made it on to MTV but was not even on my top four: Lampshade, Make It Grand, Miss You, and Graceland. I should say our top four though, because we often heard and sang along in groups. An enjoyment that by the way repeated itself out of nowhere five years later on a road trip with a good friend.

Now, before moving on I should point out that Kashmir has one thing in common with D-A-D: I can’t tell if it’s actually good or if I just like it for nostalgic reasons. To the best of my knowledge they never made it that well outside Denmark, and whenever I’ve tried to play it for foreigners it hasn’t gathered nearly as many eye sparkles as when played for a fellow Dane (at my first attempt at this it was simply written off as a Radiohead clone). At any rate, it was evident that I was not alone in being excited to see them live again.

For reasons I can no longer remember, they’d decided that this concert would be a tribute to The Good Life album and hence played it in it’s full. It was brilliant, and none of the people I could hear from my position could help but to sing/scream along to less than half of the songs. I haven’t really heard them for the past five years but that made no difference – we’d abused our CDs so much 10 years ago that it’s forever imprinted as long as someone knows the first few words of every verse. And lead singer Kasper Eistrup seemed genuinely happy and touched by being there on stage in front of us.

Northside Festival, Day 1

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I’ve decided, even though I’m writing this in retrospect, to make entry for each day instead of one for the entire festival. After all, I’d normally write an entry for one concert and here we had 10 a day! :)

After the great lineup last year (including Elbow, Editors, Interpol, Suede) we bought tickets for this years Northside Festival when they came on sale – and it definitely didn’t hurt that Mumford & Sons were in the programme. For this reason it was with a sadness that I learn a few days ago that they had cancelled because of a broke arm; this was my top priority. VETO was called in as a replacement, but to be honest they could just have well put on the radio during that one hour, I wouldn’t have cared differently.

I’ll go through the bands of today below, and post a few photos along the way. Apologise for the poor quality of some of them – as usual we could only look in envy with our small pocket cameras while the official photographers were running around in front of the stage with their proper SLRs. Maybe I should look into getting whatever magic ticket whey have?

Noah and the Whale
I’ve written more details here, but in summary: still not a huge show but good music and Fink certainly has a great voice. I do like the fact that they dress up in suits. They seemed to have moved on a bit, leaving the old music (and feelings) behind: as far as I could tell they played mostly from the latest album.

The Gaslight Anthem
Also for these guys did I end up writing more than seem fit here in the summary. Played an ok concert, but I must admit that they’ve grow a bit weary on me. Seem to have grow older more mature compare to a few years ago at Hyde Park Calling.

Miles Kane
Evidently the worse half of The Last Shadow Puppets, which he sounded too much like. It was not bad as such but in no way remarkable. We ended up watching from a distance since it quickly got a bit flat (too similar) and we needed a sit and beer after two gigs already. Maybe Alex Turner was the talent of their earlier experiment. Official website.

Marina and the Diamonds
Awful, from every spot at the festival! But she couldn’t sing..! Official website.

Oh Land
Still recovering from Marina and the Diamonds (and finishing another beer) we watched from a distance. There’s been quite a hype about her – at least here in Denmark – but it really isn’t my kind of music. Official website.

The Kooks
I remember when these guys had they success with Inside In/Inside Out some years ago, in particular She Moves In Her Own Way and Naive. I liked the songs but also had a suspicion that his was not necessarily a band that would last that long – too much teenager-get-together perhaps. The fact that they played at Northside, and even have a few more albums out now, surprised me a bit. As far as I could tell they haven’t invented anything new but still gathered a big crowd of people younger than me singing along to the newer songs – I guess that means they’re still somewhat successful. We stayed for a few songs then went for food. Official website.

Called in to replace Mumford & Sons I’m afraid they were a poor substitute. First off, it’s a different kind of music. Secondly, from last years Northside I knew that I don’t really care for the music to the extend of it just being uninspiring and a bit overrated. Official website.

Not much changed since their concert at Aarhus University a year ago: still fire, still silly bass guitars (one with only two strings), still drummer on a vertical ramp! :) I expected a show and they delivered. I’m not surprised that they’re not too well-known outside Denmark (I seem to remember that they had some success in the US in 80s), but here we all know it and joyfully sing along! They played two songs I hadn’t heard before but otherwise stayed with the old stuff. You can’t help but wonder if they ever get fed up about playing the same sets all the time. Maybe I’m looking at this the wrong way, and in fact they’re happy that people still come and sing along after all these years? Official website.

The xx
The album has its good tracks so we got somewhat up front for this one. They managed to create quite a captivating atmosphere with their slow songs and sincere voices. But it became a bit boring though half way through the set. Maybe it would have helped if I could have stayed in their universe. At one point during I was thinking of Youth Lagoon in a sad (lesser) version.

It was becoming a long day when these went on stage so we only stayed for a few songs. Didn’t know them beforehand but positively surprised. I also like this interview with one of them; reminds me of one of the guys from the university in Paris and really like the French sense of humour.

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.