Occurring for ten years— the second part of June in Copenhagen equals the biggest metal event in Denmark: Copenhell. The 10th edition of this metal holiday took place as always, in Copenhagen’s Refshaleøn, with tens of thousands of fans invading the place eager to listen to some good music. I was there together with our friends from TheBlackPlanet.org to experience this on my own .
The whole event started on Wednesday with the warm up day, which was introduced last year. The only stage opened on this day, Pandemonium, was ready for the first musicians at 5pm. New Zealand’s “Like A Storm” had an honor of opening this year’s Copenhell. The young, hard rockers stepped on the stage soaked in sunlight and started their show. The band delivered an energetic show, and prepared the audience for upcoming few days of musical activity. Next in line was 1000 Mods—a stoner rock group from Greece. The sound became much heavier, and riffs were slower, with no catchy moments—just pure power and fuzz.
The first big name of the warm up day was American rock band, Eagles Of Death Metal, mostly known by very close collaboration with Josh Homme, of Queens Of The Stone Age. Josh is in fact one of the band members during recording sessions. The band led by charismatic Jesse Hughes entered the stage at 8pm, Hughes stepped on stage wearing a Dracula-like cape, followed by Jennie Vee dressed as a sexy cowboy girl. The band started their colorful performance, and despite being considered as ‘not very metal’ to most of the audience, they managed to convince everyone in front of the stage to party with them. Jesse jumped into the audience and played the guitar in the middle of the crowd, Jennie Vee performed the ‘Ace Of Spades’ when the band leader was returning to stage, and the whole show closed with inflatable figures dancing across the stage after the band thanked the fans and left.
The final part of the day was much heavier. First, Katatonia who played their ‘Night Is the New Day’ in its entirety and the Immolation, who closed the night. The weather got a bit bad just before the Katatonia’s show and the concert was featured with thunders and lightning— what was not a big issue for most of the fans, including me, soaked in rain. It was nice start for the full festival.
The second day started (at least for me), in a fully packed buss of special line 666 created for the festival purpose. I have managed to get to festival premises to catch final moments of Skindread’s performance and quickly moved to the first show on the main stage for this year’s Copenhell with the Stone Temple Pilots. The grunge veterans took the audience back to the late 90’s with their musical flow. The band entertained the audience, even those with closer connection to the metal music really enjoyed the show. Vocalist Jeff Gutt managed to get into the crowd and sing in the middle of people gathered in front of the stage.
After a bit slower and more rock start of the day, I received a powerful energy boost provided by two bands: deathcore Whitechapel and Sweedish hardcore punk band Refused. The second band was especially good, and provided a totally crazy show. The Refused vocalist, Dennis Lyxzén, did everything he could to entertain the public. The show consisted of jumping into the crowd, throwing up the mic stands and all the tricks with swiping the mic like a lasso. After this small energy drink served on two smaller stages, it was time to return to the main stage to watch another rock legend.
Slash & The Conspirators, a legendary Guns N’ Roses guitarist solo project with Myles Kennedy on vocals, entered the stage accompanied by the music from ‘Halloween’ and immediately started the party. One of the most popular guitarists in the world hidden behind a characteristic hat, sunglasses, and the bunch of dark curly hair, was presenting his guitar skills, running around the stage, while Myles Kennedy was doing his vocal parts. During the show, they presented the music from Slash solo recordings—the only exception being the GNR cover of ‘Nightrain’. The whole show lasted for over an hour and was one of the highlights of the day.
Next in line: Halestorm; The band built around the charismatic leader Lzzy Hale, delivered another spectacular show during the evening. This time the stage was stormed, it was mostly by the younger part of the audience. Wearing a fully leather outfit with extremely high heel shoes, Lzzy did what she does the best: harsh guitars and nice vocals. The show was quite nice, but along with most of the ‘adult’ part of the audience, my mind was already focused on what is going to happen next on the main stage.
Sharp at 10:30pm, the full day of waiting was finally done and the Copenhell audience received one of the most awaited band of last year’s. Tool was finally playing a show in Denmark. Band members one by one entered the stage, starting with Danny Carey, who immediately cheered up the fans from behind his drum kit, finishing with The Man—Maynard James Keenan, who took a place with his mike at the very back of the stage. All of this was illustrated with intro to ‘Third Eye’ played from tape.
Tool didn’t wait long to please their fans, starting with ‘Ænema,’ the audience went crazy. The first moments of the song were totally covered by loud cheers from fans. ‘The Pot’ was received with an even bigger cheer just after Maynard intonated the first verse ‘Who are you to wave your finger?’ The song was illustrated with the psychedelic graphics displayed at the back of the stage, adding additional charm to the performance. Just after the song finished, without further delay, Tool moved to another hit song ‘Parabola’ with all the fans standing and listening with open mouths staring at their idols. After two hits in a row, it was time for something new. ‘Descending’ was the first song from the long awaited (12 years since ‘10000 days’) album. The song starts very slow with a soft sound, and slowly evolves into a bit heavier composition with a long instrumental in the middle. Tool delivered one more new song ‘Invincible’ another nice composition, with, typical for Tool, a slow pace. Both new tracks are longer than ten minutes, and from how they sound live, it seems that Tool is going to drop another great album. The show was closed with an amazing performance of ‘Stinkfist.’ As a fan I got what I have expected, including new material which is a good prognosis for a long-awaited new album.
The final performance of the day was delivered by Vltimas, with David Vincent (Morbid Angel) on vocals. The band provided a heavy closure for the day with no unnecessary fireworks, just a good piece of death metal. That wraps up the first fully opened day of Copenhell 2019.
Copenhell experience will be continued soon.
Editor: Stephanie Regan
Coverage: Kasper Pasinski