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 event took place as always, in Copenhagen’s Refshaleøn. Counting with tens of thousands of fans invading the place eager to listen to some good music.
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 the honor of opening this year’s Copenhell. The young hard rockers stepped on stage and started their show soaked in sunlight. The band delivered an energetic show and prepared the audience for the upcoming few days of musical activity. Next in line was 1000 Mods, a stoner rock group from Greece. Their sound was much heavier, with slower riffs, with no catchy moments this was 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 the 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 the 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 standing in front of the stage to party with them. Jesse jumped into the audience and played the guitar from the middle of the crowd. Jennie Vee performed ‘Ace Of Spades’ while the band leader was returning to stage. The whole show closed with inflatable figures dancing across the stage and the all act ended with the band properly thanking the fans.
The final hours of this day were much heavier. First, Katatonia who played their ‘Night Is the New Day’ in its entirety and afterwards Immolation, who had the honor to close the evening. The weather got a bit bad just before Katatonia’s show and the concert was decorated with thunders and lightnings. But that proved not to be a big issue for most of the fans, including me, that became soaked in the rain. It was overall a very nice start for the full festival.
The second day started (at least for me), in a fully packed bus of the special line 666 created for the festival purpose. I only managed to get to the festival premises during the final moments of Skindread ‘s performance. So I quickly moved to the first show on the main stage for this year’s Copenhell edition – Stone Temple Pilots. The grunge veterans took the audience back to the late 90’s with their musical flow. The band entertained the audience and even those with a closer connection to metal music enjoyed the show. Vocalist Jeff Gutt managed to get into the crowd and sing from the middle of the audience.
After a bit slower and more rock start of the day, I received a powerful energy boost provided by two bands: the deathcore Whitechapel and the Swedish hardcore punk band Refused. The second band was especially good, and provided a totally crazy show. Refused ‘s vocalist, Dennis Lyxzén, did everything he could to entertain the audience. The show included jumping into the crowd, throwing down the mic stands and all the possible tricks including swiping the mic like a lasso. After this small energy drink served on the two smaller stages, it was time to return to the main stage to watch another rock legend.
Slash & The Conspirators, it’s a legendary Guns N’ Roses guitarist solo project with Myles Kennedy on vocals. They 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 with the only exception being the Guns N’ Roses cover of ‘Nightrain’. The whole show lasted over an hour and was one of the highlights of the day.
Next in line was Halestorm. The band is built around the charismatic leader Lzzy Hale and they delivered another spectacular show during this evening. This time the stage was stormed 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 was going to happen next on the main stage.
Sharp at 10:30pm, the full day of waiting was finally done and Copenhell audience received one of the most awaited band of last years. Tool was finally playing a show in Denmark. Band members entered the stage one by one, starting with Danny Carey, who immediately cheered up the fans from behind his drum kit, and finishing with The Man—Maynard James Keenan, who took his place at the very back of the stage. All of this was illustrated with the intro to ‘Third Eye’ played from tape. Tool didn’t wait long to please their fans, opening the show with ‘Ænema,’ that drove the audience crazy. The first moments of the song were totally covered by loud cheers from the 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 delivering two of their biggest 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 long instrumental sections in the middle. Tool performed one more new song, ‘Invincible’, which is another nice composition, with the typical Tool slow pace. Both new tracks are longer than ten minutes, and from how they sounded live, it seems Tool is about to drop another great album. The show was closed with an amazing performance of ‘Stinkfist’. As a fan I got what I have expected, with the bonus of listening to 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 second day of the event but the first fully opened day of Copenhell 2019.
Text & Photos by Kasper Pasinski
Managing Editor: Elsa Marques