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Protomartyr

LIVE REVIEW: Protomartyr and Metz, Loppen, 07.11.2017

in Live Reviews by
metz live at loppen copenhagen

On paper, Protomartyr and Metz sharing a bill seemed absolutely brilliant. And before we get any further, we’ll confirm that their co-headlined show at Loppen — evenly split with an hour for each band — was, in fact, brilliant. What we didn’t quite anticipate was how strange those two bands are when placed side by side.

Part of the discrepancy is that Protomartyr is not a band you immediately associate with being laid back. The brashness of their albums translates as more of a nonchalance live, not least because vocalist Joe Casey’s performance style is more voice actor than singer. His dry delivery is the defining characteristic of the band, and even though his physical presence is often stock still and a bit hunched, he is devastatingly effective.

“Sorry for spitting on the people in the front row,” he says in a rare bit of between song chat. “It’s what I do.” Casey can toss out throwaway lines with deadpan humor, but when he chants, “everything’s fine,” it’s disconcerting.

Protomartyr live at loppen copenhagen

But what really makes Protomartyr seem relaxed is when Metz take the stage and the opposite approach to performing in every way: Everything is louder, the band’s movements are more violent, and the half-spoken vocals are replaced with screaming.

The shift in energy is somewhere between deranged and comical. The next hour is filled with loud guitars alternating between clanging and vibrato. Drummer Hayden Menzies plays in a fashion that suggests he would smash anything set in front of him to pieces (though the layered effect on one cymbal that makes it sound like he’s hitting the lid of a trashcan is a nice effect). Frontman Alex Edkins is a relentless screaming mess, likely restraining himself from leaping across the stage only because Loppen has a low ceiling.

It’s on that thrashing note that the evening comes to a close, but even if the line up is a little strange, on the whole it is adeptly paced. It leaves you drained with no eardrums left to speak of, but absolutely satisfied.

Photos by Morten Aargaard Krogh

PHOTOS: Roskilde Festival 2016, Day 4

in Photos by
Mø

Mø live at Roskilde Festival 2016
Mø – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Mø live at Roskilde Festival 2016
Mø – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Mø live at Roskilde Festival 2016
Mø – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Mø live at Roskilde Festival 2016
Mø – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

New Order

new order live roskilde festival

New Order, Arena, by Tom Spray

Protomartyr

Protomartyr - Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Protomartyr – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Protomartyr - Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Protomartyr – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Protomartyr - Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Protomartyr – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

Gojira

Gojira- Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Gojira- Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Gojira- Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Gojira- Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Gojira - Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Gojira – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

Cate Le Bon

cate le bon live roskilde festival
Photo by Tom Spray

Guardian Alien

Guardian Alien - Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Guardian Alien – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Guardian Alien - Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Guardian Alien – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Guardian Alien - Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Guardian Alien – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Guardian Alien - Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
Guardian Alien – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

LCD Soundsystem

LCD Soundsystem - Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
LCD Soundsystem – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
LCD Soundsystem - Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh
LCD Soundsystem – Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh

LIVE REVIEW: Protomartyr, Loppen, 12.11.2015

in Live Reviews by
Protomartyr / Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh (mortenkrogh.com)

Photos: Morten Aagaard Krogh

Listening to any of Protomartyr’s albums, and in particular focusing on the deadpan delivery of singer Joe Casey, it’s that their show at Loppen will go one of two ways: Either Casey will be a complete maniac on stage, or he’ll match his dry delivery with every other aspect of his being.

As it turns out, it’s the latter of the two options. Casey is as nonchalant in his body language and facial expressions as his voice suggests he would be. When he does growl, he’ll immediately avert his gaze as though he surprised himself. It’s hard not to look at him, not just because he’s center stage, but because he’s in the middle of so much more overt activity. It’s especially clear at the halfway point in their set when they play “The Devil in His Youth” and the band band have loosened up and a few hoots are called from the crowd, but Casey is singing with one hand in his pocket.
Protomartyr / Photo by Morten Aagaard Krogh (mortenkrogh.com)
This does serve to highlight the charm of their bassist rocking back and forth on his toes with surprising lightness. Protomartyr are not a bass-heavy band, and it would be easy to overlook his contributions, however when you can see him literally in time with their drummer, it is immediately clear just how strong their rhythm section is.

Their natural energy is a good counterpoint to a singer who, meanwhile, is placing a failed balloon animal that has made its way on stage next to his beers as though this were perfectly normal (in the encore, he’ll conjure that it’s a “sword – I hope”).

What makes such a reserved performance so watchable is undefinable, but by the time “Why Does It Shake?” rolls to a close we’ve all been sucked into the peculiarity. You definitely won’t get the same thrill just by turning up the volume on the album.

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