Online music magazine based in Copenhagen, Denmark

LIVE REVIEW: The War On Drugs, Store Vega, 21.05.2014

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Before arriving at Store Vega it’s like the show has already begun. As the sun shines from a clear blue sky, the heat puts you in a snug and dazy mood – the same that vibrates in the universe of The War On Drugs. The tunes on their newest release Lost In The Dream seems to be the perfect soundtrack to the sunny season that is approaching. Being relocated from the smaller stage at Lille Vega to its big brother Store Vega, is a proof that a lot of the Copenhageners feel the same way.

The lights are dimmed as the six piece band walk onstage to the simple rhythms from a drum machine. The band falls into the groove and opens the night with ‘An Ocean Between The Waves’ from the new album. When the song ends its difficult to raise my hands for applause; the room is simply packed to the rafters. The first part of the show consists mostly of songs from the new album with a clear and loud vocal at the forefront. Lead singer Adam Granduciel is known for his way of slipping out of tune from time to time (in a charming way), his performance this night is flawless. And so is the guitar playing – numerous of guitar solos appears here and there through out the concert and at times it is so epic that even the guitar heroes from the 80’s would fall behind.

The band seems to enjoy their spot on the big stage and the energy is evident, especially while performing hit single ‘Red Lights’, colouring the entire stage in a sharp red veil in the process. As a part of a daily ritual Granduciel brings his polaroid camera on stage and takes a photo to immortalise the evening. Although that turned out being a useless act as Granduciel shows the audience the pictures – theres nothing but blurred lines! This little break isn’t the only respite during the concert – guitar tuning and amp adjusting takes up quite some time which at a point makes Granduciel so frustrated that a firm kick sends his amp to the ground. “I’m sorry for my everything’s alright now” he says after finishing the melancholic and slow ‘Suffering’.

The set is a long one, around two hours, which is plenty of time for the band to play a bunch of songs from the previous album Slave Ambient. Particularly ‘Your Love Is Calling My Name’ works strikingly well. The backing band deserves some credit for a tight and well played performance, of which the saxophone player is worth mentioning as the creater of a beautiful soundboard in many songs. But it is not up for discussion that Adam Granduciel is the main figure in The War On Drugs. When the band finishes the last encore and makes a sincere “Thank you!” the room is filled with a warm ambience (partly caused by the high temperature) and I feel a special appetite for taking over the summer with The War On Drugs as my soundtrack.

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