Live: Scandinavian Congress Center / KB Hallen

Scandinavian Congress Center (Aarhus, November 27th)
KB Hallen (Copenhagen, November 28th)

It had been three months since Mew played a show in Denmark, and since then a lot has happened. The Danes have developed into a slightly more flexible and interesting live band during those months, and now it was Denmark’s turn to experience the new show.

Scandinavian Congress Center – Harmonious Harmony

The first of the two planned shows was held at Scandinavian Congress Center in Aarhus. When you first entered the big building it almost looked like a big shopping mall. It seemed awkward to have a rock show there. The doubt about the surroundings was quickly replaced with happiness as soon as you came into the actual concert hall where the giant screen for the backdrops hung.

Oh No Ono was the opening act that evening. The conditions were perfect for the audience – the sound was great, the backdrops crystal clear and huge, and the band members were in great shape. The setlist seemed incredibly well-balanced and at the same time a bit bold. They started out with And the Glass Handed Kites -heavy part only with Am I Wry? No and 156 as exceptions. The first song from No More Stories… wasn’t played until half way through the gig, where the new songs took over. It worked splendidly and you got the special No More Stories -vibe as you get on the album. The audience witnessed the best performed Repeaterbeater on Danish ground so far. It sounded marvelous and the new backdrop and an overflow of stroboscope lights added so much more energy to the chorus. A proof that Mew had changed a lot was the amount of songs which had their debut in Denmark this evening – Intro, Hymn, Medley, Silas the Magic Car, Hawaii, Beach and the remarkable Bamse. All in all the show lasted more than 90 minutes!

Last time Mew played in Jutland (Western part of Denmark) was in 2005 at the same venue, and you would think that the Western Danes would be starving to see Mew again. With the conditions the venue offered, it should have been a reunion with a big emotional participation from the audience. Unfortunately, the show was not sold out and for some reason the enthusiasm never rose to the highest levels, as you could have hoped. This won’t change the fact that Mew did what they’re always so good at, in a very fine setting.

KB Hallen – Mew On Homeground

The following day the Danes dropped by their home city Copenhagen where the venue KB Hallen was captured once again. KB Hallen was built in 1938 and is primarily equipped for sports events. The place is being used for shows often though, for shows which are too big for actual music venues. The gig was obviously sold out and the first fans had been queuing from 9:00 in the morning (the doors opened 19:00). Oh No Ono opened for Mew once again and they also felt the tension when they thanked the audience and went off stage. As Mew went on stage, Intro (followed by Hymn) caused a massive cheer from the audience. Neither Mew, the audience nor the neighbours nearby could have doubted that the Danes had returned home.

Those frengers who were among the audience both nights could have hoped for a different setlist in Copenhagen. After all, Mew have been extremely good at varying it lately. Unfortunately it didn’t happen, but a blessing in disguise was that the setlist from last night was really good. Especially the She Came Home for Christmas -part from the new Medley was received very well this evening. Bo Madsen seemed to get carried away by the 3500 frengers’ elation and therefore he was very energetic on stage. Jonas Bjerre also showed us some new sides from his live act. During Snow Brigade, he confidently held the microphone towards the audience that sang along. Paradoxically the two shows ended up as counterparts to each other. Aarhus didn’t really have the right atmosphere, but the sound was so much better there than at KB Hallen where it tends to get quite muddy. It’s a shame that Copenhagen doesn’t have better venues for a band of Mew’s size. As mentioned, it didn’t affect the spirit of the frengers though. Mew, with a vigorous show, once again reminded the Danish people why they are one of the most beloved bands in the country. And vice versa, Mew were reminded where they belong.

Aarhus / Copenhagen setlist:

Intro / Hymn / Circuitry of the Wolf / Chinaberry Tree / Special / The Zookeeper’s Boy / Am I Wry? No / 156 / White Lips Kissed / Introducing Palace Players / Repeaterbeater / Medley / Silas the Magic Car / Hawaii / Sometimes Life Isn’t Easy / Snow Brigade —– Beach / Apocalypso / Saviours of Jazz Ballet / Bamse —– Comforting Sounds

Frederik Voss

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