Copenhell 2024, Day 2 (June 20) Review

A 1-1 Draw at the Euros maintains peace and equilibrium at Day 2 of Copenhell

Words and Pictures: Adrian Hextall / MindHex Media

Now in its 14th year and 10 years since it moved into the big leagues, expanding from a 2-day festival to a 3-day feature that would include major headliners such as Iron Maiden, Copenhell, 4-days of metal at its finest since 2019 is once again over for another year.

Packed to the brim with top tier talent from multiple genres, the festival in Refshaleøen offers something a little different from the likes of Graspop, Download, Hellfest and other A-grade events on the summer circuit. Copenhell likes to trade on the ‘hell’ element of it’s name and we get a setting and artwork to match everywhere. Whether it’s plague doctors, abandoned graveyards, mysterious creatures lurking in the woods of Gehenna, witches surrounding a boiling cauldron, it’s fair to say the presentation to the assembled masses is like nothing of this realm. Steeped in fantasy, even hosting its own Copenhell Con where talks on all things from Middle Earth, Winterfell, Hyrule and even some things in relation to a galaxy far, far away are covered, Copenhell attracts a colourful palette of fans who are there to soak up a four-day visual extravaganza.

Thursday June 20

“Adrian, Adrian, Adrian… we have to be onsite for 12:30pm. I need to see DEATHBYROMY”, said an excited Kal Ahmed, my Copenhell traveling companion of the last three years and a fellow photographer. So, we packed up the battle bus, drove to the venue, parked up, grabbed some beer and skull shots (OMG – so, so good) and settled in to watch what is effectively Tank Girl , with friends, on stage. Decked out in gas masks that would later be discarded, DEATHBYROMY is fronted by Romy Flores who is currently making waves in the music scene for her brilliant mix of rock, electronica and haunting vocals. With some 61 million streams of single ‘Problems’ Romy is a future headliner in the making. Perhaps that’s why Kal went back to the crowd to shoot her a total of six times before moving on!

Whilst our other travelling journos, Eamon and Francis went off to listen to Anthrax’s Scott Ian talk about anything but music at the Copenhell Con, we caught up with Aussie deathcore mob, Thy Art Is Murder followed by standout Swedish hardcore punk rockers The Baboon Show. It’s always exciting to see and hear a great band for the first time and TBS took be back to the sweaty punk clubs in London and to a time when spit and energy were enough to deliver a performance.

As the sun rose higher in the sky and more people became dehydrated and delirious, it seemed the appropriate time to bring Mr Bungle on stage. Another band that cannot be placed in any particular genre, it’s safe to say that dehydrated and slightly delirious is absolutely the best way to approach the crazy that Mike Patton brings to the table. Who else could blend Slayer’sRaining Blood’ with 10CC’s ‘I’m Not In Love’ and accuse a member of the crowd of crying about it? That’ll be Mike.

Normality resumed over on Pandaemonium with some classic electronic industrial music from genre frontrunners Die Krupps. When you think that their debut album came out in 1981, some 43 years ago, the band still carry the same freshness and energy that we would expect from an act coming to the table for their first stab at the big time. Worthy of a headline show follow up and no mistake.

The Hives continued the vibe of garage and punk rock that was becoming evident was a big part of the festival in 2024 and in my opinion, Copenhell was all the better for it. Conversation with festival goers and fans alike drew mixed responses, some saying it was becoming too commercial, with the big names detracting from the heaviest of metal that the festival had built its foundations on but for me, variety is key to the longevity of any event and that Copenhell can attract the likes of Machine Head and Tool as well as The Offspring and Palaye Royale suggests there are many avenues for the band bookers to explore in future years.

With The Hives playing with the sort of ferocity you’d normally expect from an angry punk band in some dingy basement venue, their set was full of riffs, lick, rock and roll and high kicks. A pleasure to watch and so draining I decided to take a time out at the Con to listen to Oscar Dronjak from Hammerfall talk about his love of Star Wars, with ‘The Phantom Menace’ being his favourite of the canon movies. Surprising but his logic seemed solid, so we’ll let him have it. A photo opportunity with Darth Vader and a collection of Storm Troopers later left us in an ideal position to soak up the atmosphere in the beer garden watching England vs Denmark in the Euros.

A sea of red and white shirts greeted us, a packed venue and the smallest of squeaks from me when Harry Kane scored in the 18th minute to take England 1-0 up much to the vocal disappointment of the local Danes. Thankfully it all ended in a 1-1 draw, so we all hugged and went back to the music friends once again!

Hammerfall and Limp Bizkit closed out the second day for me and it’s fair to say that the style of music on offer from both bands couldn’t have been further apart. Seen as one of the pioneers of the power metal genre, something Oscar refutes saying that the band, to him, are simply a heavy metal act, Hammerfall gave us an hour of epic metal anthems, packed with sing along choruses, fists raised high, punching the air with Joacim Cans amazing vocals carrying clearly across the entire festival area. In comparison, Limp Bizkit brought chaos. Much like Mr Bungle, you never know quite what to expect from a Limp Bizkit show and with Fred Durst looking like he should be working on the rigging, dressed in a bright hi-vis jacket, and Wes Borland looking like the leader of the Nameless Ghouls from Ghost, we wondered if the band might fall a little bit flat. We couldn’t have been more wrong. The biggest crowd of the weekend so far, the most energised and when Durst said “jump”, boy did they jump. The Copenhell dust clouds became whirlwinds, the concrete underfoot pulverised by tens of thousands landing in unison. A crowd, many of whom never saw the band in their initial heyday, taking in every moment with the biggest of smiles. Worthy headliners and hugely impressive.

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  • 2024 06 20 Copenhell - Mr Bungle-2
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  • 2024 06 20 Copenhell - The Baboon Show-1
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  • 2024 06 20 Copenhell - The Hives-2
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  • 2024 06 20 Copenhell - Thy Art Is Murder-3
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Day 1 Review

Day 3 Review

Day 4 Review 

 

 

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