Royal Hunt @ Beta2300, Copenhagen (DK)

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ROYAL HUNT

Date: 30th August, 2018
Venue: Beta2300
Tickets: 150DKK (€20/$23)
Promoter: n/a
Photos: Erika Wallberg


My anticipation for what's to come is almost nerve-tickling. It doesn't happen often that I feel like this for a show, and especially not for a band I've seen perform before. But the hours spent spinning the ROYAL HUNT albums this year have really boosted my devotion to the band. Also, that latest release “Cast In Stone” is one hell of an album has contributed to this interest. So, when the doors opened I secured my spot in the front. I really like shows of this size and it feels personal and intimate when a band of ROYAL HUNT's size takes on such a small stage. The downside is of course, at least for me, if I'm not in the front I don't see much. But now I had a perfect view. I was wondering how they would fit André Andersen's massive keyboard stand on that stage. It worked but didn't leave much space for the rest of the band which meant they got awfully close on a few occasion.

The first thing that struck me when the show started was the sound. How balanced and dynamic it all sounded. I mean, Beta2300 takes about 250-300 people and is a square box, the delicacy needed to make ROYAL HUNT sound the way they should is normally not supported in venues like this. But “Last Goodbye” as well as my favorite from new “Cast in Stone”, “A Million Ways To Die” which came as second track sounded fantastic. It felt like D.C. Cooper had to work quite hard in these songs though to reach some of the notes. It still sounded good but he looked forced. It all changed for “Wasted Time” and from there on he performed with the ease I'm used to seeing from him. And the time spent with the records really paid off as it felt like each and every song was the best possible choice so “Tearing Down the World” and “Hard Rain's Coming” went down really well.

The crowd was politely singing along to all the songs which is very cool to hear. Of course, ROYAL HUNT do have very catchy chorus-lines but the rest is not brainless shout-alongs and that the verses got the same treatment as the choruses was really cool to hear. “Half Past Loneliness” was a perfect sample of this; first it got a really good response being announced. In general the crowd was quite dull between the songs for the first half of the show but it kind of turned around here. Then, the chanting in the chorus created a very cool effect towards the sound coming from stage. What's cool with shows as this one is that true musicianship is highly appreciated and Jonas Larsen got applause after almost each of his solos. It's absolutely well deserved, I really like his way of playing. André later introduced him as if Ritchie Blackmoore and Yngwie Malmsteen would have a child together it would be Jonas which is a very good description based on how he's playing.

Another thing turned around about here as well. Initially it felt like everything was going a little too slow which most likely wasn't the case but the energy was different from the record which made the songs extremely heavy. Lack of energy can of course kill a show but that wasn't the case here. The nerve was fantastic and when that intensity and precision is there in slow-moving music, not much beat that. This made “Until The Day” extremely heavy. That song is one of my absolute favorites from the band so I was really happy to hear it and even more happy that ROYAL HUNT delivered a very heavy version of it. It took some taunting and begging from both D.C. and André to ensure a good response in “Cold City Lights”, but it worked and after a few rounds both D.C. and André seemed pleased with it all. And I guess the crowd realized the show was moving towards the end as the response was good for both “Message To God” and “A Life To Die For”. Ok, D.C. made some comments due to the response on “A Life To Die For” being last song, as if the crowd was happy to go home. Repeating it all he got a big hoot from the crowd instead. And it's this I mean with the intimacy and personality of small shows, the interaction between band and crowd becomes a part of it and when it happens it is so much fun.

So when ROYAL HUNT left the stage the crowd went all in to ensure the encores. In general I think it was a great set, a very good mix of songs but I sure could have taken a few more from the latest album. The encores started with one, opening track “Fistful Of Misery” which is another favorite. But I understand the time-constraint also. The show lasted for close to two hours anyway. One more thing standing out with the ROYAL HUNT crowd was that these new songs got the same treatment as the rest, people knew these lyrics equally well too. Being on home-turf, well for 2 out of 5 at least since both bass player Andreas Passmark and drummer Fredrik Joakimsson lives in Sweden and D.C. in Pennsylvania also made the show special. The band had a lot of friends there and also people who's been following them over the years. That too contributed to the connection between the crowd and the band. The finale with “Epilogue” felt very suiting but at the same time quite sad that the show was over. Despite the dense start (still, it sounded fantastic) and dull response from the crowd for the first half and the venue being too small for the band this was a fabulous show. The band sounded great and looking like you've been to the gym after a show is always a plus, Beta2300 was hot and so was the band.

ROYAL HUNT setlist:

01. “Last Goodbye”
02. “A Million Ways To Die”
03. “Wasted Time”
04. “Tearing Down The World”
05. “Hard Rain's Coming”
06. “Half Past Loneliness”
07. “The Last Soul Alive”
08. “Until The Day”
09. “Cold City Lights”
10. “Message To God”
11. “A Life To Die For”
12. “Fistful Of Misery”
13. “Epilogue”

ROYAL HUNT

Royal Hunt @ Beta2300, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Royal Hunt @ Beta2300, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Royal Hunt @ Beta2300, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Royal Hunt @ Beta2300, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Royal Hunt @ Beta2300, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Royal Hunt @ Beta2300, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Royal Hunt @ Beta2300, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Royal Hunt @ Beta2300, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Royal Hunt @ Beta2300, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Royal Hunt @ Beta2300, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Royal Hunt @ Beta2300, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Royal Hunt @ Beta2300, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Royal Hunt @ Beta2300, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Royal Hunt @ Beta2300, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Royal Hunt @ Beta2300, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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