Date: 06th November, 2014
Tickets: 150DKK (€20 / $25)
Photos: Erika Wallberg
The wait really felt endless that Thursday evening. Maybe it’s a bad idea to drink a lot of sugar-loaded raspberry soda while waiting for gig of the year, as if I wasn’t already restless enough without the sugar rush. Then finally, just after 10pm TROUBLE entered the stage and the familiar notes of “The Tempter” sounded from the speakers. The show really was full-on from start and what really surprised me was how good the sound was. The stage (and lights) at Loppen leaves more to wish for, since it is wide and short (and very low) but it was a good balance between guitar, bass, vocals and drums. Normally at smaller stages it’s common that you only hear one of the guitars standing in the front row at a corner of the stage. And since TROUBLE is a twin-guitar incarnate (in my world as big as Glen & KK), it would have been a shame with an unbalanced sound. The first part of the set sure was a nostalgia trip, all from magnificent “Psalm 9”; I sure love this record and so the crowd did. It was still the opener and “Bastards Will Pay” that brought on the biggest response.
Listening to “The Distortion Field” when it was released, I couldn’t help but wonder how the old tracks would sound with Kyle Thomas at the microphone. The album as well as his effort is nothing but great but he doesn’t sound much like Eric Wagner. Not that it is a must that it should sound like the previous versions of the band but taking that TROUBLE is one of my absolute favorite bands and that the result with Kory Clarke wasn’t an as good match as I first expected it to be… Anyway, when TROUBLE kicked off “When The Sky Comes Down” most of my hesitations were gone. Kyle actually sounded better live in this song than on the record - more vibrant. And after “Flowers”, all my doubts were gone. He really does the old material justice. Why it took half the set to realize that? Well, in the really early tracks Eric’s voice is rather raw also, so those passed by without much reflection over the vocal sound from my side.
Loppen was fairly populated this evening and it could have been more of course but the ones there sure gave it all. The atmosphere was amazing, perhaps a bit slow-starter but the performance from TROUBLE and boosting from Kyle sure woke people up and it really became a nice evening. The fun thing was that it didn’t really matter from what TROUBLE era the songs came because the response was great all the way. I like that, I do think they deserve a bigger crowd that they got of course, but it’s good to see people appreciate the new material as well. And who couldn’t, just to watch Rick Wartell and Bruce Franklin in action is such a pleasure. A tight and inspiring guitar-duo like this doesn’t exist these days. I don’t remember exactly which song it was, but on one or a few occasions they played every second note in a chewy riff, tight as hell creating a very strange stereo-effect. Awesome really!
If I should complain about something, then it’s quite long pauses between songs with nothing going on. Kyle filled a few of them but some were spent waiting for Rick and Bruce to tune their guitars. The downside with this is that it creates dips in the show but since TROUBLE did so good when playing it’s a bit petty to point this out. “At The End Of My Daze” rocked hard as did TROUBLE’s version of BLACK SABBATH’s “Supernaut”. They really honored BLACK SABBATH’s heritage but still made it sound TROUBLE, that’s admirable and very cool. Still I would have preferred one more original instead of this one.
Luckily this wasn't the end of the show and after a bit convincing from the crowd, TROUBLE came back up on stage and kicked off “R.I.P”, again absolutely amazing but I do think the highest point of the show was the final track in the set, “All is Forgiven”. In this one Eric’s vocal abilities is especially prominent but Kyle sure managed it with grace. So, what can I say? I had so high expectations on this show but TROUBLE really delivered more than I could ever imagine. One of the best shows I’ve seen this year, definitely. Just a shame it only became one.
01. “The Tempter”
03. “Psalm 9”
04. “Bastards Will Pay”
06. “Revelation (Life Or Death)”
07. “When The Sky Comes Down”
09. “Wickedness Of Man”
10. “Paranoia Conspiracy”
11. “Hunters Of Doom”
12. “At The End Of My Daze”
13. “Supernaut” (BLACK SABBATH cover)
15. “All Is Forgiven”
(click to enlarge)