Mike Tramp / LUCER
Date: 16th June, 2017
Venue: Kulturhuset Islands Brygge
Tickets: 150DKK (€20/$24)
Photos: Erika Wallberg
Quite recently and after the fantastic release-party shows for Mike Tramp's “Maybe Tomorrow”, this concert was announced and I decided that I had to see this once more at least as I really enjoyed the shows at Beta2300. Of course, the excitement had cooled off a bit as the months had passed, but I was still looking forward to it.
Danish LUCER took on the stage first and just before they were about to start an elderly lady comes up beside me in the front row. There was no photo-pit and since Mike Tramp always sells out the places in Copenhagen I got in early to secure a good photo-spot. "She takes it all the way up to the front and sits down as close to the stage and possible. Then the show starts". At this point, I realized it was LUCER who backed up Mike Tramp at 'Sweden Rock Festival' a few years ago and it made the whole thing a bit more interesting. I don't know why but I'm always hesitant to new bands if they look too Rocky, Punky, trendy or whatever. I really should have learned by now though that the Danish scene boils of upcoming and very talented bands that really appeal to me even if it's not really within my range of taste. LUCER were definitely one more of them, they put on a very good show filled with energy and got the crowd going. The lady next to me looked super-happy and was clapping along with the music. And it was full on from start, “Bring Me Good News” made name for it, this was really good. It's good to see a band having fun on stage and have it look natural and relaxed. That struck me with LUCER, for sure, they've been around for some years but they're still a young band. How dynamic and solid they sounded was fantastic. It takes years for bands to reach this level.
“Shooting Star” was the one that really got me hooked; the stomp-y verses and floating chorus-line worked perfect live. Also, “Party Like A Rockstar” got stuck with its very catchy melodies and striking title. The fun thing is that this was one of the more melancholic tracks.
By all means, LUCER is a bit too basic Rock oriented for my taste but as it is well played, tongue in cheek good to watch type it definitely works live and to my surprise I was even aiming for getting some LUCER records after the show. So it was definitely a good start and they heated the place up good, luckily Islands Brygge didn't get as hot as Beta2300.
01. “Bring Me Good News”
02. “Something Original”
03. “Shooting Star”
04. “Too Late”
05. “Party Like A Rockstar”
06. “I Heard The Music”
07. “Midnight Sun”
08. “Working In The Moonshine”
(click to enlarge)
There's no doubt that Mike Tramp has a loyal following in Copenhagen (at least, probably the whole country) as the line was long waiting for the place to open. There were a few familiar faces from the front-row at the Beta2300 show too and in general the crowd was the same. The changeover took a bit longer than it had been announced so people were getting restless wanting it to start and when the band walked out on stage the roof almost lifted.
To my surprise MIKE TRAMP AND THE BAND OF BROTHERS opened the set with “Rescue Me”, the FREAK OF NATURE track and that alone made it worthwhile to see this also. I expected the same set as the Beta2300 shows, which the majority of the set of course was, with the addition of a few more numbers here. As if the Beta2300 shows weren't extensive enough.
My plan was to get a spot in front of Søren Andersen this time. I really wanted to see what he's doing, study it a bit if you will. And that was definitely the right choice. I was impressed by his playing before this too of course but damn... As there was no space between the crowd and the stage it all became up-close on instance. VERY close on occasion when Søren moved to the edge of the stage to show off a solo. I wasn't ready for it the first time and it got a bit embarrassing when his crouch basically hit the camera. I bet the little drunk blondie trying to flirt with him and climb the stage to get a squeeze a few spots towards the middle of the stage got jealous by this.
Even if the support was good it always rises for the WHITE LION tracks, “Tell Me” was no exception from that rule. But if you ask me, one of the best moments of the show was with “High Like A Mountain”. And here the difference in guitar-playing started to notice. Henrik Berger did a fantastic job at Beta2300, no doubt but Søren is in a class of his own and the dynamics and flow in this track was rather different in comparison. “Wait ‘till Forever” from previous release “Nomad” was a new addition in the set here since last time I saw him. A welcome one as it's a Groovy one.
There's no wonder Mike gets excited by shows like this one, he should be able to play bigger places. I love these ones though as they become very intimate and intense. Also that he's sharing tons of stories makes it a lot of fun. The only downside is that most is in Danish and I still have a huge problem to understand it. He changed to English on a few occasions as, just as last time, there were fans from a lot of countries outside Scandinavia present. Mike couldn't thank them enough but when coming to us Swedes there was a remark about how hard was it really to pay 100 Kroner to travel over the narrow. As a joke of course.
During these long screeds of verbosity Søren was fiddling with his guitar creating very cool sound effects. I didn't realize it at first, I thought it was something pre-recorded, but no, it was him all the time. He has tons of pedals and sure knows how to use them, looping stuff and so on. All these effects got very prominent in “What Am I”, the very heavy and suggestive track from the FREAK OF NATURE album. The version here though beats the album-edition by far.
One more new addition to this set was “What More Can I Say” from “Maybe Tomorrow” which I really enjoyed since it's one of my favorites from that record. I love the melancholy in the vocal lines. Then it was the last few numbers left of the show, just as at Beta2300 “Lady Of The Valley” got some really big cheers and sing-along. It was cool to see that “Give It All You Got” got the same treatment also. It's a great song and definitely works perfect in a live-situation. “Broken Heart” is my WHITE LION favorite so I was happy when that one showed up. And then the set closer in “Coming Home” really felt like a perfect ending of an extensive night. The lady on the chair next to me gave up after “When The Children Cry” saying it was too hot for her in the venue at this point and took her chair and left, she looked super-happy all the time sitting there though (and it gave me a great view over the stage too).
According to the schedule the show should have ended done at 11pm. Checking the time when this last song kicked off I realized it was close to midnight, one more hour or so than announced. It still didn't feel long. It was a fun and very good night, I really enjoyed myself and to be in the front row to watch it all, mainly Søren's playing though. And I saw there's another show booked for Copenhagen towards the end of the year, perhaps it's best to book that one too!
MIKE TRAMP setlist:
01. “Rescue Me” (FREAK OF NATURE song)
02. “Trust In Yourself”
03. “Tell Me” (WHITE LION song)
04. “High Like A Mountain”
05. “Wait ;till Forever”
06. “Little Fighter” (WHITE LION song)
07. “Better Off”
08. “Why Even Worry At All”
09. “What Am I” (FREAK OF NATURE song)
10. “Cobbelstone Street”
11. “What More Can I Say”
12. “Lady Of The Valley” (WHITE LION song)
13. “Give It All You Got”
14. “When The Children Cry” (WHITE LION song)
15. “Broken Heart” (WHITE LION song)
16. “Coming Home”
(click to enlarge)