Archive photo: www.defecto.dk
The live concert industry has been struggling a lot during this Covid-19 pandemic, and due to restrictions, there has not been that many concerts to attend at all during 2020 in Denmark. When Defecto released their new album Duality, October 23rd and announced that a release concert would be held, I was hesitant if the concert would in fact take place. But the closer we got to the date of the announced concert, I understood that FINALLY I would get the opportunity to once again do what I love the most; enjoy the feeling of live music!
When entering the venue, Store VEGA, I immediately understand that this will be a totally new experience as there are so many different restrictions when moving around. There are hand sanitisers everywhere, and people are walking around wearing face-masks, keeping distance to each other.
Even though I am not able to actually SEE the face expressions of the folks around me, I can hear the laughter, and “eyes smiling” at me behind face-masks. There is no doubt in my mind that I am not the only one that has been missing going to live concerts.
This evening Defecto are accompanied by Danish rockers Junkyard Drive, that are well known for their energetic, pure and strong live performances. Despite being a little bit later than scheduled, Junkyard Drive opens their show with the bang in your face rock tune “Sucker for Your Love” from their album Black Coffee released in 2018. This is a perfect beginning the get the crowd going. A true rock ‘n’ roll tune that makes you want to stand up and move.
But as we have all have been instructed before the beginning of the show to keep seated and not stand up, people are stomping, clapping and “dancing in their seats” instead. It is truly a new experience, but everyone is respecting the rules and making the best of the situation, as we all just are enjoying seeing live music again. Not only are Junkyard drive a bunch of talented musicians, but they are really great entertainers, joking around, interacting with the audience and making us feel like we are a part of their show.
This is most of all shown with their performance of “Backseat Baby” (also from their Black Coffee album) where the audience almost becomes a part of the performance, getting instructions to stomp and clap and sing and also having a “singing competition” between the band members, which is funny. This is truly how it should be done, when there are so many limitations on what the crowd are allowed to do. I am stunned.
Even though I am impressed with their level of performance and especially the talented singer, Kris, it becomes a little bit tedious by the end of their set, as many of the songs they perform have the same sound and rhythm. (except for Mama which gives me goosebumps) But I give them praise for their energy, talent and willingness to entertain.
Setlist Junkyard Drive:
Defecto were supposed to enter the stage at 9.15 PM, but time passes, and suddenly two loud “bangs” are heard from the stage and I can sense a little bit of chaos from the stage area and people moving back and forth.
I am far from a sound technician, but I start to think to myself “oh no, what if there are some technical issues so they are not able to play”. But better late than never, the lights go down and the voice from the speakers once again explains the rules during the concert. PHEW! Here we go!
The intro starts to play and Defecto’s first song of the evening is “Rings of Saturn” which is also the first song on the album Duality.
Unfortunately, there are some major sound issues, which is sad to hear, but at the same time I can see that everyone is working hard getting it fixed. With that said, I cannot find the words to explain how talented these guys are (sound issues aside)
The voice of Nicklas Sonne is beyond amazing, and the entire band is so tight, that it is difficult to comprehend why they are not touring the world headlining. Defecto is by far, the best Denmark has to offer in the progressive metal scene.
I am happy that the sound issues are getting solved, especially when guitarist Frederik Møller and Nicklas Sonne are having a guitar duel on stage. These two guys are so extremely talented, and they really complete each other with their different styles of playing; Sonne with his shredding and Frederik with his more emotional playing. They are both playing their A**ES off up on that stage. Incredible to witness.
The technique of drummer Mikkel Christensen is mind-blowing. I find myself watching him, not comprehending how the h*ll he can be so energetic, consistent and perfect using his craft. Wow! There are some smaller sound issues again in the middle of the set, but because I am so amazed by this quartet it is a minor detail, and the band seems to handle it well.
Just like the warmup band, Defecto are great at entertaining the audience, because of their great sense of humor. This is most definitely shown during “All for You” and the Smalltalk between songs. These guys are four down to earth guys with a cool mindset, which makes this weird type of Corona concert setup bearable. When I first heard the Duality album, I had a couple of favourite songs, that I never thought that I would actually get to hear live.
“Washed Away” is one of them, so I was very happily surprised that I got to experience the magic of that amazing song live. The same goes for “Tempest” which all four guys performed to perfection. I got chills all over. The stable singer Nicklas Sonne unfortunately seemed to have some problems at one point, but due to his professionalism, he managed to hide it well by avoiding the high notes we know and love him for.
Even though this was a new and little bit strange concert experience, due to all restrictions and not to be able to move around freely during the set without face-masks, I am SO happy to have attended this release concert.
For all metal and prog lovers (as myself) Defecto is a must see! It is a “progasm” performed to perfection. The only reason this review is not getting 10/10 from me are the smaller technical issues throughout the concert. But this does not affect the pure brilliance of these four musicians. I know I cannot wait to watch them live again. Hopefully, next time without having to sit down.