Concert Review: Iceage, July 18, Horseshoe Tavern

Danish punks Iceage have had a decent buzz going for the last little while. They’ve received accolades from Pitchfork and Maximum RocknRoll, played the Roskilde festival twice, and attracted more and more fans out to take in their intense live shows, all while still teenagers. Now just barely out of their teens, the band was back in Toronto for another go. The band played a brief set (less than 30 minutes by my estimation and not much more than 20) but made up for the brevity with intensity. Full on intensity. If a band could get by on attitude and energy alone its Iceage. As testament to their intensity, I will offer up a conversation I overheard outside of The Horseshoe after the show. “They’re so intense,” said one. Her companion agreed, but added that they seemed “too pretty to be angry.” Yes, the sullen looking Danish youths seemed not to crack a smile throughout their set, but that’s not to say they weren’t into it. Vocalist Elias R√łnnenfelt is an engaging frontman, coming across as a cross between Ian Curtis and Henry Rollins and getting right into it, crowd surfing at times and occasionally touching audience members on the heads as if he were blessing them or something. Not to harp on this intensity point or anything, but the band also inspired a fairly serious moshpit during their set. I can’t really recall if I’ve ever seen a moshpit at a Horseshoe show in the past, so kudos to them for that.

Perhaps because the headlner’s set would be so short, there were four openers for the show, giving it a nice old school hardcore show vibe. I didn’t have the stamina to take in all four but did arrive in time to see locals Odonis Odonis, themselves building up a bit of a buzz. Having seen and enjoyed the “industrial surf-gaze outfit” once before, I was eager to check them out again and actually found them more enjoyable and better than the last time. They’ve also added a second guitarist/vocalist to the band and having an extra body onstage seems to add a little something extra to their sound. Also on the bill that night were Olympia’s Milk Music, who impressed with tunes that had more than a hint of Neil Young and Dinosaur Jr. in them. All in all, a good (and intense) night out.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts, Everything