Published Aug 19, 2011"New Wave of Danish Fuck You" read the billing for Copenhagen's Iceage, and they meant it. Performing in The Shop (which is basically a glorified basement below a restaurant draped in concrete walls, floor and ceiling), the teenage Danes gave Toronto one of their sweaty "fuck yous" before walking away after 25 minutes.
Crammed to the exits, most of the bodies in attendance were there to cause havoc, and Iceage were more than happy to light the powder keg. Frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt -- a dead ringer for Justin Bieber's older, wasted delinquent bro -- hardly addressed the crowd, and instead allowed anyone to run him over once the unruly moshing began.
YouTube footage of early gigs and, well, just their life inexperience suggested they'd be a bit wet behind the ears, but the foursome held their ground with the volatile crowd. Sonically, however, most of the set was awash in discordant sameness. The band took debut album New Brigade's adrenaline up a few notches, but Rønnenfelt and his mates (who barely moved a muscle) haven't quite mastered the translation from studio to stage.
For instance, that cold, metallic post-punk tinge to a song like "White Rune" was lost in a haze of hardcore noise. And then after they filled their time, Rønnenfelt stormed off, and much to some people's shock, that was it.
Hometown heroes METZ, on the other hand, were elated to be there. Inciting almost as much unbridled enthusiasm as the headliners (and definitely more songs), they played to the crowd's anticipation with sludgy, punch-in-the-face punk rock that had more than a few pounding the reachable ceiling.
Philadelphia's Nothing were scheduled as openers, but a snafu at the border saw them replaced by another Toronto band, Odonis Odonis. Fresh off signing with FatCat and releasing a joint twelve-inch with Lotus Plaza (Deerhunter's Lockett Pundt), the trio filled the void fittingly with their guttural, Mclusky-esque punk, making them ones to definitely keep on the radar.