Dead By April w/ Beyond All Recognition @ The Underworld

Beyond All Recognition + Dead By April
The Underworld Camden, London
18th May 2013

Dead By April are currently working on the follow-up to “Incomparable”, and an EP should be out around these days – this being the official reason for the European tour they’ve just engaged in. But of course that it’s also the perfect opportunity for the new screamer Christoffer “Stoffe” Andersson to show the fans why was he chosen as Jimmie Strimell’s replacement.

They brought along Beyond All Recognition, another Swedish band that I had the pleasure to learn about last year, when I was given their debut album “Drop=Dead” to review (which I rated 8 / 10, by the way).
They kicked off with “True Story”, one of the two songs from that album which made it to video – hence one of their most popular songs.
Later came “a song about alcohol”“Arriving With The Sun”, just before singer David Söhr asked if we knew a movie called “300” and wanting us to role-play the Spartans when King Leonidas asks them what is their profession. His question and the war cry in response would be repeated several times throughout the show, but that first one was the introduction to a brand new song called “Martyrs”.
Then while cheering with a bottle of water but saying that it was vodka, David took the chance to address to “the party people” as the rest of the boys started playing their own version of Swedish House Mafia’s “One (Your Name)”. Guitarist Paul Gidlöf would later on interrupt David with another cover, “a surprise”Metallica’s “Master Of Puppets” – but it would only last until the first vocals were supposed to come in. The crowd was somewhat disappointed so David made them laugh by saying they did have another cover for them, Michael Bolton’s “When A Man Loves A Woman” – the title sung as in the song’s chorus. Funny. Then in a more serious tone, he resumed what he originally was going to say before the Metallica moment, which was dedicating “What We’ll Die To Defend” to their fans.
A “real heavy song” (as if the others weren’t so…) in the form of “B*tch Please” and the gig ended afterwards with “Characters”. Beyond All Recognition’s dubcore is “a little” heavier than what the average DBA fan is used to, but given the response of most of the crowd, I believe they made quite an impression. And they surely deserve it.

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Even though I’ve been listening to Dead By April since late 2008, I’d only had the chance to see them live once, in 2009, and it wasn’t a very good show, to be honest. So I was glad to be able to finally give them another chance… and then Jimmie was out. But when I learnt that Stoffe was the new guy, that gladness doubled. When he joined Sonic Syndicate on the last leg of the “We Rule The Night” tour, I checked his background and heard his early work with Dødz and the current one with What Tomorrow Brings. So I knew his potential both in the studio and on stage (saw him with Sonic Syndicate in Madrid) and I was sure Dead By April couldn’t have made a better choice. And even so, I confess I wasn’t expecting the level of greatness that I’ve witnessed at The Underworld Camden that night. Stoffe is in this with full heart and soul, as if he’s been a part of it since the beginning. On a technical level, he has the same growl-pitch as Jimmie, so the songs didn’t suffer with the change of singers/screamers. So if you like Dead By April for the right reason – meaning the music and not because A or B is your kind of hottie – then you have no excuse to not like them anymore.
Okay, the concert. One of the new songs, “Empathy”, started it up, and even if the crowd wasn’t familiar with it, they rocked to it as if they’ve heard it thousands of times before.
“Two Faced” came afterwards, with singer Zandro Santiago helping drummer Alex Svenningsson at some point with the percussion. And speaking of helping, here the fans could already do it by screaming their lungs out to every word, which they actually did the whole show (save for the yet unreleased three songs, that is). “Losing You”, “What Can I Say” or “Dreaming” – the latter again with Zandro drumming away in an extended intro – are some of the songs where you could almost hear the crowd louder than the band itself.
It was between “Calling” and “Freeze Frame” that Zandro officially introduced Stoffe and the overwhelming cheers left no doubt of how welcome he is. That and the constant DBA! DBA!” between songs show how supportive their fans are. Still he left all the talking to Zandro, asking just if we were “ready for something faster” before “Lost”.
In early 2011, Dead By April released a compilation album called “Stronger”, with remixes, acoustic versions and bonus tracks. A video was filmed for the title-track, which included live footage from a gig performed precisely at The Underworld. Zandro mentioned it, adding “this time is better”. It was also during “Stronger” that he picked a camera from some fans in the front row, taking them a picture and then one of himself. And introduced Pontus Hjelm on the guitar right before the solo.
After “Mystery”, I thought that Zandro’s “this is the last song for tonight” was the usual pre-encore joke, but sadly it wasn’t. “Within My Heart” was the last song for real, no matter how loud the crowd screamed “We want more! We want more!”. But the boys compensated by hanging around with their fans afterwards, taking their time to sign autographs, take pictures and chat. DBA fans are dedicated, as aforementioned, but the guys in DBA themselves also have the fans “within their hearts”.

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Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

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2 Responses to “Dead By April w/ Beyond All Recognition @ The Underworld”

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