One does not possess enough of The Facts to know what the deal is with Denmark’s young punks Iceage and whether they are fascist, socialist, contrived, stupid, smart, artistic, rubbish, naive, or clever as the media has recently been debating about this band’s tattoos, predilections and imagery. One does, however, care about right-wing Nazi-sympathy bullshit because as granddaughter of two Danes who were a part of the underground resistance in Copenhagen during WWII, and the daughter of a lapsed Jew from Winnipeg, one has no time for such stupidity.
I read the news about Iceage and still went because in the end, I believe that this article and this article, are really all that needs to be said on the subjects. Maybe I’ll eat humble pie later, walk away. But for now, can’t we just get on with the punk music at hand?
Okay then. The facts are that Denmark’s Iceage are insanely young, clean-cut, angry-faced boys playing thick, assaulting punk rock. It’s not big, it’s not clever, it just is what I like my punk to be: an onslaught. And I prefer it to laced with dark, gothic mulch rather than nasally fuck the systems. I don’t want to understand a word they say, I just want to marvel at the chaos. Ergo, I like Iceage.
At the March 20 show in Vancouver, Iceage kept to the standard: visceral, bombastic, wooooorhhrhrahahahahahagggggha and a deliriously short set. “Ectasy” in there, “You’re Nothing”, “You’re Blessed” “Wounded Hearts” in there too. And this short, short time singer Elias Bender Rønnenfelt was the only one who showed signs of life, and even then, that’s saying something because he looked liked he was unraveling. Dan, Jakob, Johan all played stoned-faced bored shitless.
But that’s what you want, right? An eyes-rolling-back, is-he-on-smack or just drunk, messy pretty, pouty front man lurching around into and away from the crowd? Hands reached out to grab him and not pull him but just touch him, envelop him. Hands went not to his hands to but to his shoulder, hands placed on his clavicle with intention. The heaving mostly male crowd wanted a piece of him and he throbbed into them, rolled on the floor, went into the clutches, slapped his mic over his shoulder, dragged his body as if he’d been burdened with life for the duration of his two and a bit decades. He channeled Pete Doherty and Ian Curtis at their most manic. It was precocious and enjoyable at the same time.
By the end we all thought he was fucked; unhinged and headed for disaster, thought he was a mess. But then I popped my head backstage expecting the singer, drunk and slumped and instead found him deer-caught-in-the-headlights when the door opened, polite, stammering a bit, totally sweet. Telling me in Danish (my people!) to take “good care of myself.” Which is what I was about to say to him when I expected him to be frothing on the floor.
Showman. Iceage are punks. Rock! \m/
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