(7th Feb 2013)
It’s been a while since ASKING ALEXANDRIA played in Cologne.
Almost a year ago they played the same venue as today and sold it out
as well. Weeks before today’s Cologne show the Essigfabrik is
sold out. This time the British band take WHILE SHE SLEEPS,
metalcore-goes-MARILY MANSON-outfit MOTIONLESS IN WHITE and their label
peers BETRAYING THE MARTYRS. The show should start at 8
o’clock, but only minutes after I arrive at 8.20 MOTIONLESS
IN WHITE is finishing their last track. So the first band I get to
watch are WHILE SHE SLEEPS. I have seen them once before as support for
SILVERSTEIN back in 2011. I wasn’t impressed two years ago.
To me the five-piece seemed to be a less technical version of
UK’s ARCHITECTS. But their new record This Is The Six is a
much better record than I expected. Kids also seem to dig the sound.
Metalcore with some melodic guitars and heavy breakdowns, but there is
also a punk vibe hidden between all these metallic sounds and the
headbanging of the band’s vocalist. It’s no big
surprise that there are some devil horns raised into the sky during the
30 minutes set of the English metalcore outfit. One of the highlights
is the title track to their new record, which is very anthem like
during the chorus. Indeed I am surprised that the crowd is so familiar
with music and lyrics. After a break of half an hour which is filled
with some delicate 80’s rock tunes, the lights go down and
ASKING ALEXANDRIA enter the stage. It’s great they start
their rock’n’roll mayhem with Welcome, the opener
of their most recent output Reckless And Relentless. Right from the
start all the kids in front of the stage are moving. I have witnessed
many bands playing in this venue, but I can’t recall any band
that had such a giant moshpit. It’s almost filling half of
the Essigfabrik’s floor. The band itself are taking every
pose they have seen in old live videos of SKID ROW, GUNS ‘N
ROSES oder DEF LEPPARD. Singer Danny Worsnop looks like a young version
of WHITESNAKE frontman David Coverdale due to his white shirt and stage
moves. While the rest of the band is jumping around, posing like wild
80’s rockstars or headbanging, their singer is walking around
like Coverdale. Though, he can’t sing the high notes, his
vocal performance is very well. His voice is sounding more rough like
on the new song Run Free when hitting clean vocals.
The setlist is packed with almost every track of Reckless And Relentless and fan favourites of the band’s debut Stand Up And Scream such as Not The American Average or A Prophecy. ASKING ALEXANDRIA’s new song Run Free gets a good crowd response as well, being one of the group’s most brutal tracks ever. It would have been great if the band played one of the 80’s glam metal covers, though, but the setlist is superb. After 70 minutes and the encore A Final Episode the band is leaving the stage. This might be the last time you’ll catch them playing in front of ‘only’ 1200 kids. In the UK they are playing up to 5000 people already and are even bigger than BRING ME THE HORIZON or PARKWAY DRIVE. It will be hard for other bands to top this high-class performance of ASKING ALEXANDRIA.
Text © by Sebastian Berning