Posted in music | pictures on January 26, 2013

words by Phillip Pantuso, photos by Fred Pessaro // BBG

Iceage @ 285 Kent
Iceage

Iceage blew into 285 Kent last night (1/25) in the wake of an actual snowstorm, but if the inclement weather deterred any from venturing out to see the Danish post-punk band, you couldn't tell by the room. 285 Kent was overpacked, the usual cigarette-and-sweat melange augmented by dirty slush tracked all over the floor. Anticipation was high, and you couldn't move for being thrown to the ground.

Deformity got things started with a raw-as-fuck set of scalding punk, the drums hitting like a combo move. Raspberry Bulbs were next. Over a 25-minute set of fuzzy, blackened punk--cut one song short by a malfunctioning amp--the band destroyed eardrums. The bass, distorted and aggressive, was louder than on their record, choking the low end while corrosive twin guitars squalled above it. Faint intimations of melody ghosted beneath the noise and frontman He Who Crushes Teeth's abrasive vocals.

Nomad upped the ante and left the room broken and bleeding, no mean feat given that they played a ten minute set. There is nothing that can really prepare you for Nomad, and it seemed that many in the crowd, having come for Iceage, where not prepared for the hardcore audial assault of the NYC three-piece, nor for, say, a dude in a helmet cannonballing helmet-first off the stage, which happened about thirty seconds into their set. Their songs are holocaustic rippers that sound like your brain being cleaved through the corpus callosum; all you can feel is the hot blade.

Iceage

Then, ah: Iceage. They crawled out from somewhere looking like beautiful enfants terribles, buttoned all the way up, babyfaces touched by no razor. The heraldic manumitters of the angry and disenchanted youth of today. When their debut album, New Brigade, blew up eighteen months ago, it was as if the music media machine had turned over a new log and voila, Iceage were the brightest beetle. After that came the flood: Iceage were nebulously connected to an underground Copenhagen scene centered around the Youth House, a music venue and rendezvous point for various leftist groups before it was demolished following a police-enforced eviction in 2007. The swirl of hype crested with questions like, "Are Iceage the Saviors of Punk?" and write-ups in outlets like The New Yorker, the New York Times and the Guardian. And there's been controversy, too, primarily about racially-loaded imagery in the band's music videos and a fanzine called "Dogmeat", illustrated and published by frontman Elias Rønnenfelt. Defenders and detractors came out swinging on both sides of the debate. Now they're signed to Matador and readying the release of the second record, You're Nothing.

But you know all that. You're also angry and confused at the state of things, or you used to be, or you're just curious about this band. In the presence of the storm, the crowd at 285 Kent last night immediately bifurcated into those who throw firecrackers and spin-kick in the middle of the pit, and those who press to the sides with an admixture of fear and awe.

Iceage pummeled through a set culled almost entirely from You're Nothing, two exceptions being "New Brigade" and "You're Blessed" from the first record. During the latter cut, a burly figure leapt on stage and then tackled Rønnenfelt into the crowd, kicking the heads of the unsuspecting on the way down, thereby collapsing the opposing punk rock impulses to both terrorize and protect the stage into a single meaningful move. Rønnenfelt seemed unfazed, though. He might have been rendered insensate by drink or just the tumultuous noise; it seemed as though he might pass out at any moment, and I'd guess that little more than half of his barked vocals actually made it to the mic. He wailed on the platform like a pipsqueak Henry Rollins, incautious of his own safety. A stagehand wisely removed the mic stand after two songs.

Iceage played loose and brazenly apathetic, often turning their songs into chaotic barrages of masochistic squall. They're too musical to be called punk, too clangorous to be called post-punk. When it cohered, as it sometimes did, you experienced an ecstatic fever dream of power. Dan Kjaer Nielsen's furious drumming had the same effect on the guitar and bass as a blender has on whatever you put in it. The crowd responded in kind, or some of them did anyway, meeting violence with violence. Firecrackers, flying beer cans, etc. I have a jacket that might forever smell like whatever hot, cinnamon-y drink the tiny girl next to me was drinking when it was body-slammed from her hands.

The set was assaulting, furious, sloppy and aggressive. When it unceremoniously ended after thirty or so minutes (a long set by Iceage's standards), the audience filed out to the Williamsburg waterfront, bruised and vertiginous. At the eye of the hypestorm Iceage have generated is the blackthroated, hook-laden punk of New Brigade that's still irrepressible. The glimpse we got of album number two suggests we're in for more of the same.

Catch Iceage again tonight (1/26) at Home Sweet Home with Pharmakon and Dream Affair. More pictures (unfortunately none of Nomad) and Iceage's setlist, below.

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Deformity

Deformity

Deformity

Deformity

Deformity

Deformity

Deformity

Deformity

Deformity

Deformity

Deformity

Deformity

Deformity

Deformity

Deformity

Raspberry Bulbs

Raspberry Bulbs

Raspberry Bulbs

Raspberry Bulbs

Raspberry Bulbs

Raspberry Bulbs

Raspberry Bulbs

Raspberry Bulbs

Raspberry Bulbs

Raspberry Bulbs

Raspberry Bulbs

Raspberry Bulbs

Raspberry Bulbs

Raspberry Bulbs

Raspberry Bulbs

Raspberry Bulbs

Raspberry Bulbs

Nomad

[Pretend their are Nomad pictures here where they would be if I didn't lose them. oops]

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

Iceage

ICEAGE SETLIST 1/25/13
Ecstasy
Rock Opera
New Brigade
Everything Drifts
Morals
Coalition
Dew de Dew
Iceage
You're Blessed
Langsom
You're Nothing
Il Niño

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Comments (58)

"Iceage. They crawled out from somewhere looking like beautiful enfants terribles, buttoned all the way up, babyfaces touched by no razor. The heraldic manumitters of the angry and disenchanted youth of today."

You've got to be fucking kidding me. You must have known you'd be insulted even while you were writing this drivel.

p.s. I was there and the show wasn't nearly as cool as you're trying to make it sound. Iceage was underwhelming at best.

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2013 7:13 PM

Lol @7:13, I think the sarcasm went over your head.

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2013 7:18 PM

Nothing about this write up hints at sarcasm in the least.

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2013 7:21 PM

you can't be serious with this review. BV, how/why the hell did you post all of this shit? 5 grafs just on IceAge?! Hahaha This is disgusting. I was gonna go tonight but now there is no way. And that wasn't sarcasm. please.

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2013 7:23 PM

"nebulously connected"

or this classic line:

"They're too musical to be called punk, too clangorous to be called post-punk. When it cohered, as it sometimes did, you experienced an ecstatic fever dream of power."

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2013 7:29 PM

^ bahahahahahahaha

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2013 7:33 PM

Agree that some of it is overwritten but are y'all reading the same thing I am? The writer calls them "sloppy" and "apathetic" too. I was there and it's a fair assessment of the show.

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2013 7:36 PM

7:23 - Sadly, the explanation is pretty simple. Matador and/or the band's publicist called in a favor.

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2013 7:37 PM

This is like that Olive Garden review.

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2013 7:50 PM

This is sorta what happens if a writer gets paid by the word. Plus, it's an insult to the intelligence of anyone who was actually at the show.

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2013 8:03 PM

Compared to this drivel, Pitchfork writers are Pulitzer Prize winners. Good god man, I hope you never introduce yourself as a writer.

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2013 8:40 PM

this reads like a puff piece on iceage. i liked the first record and went to their last show at 285.. which was awful. very disappointing. maybe this one was better but didnt attend due to the bad previous show.

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2013 8:45 PM

This band is nothing but fashion.

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2013 9:53 PM

they are just bad...sorry to say

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2013 9:53 PM

Whatever the quality of the performance, the firing of the Roman candle was an uncanny moment--the aim was perfect and it went directly into the singer's face, and only the mic he was holding in front of it deflected it off into the crowd. A fraction of an inch left or right and he'd be blind.

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2013 9:56 PM

raspberry bulbs are garbage

iceage is garbage.

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2013 10:28 PM

The Burberry Scarves

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2013 10:52 PM

I need a bit more of that fuck-anything-that-moves attitude.

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2013 11:16 PM

this band...again...?

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 12:03 AM

i wish this band sounded half as good as they looked.

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 12:39 AM

NWODFY is so mainstream now

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 12:53 AM

gasface!

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 12:53 AM

Thank god the writer wasn't rendered insensate by a hot cinnamon-y drink or I would have not the opportunity to be destroyed by this raw as fuck reportage.

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 1:20 AM

I suppose next they'll be playing in Hammerstein.

Posted by nakedbrotherstorm | January 27, 2013 2:50 AM

This is an unprecedented amount of hate! Nice job, Fred!

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 9:47 AM

Great pictures. Good caption of this good evening.

Posted by Alex | January 27, 2013 9:55 AM

The singer needed to act more drunk. Fucking shit show.

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 10:16 AM

maybe the worst review of 2013

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 12:31 PM

Shooting fireworks and Roman candles in a crowded club? All the half-wits in attendance, the band and the owners should be ashamed. 275 people were killed in Brazil last night because of fireworks in a club. Grow up. You are all idiots.

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 12:33 PM

That review has about 100 unnecessary sentences, was it done by an 18 year old freshman in college who only has ever read pitchfork reviews? Holy shit I want my time back, I thought something interesting actually happened at the show and that's why it was so long. Did this asshole really write a paragraph then say "but you knew that". Kill yourself and fuck BV for accepting this dickhead pile of human garbage's bullshit essay about what looks like a typically boring iceage show.

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 12:35 PM

I looked up the writer on facebook, if he reads this: hey dickhead, interns at big magazines don't "write and edit". You are a joke. Stop being alive.

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 12:43 PM

this show was really REALLY bad

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 1:10 PM

12:33 - arrest and fine the owners

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 1:19 PM

12:43 -- You actually stalked the author to Facebook?! Just because you don't agree with the writer doesn't mean it's bad writing. I liked all the details he provided. I sense some misplaced envy in you. And 12:35, Don't be so mad brah.

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 1:29 PM

punk rock sure, but can someone confirm or deny that their first album was written by their older brothers.

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 1:51 PM

rip victims of the tragedy in brazil. fireworks at shows is fucking stupid

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 1:55 PM

People who shoot fireworks off inside have little respect for the lives of others

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 2:06 PM

Having attended this show I am impressed by how many words it took for this writer to puff up a very boring evening.

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 2:09 PM

How are record publicists still controlling these "reviews" when the bands are marketed towards people who steal music so they can drink more shitty beer? Do all the industry shills work for free?

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 2:25 PM

kinda felt it was to good to be true. I was pumped from the words but the photos dont make it look crowded crazy or even interesting.

could just be bad photos but to actually be all the shit in writting is a tall glass

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 2:51 PM

the only thing wrong with this show were the people who went to it, you people are the fucking scum of the earth a show is as fun as you make it, fuck you all i had a good time and iceage was great. it could have been better if more people were dancing but everyone is so goddamn afraid, you pussies aren't fooling anyone.

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 2:58 PM

1:29 - I sense you are connected to the writer in some way. I could care less if i disagree with his review. The writing is just atrocious.

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 2:58 PM

why stop at fireworks? people should just throw broken glass in the pit.

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 3:00 PM

Dead Herring

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 3:12 PM

iceage is garbage.

Posted by 4k | January 27, 2013 5:26 PM

Arrrrrrrrgh faggot, baby died of cancer, this sucked

Posted by Gallondrunk | January 27, 2013 5:48 PM

Dear singer of Iceage,

Please stop watching the Darby Crash portions of Decline Of Western Civilization.

Sincerely,
Most of the people at Friday night's show

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 6:06 PM

I wasn't there but this show sucked.

Iceage really sucked. Iceage were really great.

I hate all modern music. Except Radiohead.

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 6:25 PM

The fact that the writer left out the fact that the singer was too wasted to stand makes anything else in this puff piece as suspect as it gets.

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 7:02 PM

let's reiterate -

Shooting fireworks and Roman candles in a crowded club? All the half-wits in attendance, the band and the owners should be ashamed. 275 people were killed in Brazil last night because of fireworks in a club. Grow up. You are all idiots.

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 7:45 PM

7:02 - he does mention it?

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 9:43 PM

It's already well-known that anytime BV has someone do a write-up of a hardcore or punk-ish show, it is always dreck. Without fail. Just post the pics and call it a day. Youre out of your element when not describing James Blake and Django Django. Twinks.

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2013 9:58 PM

This is incredibly poorly written. I was at the show and it was fine: not great, not bad. Regardless, absolutely none of the impressions the writer is attempting to convey could have been legitimately experienced that night. There was nothing remotely life-changing, affirming, or even all that interesting; even if you were a big fan of the performances.

This mostly reads as an ultimately cynical thesaurus-romp that exists more to pad the writer's "resume" for jobs that actually pay than it is an honest piece on a night of music. Depressing.

Posted by Anyonymous | January 28, 2013 3:26 AM

Wow, this is a clip you are going to be embarrassed by forever, Mr. Pantuso.

Posted by Anonymous | January 28, 2013 12:23 PM

Why would you assume the club is allowing fireworks with their consent? Seems a lot more likely some audience dumbass just did it of his own foolish volition. Short of patting everyone down all the time, what are clubs supposed to do to stop this?

Posted by Anonymous | January 28, 2013 8:22 PM

The idiot shooting roman candles had a second one blow up in his face. Totally deserved it. Fireworks don't belong at DIY venues or any other venues.

Posted by Anonymous | January 28, 2013 10:55 PM

the best thing is the shit talkers here make the band sound like WAY more fun than the silly write-up did. sounding like the boring fucks that stand in the back, holding your little drinks after wandering in to see "what punk was all about". then made judgement as a spectator so you can say you were there. clearly you wouldn't have fun if you weren't into a band to begin with. you sure didn't make the show fun standing there scowling and acting above it all. get the fuck out then? it's free.

Posted by Anonymous | June 15, 2013 8:25 PM

I love ice age.

Posted by catering winnipeg | June 30, 2013 3:16 PM

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