Tracking Iceage’s musical progression across their four full-lengths has been a glorious watch, seeing the four Danes gracefully slide from unhinged, taut punks to something looser, fancier and more feral on new LP ‘Beyondless’.
One thing hasn’t changed though: they’ve always remained an incendiary live band. Led by the swaggering, intimidating figure of Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, every Iceage show needs only seconds’ introduction before a swaying sea of bodies begin to crash into one another.
Tonight is, of course, the same. Coming to London’s Scala as part of a short European run only days after the release of ‘Beyondless’, the show is a live introduction to the band’s new world; more of a teaser than a full-blown singalong. It’s no less furious, though.
Pelting into album opener ‘Hurrah’, Elias is every inch the ideal frontman. Carrying the lead to his microphone everywhere he goes, he prowls the front of the stage like a man possessed, occasionally lurching forwards into the front rows, eyeball to eyeball with those who simply worship him.
‘Beyondless’ makes up the vast majority of the set, and it’s an immersive trip with only a few detours into older material. The band are bolstered by a violinist and saxophonist on stage, adding the flourishes and pizzazz that make the new album such an engaging listen and lifting the band above the distorted dirge their core setup sometimes threatens to plunge into.
‘Beyondless’ highlight ‘Thieves Like Us’ is even more thrilling live, an untamed brawl of a song that sees Elias at his most brilliantly unhinged. He then proceeds to leap into the crowd during a furious rendition of ‘The Lord’s Favorite’, a standout in a set that never dips below sheer pandemonium.
Photos: Emma Swann / DIY