Nothing to be Frightened about, the Rabbits were good
November 25 at Lille Vega
Some bands are intricately linked with a certain place and time. So it is for me with Scottish rock band Frightened Rabbit. If I listen to their 2008 album, The Midnight Organ Fight, it instantly reminds me of jogging along the Raccoon River in my hometown of Des Moines, Iowa. I can’t really explain it, but it happens every time. If I hear it, there I am, on the south side of the river, across from the baseball stadium.
The band’s follow-up, 2010’s The Winter of Mixed Drinks, has a similar but lesser effect as it was released just months before I left Des Moines for Denmark, and despite some good tracks, the album didn’t grab me like its predecessor. With each successive release from the band, I’ve been less and less interested.
With that background in mind, I wasn’t sure what to expect when seeing the Scottish lads on a cold, dark Monday night in Copenhagen.
Things got off to a promising start, with several tracks of the aforementioned two albums. With ‘The Modern Leper’, ‘Nothing Like You’ and ‘Old Old Fashioned’, I was reminded why I liked these guys in the first place. A lot of the appeal of Frightened Rabbit is the raw emotion of frontman Scott Hutchinson’s voice and lyrics, and this shined through throughout the entire evening.
While there were stretches of the evening when the band played songs I was unfamiliar with, my attention was still mostly held tight, though not to the point where I didn’t mind wandering off for awhile to get a fresh round of beers.
Any waning interest was recaptured towards the end of the set with an inspired performance by both band and crowd during ‘Head Rolls Off’ that led to Hutchison praising the crowd’s clapping skills and energy level. This was followed by a beautiful solo acoustic rendition of ‘Poke’ before a run through one of the band’s best tracks, ‘Backwards Walk’.
By the evening’s final one-two punch of ‘Keep Yourself Warm’ and ‘The Loneliness and the Scream’, Frightened Rabbit delivered the nostalgia fix I was longing for. I may not have left clamoring to hear what the band has put out since I stopped paying attention, but I did leave satisfied.