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5th April 2023

Live Review: Iceage’s dynamic performance at ‘The Pink Room’, YES

The Danish band perform their lively punk rock tracks, rousing the crowd at Manchester’s iconic YES bar
Live Review: Iceage’s dynamic performance at ‘The Pink Room’, YES
Photo: Iceage – Mia Wilson @ The Mancunion

Performing in Manchester’s monochromatic The Pink Room at YES bar, Iceage’s characteristically expressive and powerful punk rock contrasted, and quite frankly overwhelmed, the room’s kitsch decor.

In an uncomplicated set, standing with only their instruments and fellow band members, Iceage’s dramatic stage presence shone without the need for extensive lighting or elaborate props. The band delved into their discography, curating a set list that encompassed their biggest hits. They delighted the crowd with a range of tracks from their older albums, but also treated us to a tripartite of new songs, perhaps alluding towards potential future releases. 

Opening with the song that ignited my love for the band, Iceage began with their hit ‘Hurrah’ from the 2018 album Beyondless. The song’s eerie lyricism and crescendoing pace opened their gig with a bang, setting the mood for a series of explosive tracks to come. 

Turning to their 2014 album Plowing Into the Field of Love they followed with ‘On My Fingers’ and ‘Abundant Living’, serving a range of trusty energetic guitar riffs and catchy lyrics. The crowd needed no further signal, upon hearing Iceage’s characteristic post-punk sound they erupted into action and set a pace of their own, one which they maintained steadily for the rest of the evening. 

The band followed with an eclectic mix of influences. They entertained with their song ‘Painkiller’, which features Sky Ferreira and coalesces typically disparate rock riffs with jazz-influenced brass instrument inclusion. 

Afterwards, they sang ‘Shelter Song’ from their 2021 album Seek Shelter, its slower pace stands out against their dramatic sound. Yet, the song’s cathartic chorus echoes Britpop classics which kept the crowd chanting along. 

The middle of the gig interluded with two new songs ‘Life Time’ and ‘Ny Lala’. ‘Life Time’ struck me as incredibly resemblant to The Smiths. Once again, taking on the influences of anthemic Britpop icons did not go unnoticed by the Mancunian crowd, who thrashed about as passionately as they had for the songs that they had delighted in singing along to. 

‘The Lord’s Favourite’ stood out as a personal highlight. As had their performance of ‘Thieves Like Us’, a song which also evoked heavy country Western influences. Both songs achieve energetic status through rambling lyricism combined with immaculate folk sounds. Iceage repeatedly demonstrate an ability to seamlessly adopt signature aspects of various genres and make them their own. The band’s lead singer, Elias Ronnenfelt, stood preaching to the audience as he sang. With no guitar in hand, his performance throughout the night was as dynamic and spirited as the music he performed. 

They returned to their newest album Seek Shelter with the song ‘Vendetta’, also returning to the influences of classic rock and Britpop, in a back and forth which kept the crowd on the tip of their toes but continually ecstatic. In fact, in a room not quite densely packed enough for it, some brave fans saw an opportunity to crowd-surf. 

Photo: Iceage – Mia Wilson @ The Mancunion

After another new song ‘Eden is on Earth’, the band finished their set with ‘Catch it’ ending the gig and leaving a sweaty but beaming crowd.

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