Refused at the Ogden Theatre, 8/22/12

Categories: Concert Reviews

Tom Murphy
Refused last night at the Ogden Theatre.


From the very beginning, we knew we were in for something special when we saw the name of the band spelled out in giant, translucent white letters as members of the band were taking stage. Before the curtain dropped, a low ambient swell coursed through the Ogden like a sense of building anticipation. When Refused were revealed and went right into "Worms of the Senses," it was like getting hit with a wave of inspiring energy that didn't really end until the show was over.

Tom Murphy
Refused last night at the Ogden Theatre.

Rather than sticking to its epochal album, The Shape of Punk to Come, Refused played some tracks from Songs to Fan the Flames of Disconent, including "Coup D'État" and "Rather Be Dead," the latter of which singer Dennis Lyxzén dedicated to the Russian punk band Pussy Riot. He prefaced the song by talking about how the Russian band had been sentenced to two to three years prison for protesting the church and the state, and said that if he got two to three years every time he did that, he'd be in prison for life. He then joked how Russia was being Russia again.

After a blistering run through "Coup D'État," Lyxzén apologized for taking twenty years to finally play Denver as Refused. And that the band had been doing high altitude training because of this Denver date. He then said, "So far we're doing really well -- not the playing but the fact that we're still standing up." Clearly the guy's dry humor is more genuinely witty in English than too many native English speaking musicians. After the witticism, the band erupted into "Hook, Line and Sinker."

Tom Murphy

Each song was a marvel in how these guys could keep up the intensity and the energy for such a sustained period of time, especially Lyxzén, Kristofer Steen and David Sandström who kept up a hectic physical pace on stage. Even though this music is an unapologetic criticism of the modern, corrupt capitalist world, the sound was exuberant in a way that transferred that excitement to you. It was also joyous and it was obvious that the band was truly enjoying themselves as there were smiles all around.

People in the crowd knew these songs and chanted and sang along the whole show. You rarely see this level of crowd participation at any show. It was pretty much impossible not to get swept up in it yourself. Not just that other people were so into it but also that it was a real exchange of emotion between performers and audience.

Location Info


Ogden Theatre

935 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Music

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