THE MINDS OF 99: ROYAL ARENA, Copenhagen 23.11.2019

photo by Marie Oleinik

After seeing The Minds of 99 at Northside Festival this summer, it became clear to us that the rumours are true, and this band, in fact, is paramount in the Danish music scene right now.

On my way to their sold-out concert at Denmark’s biggest arena, I felt excitement with a pinch of anxiety. With an extensive collection of massive festivals behind their back and the highly praised album Solkongen”, the bar has been set high for The Minds of 99. What if they under-deliver? What if the fans aren’t thrilled about the band’s new style?

And the new style, in particular their first English-language song “1,2,3,4”, did make most listeners raise their eyebrows. The song sounds so different that my first reaction was “oh no, Spotify glitched and put some random electronic artist as Minds”. The abundance of synths and neon lime-green aesthetics in what appears to be the beginning of a new album cycle make it hard to pinpoint the exact genre of  The Minds of 99. And it definitely made it hard to know what to expect from the Royal Arena show.

However, way before the 5 silhouettes appeared in the neon glow, I am reassured that the fans are on board with whatever The Minds of 99 are up to. The dress code in the front rows is – neon green t-shirts with glow-in-the-dark accessories. This band really made the Danes forgo their shapeless black outfits. Are they getting too powerful?

The concert feels like a fever dream shared by the collective consciousness of 17 000 people. During Stjerner På Himlen” Niels Brandt (vocals) walks around the stage with the camera right in his face, looking a little too much like Gerard Way in My Chemical Romance’s glory days. During Solkongen” he is suddenly singing from the middle of the audience and commuting back to the stage via a 3-minute-long crowd surf. At some point, Louis Clausen is lifted on a platform up to the ceiling for an explosive drum solo. You are drenched in beer and other people’s sweat, but can’t even complain because your voice is basically gone after K Før Ærlighed”.

Finally, The Minds of 99 give us a chance to catch our breath when they play a brand new, unreleased song Big City, Bright Lights” with the lyrics projected on the screen. No, it is not in English. Yes, it is great.

As I make my way through the drunken crowd, covered in confetti, I start to think about the next time Minds will play live. That will be on 12. September 2020 at Copenhagen’s enormous 50 000-capacity Telia Parken stadium. Ambitious, isn’t it? And yet, after this arena tour, I am no longer questioning them. The Parken show is going to be bigger and more impressive than anything Niels Brandt & co did before. And we can’t wait.

Does anybody know where to buy neon-green clothes?

Tickets for Parken are available here.

photos by Marie Oleinik

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