- only tape is real -

Gig review: Pro-Pain, The Hague

This fall (or actually it’s been fall for a few months now if you take the weather as a reference) is filled with a lot of gigs. After a summer full of outdoor free festivals and the occasional gig in months june/july (Neurosis, Kylesa, Morbid Angel) the coming period there are a shitload of gigs planned. From local bands to small foreign bands to bigger foreign bands to bands i used to think were great in the past. Friday i went to see Envy in Utrecht, but more on that some other time. And saturday it was time for Pro-Pain playing in het Paard in The Hague. Pro-Pain basically return every year a couple of times and therefore i’ve seen them three years in a row now. Usually i go for old times sake to hear some old tunes from my  late teen and early 20’s. And this time it was not different. Went with an old friend who was also around when we first saw Pro-Pain play Den Haag around ’95 or ’96 (in the old Paard venue, which had way more character than this new modern version of it).

Since the place was filled with a lot of older people i think a lot of people thought the same way as we did.

There were four bands playing that night, of which i only saw the band before Pro-Pain called Undivided. They played some, in my opinion, unremarkable blend of hardcore and metal which had it’s moments but was also rather predictable. They ended with a version of Sex and Violence by Carnivore. Which was a nice surprise.

After a short rebuilding of the stage Pro-Pain entered for about an hour and 15 minutes of their no-nonsense hardcore/metal. They had their ’20 years of Foul Taste of Freedom tour’ last year and i was a bit bummed that i missed out on that. So i was pleasantly surprised when the first part of the gig was them playing that album almost in it’s entirely. Foul Taste of Freedom was their first album and also my first introduction to Pro-Pain and for a long time it was one of my favourite albums. Nowadays it has more of a nostalgic value then me still considering it one of my favourite albums, but it’s still very enjoyable to hear songs like Iraqnophobia, Rawhead, Johnny Black and Murder 101. After them playing the album it was time for some newer work, which i’m not too familiar with. They played the occasional familiar song from the Truth Hurts and later albums but after a while it started to get a bit monotonous, especially not knowing the majority of those songs. But since Pro-Pain is a no-nonsense band who go by the motto ‘no talking..play!’ it was all still rather enjoyable. Especially when two boys, who weren’t older than 12 or 13, found their way to the stage to ‘stagedive’ or rather, get lifted off the stage again. The first time the big bouncer type of guy on stage walked towards them, probably to get them off the stage as soon as possible, but when he saw them he let them stay on stage for a while before they were lifted off the stage and crowdsurfed across the venue. Which was an amusing sight.

After about 75 minutes it was over, lights were turned on and the stage was cleared and was prepared for apparently the next party already. Which is always an annoying thing nowadays after a gig, an hour after often another party starts which you can’t attend if you only have a ticket for the gig. So you have to leave the room rather quickly, making things completely cheerless and kill off any vibe there might have been immediately. But anyway, Pro-Pain was worth it.

Below is a little video i shot with my phone, the image is out of focus unfortunately but the sound is decent.


Pro-Pain, Paard Den Haag from armandb on Vimeo.


    Leave a Comment