Forever YoungApril 24th, 2012
Refused – Terminal 5 – April 23, 2012
Refused’s return to the New York City stage blew up my social media streams like no other show has. “Top three shows ever,” boasted so many friends—and deservedly so. Frontman Dennis Lyxzén may joke about his band’s old-man status onstage, but Refused is definitely very far from that. The Swedish quintet, rounded out by guitarist Jon Brännström, guitarist Kristofer Steen, drummer David Sandström and bassist Magnus Flagge, was in top form at last night’s sold-out Terminal 5 show, despite disbanding more than a decade ago and the subsequent recent lack of experience playing together.
Refused played about 75 minutes, but the set was perfectly packed with a slew of songs from the band’s highly influential hardcore punk album The Shape of Punk to Come, including “Liberation Frequency,” “Summerholidays vs. Punkroutine,” “Refused Are Fucking Dead” and “New Noise” in the encore. The Terminal 5 crowd went most crazy when Sick of It All vocalist Lou Koller joined Refused onstage for a cover of his band’s “Injustice System.” (Koller called their collaboration “New York hardcore from a bunch of Swedish poseurs.”) Throughout the set, Lyxzén was quite a spectacle, doing backward summersaults, cartwheels into splits and scissor kick after scissor kick. Refused’s members may be pushing middle age these days, but seeing them live, one would never know it. —Kirsten Housel