• June 'til September 2011 - The Live Show Retrospective Part XXI

    3. Okt. 2011, 10:30

    Hi Folks,

    first of all; no, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. Here’s really a new live show retrospective.

    And second of all, I’m sorry for not keeping up with my blog. The last three months have been fairly busy beause I moved to a new place and had plenty of work at my job so that in the evening I rather just watched TV and relaxed instead of spending another two hours in front of my computer to write the reviews. But as time passed and the work piled up, my guilty conscience expanded and so I decided that it was time to clean up this mess of impressions and setlists and scribble them down in a nice chronological order. Although, since there were so many concerts in the last few months, I choose to do a little “speed-reviewing”, meaning that the reviews will be shorter than usual. I hope that I will return to my usual writing style in October, though.

    But that’s all a pie in the sky so let’s just put one foot in front of the other and get started with a three-months live show workload.


    06/22/2011 - The Gaslight Anthem w/ Twopointeight - Astra Kulturhaus

    After Blink-182 decided to delay their Headlining tour throughout Europe for another year, it seemed that The Gaslight Anthem, New Jersey’s best selling Rock act after “The Boss” had a day of on this year’s 22th of June. But instead of crying about losing a support gig for band who should have stuck to their break up plans, TGA seized the opportunity to make this a headlining show themselves, which turned out to be the better choice.
    I don’t know whether I would have enjoyed the concert that was originally planned for that day. It was warm but rainy and so the show at the Wuhlheide would have been plenty wet. Also, 33 Euro for half an hour of The Gaslight Anthem and an entire set of a band I enjoyed listening to ten years ago would have been too much in comparison to the 22 Euro for this indoor Folk-Blues-Punk-Rock-(whatever-) fest. So it was my first show at the Astra, and while the support act Twopointeight played their set, we rather hung around at the hopelessly overcrowed outdoor area since it was incredibly hot inside. When the music from the inside stopped, we slowly made our way back in to find ourselves a nice spot for the headliner.
    When The Gaslight Anthem started their set, we were almost immediately where the action was the biggest. The sound was expectedly good for such a big venue and but the Astra is one of those locations with annoying concrete pillars so we had to fight our way to a better spot which we found around the third song. Almost in front of the center of the stage, no seven meters away and with a bunch of rather small people in front of me, I got to enjoy this two hour set right from center of pit, which was a nice change after I watched their last concert from the balcony at the C-Halle. I noticed that the audience surely had changed a lot since I’ve seen them first at the Kato almost two and a half years ago. Instead of tattooed guys with checkered shirts and worn out Converse All-Stars, there were mostly little girls in fancy dresses with skirts and hand bags. Well, I didn’t care, it really doesn’t matter who bumps into you but still it was odd since I don’t consider TGA to really be that mass compatible. Luckily the band, with a Brian who was as talkative as I have rarely seen him, decided to pick a setlist that mainly consisted of “older” hits from their EP and my favorite record “The ’59 Sound” so I was distracted with singing along most of the time although my favorite track from their second album was once again not played.

    Edit this setlist | More The Gaslight Anthem setlists

    As for the show, there’s not much to say really. The rest of the band remained silent as usual and only Brian chatted up the audience. They played a highly professional set and as mentioned before, you get a long show for your money so the set almost went on for two hours. In combination with the good sound and the fact that half of the fellow companions in the pit called it quits around three quarters of the set, I really enjoyed being at this show. So after a pretty long encore with a new track and a quick scan of the highly overpriced merch, we left the venue around half past eleven, dripping of sweat. Not the worst way to get home, though.


    07/12/2011 - Death By Stereo w/ Misconduct and Deliver - Cassiopeia

    Concerts during the week are the worst. Not for me actually, because I work at a pretty laissez-faire company where it’s no problem to show up at work at half past nine once in a while. No, it’s just so damn hard to find some fellow rocker(s) who also don’t mind hanging out late during the week. But this was a Death By Stereo show we’re talking about so “mission: accomplished” and off to the Cassiopeia in Berlin-Friedrichshain, which is now with Kreuzberg the biggest host of nice Rock venues after all the cool Clubs in Prenzlauer Berg had to shut their doors due to ignorant neighbors from southern Germany. They are weird little humans, inhibiting the building of an advanced train station and shutting down our clubs. But it’s so hard to stay mad at them due to their charming dialect.
    Anyway, back to the show at hand. We skipped the set of Deliver but decided to check out Misconduct. Their style of Hardcore mixed with Punk Rock is so obviously Swedish, I didn’t even need the singer to talk to figure it out (although I might have remembered that from reading it somewhere as well). While they delivered a solid show, I had my trouble finding this really interesting. Still it was too good to leave the concert floor so we stuck around and watched the entire set. A for effort.
    After that it was a short potty-break and then back to the basement to find a nice spot for the upcoming entertainment bomb that is Death By Stereo. Needless to say that I only managed to stay in my place for one song before I abandoned my resolutions to not join the pit as it would look stupid with only five other guys there and in order to avoid bruises and a hoarse voice. But once the personnel modified Hardcore quintet from OC, California and their charismatic singer and professional limelight hog Efrem Schulz decide to light a fire on a stage there’s no stopping them. Although I felt guilty for making my buddy schlep himself out here just to rush to the pit after the first song, I really had no other choice. The band played an incredibly energetic set with a brilliantly mixed setlist which combined songs from all releases. Efrem spent less time on the stage than in the audience and after a handful of songs he was sweatier than everybody in the audience but actually as sweaty as everybody else should have been. For a good sixty minutes the band fired hit after hit and there was almost no time to catch a break. It didn’t matter that the sound wasn’t the best and it was hard to make out the lyrics, you could hardly hear them anyway what with all the people around you shouting them as well. So we contently left the venue around quarter past eleven and if the merch hadn’t been so terribly ugly, I would have loved to help the band out by buying a t-shirt. Anyhoo, a penny saved is a penny earned and so there was some cash left for the shows to come. And might it be another Tuesday, after this show it will be a lot easier to convince people that shows during the week are worth the trouble you go through (or so I hear).



    08/24/2011 - The Menzingers w/ Red Tape Jam - Magnet

    The weeks of Folk-flavored Punk Rock were upon us and the start made The Menzingers. After having missed the acoustic set at the Ramones Museum due to misleading starting time announcements, we needed to kill the time until the concert by hanging around the East Side Gallery on this nice late summer night.
    When we entered the venue around 9:15 pm, we only had to listen to a couple of songs by the support act Red Tape Jam, who were not my cup of tea but at least a support that almost fitted the main act. They finished their set only 5 minutes later and we were positive that the show of headliner would start soon.
    We were mistaken though because The Menzingers from Scranton, PA appeared on stage at 10 pm sharp, making us wait for almost 40 minutes which was kind of a downer. What followed up however brightened the mood of the approximately 250 guest. The sound was expectably mediocre as usual, but the power and band’s joy of playing compensated for this circumstance. For a good 60 minutes, both singers fired one hit after another, well mixed between all records, leaving me with only a few unfulfilled song requests. During the second half of the set, the audience also reciprocated the bands good mood with a little dancing and a small mosh pit. After 50 minutes the regular set was over but the band returned for a short encore, also performing a cover version of the Descendent’s “Coolidge”.
    A promising start for the weeks to come, not even the delicate drive home through monsoon-like rainstorms could spoil the evening.

    more reviews to follow
  • April 2011 - The Live Show Retrospective Part XX

    17. Apr. 2011, 16:57

    Hi folks,

    this year, April will be a tightly packed month with birthday parties, lots of work, Christian holidays and of course amazing concerts. As usual, you can check out where I went to this month, so enjoy reading.

    04/08/2011 - Dear Landlord w/ The Blacklist Royals - Lovelite

    Berlin on a Friday night. For the comparatively high but still reasonable price of ten Euros, we were granted access to the Lovelite, located in Berlin-Friedrichshain. Though the admission price was about three Euros higher than expected, it was still a fair deal for two US-Bands. After hanging around at the well-attended venue for approximately 45 minutes and listening to background music, that indeed lacked of variety but was still very good as it was the entire album of “The Riot Before”, the first band headed for the stage.

    The Blacklist Royals, a Nashville, TN quartet that is signed to Paper + Plastick Records after all, started their set around 10:30 pm. The dance floor was jam-packed by this time and it got more and more crowded as the set continued, but their mixture of Punk, Blues and Folk is not really suited for a mosh pit, so the main part of the audience just stood there, watching the band play attentively and nodding along to the nice songs, only were few conversations were disturbing the atmosphere. However, it seemed that the band misinterpreted this phlegmatic behavior as indifference to their show. What followed were thirty minutes of halfhearted playing and entertaining and it felt that the band couldn’t really wait for the set to end. The singer made almost no eye contact with the audience, the other band members were focused on their instruments and announcements were scarce goods and sounded sarcastic. That was a shame as the music was actually pretty nice and I got the impression that more people came to see them rather than the headlining act as it was more crowded. Moreover, the sound was very good, only the bass was slightly predominant, but general sound was a lot better than in most other clubs of the same size. Sadly, the band’s bad mood persisted until the end of the set so that the fainthearted demands for an encore vanished quickly.

    After a short break of only 20 minutes, the headliner Dear Landlord from Carbondale, IL hit their first chords at 11:30 pm. Being a No Idea Records band, their musical style can be described best as Punk Rock with a hint of Folk, like Off With Their Heads, The Menzigers and early Against Me!, but all those reverences can only give you an idea of what to expect at a Dear Landlord show, as they maintain a significant dose of uniqueness. As aforementioned, the venue had emptied a bit by this time (although it might just be my impression as I moved closer to the stage), but the band still seemed to enjoy their show as they played in a very committed way. The most interesting part was the three singers, who sang different parts alone and others together (which was the best). Thanks to the still great sound, the lyrics were easy to make out and all instruments were well harmonized. So for a good fifty minutes they played an intense set with only very few announcements, which luckily sounded a lot more cheerful than the ones from The Blacklist Royals. This is even more impressive if you consider that this band has only enough material for approximately 40 minutes, which meant that the needed to play two cover songs to fill the time. The drummer told me that they played every song they’ve ever written, though I don’t think that’s true as I don’t recall most songs from the split EPs. Granted, I didn’t listen to them as often as I did with the album, so that may be possible. But I believe that they played the album in its entirety, so a setlist is not necessary. If you have a couple of favorite tunes, expect them to be played, like in my case “Landlocked” and “Whisky and Records” which were played as an encore.

    After equipping ourselves with a new set of t-shirts, we left the Lovelite around 12:30 pm, glad that we spent our money for such a great night and ready for the next one.


    04/09/2011 - Chixdiggit! w/ ??? (not the Drei??? - I just don't recall their name) - Cortina Bob

    Coming very soon (I promise)...


    04/24/2011 - Monster Bash Festival w/ NOFX, Descendents, Millencolin, Thursday and many more - C-Halle & C-Club

    Easter, the second coming of Christ, a time to rejoin with your loved ones, come to ease and look for Easter eggs. Well either that, or the time to go to Punk Rock Festival. We decided to do the latter and that’s why we bought a “five friends ticket” with three others we found via last.fm for the Monster Bash, a new one-day festival in the heart of Berlin. I’m most curious to see if this was more than a one-timer as most festivals in this vein could not prevail.

    We met around 2:30 pm, so we’d have a time buffer in case someone was late (which isn’t too devious when meeting with four other people coming from three different places), but since everyone was on time, we managed to enter the venue with only slight problems at the entrance around 2:45 pm, so still with 45 minutes to spare before the first band we wanted to see would start their set. After spending most of these missing the first act of the day Findus on the side stage, who I’ve seen as a support for Against Me! before and therefore didn’t feel the desire to relive this unpleasant event, chatting with the guys at the merch counter and the half-pipe, checking out the culinary selection and visiting the facilities while they were still clean and empty, we went to the main stage to watch Veara. As rumor has it, this quartet from Augusta, GA has a cute drummerette and sadly, that seemed to be their biggest hallmark, as their mixture of Pop Punk and Melodic HardCore was uninspired and exchangeable. True, I had to fight the urge to obey to the singer’s appeal to start a circle pit, but rather to confuse the crowd and less due to driving rhythms.

    After half an hour of extremely loud but also extremely mediocre music and entertainment, we were released and we used this opportunity to leave the venue, throw our newly acquired merch into the car and go strolling in the nearby park of Tempelhof. If you ever decide to enter Tempelhof at the entrance opposite to the C-Halle, don’t do it. “IT’S A TARP”. So while Small Town Riot was playing, we were straying through the infinite dimensions of the former airport. We entered the venue again in time to see The Blackout finish their set with a regular sized circle pit, and it was only then that we noticed that one singer apparently spent the entire set in the pit. After the show we went to the Biergarten, where we met some friends of ours, who were having relationship problems but refused our offer to fix their tarnished bond. Weird. Anyhoo, that happened around the same time the Three Chord Society was playing on the side stage, so there went another show unwatched by us.

    Around 5:20 pm, we went to the main stage to listen to a couple of songs of Cute Is What We Aim For and due to the delay in the starting time that had extended since Veara, these were the first three songs. I didn’t recall the band from Buffalo, NY being so whiny, but they were. Their Pop Punk / Emo mash-up left me with indifference and main parts of the audience felt alike as more and more people left the venue. Only a few hard-bitten ones stayed to watch more of the set, we stroke our colors though and headed for the side stage to watch the first highlight of the day.

    When we arrived, the C-Club still was pretty empty, but that changed within minutes. Apparently, Old Man Markley wasn’t really an insider’s tip, maybe due to their signing to Fat Wreck, maybe due to the fact that they play a very entertaining mixture of Punk Rock, Country and Bluegrass (and yet Fat Wreck fired The Sainte Catherines for “not being Punk anymore” - odd). The band from Los Angeles, CA came with the second most musicians on stage I’ve ever seen (eight – personal best so far, The Real McKenzies at Wild at Heart with nine musicians). Normally, I don’t see the point of having so many people in a band, but for certain genres it makes sense. So apart from the “regular” instruments as guitar, drums, contrabass and banjo, they had a washboard player, a violinist, a girl with an electric harp who also did some vocals and a guy with a tiny eight-string guitar/violin hybrid (no idea what that was). The band was in a good mood and played maybe 6 songs from their debut, plus one b-side and a song I didn’t know (maybe a new track). Along with the decent sound at the side stage and the enormous number of people in the crowd (approx. 500), the atmosphere was great. Everyone was enjoying the show and even a fairly sized pit established during the set. I got the impression that they could easily play a headlining show at the Magnet Club or Cassiopeia.


    Edit this setlist | More Old Man Markley setlists

    A good thirty minutes later, the show was over and we decided to leave the venue for some snacks, but by that time we were told that leaving the venue was no longer possible, so we had to settle for overpriced drinks and appropriate priced bratwursts in the Biergarten, were we witnessed some drunk idiots messing around and skipped the shows of Saves The Day and Radio Havanna.

    Around 7:00 pm it was time for Thursday. Well, almost, because the sound check seemed to go on forever, which only expanded the delay, so it was not until 7:20 pm the sextet from New Brunswick, NJ finally started their show. To be honest, I kinda liked their 2009 release “Common Existence”, but their prior albums as well as the new record “No Devolución” are not my cup of tea. Sadly, they only played one track from CE, which in combination with an absurd high volume and a terrible echo in the vocals, resulted in a show that annoyed the crap out of me. The light effects were pretty cool and they made an effort in delivering a good show, but if the music sucks, no visual effects can even that out. I admit that the sound guy should take a major part of the blame since he screwed the sound up pretty badly (we were on the balcony, maybe the sound was better at the ground floor, dunno), but also the band could not fill me with enthusiasm, though I give it to them that they managed to entertain at least some parts of the audience.

    While The Bottrops were playing the side stage, we stayed on the balcony, getting ready for the first Punk Rock institution of the night. Just in the nick of time we got to the ground floor and managed to find a nice spot from where we could see pretty well. But when Millencolin stroke the first chords of “No Cigar” only five minutes later, this spot had been occupied by someone else as we had already joined the pit. Those Swedish guys still know how to put up hell of a show, though admittedly the speed and movement on the stage had slowed done a bit. Au Contraire in the pit, because thanks to the improved sound and the fact that every song from “Pennybrigde Pioneers” made its appearance (in correct order, which I found to be a little unfortunate, but whatev’s) there was an ongoing mosh pit from first to last, only interrupted by “The Ballad”, which sounded so amazing being sung by at least 1,000 people. The official “Pennybridge Pioneers 10th Anniversary” set was followed by an encore of two songs (the last one sung by Mathias) and frenetic applause.


    Edit this setlist | More Millencolin setlists

    Suffering from massive dehydration due to extensive sweat emission, I decided it would be best to skip the Radio Dead Ones and buy a cold drink instead. We hung around in the Biergarten next to the C-Club for a while before we went to see four songs of the Descendents (really not my thing), only to return to the side stage in time to find a good spot for the upcoming TBR show.

    Apparently the delay on the main stage hadn’t affected the running order in the C-Club, since Teenage Bottlerocket started their show almost on time at 10:35 pm. For half an hour they played a set that started pretty great and diversified, but got a little monotonous in the second half. Evidently, that had no effect on the action in front of the stage so the pit got carried to the end by the exhausted but ardent supporters of the Fat Wreck Punk quartet from Laramie, WY. Sadly the sound was once again too loud and a lot of the music was an acoustic blur. Also I felt that they sold at less than their fair value, as the venue was only half-full (or half-empty, depending on how you see things), but I guess that was because most people chose to watch the Descendents in the meantime and wanted to keep their spots for the NOFX show. In fact, I really hope so because apart from the bad sound and the slight drop in variety, it was a cool show and not checking that out due to laziness would be really low, even for Berlin audiences.

    After Teenage Bottlerocket we went straight back to the main stage and fought our way to the front, which was easier than I expected. We only had to wait another 5 minutes for the first NOFX show in Berlin since 2002 (2003 if you count the show at the Berlinova Festival). I’ve seen them twice since then, 2004 in Stuttgart and last year at the Open Flair Festival, and I must say it was a typical NOFX show; 60% music, 40% talking (FYI, I don’t think that’s why they picked the 60% for the opener of “Wolves in Wolves’ Clothing”). When you have a one hundred minutes set and only a sixty minutes setlist, the math is easy. Sadly, that also means 20 minutes of total idiocy as only half their jokes are actually funny. But you know that when you decide to watch a NOFX show so back to the music, which was a nice mixture of most albums (songs from Ribbed and Heavy Petting Zoo made no appearance, although both records have nice tracks as well), even some songs that are rarely played live made the setlist. Sure, I would have loved it if they played an album in its entirety like last year, preferably “Pump up the Valuum” or “So long and thanks for all the shoes”, but this was okay, too. I joined the pit for almost half of the songs, even though it was pretty intense at the beginning and very crowded at the end, but I had fun bruising my extremities to the following songs of one of the flagships of Punk Rock.


    Edit this setlist | More NOFX setlists

    After the set, the band decided to skip a little bit to their closer (is that actually the opposite of an opener?) and we decided to skip, too, namely the last band of the night, Jingo De Lunch, and left.

    So there you have it, a three page review of the monster bash. Apart from the lousy organization and the partially terrible sound on both stages, it was a great festival, especially if you consider the low low price of 26 Euros. I would have paid that for a NOFX headlining gig alone, so actually I got to see Old Man Markley, Teenage Bottlerocket, Thursday and Millencolin for free. I will enjoy that for at least 50 days. If that isn’t the spirit of Easter.

    Well, that's it for April. Next concert is not up to June, but check in from time to time, I might actually post the Chixdiggit! review ;)

    Cheers
    Olli
  • March 2011 - The Live Show Retrospective Part XIX

    29. Mär. 2011, 21:06

    Greetings everyone,

    just one show this month and it was as short as is intro, so here it comes (later).

    03/28/2011 - The Chariot w/ MyChildren MyBride, Doyle & Seamy Side - Magnet

    It was a rather last-minute decision to attend this show because 18 Euro for one band, who would most likely only play a set of 30 to 40 minutes, possibly not even as the headliner, is a lot of money. And the fact that the support was only a bunch of question marks to me didn’t help much. But since I had this day and the next day off, still had a voucher for the box office and really wanted to see The Chariot after their release of their latest record “Long Live”, I ended up at the Magnet that Monday night at around 8:30 pm.

    Apparently the show had started on time once again as we had missed the entire set of Seamy Side (I guess that’s the proper writing) and after a quick scan of the (partially hideous) merch, we watched the set of French Post-HardCore act Doyle. My surprise of such a band name aside, the next thirty minutes revealed nothing unexpected. This was your cliché rock show with repeatedly telling the crowd that you love their particular kind (mainly regarding nationality or locality), raising beer bottles, the whole charade. Speaking from the point of a listener, this show was just as boring. So boring, I don’t feel the desire to dignify it by reviewing.

    Next up was MyChilder, MyBride and this set was actually pretty different from what I expected. Sure, their music was not my pair of shoes and the mediocre Magnet sound didn’t help much to chance that, but their show was darn entertaining. I felt like I was at a gym and everyone was working out (in a strange way, but still) and we agreed on the fact that the (in)famous Eric Prydz video would have looked like this if he had been a girl or at least a Metalhead. So I had fun watching the audience and the singer who had the jumping jack down. Still I like to believe that it’s not the best thing if you keep the visual effort of a band in mind instead of the acoustical.

    Before The Chariot started their set at 10:30 pm, we witnessed Dan Smith from Listener (who later also did his part in the song David De La Hoz) perform two songs whilst the band was setting up the equipment. I like this dude and his inharmonic way of “singing”, but without any music it was a little bizarre like going to a karaoke bar and listening to the drunk dude who won’t just quit even though the music has stopped. Anyway, this was an amusing break and as started headliner started their set right away after this, it felt like there as hardly a break at all. After that was the show of Douglasville, GA mathcore act The Chariot and as the set was pretty short (only 35 minutes) I keep this review short too, since you can’t describe a The Chariot show, you need to see it. So catch one, hopefully one with a better sound than the Magnet’s, and try to believe the madness that is going on in front of and on stage.


    Edit this setlist | More The Chariot setlists

    Oh, by the way, sorry for the short review, but I couldn’t be bothered with writing at the moment. I didn’t even proof read so let’s pretend the mistakes in there don’t exist. I’m really dreading the next month (because of all the reviews, not the shows)

    Stay tuned for a busy April, sadly without Frank Turner but with shows of Dear Landlord, Chixdiggit!, No Trigger (maybe) and the Monster Bash Festival

    Cheers,
    Olli
  • February 2011 - The Live Show Retrospective Part XVIII

    5. Feb. 2011, 16:43

    Hi everyone and welcome to a new year of concert reviews. 2011 looks promising so far, not only because there is already a bunch of concert highlights in my calendar, but also because splendid Orange Distortion finally reformed and set their resurrection show for 02/11/2011.

    This year, I thought about trying a different writing style as I was told that my reviews are too subjective with unnecessary information on merch and crowd and feature only insufficient background information on bands and their musical background. I always thought to write stuff like this would be redundant since you're reading these reviews at last.fm and could gather all the information you wanted by clicking on the linked artist page. Also, I'm not writing for some fancy music mag or e-zine but for me and maybe a handful of people who’re actually reading this, so I never really felt to write very professionally. Still, criticism is welcome and so I'll try my best to strike a balance.

    02/01/2011 - Darkest Hour w/ Protest the Hero, Born of Osiris and Purified in Blood - Magnet

    So here it was, the first show of two oh double-one and by taking a look at the names printed on the ticket, you knew that this was some heavy stuff for a Tuesday night. Maybe the organizers knew that too, since the show’s start was scheduled for 7 pm. And at the Magnet you better be on time if you don't want to miss even a single song.
    I arrived at the venue around 8 pm because I didn't feel the urge to watch half of the bands, especially not alone. I hoped that my assumptions were correct and the running order was opposite to the order the bands were shown on the ticket and website and luckily I was correct. After a quick scan of the available merch, I entered the showroom to see the show in full swing. As it turned out, Purified in Blood had already finished their set and so it was now up to Born of Osiris to entertain the crowd of roughly 450 headbangers and circle-pit kids. Their electronically enhanced MetalCore didn’t really appeal to me and obviously the majority of attendees felt the same way. I can't say if they played a good show as I only watched two and a half songs (not men) but I got the feeling I didn't miss much.

    Only five minutes later, Canadian Progressive Metal act Protest the Hero showed up on stage, but at first only to set up their equipment. I like bands who handle the setup of instruments themselves as it helps to speed up the process a lot. Sadly, the quintet from Whitby, Ontario seemed to be satisfied oddly quick with the sound check which led to the notorious Magnet sound you've probably read about before, not only in my blog. In combination with their intricate musical style , this was the worst case scenario. Vocalist Rody was too quiet during the whole set, the drums were pretty muffled and both guitars vanished from time to time in the hodgepodge of sounds, only the bass was nicely tuned I thought. In addition to the bad sound came a mediocre setlist. With two full-lengths in the orbit and another ready for lift-off on the launching platform, you would think they alternate their setlist from more often, but all three shows I've been to basically featured the same songs. A nice touch that they added Bone Marrow to the set, but again the same Kezia tracks and again two of my least favorite Fortress tunes had only very little kick. Furthermore they played three new songs from their upcoming record Scurrilous, which are too much for a ten song set, but Protest The Hero seemed to enjoy the fact that they annoyed the audience a little with that. They were aware that nobody is looking forward to new songs at a concert but they played them anyway, which probably wasn't due to promotional reasons as I believe that they aren't really that big in Germany. The audience replied to the pick of songs with only very little action during two or three songs though the general mood was good and I like to believe the effort of the whole band was taken kindly, still I expected more from both the audience and the band. Only ray of hope that night was Rody’s one-man show. Everyone who has been to a PTH show knows how great an entertainer he is. Same that night, when we kept making jokes and telling weird stories while the rest of the band kept quiet it the background. You’d think for such talented guys they weren't so shy. Still a solid show, but not their best performance, I guess.
    Setlist.

    Edit this setlist | More Protest the Hero setlists

    It's a little bit weird when the headliner of a Metal show starts its set at 9:30 pm but this is when Darkest Hour entered the stage to the acoustic guitar intro of Doomsayer, only to start their show with that song and immediately letting a giant bomb of anticipation and excitement burst blow up in the audience. Admittedly I’m not an expert when it comes to Metal and since I only listen to the last three albums of Darkest Hour with increasing regularity, I wouldn't say I'm an expert on them, either. Still, I was anxious about seeing them for the third time, even though my knowledge of songs and lyrics is basically reduced to a bunch of tracks from Deliver Us and The Eternal Return. So it was fascinating to see that during their 15 years of existence as a band, they managed to write diverse songs which still all bear the same hallmarks that they could be on either one or (like in this case) six records. As the band played their way through 15 years of musical productive period, the atmosphere in the audience always seemed to adapt to the tone of the show. Hard and angry mosh and circle pits for the fast and heavy songs, modest headbanging for the slow and solemn songs. The setlist was well mixed, my personal highlights made their appearances, but the most memorable thing was the live-version of Aquetis Vertunis. You just need to have the stones to play a 13-minutes instrumental epic with features acoustic guitars, even if you're one of the best plain Metal bands these days. Along with the great pick of songs came a drastically changed sound for the better. All instruments were crystal clear (maybe the acoustic guitars were a little too soft, but that comes with the instrument) and especially the vocals were easy to make out. All that with a great performance of all musicians, like back to back guitar soli, demands for clapping and mosh pits and other show elements, made this show a real highlight and the best performance of Darkest Hour that I witnessed so far. After 70 minutes including the encore, the audience was released into the cold Berlin winter night. And even if that's the only drop of bitterness, I was pleased to be home at 11 pm. Not the worst thing if you have to work the next day.
    Setlist (what I remembered)

    Edit this setlist | More Darkest Hour setlists



    02/11/2011 - Orange Distortion w/ BLACK BORN PHOENIX, Raw Stuff and Nitro Shot - Eastend

    Orange Distortion are dead! Long live Orange Distortion! Or something in that matter, since this band was never really dead but on a personnel induced hiatus. After parting with drummer and vocalist, it’s not easy playing live shows with stringed instruments dominant instrumentals only. So the search for reinforcements on microphone and heads began and it took almost 16 months for them to play a show again. So when we entered the Eastend, an insanely good equipped club with an awesome sound, neat light effects and a great showroom, unfortunately located at the edge of Berlin, the anticipation was almost tangible, with rumors discussed even on the toilets. Expectations were high and everyone was excited to see the reformatted quintet.
    But prior to that, BLACK BORN PHOENIX inaugurated the night with a sixty minute set of pure energy and heavy metal. It was nice to see these guys again, too, as they are great musicians and have an aptitude for kick-ass songs. They also went through some line-up changes as they have a new bassist, although it was hard to tell if that was so, since he oddly resembled the old bassist, only that he was blond and didn’t wear make-up. The set however did not resemble to ones I’ve seen before as they played plenty of new songs. The singer claimed that he was suffering from quinsy, but I thought the vocals were as hard and good as usual. Yet, I once more got the feeling that this band is not using their full potential. They are awesome musicians, but still I’m having trouble seeing resp. hearing the central theme of the songs. Most tracks are very different, they sound inspired by various bands such as KORN or Metallica, but they are lacking of unique hallmarks apart from the vocals. I’m missing something individual that recurs in the majority of the songs. If they’re ever able to put in such a recognition value, they could become big. My opinion.
    Next up after a short break were Orange Distortion. Most guests had now gathered inside the venue to see what the creative break yielded. The band started the set with an instrumental intro and after approx. 2 minutes the new singer entered the stage. Apparently the band has been working on its sex appeal since it now features some eye’s delight for both sexes. I’m not going into detail on the singer’s appearance, although this led to controversial discussions among the fans. Even I felt it was not a favorable way to introduce oneself but there couldn’t be a more profane thing when you’re focusing on the music. So back from the visual to the acoustical matters. The setlist mainly featured new songs so I guess I need to listen to them a few more times before I give my final statement. Generally I thought the music has become harder but a little bit slower at the same time, unlike songs like “Not to be Heard”, “My Life,…” or “Nothing in Return” for instance. Fits their genre description of “Heavy Rock” but I have my doubts if I can really join a Pogo to those songs. Time will tell. Regarding the new band members, I’m torn as well. The new drummer(ette) is brilliant I think. She played a straight set, very professional without the “episodes” the last drummer liked to incorporate in his play. Plus her ambition to get better is a good sign. Granted, I’m not an expert when it comes to drumming, but I thought that was a fairly good set of her. She couldn’t agree and told me she thought she sucked. Well, it that was a bad set, I’d like to see a great one. With the singer, I have some more annotations. I was expecting something completely different after such a long and minute search, but I thought the distinction between their former singer and this one wasn’t that big. Sure, he’s a good vocalist and managed to hit some lower tones, but their basic singing style was very akin. If that’s good or bad, we need to see. I’m not going to judge too hard on him as it was his first gig with this band and I know that the focus is mainly on the singer. Maybe he shouldn’t sing towards the band that much and focus his attention more on the audience, but I give him the beginners bonus. Overall I think he did a good job like the whole band. If you don’t believe me just ask the 10 to 15 people in the pit, who managed to keep up the exuberance for the entire fifty minutes set.

    Setlist:
    Intro
    RATMJunge
    Gaypain Part I
    Frontliner
    A Ludicrous Exercise
    Head Down
    Disaudio
    Shuffle
    Gulli
    Didl

    After the show of OD, we just chatted with the members of the band for a few minutes and then headed back home after a long day so you won’t find reviews of the other to bands here (sorry for that). I’m excited for some more OD shows and hopefully there will be some soon, since I want to know how their story continues. So see you there.

    Emphasis added: I know that I’m overly critical about the changes in the band and music, but I’ve been sticking with this band for almost six years, attending almost every show from the beginning and becoming an important part of the Orange Distortion support (at least I like to believe so). So there were some things on my mind that needed to be said. I will support this band no matter what as they are good friends of mine, but as a real fan I must articulate my doubts and fears as well as my commendation and approval.


    So that's it for February. Hope to see you guys and gals in March for the review on my favorite Greek transportation device, The Chariot.

    All the best

    Olli
  • 2010 in facts & figures - My 10 Favorite Records (and the ones that didn't make it)

    2. Jan. 2011, 15:51

    Hello all together,

    it has been 365 days since I last evaluated a bunch of records and told you which ones I liked the best. And since 365 days make a full year (at least if it's not a bissextile [I liked this word better that leap year xD]) you might guess that this time I give you my top ten list of 2010.

    Just for your information (rather not overuse these abbreviations), my evaluating system hasn't changed so if you checked out my last years journal entry, you will be familiar with it. In case you missed it and wanna know what the heck I'm talking about, just read the paragraphs 3 - 4 of this entry.

    Okay then, as last year I'll start with the records with a probability up to 40% in alphabetical order.

    Bane - 7:58 am Perth EP
    Bleeding Through - Self-Titled
    Bomb The Music Industry - Adults!!!... Smart!!! Shithammered!!! And Excited By Nothing!!!!!!!
    City Lights - Burned Out Bright
    Hold Steady, The - Heaven Is Whenever
    Look Mexico - To Bed to Battle
    Tub Ring - Secret Handshake
    Underoath - Ø (Disambiguation)
    Venerea - Lean Back In Anger


    A huge disappointment was the new Underoath record. This album lacked of everything, power, severity and catchyness. It got so boring after three songs, I could hardly force myself to listen through the rest, much less to listen to it more than once. Wasted time in my humble opinion (consequence is everything).

    Next up we have the records with a probability of 41% - 70%, as before in an alphabetical order.

    A Rose, By Any Other Name - One For My Master And One For My Dame
    Alkaline Trio - This Addiction
    Angels and Airwaves - Love
    Bad Religion - The Dissent of Men
    Black Pacific, The - Self-Titled
    Cancer Bats - Bears, Mayors, Scraps And Bones
    Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants - Self-Titled
    Comeback Kid - Symptoms and Cures
    Devil Wears Prada, The - Zombie EP
    From First to Last - Throne To The Wolves
    Haste The Day - Attack Of The Wolf King
    Heaven Shall Burn - Invictus
    Memphis May Fire - Between The Lies EP
    Parkway Drive - Deep Blue
    Portugal. The Man - American Ghetto
    Senses Fail - The Fire
    Silverstein - Transitions EP
    Sly, Tony - 12 Song Program
    Story Of The Year - The Constant
    Streetlight Manifesto - 99 Songs Of Revolution
    Sundowner - We Chase the Waves
    Wir Sind Helden - Bring Mich Nach Hause


    The Bad Religion record was actually pretty good and could have made one category up if it had a couple more songs on it that stuck to me. But since it is a Bad Religion album, everything sounds much alike and so it vanishes in my drawer of mediocre records. A letdown was the Streetlight Manifesto record; finally some "new" songs, but even if I was aware that all of these songs were covers, it still was a dry listen. What a shame.

    Continuing with the records of 71% - 90% probability. Alphabetical order as given.

    Barry, Tim - 28th & Stonewall
    Angel City Outcasts - Self-Titled
    As I Lay Dying - The Powerless Rise
    Bled, The - Heat Fetish
    Decline, The - I'm Not Gonna Lie to You
    Defiance, Ohio - Midwestern Minutes
    Emarosa - Self-Titled
    Gaslight Anthem, The - American Slang
    Gogol Bordello - Trans-Continental Hustle
    Good Charlotte - Cardiology
    Menzingers, The - Chamberlain Waits
    None More Black - Icons
    Off With Their Heads - In Desolation
    Plan B - The Defamation Of Strickland Banks
    Scarlett O'Hara - Lost In Existence
    Sick Of It All - Based On A True Story
    Street Dogs - Self-Titled
    Talco - La Cretina Commedia
    Turner, Frank - Rock & Roll EP


    I must admit I never thought I might enjoy a Good Charlotte record that much, especially when they sing about such trivial topics as "champagne pounding girlfriends who behave like it's their birthday", still I found myself nodding and tapping my toes to their music. I'm not even ashamed of that
    Biggest disappointment in this category is definitely the new Gaslight Anthem record. It's still a solid effort, but for me it can not compete with their SideOneDummy debut "The '59 Sound", which came in second in 2008. I still like to listen to it, but since it hasn't the same drive, I can't listen to it that often. Sad, but true.

    Okay, we've reached the top category with a probability of more than 90% that features only eleven records of which 10 are in the Top 10 list (duh!)

    My Chemical Romance - Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys

    I didn't expect these guys to write such a poppy record, so full of joy and life-affirming songs. Weird, but never judge a book by it's cover respective a band by it's make-up. If only the second half of the record was as strong as the first, this album could have made the top five.
    Be that as it may, here they are, the ten best records of 2010.


    #10 Norma Jean - Meridional - 91,0%


    MetalCore act Norma Jean have successfully retained a top ten spot since their last release in 2008. And even though this records is once more calmer and less chaotic than it's predecessor, I find it a good listening. It seems to be more homogeneous than Vs The Anti-Mother, but it has less tracks that really kick as hard so their top ten position was supposably close. Still, a good effort.
    Favorite songs:
    - Deathbed Atheist
    - A Media Friendly Turn for the Worse
    - Falling from the Sky: Day Seven

    #9 The Damned Things - Ironiclast - 91,5%


    Ever since Every Time I Die's phenomenal album The Big Dirty, I wished for more dirty, bluesy songs on which Keith sings more than he scream. While that wish was ignored on New Junk Aesthetic, it was valued on this little record. I admit that the rest of this "super group" is doing a good job as well, with a wide variety of sounds and styles, but for me the vocals stick out the most. A higher position would have been possible, if the songs could have sent down a chill down my back as some ETID songs can. Hopefully next time.
    Favorite songs:
    - We've Got a Situation Here
    - A Great Reckoning
    - Ironiclast

    #8 Smoke or Fire - The Speakeasy - 92,0%


    It has been a while since the last release of Boston, MA Punk Rock act Smoke or Fire, 4 years to be exact. But honestly, time well spend as they created an album that easily beats both their predecessors with a great mixture of energy, melody and catchiness. While their previous albums had an equal number of awesome and mediocre songs for the, The Speakeasy only features 2-3 songs that I skip from time to time, but only if I want to hear some of my other favorite tunes before I have to take of the headphones again.
    Favorite songs:
    - Monsters Amoung Us
    - Neon Light
    - Honey, I Was Right About The War

    #7 The Chariot - Long Live - 93,0%


    This album actually came out of the blue for me. I wasn't aware that they were recording a new record at all and I only figured that this was a new full-length record when I first heard it, since I was convinced it was a live record (judging by the title). It was a pleasant surprise to hear that they the ridiculously outros and similar songs from the last record made way for a The Chariot album to my liking. Chaotic, hard, short and with a lick of oddly cool discordant sounds.
    Favorite songs:
    - David De La Hoz
    - Robert Rios
    - The King

    #6 The Sainte Catherines - Fire Works - 93,5%


    A split with Fat Wreck for not sounding angry and Punk Rock anymore. Well, for The Sainte Catherines, that works for me, especially when they manage to sound like last years runner up Yesterday's Ring, only a little more forward, still resembling the old TSC from The Art Of Arrogance or Dancing For Decadence. Clever lyrics, some great hymns, gruff vocals and still a little Punk Rock. The perfect balance for Montreal's sextet. Sad that YR had to die for this, though.
    Favorite songs:
    - Back To The Basement That I Love
    - I'll Miss The Boys
    - Reinventing Ron Hextall (I Don't Want To Say Goodbye)

    #5 The Riot Before - Rebellion - 94,0%


    This album is the logical consequence of the development of The Riot Before. Folk-Punk at its best, gruff vocals, great hymns and sing-along tracks wherever you look (or hear). Maybe a little calmer than the predecessor but still a great album. Just check it out or you'll be sorry.
    Favorite songs:
    - Uncharted Lands
    - A Good Sense of Style
    - To Live How We Believe

    #4 Against Me! - White Crosses - 95,0%


    Finally, there's the prove that Against Me! can write great songs whilst on a major label, too. Sure, the sound has gotten softer once more, but I honestly didn't expect them to return to their folkish style Punk Rock with fast and hard songs and screamy vocals after New Wave at all. For me, this album can generate a feeling of pleasant relaxation, perfect for a ride home late at night or for the songs between their hits on a live show. They should really stay on this road.
    Favorite songs:
    - Because of the Shame
    - Rapid Decompression
    - Bamboo Bones

    #3 Fake Problems - Real Ghosts Caught On Tape - 96,5%



    I wasn't expecting a new record of last year's number one so soon, so Fake Problems' third full-length came as a pleasant surprise in what had been a dreary year so far. The even bigger surprise however was their anew changed sound to a very unique Indie sound. It seemed they were sick of the comparisons with Against Me! and decided to get rid of the parallels in their musical style. Wise choice as it helps to see this quartet from Naples, FL as a standalone band. Plus it still sounds amazing, even if I miss the gruff vocals from time to time.
    Favorite songs:
    - ADT
    - Songs For Teenagers
    - Soulless

    #2 The Flatliners - Cavalcade - 97,5%


    Holy Moly, with the insanely fast decreasing number of actually listenable Fat Wreck releases over the last three years, the new Flatliners record came as kind of a shock, but in a positive way. This album teems with energy and aggression, the skacore sound of the first album has been abandoned almost entirely in favor of straight Punk with a touch of HardCore. "Have you heard that love is dead?"; can't be as I'm really in love with this album. Incredible good record, but in comparison to the winner of 2010 a mu to unchequered.
    Favorite songs:
    - He Was a Jazzman
    - Shithawks
    - Sleep Your Life Away

    #1 Foxy Shazam - Self-Titled - 98,0%


    What do you get if you mix opera with punk rock, post-hardcore, hammy vocals, pianos and wind instruments. Exactly, Foxy Shazam. It is hard to describe this album as it is so diversified and eclectic, sad songs, crazy songs, heartwarming songs, simply beautiful songs. This is an album for every occasion and that's why there are only very few situations I wouldn't wanna hear this record. A worthy vanquisher of 2010's musical output.
    Favorite songs:
    - Bye Bye Symphony
    - Oh Lord
    - Dog In Love With Kitty

    So, these are basically all the records I've listened to in 2010. There were some I wanted to check out but didn't have the time respective feel the desire to give time them a listen. So that adds up to:

    Overview


    Category 1: up to 40% - 9 Albums = 14.8 %

    Category 2: 41% - 70% - 22 Albums = 36.1%

    Category 3: 71% - 90% - 19 Albums = 31.1%

    Category 4: over 90% - 11 Albums = 18.0%
    _____________________________________________________________
    Category 1-4 - 61 Albums = 100.0%


    Like last year, I want to mention my favorite concerts of 2010. As there were no shows of my pals from Orange Distortion (I was right about their hiatus, though), I only attended 14 concerts plus one festival. If you feel like it, you can give my reviews a read while you're on it.
    I've been pretty busy with concerts in October, as there were four shows I went to. In one third of the year, I didn't see a single live show, but as a compensation for that I saw the most bands in August (due to the festival). And here they are.

    #5 - Mad Caddies at SO36
    #4 - Dead To Me at Clash
    #3 - Against Me! at Festsaal Kreuzberg
    #2 - Cobra Skulls at Schokoladen
    #1 - The Flatliners at Clash

    So that's it. Hope you enjoyed reading this journal entry and hook me up with some recommendations on bands and records worth checking out due to my evaluation of the records of 2010.

    See you soon for some live show reviews.

    Yours Truly

    Olli
  • November 2010 - The Live Show Retrospective Part XVII

    8. Nov. 2010, 11:39

    Ahoi,

    welcome to a month full of concerts and dilettante live show reviews. This time I’ll take you to three shows of Folk influenced Punk Rock of different levels, audience- and skillwise. Hope you’ll enjoy it.


    11/05/2010 - The Gaslight Anthem w/ The Riot Before, Sharks and Chuck Ragan - C-Halle

    While the increase of the audience over the years is a linear development for most bands, there are some exceptions, which seem to rather have an exponential growth of the crowd. One of those exceptions is New Jersey’s The Gaslight Anthem, who received comprehensive critical acclaim for their latest release “American Slang”, maybe to a lesser extend due to the records quality but more because they earned the Boss’ appreciation for their mixture of Punk Rock and this springsteenesque Blues and Folk Rock. If that was the main reason why they were able to play in front of 3,000 instead of 400 people this year, was a question to be answered.
    I arrived oddly early that night, it was only 8:15 pm and I expected it to be quite crowded, but not that crowded as I knew the show wasn’t sold out. The dance floor did not seem as a pleasant spot to watch the show, so I passed by the merch counter and didn’t even look at the prices what surely only would have impaired my mood and went straight for the balcony and found me a sweet spot, with straight view on the singer’s microphone. Sharks, according to the ticket, were the first band that night, a boyish skinny jeans Indie band from Britain. One could argue about their live qualities, they seemed a bit lost on the big stage and their musical style was beyond noticeable. I guess they’re a talented band an all, but they were way too young to open for someone like The Gaslight Anthem and their Indie Rock didn’t really fit in with the tone of the evening. They tried to Punk it up a notch with a cover of Rancid’s “Ruby Soho”, but as 95% of the audience were as schooled in Punk Rock as Statler and Waldorf are schooled in containment, this small spark of excitement died in a 50 person sing-along, which feels like drop in a bucket when there are more than three thousand in the venue. But that wasn’t even the worst. When they said “let’s give it up for The Riot Before” and the guy next to me confirmed that indeed The Riot Before played a surprise half hour set until 8 pm, I started to realize that I have missed the best band of the night.
    After that, it was up to Chuck Ragan to brighten my mood. After a short break of 15 minutes (it doesn’t take long to set up an acoustic guitar and a microphone) he started his set around 9 pm and quickly got accompanied by his violinist, who remarkably resembled Forrest Gump at the point when he says “I'm pretty tired. I think I'll go home now“. Their set was very entertaining, though I felt that Chuck had some problems singing in a low voice instead of screaming like he did when he sang in Hot Water Music, because sometimes he fell back into this old habit. Not really a bad thing, especially as his acoustic songs aren’t as brittle as of some other songwriters. For a good 30 minutes, he played mainly songs I didn’t know (so no setlist here) and apparently so didn’t most of the crowd, as only a few letter-perfect fans sang along, what prompted Chuck to reward them with his harmonica. Like last time, when Frank Turner opened for The Gaslight Anthem, I had my doubts whether a Singer/Songwriter would be appropriate to heat up the crowd for a full band with some danceable numbers, and like last time it did work. I really enjoyed his set but like most people, I was excited to see Gaslight play.
    To perfectly fit into the tightest timetable I’ve ever seen at a concert, The Gaslight Anthem started their set at 10 pm sharp. I remembered the giant banner from their show at the Open Flair Festival, and so I did the clothes of the band, only Brian Fallon seemed to be dressed slightly different than that day, with all that pomade in his hair and his blue jeans (although no white T-Shirt). They started their set with “The Spirit Of Jazz” and after that followed a bunch of numbers from American Slang. I must say, the setlist wasn’t well mixed, the first half was very “American Slang” oriented, the second half focused more on “The ‘59 Sound” and in between they played some songs from “Sink Or Swim” and the “Senor And The Queen” EP. That didn’t bother me as much as they left out some of my favorite songs like “The Patient Ferris Wheel”, “Miles Davis & The Cool” and “We Did It When We Were Young”. Here’s the complete setlist.


    Edit this setlist | More The Gaslight Anthem setlists

    The sound was worse that it was when Sharks and Chuck played. The drums were too loud, guitars and vocals were to quiet and sometimes it was hard to make out the lyrics or the chords, it sounded a bit muffled at first. It got better as the set went on but for a venue as the C-Halle, you expect a better sound from the beginning. The band hardly ever took a break to chat with the audience and if they did, it was only Brian who was talking, the rest of the band was as usually pretty aloof. Some found it boring and said it was a boring show, others knew what to expect and weren’t disappointed. In any way, this concert, which ended around 11:45 pm, was offering plenty of topics of conversation for the days to come. I didn’t regret attending this concert, but it was probably the last Gaslight Anthem show for a while, especially for the price of 25 Euro.


    11/06/2010 - The Riot Before w/ Tigeryouth - Lovelite

    After coping with the fact that I missed what supposedly was a great set of The Riot Before at the Gaslight Anthem show, I was excited to see one of my favorite bands of the last two years at their headliner gig at the Lovelite. Especially, after I was strolling around in the cold for 20, unable to find the venue, I was hoping that the Folk-Punk quartet from Richmond, VA would give us all hell so I could feel my fingers again in time to raise them with conviction to the socially and politically critical songs of The Riot Before.
    Apparently, showing up at 10:15 pm still didn’t spare me of seeing the support act Tigeryouth, who started their set only 15 minutes later. I don’t get why they didn’t get on stage but played in the audience, because all they needed were two mics and two guitars (one acoustic, one electric). Hard to say what I think of these two guys, their songs were kinda funny, the sound was a little thin and my distaste for German lyrics wasn’t helping matters, but I guess the organizer could have picked a much worse support act. The audience seemed to enjoy it, though the sound was horrid, the songs were lacking in variety and since the musicians were smaller than some people in the audience, you could hardly see them. Their half-hour set passed by surprisingly quickly and we were able to move closer to the stage.
    A wise choice, because when The Riot Before started their set around 11:30 pm, the venue was packed with people, some chose to come again after they have seen them play the night before. They surely did the right thing, as the band played a hell of a set, a great mixture of their latest to records and a really old tune. They really put forth an afford into showing that they can do more than just stay on stage and play great songs and so it was inevitable that the whole band was wet to their bones. Sadly there was not much action in front of the stage, but most people were singing along and that works perfect with their songs. The sound was still bad, only slightly better than it was when Tigeryouth were playing but I guess a little above average in comparison to other small venues. Though some great songs were missing, the setlist was still pretty darn good, as you can see


    Edit this setlist | More The Riot Before setlists

    For a good sixty minutes, the band proved their great live skills, only interrupted by short entertaining stories or pitching breaks. After a quick encore of two songs, the band left the stage but hang out to chat with the fans. Hopefully, they’ll be back soon.


    11/26/2010 - Swingin' Utters - Clash

    Okay, this is rather short as I don't believe anyone will be reading this after one month but for sake of completeness I'll write a few lines.
    It was a rather spontaneous decision to go to this show that night since I honestly hardly care about the Swingin' Utters. Don't get me wrong, I don't think they suck or anything, but their music never really got to me. But ever since Jack parted ways with Dead To Me I wanted to talk to him and this show felt like the best opportunity to do so. So I got ready around 10 pm, left the house and made my way to the Clash. Sadly the support band (who I don't recall) hadn't started to play yet so there was much time to kill. But since it was pretty chilly outside I decided to enter the venue anyway to warm up and look for Jack.
    I must admit I was surprised how crowded the club was. I mean I've been there only a couple of times to see The Flatliners and Dead To Me, so I expected like 50 - 100 people, but there must have been easily 400 people that night. Apparently the Utters are bigger than I thought. Anyhoo, I found Jack after like 5 minutes and talked to him about his break-up with Dead To Me and his future plans regarding making music. I was surprised to hear that the way the break-up had been reported on the internet had only little connections to the "truth" (I airquote this since I only heard one party so far). I'll keep it to myself what Jack told me, though he might probably tell you the same story if you ask him, but I'm not the one to kiss and tell.
    After this I listened to the last few songs of the support band and waited to the main act. It must have been 11.30 when the Swingin' Utters started an energetic 60 minutes live set which only featured a few songs I knew (they didn't play "Glad", not even after about 20 people asked them to play it. Suckers!), so don't expect a detailed setlist from me. I was getting more and more packed as the set continued and the mosh pit wasn't half bad. I watched the whole set from the mid-back, getting pushed back a few inches ever other song. It was fun, even for me who's no a big fan of the Utters. The sound was as good/bad as it always is at the Clash, muffled vocals, drums to loud, guitars to quiet, etc. Your standard Clash concert. Still a fun night.

    So, that's it, 2010 has no more shows for me to attend so I see all of you in 2011. Until then, enjoy yourselves.

    Greetings

    Olli
  • October 2010 - The Live Show Retrospective Part XVI

    1. Nov. 2010, 15:21

    Hi Folks,

    first of all I’d like to apologize for my delay in reviewing the concerts in October. I’ve been pretty swamped and didn’t feel the urge to sit in front of my computer on weekends as well, but as the stressful days are over now, I will briefly inform you about a packed month. Enjoy


    10/02/2010 - Frank Turner w/ Ghost Of A Chance - Roter Salon

    Yeah, well. This was probably the last concert in Mitte that I choose to go to by car. Stupid parking meters with a price of two Euros per hour. Fortunately, enough people at the Roter Salon decided not to return their empty bottles after the show, so with a deposit of 50 cents I was able to break even pretty soon.
    But now for the fun part of evening. First act that night was Ghost Of A Chance, whose appearance could not have been a bigger contrast to the headliner. While Frank Turner, who is a tall, lanky, wears lumberjack shirts and denim jeans really looks like a Folk-Singer, Tobias Heiland, the guy behind Ghost of a Chance could easily fit in a metal band with muscular body, his all-black clothes and his tattoos. You wouldn’t believe that such a guy could write songs of such beauty and brittleness. For a good 30 minutes, he entertained the audience quite nicely with 6-7 songs of his own and an uncommon version of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” (damn you, A Static Lullaby for giving me the ability to identify this song within seconds!!). Unlike Frank Turner’s songs though, these songs carried a rather melancholic vibe and spoke of despair, loss and sorrow, although that might just be my personal perception. Still, all songs were nice to listen to, not only because of the clear sound (well, I guess you can’t really mess up the sound of one micro and an acoustic guitar, can you?) but also because you immediately felt that they were nothing but authentic. If you ever get a chance to see this guy, take it!
    Around 11 p.m., Frank Turner, the incredible charming, self-proclaimed “skinny half-arsed English Country-Singer” appeared on stage, not as I expected with his whole band but merely solo with only his guitar. Honestly, I was a little disappointed because I liked his show with the full band line-up last December better that his solo show he did with The Gaslight Anthem, but I was about to be disabused of the misapprehension, that only with more instruments, his songs can really unfold their true beauty. He was able to attune all of his songs to only one guitar so it wasn’t apparent that 3-4 musicians were missing on stage. I can’t remember the setlist (if you have it, please let me know), but as you might have suggested, he played a well-mixed set from all of his issues plus some new tunes and two cover songs (Weezer’s “My Name Is Jonas” and Queen’s “I Want To Break Free”). In between the songs, Frank told some hilarious stories of which some might have been just fiction but still were darn entertaining and so time just flew by as if you were just having a nice chat with your friends. For me, that really is the brilliance about a Frank Turner show, you feel cozy and familiar even if you’re surrounded by at least 300 people you don’t know. So after approximately 90 minutes, the set, of course, ended with the sing-along classics “Photosynthesis” and the “Ballad Of Me And My Friends”, what made the audience go wild for one last time.
    That night I might have wasted 5 Euro on parking money as obviously no meter maid was strolling around on a Saturday night, but I definitely hadn’t wasted my time by attending this concert. Hooray!


    10/08/2010 - Dead to Me - Clash

    Before I start this review, I’d like to thank Thomas for his incredible dancing skills, as Dead To Me apparently only decided to play one more Berlin show when they saw him dance last year at the good old Magnet prior to the Strike Anywhere set. That being said, I can start now.
    See, that’s the problem if you procrastinate writing a review for too long; you can’t remember the support bands. Though this might be a personal problem that I have to deal with, both support acts also weren’t able to leave an impression on me big enough to feel the desire to remember them, so I will skip the review on them. I don’t even know where to look them up.
    Okay then, let’s get real. Though I was told that the headliner would start their set around 11 pm., it wasn’t until 11.45 pm. that San Francisco melodic hardcore punk outfit Dead To Me with massively modified line-up entered the stage (which was actually pretty nice as it gave me time to take my newly bought shirts - two for ten Euro, great deal - to the car). I was stoked to see how crowded the club already was, telling me that this band is finally getting the attention they really deserve, also here in Germany as one of the best Fat Wreck bands of the last 5 years. I also was excited to see (resp. hear) how they would manage to adapt Nathan’s songs to the new guys Sam and Ken (from who I know also played in Western Addiction and therefore might not be into singing the quiet and fragile songs). It seems as the band took the easy way out and simple left out almost all of Nate’s songs but added a couple of songs Jack used to sing as Sam’s voice is very close to Jacks. So this was by far the raddest set I’ve ever seen from Dead To Me, as you can tell by a look at the Setlist.

    Setlist:
    01.True Intentions
    02.Arrhythmic Palpitations
    03.Paystub
    04.Modern Muse
    05.Visiting Day
    06.Day Without A War
    07.Liebe Liese
    08.Cause of My Anger
    09.Writing Letters
    10.Ran That Scam
    11.Splendid Isolation
    12.Fell Right In
    13.X
    14.Don't Lie
    15.Wait For It
    16.Something New
    17.Little Brother
    18.By the Throat

    What a great mix of all albums (8 songs from Cuban Ballerina, 3 from Little Brother EP, 5 Songs from African Elephants and 2 songs from their new 7” Wait For It, which sadly was already sold out), personal highlights were “Writing Letters” and “Splendid Isolation”. If only the sound had been better, as the guitars were pretty loud and the vocals were too quiet in the beginning. The sound improved a little bit during the set, but still wasn’t comparable to the Magnet or the C-Club where we also saw them play so far. But that was only a minor disturbance as the inappropriately rough dancing kids in the front or the slippery dance floor. We had our fun and after a good 60 minutes, it was goodbye, but not for long.


    10/10/2010 - Dead to Me (acoustic set) - Ramones Museum

    Only two days later, the band decided to play an acoustic set at the Ramones Museum, to celebrate the end of their Europe tour and have one last chat with the most dedicated fans (some came from Scandinavia, some from the UK). It was nice to get the chance to talk to the band and take pictures, because even though they still play small venues and hang with the fans, it is always more fun to chat with them when the band is not in such a hurry and it is not as loud as it usually is inside the clubs. So around 7.30 pm, the band, equipped with two acoustic guitars, an acoustic bass and a small drum, started their half hour set which featured songs like “Cause Of My Anger”, “Modern Muse”, “Ran That Scam” and, best of all, “Little Brother” (plus a Ramones cover song). There were some more songs, I think it was an 8 song setlist, but I can’t recall what the other songs were (if you know, please inform me). This was probably the best way to top off the concert two days ago and it reaffirmed my belief, that this band is one of the best Punk Rock bands on the surface of the planet right now.

    10/28/2010 - Mad Caddies w/ The Expendables, A Pony Named Olga - SO36

    The busy days at work had almost been over, the weekend was peeking around the corner and therefore I decided on going to one of most anticipated shows of the year (ever since it was announced). So I threw caution to the wind and went, even if I knew it was going to be a long night. We arrived at 8 pm since I didn’t know how crowded it was going to be and whether it would be sold out or not. Well, it wasn’t but we had to wait until 9 pm to see the first band of the night play their set.
    A Pony Named Olga, a German Rockabilly trio advanced in age, was able to fill the dance floor within a couple of songs thanks to a wide variety of styles and sounds. Sure enough, the dominant tone was the Rockabilly, but also Rock & Roll, a little Country (like in that Cowboys & Indians song) and even Punk Rock were discernable. It was a nice mixture and the audience obviously shared my opinion, as many people were shaking and dancing, although not that ecstatically. The band itself wasn’t too zealous itself, only making the few Rock & Roll announcements you’re used to (“Hey, how are you?”, “Has everybody been drinking so far?” “This will be our last song!”) and the sound was kinda crooked (muffled vocals, dominating guitar), but they were able to warm up the crowd quite nicely with fun songs and entertaining bass-climbing, so I guess I got to cut them some slack.
    Second band that night were The Expendables, who started with only five minutes delay around 9:50 pm. I checked out their myspace prior to this show and listened to a couple of songs, which funny enough were played as well, and I thought that they were a good fit to open for the Caddies. Their sound altered from Reggae to Ska (with a guest appearance of the Mad Caddies wind section) to Punk Rock with some Metal influences back to Reggae. It’s not that common that a band plays to instrumental songs during a set, but they sure did and they were pretty nice. The audience had grown bigger and the sound improved a little bit, but the vocals were still hard to make out (okay, I didn’t know them but I still had some trouble hearing what language he was singing in). The band itself was a funny ensemble, which seemed like they meet by accident as they obviously don’t run in the same circles. Three huge guys how could easily play in DeathCore bands as they were muscular and bullnecked (although they hardly moved, played difficile guitar soli and drum parts, singing surprisingly gentle back-up vocs and, as for the drummer, whole songs and looked kinda mellow in their bright clothes) and one skinny guy with fuzzy hair (the lead singer) who was going crazy at some points. Nevertheless, it was a nice 45 minutes set and you could feel that after it, everybody was ready for the main act.
    Around 11 pm, the Mad Caddies humbly entered the stage, lights still out, no intro playing, but cheered at from at least 600 frenetic fans. From the first moment you felt that this was going to be an awesome show, the Mad Caddies back where they’re belonging; a mid-sized stage in the heart of Berlin, with the opportunity for fans to stage dive (which was wildly used and sometimes even abused) and so, no two legs that were standing still. The setlist was amazing though I neither recall the order nor every song in detail (just take 80% of the “Consentual Selections”, add a handful of other songs and you pretty much get the gist). The sound was now quite alright, the vocals sounded clean and I had no trouble hearing every word (okay, I know most of the lyrics) and all other instruments seemed to be harmonizing, nothing was really too loud or too quiet. We were standing, resp. dancing, on the air conditioning covering to the right as my company was rather small and therefore needed a spot where she got to see everything that was happening on stage and in front of it. A wise choice, as the Caddies were giving 110 percent and probably 250 people were joining the pit in order to use every chance to party that emerged. Both, the band and the fans were giving everything and enjoying the set at the same time. You could tell that the band wasn’t lying when they told that Berlin always knows how to party. Only some examples were the 600 voices singing along the chorus of “Weird Beard” and the eight minute long “Na nanana nana nana” at the end of “All American Badass” which caused the trombonist to join the crowd in front of the stage at let himself be carried all the way back. 90 minutes, 25 songs and gallons of sweat later, the show was over and we headed home, the best songs of the evening still ringing in our ears. Even louder than the tinnitus.


    10/30/2010 - Rainald Grebe und das Orchester der Versöhnung - Admiralspalast

    Coming soon…
  • August 2010 - The Live Show Retrospective Part XV

    18. Aug. 2010, 14:36

    Hi folks,

    as I have to write a insanely long review for the festival, I spare you the usual jibber-jabber and cut right to the chase.

    08/04/2010 - Lagwagon w/ No Use For A Name and Radio Havanna - SO36

    When two of your favorite punk bands from your teenage days are playing a show together, would you accept the call, even if it was a Thursday night? You would, if it were the FatWreck-flagships No Use For A Name and Lagwagon. So we put on the old shoes, got excited like pimply pubic teens an stroke off to the SO36.
    We arrived around 8:30 pm, hoping that support act Radio Havanna had already finished their set, sadly we were mistaken as they didn't start until 9 pm. Their monotonous mixture of every German punk band from Wizo over Die Toten Hosen to you name it bored me very quickly and I don't feel the urge to waste my time continuing with my review on them. There.
    Around 10 pm No Use For A Name entered the stage with yet another new Intro, which I don't really recall, I guess it was some electronic tune. Anyhoo, the well filled SO was bursting with anticipation and sure enough the band knew how to convert this size D firecracker into a nuclear bomb of jauntiness. I don't know with which song they started their set, but to be honest, it doesn't really matter because NUFAN can have played any song and the fans would still have gone crazy like they did. With Christ Rest on Guitar. they fired one hit after another for approximately 50 minutes, giving the ones willing to dance no opportunities to catch a breath, as you can see from this list of songs, I remember they played

    Setlist (incomplete, not the correct order)
    International You Day
    Justified Black Eye
    The Trumpet Player
    Dumb Reminders
    Invincible
    On The Outside
    The Biggest Lie
    Under The Garden
    The Answer Is Still No
    For Fiona
    Not Your Savior
    Chasing Rainbows
    I Want To Be Wrong
    Coming To Close
    Feeding The Fire

    After a furious finish with "Feeding the fire", I quickly visited the bar to fill up with the non-alcoholic liquids I've lost during the non-stop pogo and prepared myself for the next one.
    Sadly, the break was very long which ruined the great atmosphere that build itself during NUFAN's set and it wasn't until 11:30 pm that Lagwagon appeared on stage. I haven't seen them for four years up to that day and so I was excited whether they still got their great entertainment skills or if their song "Falling Apart" was more omen than bogus. I must say it was neither here nor there. The band really made an effort to satisfy fans of all periods from the bands two decades of existence. Though that was nice, the band seemed rather dull and the spark I remember from previous concerts, that usually kept jumping from the band to the audience and back was taking a break that night. However, the 70 minute set featured the following songs

    Setlist (incomplete, not the right order)
    Change Despair
    After You My Friend
    Island Of Shame
    Violins
    Give It Back
    Making Friends
    Wind In Your Sails (personal highlight)
    Falling Apart
    Alien 8
    Heartbreaking Music
    Automatic
    Razor Burn
    The Kids Are All Wrong
    May 16th

    and I was already almost completely satisfied with it, but the encore turned it up a notch. Now get this, they called the guys from No Use on stage and performed a memorable version of Motörhead's "Ace of Spades" and the SO36 just went crazy. So a above average evening luckily got it's highlight finish and after all, I was glad that we attended this show, even though we were about to see both bands at the Open Flair festival as well.

    (Sorry for the crappy review, I just couldn't vanquish myself to get started right away and as time passed and I realized how much time the stupid review for the OF festival will consume, I just wanted to get it over with)


    08/12/2010 - 08/15/2010 - Open Flair Festival - Werdchen, Eschwege

    Nothing says „Rock’n’Roll“ more than four days of non-stop live music, camping, canned food and sleep deprivation. That’s why I decided to go to a festival again, for the first time in six years. At first, we had casted our eyes at the Highfield Festival near Leipzig, but when I read the line-up for the Open Flair Festival in Eschwege near Kassel, the decision where to go to was a real toughie. In the end, we let the ticket price be the determining factor and so signs were pointing to the Open Flair. A choice we wouldn’t regret.

    Day 1 - Thursday

    After a four hour car ride through a monsoon-like rainstorm from Berlin to Eschwege, we arrived at the already intensively crowded festival area and had some problems parking our car on the soaking wet crop field that served as the parking site. We paid the pretty high price of 15 Euros to get access to the camping site and found us a nice spot to camp right in the middle of the area. After unpacking the car and setting up our tent, we decided to skip the acts on Thursday night (Mr. Irish Bastard, Mofa, Dúné, Sondaschule and Großstadtgeflüster) in favor of eating out, organizing our festival wristbands and wandering through the city center of Eschwege. We returned to our tent and sat in front of it for another couple hours, talking to people passing by, taking in the atmosphere that only a festival entails and preparing ourselves for the next exciting three days.

    Day 2 - Friday

    Since I started my job, can’t sleep longer than 9 a.m. so I got up rather early and stepped out of the tent. Not that many people were awake, but the ones who were looked tired and tuckered. I went back to the car and as I noticed the field had dried a little bit over night, I came to the conclusion to move my car closer to the edge of the field so I could get of it without a problem, even if the forecasted rain for Sunday and Monday really came. In retrospective, a wise choice. When I returned to the tent, Thomas was already up and we decided to once again to the city center to have breakfast and discover a little bit more of the town. We were probably two of a handful of festival visitors, who also did some cultural exploration of Eschwege, but this was very nice as the weather was nice and we got a great view over the festival and camping area from the city’s “Nikolaiturm”. After a quick lunch at our tent, the musical program was about to start and we were ready for the first bands

    1:45 pm - No Use For A Name (45 min = full set)
    It has only been ten days since I’ve seen them the last time, but I was looking forward to their show nonetheless. They played on the smaller Stage (the “Freibühne”) and had some technical difficulties at first, but the roadie was able to fix Tony’s guitar pretty quickly, so not that much time passed idly. Plus it was fun to watch the band members of Lagwagon and NOFX hanging around backstage and hearing El Hefe from NOFX playing Matt’s bass. After this short intermission, it was back to business and with NUFAN, that means a Punk Rock show at its finest. The sun was heating up the circle pit furthermore and the only thing cooling down the dancing fans were the security people hosing the people or passing on water bottles. A good choice, as the setlist let no opportunities for breaks. Seeming as a shortened version of the Berlin setlist, they fired out one hit tune after another and the people kept singing, shouting and screaming along to songs like “Justified Black Eye”, “Invincible”, “Chasing Rainbows”, “Dumb Reminders” and “Feeding the Fire”. Whoever has the complete setlist, let me know. After 45 minutes of intensive dancing and singing, soaking with sweat and having hay sticking all over my body (as it was lying on the “dance floor”, very slippery to dance on), we left the festival area and went back to the car to drink something and avoid the overpriced festival beverages, so we skipped Liquid Lightening entirely.

    3:20 pm - Lagwagon (55min = full set)
    I could pretty much just copy and paste the NUFAN review, as I’ve also seen them just ten days prior to this show too and they also played on the same stage. But unlike NUFAN, who were equally good on that day as they were at the Clubshow in Berlin, Lagwagon were able to shift their set in comparison to the one in Berlin. The whole band seemed to be more playful, just like I remembered them from older concerts. The Caper showed up in a hilarious ensemble of bright Hip-Hop clothes and all band members had big grins on their faces the whole time. My already weakened voice had to suffer some more as I had to sing along to old and new hit tunes from throughout their entire catalog like “Alien 8”, “Give it Back”, “Violins”, “Falling Apart”, “Heartbreaking Music” and of course “May 16th”. But the highlight was once more the bombastic version of Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades” with the members of No Use For A Name. This song once more finished me off and we had to skip Therapy? and Skindred all together to recover from these two great shows.

    6:00 pm - Blumentopf (30 min = half set)
    Well, as I’m not a big fan of Hip-Hop, my expectations were quite low when we went to watch “den Topf”. I didn’t like their set that much, that’s why we just made it halfway through it. My respect for the fact that they had a live band to play their songs, but other than that I got bored with them pretty quickly. Not my cup of tea. We left early and also skipped the show of 3 Feet Smaller.

    8:00 pm - NOFX (90 min = full set)
    It has been six years since I’ve last seen NOFX, so I was excited and skeptical at the same time. Since 2003, their albums have been going downhill in my eyes and I haven’t heard good things about their recent live skills, but hey, if they play the old hits, nothing could go wrong I thought. And I was absolutely right. With their tiny NOFX-Flag in the background, not even hanging straight, they entered the stage on time and opened with “Dinosaurs will die” and instantly two bit pits evolved, which later merged into one massive pit. And of course they played all the old hits like “Stickin’ in my eye”, “Franco Un-American”, “Bottles to the ground”, “Kill all the White Man”, “Murder the Government” and “Eat the Meak”, but the best thing was that they played their ’95 album “punk in drublic” in its entirety. I couldn’t believe it when Mike announced it, but after the fifth song of this record I was sure he wasn’t lying. They could not have picked a better album to play it live. Best set of NOFX I’ve ever witnessed. Also, because they haven’t lost any of their entertaining skills. This show will stick with me for a while.

    We scrubbed the Levellers and Jan Delay in order to get our and other sweat off by taking a swim in the nearby Werratal-lake. It was nice and we were able to regenerate for the last show of the day

    12:30 pm - Mad Caddies (60 min = full set)
    So the Mad Caddies were designated to round off an admittedly FatWreck-heavy day and I was glad, as my bones and bruises were ailing and my voice was severely damaged from singing along to every NOFX song that night, so I hoped I could give my body and my voice a rest. Well, at least my body was spared further maltreatment, but my voice had to suffer a little bit more. But honestly, who could just stand there quietly when the Caddies play songs like “Lay Your Head Down”, Leavin’”, Weird Beard”, Road Rash”, “Monkeys” and even put their cover version of “S.O.S.” on the setlist? No one, that’s who, so I threw caution to the wind and enjoyed the last show of the day to the fullest. The atmosphere so close to the lake was pretty cool and there enough people in front of the stage standing in for me and the band obviously enjoyed the show as they came for a one song encore. That sure was a nice finale for the first day of Open Flair 2010

    Day 3 - Saturday

    After a short night and a quick shopping for groceries, we got ready fort he first band of the day.

    2:00 pm - Streetlight Manifesto (60 min = full set)
    It was pretty crowded at the entrance as the septet from Brunswick, NJ was the first band that day that was worth leaving the camping site for and once more walk the 10 minutes to the festival area. Sadly, we missed about three songs waiting in line, but were able to get very close to the stage either way since obviously not that many people were already up on their feet yet. A small pogo had developed in front of the stage nonetheless, and it was nice to see that enough people were dancing to the tunes of SLM, so the band didn't feel to be incongruous (or at least they didn't show it). As my bones were still aching, I decided to catch their great songs like "Somewhere In The Between", "A Moment of Silence/Violence", Point/Counterpoint", "We Will Fall Together" and of course "Down, Down, Down To Mephisto's Cafe" from a safe distance. It was a nice show, the sun came out and the weather and music formed a beautiful symbiosis and sure my voice was fearing the day once again as I couldn't help but singing along. Their set made me regret the fact that I choose not to catch their clubshow in Berlin a few days earlier. But there's always next year.

    3:00 pm - Broilers (45 min = 3/4 set)
    Well, I mainly watched their set because I didn't want to leave the festival area until after the following band so I gave them a shot. Not bad actually, with nice brass parts but over all to slick and I'm not a huge fan of German lyrics. Don't feel the urge to see them again, but I sure understand why they appear to be quite popular.

    4:00 pm - Against Me! (60 min = full set)
    One of my highlights and one of the reasons I choose the Open Flair over the Highfield festival. Sure, I've seen them play in Berlin this May and I'm going to see them again in November, but I can never get enough of my favorite band. Especially since they are in such a good mood lately and play their butts of, despite of how many people are joining the pit. It was a little sad that it was that empty and only a few people seemed to know and/or enjoy their songs. But to hell with them, I had a great time dancing and singing to the well-mixed setlist that featured songs like "Miami", "Don't Lose Touch", "Thrash Unreal", "White People For Peace", "High Pressure Low", I Was A Teenage Anarchist" and the unparalleled classics "Pints Of Guinness Make You Strong", "Walking Is Still Honest" (once more the slower version) and "Sink, Florida, Sink". Exhausted, hoarse, hurt, extremely wet (mainly due to massive hoasing of the security folks) but happy, I left the pit after a good hour, with the feeling that I've probably just witnessed one of the best shows of the whole weekend (independent from my affection for this band). This band reduced their live appearances to what they can't do best and that is playing amazing songs. I don't mind the occasional joke or chit chatting with the audience, but for AM!, less is more. And even if it seems rude or arrogant, don't let these first impressions fool you. If you've been to a couple of their concerts, you learn to appreciate their quietness as you can never hear enough songs. Fact
    We skipped Turbostaat in favor of eating a pizza in the city and returned for the next great band on the list

    6:00 pm - The Gaslight Anthem (60 min = full set)
    Folk-Punk overkill this day. Ah, not quite as TGA reduced their folkish style and exchanged it for the bluesier sound, that imprints their latest album "American Slang". I've only seen this band once before, but they put up a great show at the Kato last year (see my live show retrospectice part II) and played a cool mix of both albums. Sadly, their set at the Open Flair was more focused on the newer, slower songs and even the few old tunes were obviously picked because they are rather quiet. So I wasn't able to enjoy the show at the fullest as a little resentment against the setlist could not be calmed. The atmosphere was great though, the audience was grateful, the band seemed to have a good time, the weather was excellent and with the slowly setting sun, this show spread a cool vibe, but for an epic show, that was just not the right soundtrack. Still worth the wait.

    8:00 pm - Ska-P (60 min = 2/3 set)
    We arrived 30 minutes after SKA-P had started their set and it was insanely crowded. I'm not gonna spoil it for everyone who hasn't seen this band yet. Go check them out if you can, it's not just a Ska-Punk show on a high level, it's more like a big circus with great music. Just brush up on your Spanish skills as they still refuse to talk any English on stage (which is not really clever if you talk about political issues to an audience, that doesn't speak Spanish). But other than that a fun show, I really have to give it to these guys.

    9:30 pm - Madsen (60 min = full set)
    I don't think I want to say much about this band. I'm really not a big fan of German lyrics and i consider their songs to be pretty mediocre. But there are obviously a lot of people who would disagree as it was very very crowded in front of the smaller stage and one could hardly see the stage. They played a set without memorable incidents and as I only knew two songs, I don't know if their set was well mixed or whatever. Can cross them of my "to see live" list, but could have lived without their appearance.

    10:30 pm - The Hives (90 min = full set)
    This show was without a doubt the biggest surprise of the whole weekend. I've expected at least good shows of all the bands before and they all delievered, especially NOFX. But even though I've heard from many people that The Hives play awesome live shows, I didn't expect it to be that great. Not only did they manage to fill the 60 minutes of music with mainly songs I knew and artistic performances, they also filled the other 30 minutes with great stories, hilarious actions and crooked German announcements. I actually wanted to leave early to go swimming as the day before but just couldn't wrest myself free of this ridiculously amazing show. That's one band I have to keep far up on my "must see live again" list.

    We caught the last song of Dendemann on the Seebühne on our way to the car and listened to Klee while taking another swim (both not really mentionable) and returned to our tent around 1:30 am to hang a bit and get ready for the last day filled with music and a little "exercise"

    Day 4 - Sunday

    After two rounds of miniature golf (we both won one round each) and a rather small lunch we headed for the first act we wanted to see that day. He had already missed Arcona Comes, Jona:S, Timid Tigerand Livingston but we were able to listen to these bands as the miniature golf course was very close to the festival area. And as measured by what we head, that wasn't a great loss, especially as it started pouring with rain. So we finished the 36th hole with aqualung on the course and set off for

    4:00 pm - Papa Roach (55 min = almost full set)
    Man, I haven't seen this band for almost a decade. They were the second band I saw playing live ever, those were the wild days. Well, what to say. Their NuMetal style hasn't changed at all (at least to my ears) and so I'm not sad that I haven't kept track of their career. I was just waiting for their "hits" Between Angels and Insects" and "Last Resort". But except for Jacoby's jaunt into the audience, this show featured no memorable moments. So we left early and skipped Das Pack to change into dry clothes.

    6:00 pm - Bela B (60 min = full set)
    Ever since I've been to a Farin Urlaub solo gig, I wanted to see Bela B. and his fellow musicians (the Los Helmsteds) as well, but what we got to witness wasn't worth the anticipation at all. Being a big Die Ärzte fan, I was just disappointed by the fact, that the Graf wasn't able to entertain the audience without his two band mates. The setlist featured mainly new songs, which I think are weaker than the tracks from the record "Bingo" and his sad attempts to communicate with the audience were just opportunities for vicarious embarrassment on the highest level. I'd really like to erase the memory of this concert before the next DÄ gig, or I will never be able to enjoy it as I justed to.

    7:00 pm - Blood Red Shoes (60 min = full set)
    Well, I'm almost a bit suspicious about bands, that only consist of two instruments like a guitar and drum (I mean, what about a bass?) but as it seems to work for some bands like the White Stripes or the Ting Tings, I decided to give this duo from Brighton a shot. I checked out only a couple of songs on their myspace page in advance to this show, but I actually liked what I heard. And I enjoyed their live show as well, even thought the diversity of sound is more limited with only two instruments and the songs sounded very much alike. So these two rather shy musicians played an energetic set of 60 minutes and that was the perfect length you can listen to this music without getting bored. So if you get a chance to check them out, consider it.

    8:00 pm - Bad Religion (90 min = full set)
    Along with NOFX, another dinosaur of punk rock genre played the main stage of the Open Flair 2010, and this archaic act was Bad Religion. I was surprised how many people were attending their show, but after a while I understood why that was. Despite the fact that they are like the Rolling Stones of punk, they put up a hell of a show. If only I knew more songs, I would have been able to sing along. Time went by rather slow as the average BR song is only 2 minutes long and so after 12 songs, only half an hour had passed even it felt like an hour. But Greg and the rest of the band seemed to enjoy the show and they were very talented with entertaining the audience. All in all a solid show. Would probably not check them out again, but I don't regret going to their show either. It is definitely too late for me now to concern myself with this band now.

    9:30 pm Wir sind Helden (60 min = full set)
    As the day before, a well known German act was supposed to play on the smaller stage and so, it was getting really crowed very quickly as it did before the Madsen show. And as the day before, I was watching a show of a band I always kinda wanted to see, but not so badly that I would have payed to solely. I like most of the tunes of this pioneer of female-fronted German Pop-Rock, but the general sound is too soft for me. I was pleased that they played all of their hits along with some new tracks which also sounded pretty nice, but now that I've seen them, I don't think I must see them again. Their communication with the audience was okay, but not what I'm used to from other German acts like the Beatsteaks or the band to follow. Let's just say, it was an above average show with many chances to sing along, even if you just know this band from the charts and that it's worth to catch them at an opportunity like this festival anyway. But you need to be a full-grown fan to enjoy them at a headliner gig.

    10:30 pm - Fettes Brot (90 min = full set)
    Last band that night, in fact the last band of the festival was the German HipHop trio from Hamburg. Predictably, this was the best-frequented show of them all, since their music is really suitable for everybody, as it features German sing-along parts at it's finest (e.g. Bettina, Schwule Mädchen, Emanuela) for the fans, a full band line-up for the rock fans and rather clean lyrics for the parents. They played mainly their best known songs, which gave everybody at least once the chance to sing along and it prevented the audience from getting bored. Their little anecdotes and stories were entertaining and not too dominating. All in all a nice show and a felicitous closure of a great festival. Well done, boys

    Day 4 - Monday

    After a short night, it was time for us to pack our stuff and head home. We were lucky that we didn't need any help getting off the parking site as I cleverly parked my car on an asphalted street the night before. And since most people set off for home Sunday night, we were able to leave the city without any traffic. We arrived in Berlin around 1:30 pm after a 3 hour drive and at least I was glad I could enjoy the benefits of the normal civilization like real toilets, showers and a real bed. It's good to be home, even after such an exquisite festival. Hope to see you next year, Eschwege...



    Yeah well, that's it for August. No shows in September, but I see you in October for some shows of Frank Turner (Yeah!!), Dead To Me and the Mad Caddies. Let's just hope I'm more motivated to write the reviews by then.
  • June 2010 - The Live Show Retrospective Part XIV

    10. Jun. 2010, 18:50

    Hi musiclovers,

    as the temperatures are rising, the weather is getting hot and the bands are getting hotter, it is only wise to reduce the needless preludes and cut to the chase to avoid sticking to the keyboard after a while. Here we go.


    06/04/2010Cobra Skulls w/ C.Aarmé – Schokoladen


    “Fat signed the Cobra”, that would be a great title for the next full-length of Reno, NV Punk Rock act the Cobra Skulls, who most recently signed to Punk flagship Fat Wreck Chords. As a new album isn’t expected to be released until first quarter 2011, I had to prepare myself for their concert this summer with their 2009 smash album “American Rubicon”, which made my winners’ podium last year. Speaking for myself, this band embodies the things I like in Punk Rock like no other; fast and short tunes with great lyrics, great humor, political ambitions and a touch of Folk. I was excited to see them play live no nine months after their last show in Berlin, so close to the deceased venue “local” where they played last time.
    We arrived early at the Schokoladen due to the massive confusion on the starting time. Since former support act Grizou had to cancel their show, it was unclear when their substitute C.Aarmé would start their set at the Schokoladen as they played another venue that night. Both websites gave different information on the starting time, so the range reached from 8 pm to 10 pm. When we entered the club around 9.30 pm, it was still pretty empty. None the less it was a nice venue, relatively small stage (with a piano though) and a corresponding dance floor, clean bathrooms, a kicker table, appropriate beer prices and wooden banks stacked on the back wall served as a seat. We once more spent our spare time chatting with a band member, this time it was Devin Peralta of the Cobra Skulls, admittedly he’s a fun guy.
    Around 10 pm people kept streaming in because rumor had it C.Aarmé from Sweden would start their set pretty soon, but it wasn’t until 10.20 pm as they entered the stage. What followed was as strange as it was entertaining. I can’t really describe the music this band was playing, sort of an odd mix of Scandinavian Speed Rock and Art Rock with the weirdest moves of the singer I’ve ever seen. Though the music was odd at first, it was getting better throughout the set and the people obviously liked it as they were applauding genuinely and some even bought their CDs afterwards. As there was no movement in front of the stage, the singer jumped into the audience a few times and danced to their music himself, again moving inexplicably. The rest of the band played their show straight through, no long announcements or chit-chat with the audience, hard to tell whether they enjoyed playing there or not. Concerning the sound, there was room for improvement. Guitar and bass sounded a bit muffled, drums were good though. The vocals were pretty clean and you were able to understand every word the singer was singing, so it was kind of fun to listen to their last song “What’s your problem, Mussolini?” after approximately 25 minutes of probably one of the better support acts I’ve seen so far. They were worth the two Euros you had to pay more if you wanted to see both bands.
    After an acceptable conversion break of 20 minutes, the Cobra Skulls entered the stage. By that time the venue was well-filled, only right in front of the stage was little space, so we went there. Starting their set with “Time & Pressure” from American Rubicon, they quickly played themselves into the hearts of the present company. The ice broke after two songs and soon a small pogo of 10 to 15 people endured for the rest of the set. Most impressive was the stamina of that mid-50s guy who powered through the complete show. I even don’t know many people my age capable of doing that. As the Skulls played their way through the well-mixed setlist, that featured songs from both of their full-lengths American Rubicon and Sitting Army as well as their EPs Never Be A Machine and Draw Mohammed, it was obvious they enjoyed playing in front of this audience and reciprocated to the good mood. With big grins on their faces they shot one hit after another, only giving the people short breaks to recuperate during the announcements and the entertaining stories or the slower parts of songs as there were no real mood killing slow tunes. Sadly the sound wasn’t as good as it was during the set of C.Aarmé, the vocals were too dull (though as a fan you were able to make out the lyrics) and it was a hint to loud, but taken en masse it was okay. After 20 Songs in about 50 minutes, the chants for more songs went unheard as the police arrived and prohibited the three-song encore. With “Bad Apples”, this encore would have included another great track I would have liked to hear, but still the regular setlist comprised all the hits one could hope for. This time I was able to snatch the setlist so you can assure yourself that it’s not only a phrase.

    Setlist:
    Time & Pressure
    Thicker Than Water
    The Cobra & The Manwhore
    Back To The Youth
    Never Be A Machine
    H.D.U.I
    Lost In Campaigns
    Charming The Cobra
    Muniphobia
    Anybody Scene My Cobra
    Overpopulated
    Faith Is A Cobra
    The Streets Of Cairo
    Cobra Skullifornia
    There's A Skeleton In My Military Industrial Closet
    Cobra Skulls Jukebox
    ¡Hasta los Cobra Skulls Siempre!
    I Want Bigger Cobra Skulls
    Problems With Preconceptions
    Rebel Fate


    Around 12.15 pm, a week full of Punk Rock found its jubilant conclusion in this concert of the Cobra Skulls, leaving me with high hopes and great expectations for this band. Soaking with sweat for the third time (non-temperature related sweating) in eight days, I had to change my shirt so the cheap merchandise shirts for only 10 Euros came in handy. With a ticket price of only seven Euros, it even left me with a bigger wallet than I expected. That’s always good.


    06/11/2010 - RX Bandits w/ Moneen – Magnet


    The Rx Bandits from Seal Beach, CA invited friend and foe to a show in Berlin and sure enough, the friends showed up. Their incredible 2009 release „Mandala“ consistently proceeded the band’s development from Third Wave Ska to a more Progressive Rock oriented sound, that still features nuances of their early ardor for Ska and Reggae. As it was one of my favorite records last year, I conceived the desire to see the see them live for over a year, but it wasn’t until the news that Canada’s Indie Rock act Moneen would be supporting their European Tour that I felt that the ticket price of 14 Euro was more than just appropriate.
    Arriving around 7.30 pm at the new Magnet club, nowadays located in Kreuzberg as there were some disputes with other tenants, it was obvious that more people felt the desire to enjoy the last forecasted sun beams and/or watch the second game of the recently started Soccer World Championship, as the venue was surprisingly vacant. The new Magnet is a decent club, over are the days of appraising five minutes for your way to the bathroom or claustrophobic ceilings. A new outdoor area (which we didn’t check out), clean bathrooms and a large dance floor with plenty seating accommodations and a wider stage impressed me. I’m really looking forward to upcoming concerts at the club with the distinctive neon “M”.
    Around 8.10 pm, so almost on time, Moneen started their set in front of maybe 15 to 20 people. Luckily, these were mainly people who knew the lyrics and appreciated the killer show of the only band tagged as “Emo” on last.fm that I really like. With a, for Magnet-standards, unaccustomed good but extremely loud sound, the quartet from Montreal was rocking hard, indifferent to the small number of fans that were singing along to the hits of their older albums “The Theory Of Harmonial Value”, “The Red Tree” as well as their latest release “The World I Want To Leave Behind”. Even though the band believably ensured that they rather play in front of smaller audiences as expectations aren’t as high then, I was pleased to see audience grow bigger during the set as I felt the band deserved way more appreciation for their diverting show. Moneen truly knows how to entertain the fans. Not only their great set with a mixture of slow and fast songs, gentle melodies and loud screaming, shouted back-up vocals and nicely accomplished canons but also the massive action on stage, their clever notions and little stories were fun to watch and listen to. Sadly, they had to foreshorten their set by one tune in order to keep up with the time schedule, but they made up for that by integrating the audience and letting on fan play a drum at the end of the very last song. After 35 minutes they finished what was a great show and we all had to admit that they were worth their share of the ticket price.

    The Setlist:

    - Don't Ever Tell Locke What He Can't Do
    - Great Escape
    - Are We Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now?
    - This Is All Bigger Than Me
    - The World I Want To Leave Behind
    - Hold That Sound
    - There Are A Million Reasons For Why This May Not Work... And Just One Good One For Why It Will
    - The Passing Of America

    It was around 9.15 pm when the RX Bandits entered the stage and you immediately felt that it was going to be a different kind of concert. The band, a funny potpourri of musicians, who don’t appeal to play in the same group, was standing in a rather maverick array on stage. But none of those matters if you play great music and that is something the Bandits are capable of. After greeting the audience in English and Spanish they started with their first song. The Magnet had meanwhile filled with approx. 120 people and it was nice to see that they were standing as close to the stage as possible instead of keeping a respectful distance, what often creates an atmosphere of preoccupation. The band appeared to enjoy the show, although it was hard to tell as the singer was the only one communicating with the audience. While the Bandits played their way through the setlist, people were dancing and shaking or at least nodding their heads to the music. Satisfying the fans by playing a diverse selection of old and new tracks from their albums "Progress", “…And The Battle Begun”, "The Resignation" and Mandala, they rarely stopped for a break to chat with the audience, not the worst thing since the words were hard to make out. Also hard to make out were some of the songs the band was playing, to a lesser extent due to the sound, which still was remarkably good but more due to the incredible skills of alternating the songs in comparison to the record. But this is the reason you attend a live show and the excitement when you were able to distinguish a song is something I take from this concert. And these were the songs to discern.

    The Setlist:

    - In Her Drawer
    - My Lonesome Only Friend
    - Consequential Apathy
    - …And The Battle Begun
    - Dinna-Dawg
    - Buff Costello
    - Never Slept So Soundly
    - Fry (???)
    - Bring Our Children Home Or Everything Is Nothing
    - Decrescendo
    - Only For The Night

    We left the Magnet around 10.15 pm, still talking about the great show we just witnessed. In the end I was glad that I went to this concert, not only because I got to gaze two great bands with eight exceptional musicians in amazement but also because France and Uruguay parted goalless after an ineffable boring game. So I guess the only winners that night were the people who attended that show. Olé, Olé Olé Olé.


    Neh, as you can see there's no Hatebreed review and that's because I didn't go to that show. There were a lot of reasons why I choose not to go, but I guess the main one was because it was to expensive with 21 € for just one band I've seen four times.
    So that's all, folks

    As I'm attending no shows in July, I see you guys in August with Lagwagon and No Use For A Name, maybe Streetlight Manifesto and a brief review of the Open Flair Festival.

    Greetings

    Olli
  • May 2010 - The Live Show Retrospective Part XIII

    28. Mai. 2010, 15:55

    Hi bored out last.fm-users with nothing better to do than ready my baloney live jounal,

    apparently May is preferring a late start with only two but great concerts in the last five days of the month. But that doesn't mean I'm no gonna write something about it, so here we go.

    05/27/2010Against Me! w/ Findus – Festsaal Kreuzberg


    It has been two years since my last Against Me! concert and back then, they were only supporting the Dropkick Murphys. That night turned out to be one of the worst shows I’ve ever been to, not due to the performance of Against Me!, but to the unbelievably prolish audience a DkM show attracts. That’s why I was glad to see Gainsville, FL’s best musical export again on a headlining club tour, to once again link happy memories to an Against Me! show.
    The sold out Festsaal Kreuzberg, (as the name implies) located in one of the It!-districts of Berlin, was already packed with people waiting in the cartilage and inside the venue when we arrived. I must admit, even for Berlin standards, that was a cool club, with a second floor, from where the ones unwilling to dance could watch the show, relatively clean bathrooms, an air conditioning that at least was very pleasant during the waiting time and only few pillars in the way. Sadly the dance floor was pretty narrow due to pretty big console centered on the first floor, which became a problem later on. After a pretty average performance of supporting act Findus, a Rock act with German lyrics that reminded me of early Toten Hosen and your bog-standard American Punk/Rock bands, we made a quick stop at the Merch-counter on our way towards the stage. Man, the shirts keep getting uglier and uglier, but this way I was able to save my hard earned money. While we were waiting for the show to start, I noticed a large number of female fans waiting in the first four rows as well. Usually there were more guys so I don’t know if that was because Against Me! have become more popular or because their last two albums have been more Rock than Punk. But I guess I’m not forestalling too much when I tell you that the guy-ratio in front of the stage was going to shift rapidly in near-record time.
    After an awful and unnecessary long break of at least 30 minutes Against Me! started their set around 10 pm with Nancy Sinatara’s “These boots are made for walking” as the intro, followed by “High Pressure Low”. Within seconds 75% of the girls vanished and the dance floor was filled with dancing and moshing guys, leaving the whole space from the stage to the console so cramped that it was impossible to move by your own will. The air was getting sticky after two minutes it was so hard to breathe and therefore to sing along as well that I was glad there were always enough people to compensate my fake singing (I really was only moving my lips at some point). There were only few times to regenerate during the slow songs, because the rest was a typical AM! show. Along the lines of “Less talk, more rock”, the band played one hit followed by another, leaving the audience only with the choice to dance straight through the set. I wish I could say that I still got it and that I was able to power through the whole set, but I wasn’t. Honestly, I’m glad they played “Walking is still honest” slower than on the record so I could attend the pogo, because I would have collapsed of exhaustion during a full-speed version of that tune. It was so hard to find your way in the mass, only during my personal highlight “The Disco before the Breakdown”, that apparently only 20% of the audience were familiar with, you could exercise your own style of dancing instead of just been pushed and pulled, completely out of control. The audience enjoyed this energy-robbing treatment which seemed to make the band happy as well. Those were probably the happiest Against Me! I’ve seen since 2004, with Tom grinning the whole time and even the new drummer and the touring keyboarder, who was hardly audible, seemed as they were enjoying the appreciation of performance by the fans. After approx. 70 minutes and 17-18 songs, the band left the stage and reentering it under gigantic applause for another four songs in 10 minutes, so the complete setlist looked like this

    Setlist (taken from purerock.de):

    High Pressure Low
    Pints Of Guiness Make You Strong
    New Wave
    White Crosses
    Don't Lose Touch
    I Still Love You Julie
    Up The Cuts
    Bamboo Bones
    Amputations
    Rice And Bread
    I Was A Teenage Anarchist
    Miami
    Sink, Florida, Sink
    Suffocation
    Walking Is Still Honest
    White People For Peace
    Thrash Unreal

    -----------------

    Rapid Decompression
    Cliché Guevara
    The Disco Before The Breakdown
    Baby, I'm An Anarchist


    After that they left the stage for good, ignoring the still ongoing chants for more songs an I must admit this audience was pretty persistent in their demand for more songs. Eventually, when the lights came on and the music from the DJ was running through the speakers again, the last fan gave up, too, but we were long gone by that time. I was beat and soaking with probably not only my own sweat as I was swaying arm in arm with others to “Sink, Florida, Sink” or squeezing myself in the smallest spaces during “Rice and Bread”. I probably have raised my arm(s) more often on Against Me! shows now than I did during my whole time at University (you decide if that’s a good or a bad thing) and I can’t wait to enlarge that gap at the next show of my favorite band. This concert showed me that Against Me! never fail live and it’s always worth the bruises and the hoarse throat. “Do you remember when you were young and you wanted to set the world on fire?” Thanks to Against Me!, I always will.




    05/29/2010The Flatliners – Clash

    Well, if you’re ever planning on helping a co-worker’s sister moving, two days after you’ve been to a concert and with the perspective of attending another live show that same night, think well about it or you might feel like a 10-tonner ran over you the next day. Considering you are as courteous as me, there would be no way of wriggling yourself out of the house moving, so the only unanswered question would be whether you shouldn’t go to the concert. But in the end, there are always some bands worth the bruises and the agonizing neck pain and one of these bands is Ontario, Canada based SkaCore act The Flatliners.
    Once again playing at the Clash, the show was set for 10 pm. Although that’s always more a rough pointer, we decided to show up on time since Rentokill had to cancel their set due to an injury of the drummer. While that was a bummer (hey, that rhymes with drummer. Coincidence?) for all the Rentokill fans, it was good news for us, not only because we didn’t like the performance of the Austrian Anarcho-Punk quartet last year as support act of Rise Against, but also because the entrance price dropped drastically from ten to six Euro. As the show wasn’t scheduled until 11.30 pm, we had plenty of time to chat with Paul, the drummer of The Flatliners, trying to convince him to give us a discount on the shirts if we buy more than one each, speaking about the mysterious abbreviation “KHTDR” and how the fans will never learn the true meaning of that due to the oath the band took and learning about Paul’s age. It was fun to shorten the waiting that way, although we didn’t succeed in getting named discount.
    Around 11.45 pm, The Flatliners started their set and most people in the well-filled venue were shaking their heads and singing along, but only with the second song approx. ten people including myself started to dance, which evolved into a wee pogo during the faster tunes. What followed was a Flatliners show as I remembered it from 2009. The setlist was well mixed with four tracks from their debut “Destroy to Create”, that features a more Ska-oriented sound and each seven straight Punk songs from their Fat Wreck releases “The Great Awake” and their 2010 record “Cavalcade”. The quartet played an energetic set with only few breaks which were packed with hilarious announcement, this time about guys with sunglasses and “Sugarpants”. The sound range went from "pretty good audible" to "no, that sound was a lead balloon" (depending on where you were standing and how high your expectations were, apparently ), the slippery dance floor (stop dancing while you’re holding a beer glass!!) dried pretty fast due to the extensive dancing and the opportunities to sing along were widely spread thanks to a large amount of great hymns. The setlist included the following songs (once again not in order played, but released by the band)

    Setlist (by albums):

    Fred Got Slacks
    Public Service Announcement
    + two more “old” tracks

    July!August!Reno!
    Eulogy
    …And The World Files For Chapter 11
    This Respirator
    Meanwhile, In Hell…
    Mother Teresa Chokeslams The World
    Mastering The World’s Smallest Violin

    The Calming Collection
    Carry The Banner
    Here Comes Treble
    Shithawks
    Monumental (Encore)
    Filthy Habits
    Count Your Bruises

    The only downer was, once again, the audience, at least parts of it like that one guy who jumped twice in the people dancing without regards for anyone else and the spoiled little princess, who insinuated me to move when I took a break from dancing. Man, the audiences in Berlin keep getting more and more presumptuous. But none of that ruined the fun I had that night, I kept singing at the top of my voice and joined the chants for an encore around 12.40 pm. Sadly they played only one additional song but I guess my throat was thankful for that. Finally, we bought some shirts and even paid the retail prices and left the Clash around 12.50 pm. Want to know how I spent my Sunday? Well, I followed the bands advice and counted my bruises. Lost count, though.


    That's it for May, folks. Check out the June retrospective for some reviews of the amazing Cobra Skulls (Yeah!), RX Bandits and Moneen as well as MoshCore legend Hatebreed.

    And now, scram!! ... and do something useful.