Thursday, 7 October 2010

Crystal Ball: What A Way To Celebrate A Birthday

Dutch alternative radio station KinkFM and music magazine LiveXS both had their 15 anniversary this year. And what better way to celebrate that by teaming up and inviting some great bands to the Melkweg? It turned into a small festival with several bands taking two Melkweg stages. With bands like The Mad Trist, The Van Jets, Tim Knol + Anne Soldaat and The Black Box Revelation it promised to be a good party. To top it off I won two VIP tickets and two more friends took over the tickets I already bought. We were ready for a night of good music.

Crystal Ball at Melkweg Amsterdam, September 24 2010
There's a line for the guest list when we arrive while our friends don't have to wait at all. I also have to find someone from the LiveXS staff for the other part of my prize. Later on it turns out it's a glass mug that I decide to leave with him until I go home since it will be empty without free refills anyway. Time to check out the first band.

The Phoenix Explosion (Ronald Says 7 out of 10)
The new band of Green Lizard's Remi Tjon Ajong combined with members of Beef and Krezip plays heavy rock that continues where Green Lizard left off. It sounds promising but it needs more work. Of course they are skilled and experienced musicians but they probably need some more time on the road to refine their live act. I'm interested to hear their album though once it's finished.

Official Website | MySpace | Spotify

Lola Kite (Ronald Says 6 out of 10)
This band already finished their album and people think highly of them. But it wasn't easy to swallow. Singer Keez Groenteman sounds out of tune now and then and although their synthpop songs are catchy and interesting from time to time they really need to spice it up. Bringing in a drummer on stage could already make it a more lively performance.

Official Website | Myspace | Spotify

The Mad Trist (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)
I was looking forward to see these guys again. Their heavy stoner-rock is just what I like and they didn't disappoint me. They fire off big fat testosteron overloaded drum and guitar grooves and Queens of the Stone Age is never far away. The band sounds tight and are enjoying themselves. Playing live is paying off as they seem to grow in sound. If they can find their own sound these guys could definitely live up to their potential.

Official Website | MySpace | Spotify

The Van Jets (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)
Like the day before The Van Jets put on a convincing performance. With a varied well balanced set and lots of energy they made a good impression. They definitely impressed a couple of my friends so I'm sure they won many people over. I just couldn't leave until the end of their set. Sadly it turned out Tim Knol already was wrapping up his set with Anne Soldaat so I missed him again! Hopefully next time Tim.

Official Website | MySpace | Spotify

Kensington (Ronald Says 6 out of 10)
The surprise act of the night wasn't Go Back To The Zoo as I thought but Dutch rock band Kensington. On paper they sound promising: indie rock like Arctic Monkeys and Kaiser Chiefs. But it all sounds a bit thin and alike. From what I read they sound more polished and less rough as they used to. Maybe put back in a bit of that rough side again.

Official Website | MySpace | Spotify

Black Box Revelation (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)
The last band of the night made sure it would end in a climax. Only a drummer and a guitarist is what you need when you're called Black Box Revelation. Like The Black Keys who work with the same formula they play rough and sweaty garage blues/rock. Only when you listen closely you'll notice there's no bass player involved. It's impressive how they bring variation in their songs and never sound weary. Great way to end the live gigs.

Official Website | MySpace | Spotify

We decide to call it a night and skip the rest of the party. I cannot find the guy from LiveXS anymore who was supposed to give me the glass mug that I won so we leave home without it. Too bad I didn't get free refills with it but then again now I can go home without being totally wasted.

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