Tuesday, 6 October 2015

On Stage: Editors at Paard van Troje The Hague

It's hard to believe that only ten years ago Editors released their first album The Back Room. Within that time they grew into a big stadium act, one that is a welcome guest at festivals and one that can light up any festival's main stage crowd. The band took us by surprise last week when they announced their new album In Dream would be presented in small clubs in Belgium and The Netherlands. Even better, I managed to get tickets.

Editors at Paard van Troje The Hague, October 2 2015

It wasn't clear what to expect from these intimate shows. Are they going to play the album from start to finish, are they going to play other songs? Tom Smith walks onto the stage and starts the set with new song 'No Harm' that sounds warm and dark at the same time. Apparently the group announced these shows last minute because Smith has a bad cold and it was uncertain if he could perform. His voice is impressive as ever, although later on you can hear he sometimes has trouble hitting the high notes.

The singer uses his falsetto more often these days, ever since discovering it is just as strong as his regular baritone. What follows is a show with many hits and new songs scattered throughout the set. Clearly the band is used to playing bigger stages, when you notice the big gestures and poses they are using and the way they use the whole stage. Of course Smith is moving in his usual awkward way, that lately critics seem to have trouble with as too theatrical and overdone. But I have always seen him moving like that, ever since watching them play back in 2005 and think it is just the way he is into the moment and the music. Tonight is no different as Smith climbs his keyboard, bends over to the crowd and drops to his knees. To be able to see this from so close by simply is amazing.

The new songs reveal that Editors have kind of returned to the electronic and dark side of In This Light And On This Evening where we can hear Eurythmics ('All The Kings') and Depeche Mode in eighties synths. Not all songs work just as well. The already mentioned 'No Harm' is a lovely song and 'Ocean of Night' works good too. 'Salvation' however sounds too bloated and you can see big crowds singing along with 'Marching Orders' but it is simply too much. Fortunately there's plenty to enjoy with inspired versions of 'Munich', 'An End Has A Start' and 'Racing Rats'. Smith returns to the stage by himself for an acoustic version of 'Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors' that once more proves how good some of their songs are. 'Papillon' brings down the house like it always does before ending the night with 'Marching Orders'.

This certainly was a night to remember and one that showed Editors in great shape and one that will have pleased every fan lucky enough to have watched it. No matter how the new album will go down with the critics, the fans will most probably embrace it and know most of the songs word for word when Editors hit the big venues for their tour that is about to start.

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01. No Harm
02. Sugar
03. Munich
04. Blood
05. An End Has a Start
06. Forgiveness
07. Life Is a Fear
08. Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool
09. The Racing Rats
10. Formaldehyde
11. Salvation
12. A Ton of Love
13. All the Kings
14. Nothing
15. Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors
16. Ocean of Night
17. Papillon
18. Marching Orders

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