Monday, 25 September 2017

Indiestadt Festival



With the Indiestad pass it is possible to see many bands in a year for just 25 euro. That way I get to see some bands that I probably wouldn't have otherwise. Once a year there's even a whole festival and this year it will even have four days. I wasn't sure if I could make all four but will definitely visit a few nights.

Indiestadt Festival 2017

Day 1 September 20 2017

I really don't want to miss out on the first night that looks like the best of all nights and I am expecting a lot from some of the bands playing tonight. It also is the night with the most bands which means it starts quite early. By the time I walk in, I still an catch the last few songs of Beach Fossils. This band isn't really my favourite band and the few songs I see prove that.

Elephant Stone



I sure want to see Elephant Stone whose elegant psychedelic rock music has always pleased me. Their last album showed a bit of a change where their music shifted a to more pop friendly songs. They have payed good attention to Kevin Parker whose last Tame Impala album was an incredible success. Live the band hasn't changed too much though, which means their music sounds pleasant with Rishi Dhir's soothing voice. It is still a great attraction when he's playing the sitar which at the same time is so important for their sound, adding the ultimate psychedelic touch. I like this sound a lot and enjoy their show again, but at the same time it doesn't reveal anything new for the band. This is why so far the group haven't been able to get to the next level and keep playing the small room of Paradiso. There's nothing wrong with that but I can imagine it could be frustrating. In that case the band may need more chances.

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A Place To Bury Strangers



A Place To Bury Strangers When I get back to the main hall it is dark and filled with smoke. A Place To Bury Strangers have taken the stage and are blowing everyone away with an impressive show. Stroboscopes and smoke machines are working overtime and together with their heavy noise rock it creates an intense atmosphere. We hardly get to see the band on stage and when all of a sudden blue lights point to a spot in the middle of the hall, we can't see what is going on there. It turns out part of the band have moved there with a mobile drum kit and start playing a techno kind of track. This group knows how to get and keep everyone's attention. They make sure to go out with a band as well and leave us behind completely stunned.

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The Black Angels



I was really looking forward to seeing The Black Angels again after their show at the Into The Great Wide Open festival several years back impressed me a lot. Today they bring gorgeous visuals to support their psychedelic music. I love their sound and the way they create their own world with fuzzed guitars drenched with reverb. Their music has evolved over the years and although their newest album Death Song returns to their roots they seem to also have found their own sound. Of course they got their name from The Velvet Underground and with the new album they come full circle. That band is never far away and you can hear many references in their sound and songs but the new ones are more their own. Live they fit in perfectly with the rest and we get treated to a wonderful 60s inspired psychedelic trip.



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Bartek



The Dutch trio Bartek are playing all over the place and the three rockers look comfortable on stage. Their music is a wild trip and goes from garage rock to 90s inspired grunge. Especially those grunge songs sounds great where the garage rock songs are more of the same. There's plenty of variation now, but if they could focus more and find out where their heart really is, maybe it could make all of their songs interesting enough. Now you notice it is hard to stick with them, although they play with a lot of heart.

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All Pictures Day 1

Day 2 September 21 2017

The second day of the festival has quite a nice bill, but mostly these are bands that somehow aren't really for me. Still I'm going to check out a few of them since I keep hearing good things about them.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah



Once started as a five piece band, Alec Ounsworth is now the only remaining member of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah who released a new album The Tourist earlier this year. On stage there's a full band who have many good songs to choose from, since the band wrote many good ones. It's just that I don't really like Ounsworth's singing style which is kind of a deal breaker for me. No matter how good the songs are and how solid the band sounds, it just doesn't work for me because of the vocals. Their show has a few dips where you notice people are losing attention. It also is clear why people are here tonight, which is the next band.

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Portugal. The Man



I had no idea Portugal. The Man are this big, since tonight is completely sold out and now the main hall is packed. This is the band people are coming to see. Of course Indiestad pass holders like me are here as well, but I didn't expect this big a crowd. Starting with Metallica's 'For Whom The Bell Tolls', Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick In The Wall' and their own 'Purple Yellow Red And Blue' the group is off to an overwhelming start. Surrealistic visuals are projected behind the band who are mostly playing in the shades. Now and then singer John Gourley or bass player Zachary Scott Carothers will step into the light of the projector. After that flying start the band shifts into a more soulful vibe with Gourley's typical mostly falsetto vocals. The warm light songs are very groovy and easy to dance to, but sound quite complicated at the same time. The band make it sound quite easy and are totally into their music. There isn't a lot of interaction, something they pointed out themselves at the start in a projected text, but that also isn't really necessary. Together with the great visuals it is a well balanced show, although I just don't like singers that mostly sing falsetto. The band closes with another cover, an unimpressive version of Oasis' 'Don't Look Back In Anger', which ends their show with a sing along. But Portugal. The Man prove to be big enough to handle big crowds.



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Theme Park



Upstairs in the small hall Theme Park have just started their show and I decide to catch a part of it. The London based band are playing poppy funk rock songs inspired by Talking Heads. They do create a warm disco vibe tonight where it's easy to dance to, but unlike Talking Heads their songs are still a bit too pale. It all sounds pretty decent but it is also too much on the safe side. It does make people move but is probably not blowing anyone's mind.

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All Pictures Day 2

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