Wednesday, 11 September 2019

dEUS @ Paradiso

This year Belgian giants dEUS are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their iconic album The Ideal Crash by playing it in its entirety. I already saw this in Utrecht some months ago, but I won't pass on the opportunity to see them play again at my favourite venue.

dEUS at Paradiso Amsterdam, September 9 2019

This means I know what is coming, especially because they are playing that very good LP track by track. I simply can't get enough of songs like 'Instant Street' and 'Sister Dew'. The band is in a great mood again, truly enjoying playing these timeless songs. Singer Tom Barman is especially in a good mood, wearing his skirt again for the occasion.

Like the first time, the band has to warm up, or maybe it's the crowd. Or it's simply the fact that the first couple of songs of the album are tracks that require listening, something that everyone is doing. Since these songs have so much detail, with all the lovely layers, the violin and keyboard parts by Klaas Janzoons. The dance group are also present again, doing their lively moves, supporting the music. These dancers are wonderful to watch, tirelessly moving around, dancing expressively.

The setlist is almost identical to the one in Utrecht, except that 'Hotellounge (Be the Death of Me)' replaces 'Nothing Really Ends' this time in the first encore. I don't mind it at all, since this is dEUS in great shape. When they also play 'Quatre Mains' and 'Fell Off the Floor, Man' in that first encore and close again with 'Roses', you shouldn't complain. Instead, I'm savouring this band and their wonderful music.

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01. Put the Freaks Up Front
02. Sister Dew
03. One Advice, Space
04. The Magic Hour
05. The Ideal Crash
06. Instant Street
07. Magdalena
08. Everybody's Weird
09. Let's See Who Goes Down First
10. Dream Sequence #1
11. Quatre Mains
12. Fell Off the Floor, Man
13. Hotellounge (Be the Death of Me)
Encore 2:
14. Roses

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Tuesday, 10 September 2019

On Stage: together PANGEA @ Melkweg

It's been a while since I saw together PANGEA from California play, who are always fun to watch. With a new EP Non Stop Paranoia / Dispassionate out they are swinging by Amsterdam again, which is very good news!

together Pangea at Melkweg Amsterdam, September 8 2019

I'm surprised they are playing the small "Upstairs" hall, all the way, well, upstairs in the Melkweg. It's not even very full which surprises me even more. I was expecting more and more people to pick up on this band and for them to be playing bigger venues. Because, what's not to like? These guys are able to write catchy garage rock songs with very good verses that are dirty, edgy and especially a lot of fun.

The group proves this tonight with more than an hour of their contagious rock songs, that you simply have to dance to. Bassist Danny Bengston calls out an annoying guy who is showing too much interest in a couple of young ladies in front of the stage. It is good that bands notice these things and speak up. It's exactly like Bengston says, that people should feel safe at concerts, especially women. Of course they play many new songs, like the hyperactive 'Hi-Fi Television' that fits right in with their older work. It is a track from the explosive Non Stop Paranoia, which deals with anxiety and stress. The songs on Dispassionate are the opposite and are calm and summery tunes that reflect a day at the Californian beach. It gives them the opportunity to balance out their set, although I do think they are at their best when the tempo goes up and the band shows its wild side.

At the end of the set they prove this when they play 'Too Drunk To Come' and 'Sick Shit' that are greeted with loud cheers and a dancing crowd. The foursome returns for an encore and close the night with the glorious 'River' that has one of the best verses and can get stuck in your head for days. Too bad not more people are here to enjoy this band who deserve bigger crowds.

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Sunday, 8 September 2019

Oh Sees @ Paradiso

In the pace John Dwyer is writing music it is hard to believe he can find time to tour. Fortunately he does and most of the times will visit my home town. So whenever I can, I will try to visit his shows, which are usually Thee Oh Sees shows. Or whatever he will call that band which doesn't matter to me.

Oh Sees at Paradiso Amsterdam, September 7 2019

This time Dwyer is visiting as Oh Sees and has sold out the main hall of Paradiso weeks back. It's great to see all his hard work is paying off and he's getting the recognition he deserves. Since even though he keeps knocking out new songs without great ease, they are always of a high standard. The eager fans tonight prove the popularity of this band, hungry for some quality garage rock. After another short soundcheck the band kicks off, turning the complete floor into a wild pit right away.

Dwyer mentions this is the last show of their European tour adding, "make it count". As if this crowd needes any more motivation. Beers fly up in the air as the band fires off one vicious rock song after another. You can hear why so many people love this band, as there aren't many groups that can generate this amount of energy. With two drummers at the front of the stage this is of course their intention. Sometimes they will double the same drum grooves, other times they will play subtle differences. The objective is to make the groove even bigger and more pulsating. This way the songs keep going and never slow down. Only King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, who are also playing with two drummers, can match up to this at the moment.

With so many albums out, there's plenty of ammunition to fill the setlist. Of course the emphasis is on the last album Face Stabber, but throughout all these years and so many records, the songs have always sounded familiar. The psych rock punk songs will usually have groovy driven verses that are upbeats to explosive choruses, vicious shredding guitar solos and psychedelic krautrock jams. This never gets old and live this is impossible to resist. So people are dancing, jumping, stage diving and crowd surfing and are simply going mental.

At the end Dwyer says they will have three more songs, two pop rock songs and one long jam. 'Jettisoned' and 'C' are indeed followed by a long lovely version of 'Encryped Bounce' that keeps going forever and where the band spins into a long jam. It's a wonderful end to this night, as this band doesn't do encores. Afterwards at the busy merch table I meet fans with soaking wet shirts trying to get their hands on some of the merch. This was another amazing night with this one of a kind band.

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01. Nite Expo
02. Tidal Wave
03. The Dream
04. The Daily Heavy
05. Animated Violence
06. Gholü
07. Withered Hand
08. Toe Cutter / Thumb Buster
09. The Static God
10. Henchlock
11. I Come From the Mountain
12. Snickersnee
13. Plastic Plant
14. Jettisoned
15. C
16. Encryped Bounce

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