Thursday 12 November 2009

Editors At Their Best On This Evening

The Editors have come a long way since I saw them years ago for the first time. From an unknown band they grew into a festival headliner with a performance that neared perfection. This was the case last time I saw them on Lowlands. From there on they had the choice of continuing down this road and go mainstream with their third album. Instead they chose a harder but more interesting road: throw out most of the guitar sound and replace it with 80s electronics. This worked out very well on their last album 'In This Light And On This Evening'. But would it work in a live setting together with their old songs?

Editors at 013 Tilburg, November 11 2009 (Ronald Says 9 out of 10)

Before we find out the night starts with two support acts. We make it to the end of the first act 'Wintersleep' which doesn't sound that convincing. Second support act 'The Maccabees' do a better job at warming the crowd and can even pursuade some to clap along. Finally it's lights out and the same gloomy synths can be heard as on the beginning of the new album as the band kicks off with its opening and title track. Dark blue, purple and red lights light the stage most of the time. The big LED display at the back of the stage shows the same colours in changing patterns. It all adds to the atmosphere of the album and works really well on stage too. Slowly they pull you into their dark world. But the warm vocals of Tom Smith are giving it comfort so it will never become threatening. It's like being inside close to a nice and warm cosy fire while outside it's dark, cold and nasty. The synths in the new songs work surprisingly well with the heavy guitars of the older songs and never sound too cold. It's like an extra blanket wrapped around you.

The band play a very well thought set and are very focused. Even when Smith makes a mistake he simply states "I fucked that right up" and waves to the band to start over. His vocals seem to grow during the show and his low and strong voice sounds clear. He's fully absorbed by the music and is only now and then looking for contact with the crowd. This creates a bit of a distance between the band and the fans but it seems to fit this kind of performance. The set is nicely spread over all three albums. Some old songs got new arrangements to fit better into the new sound like in 'Camera' and seem to have grown with the band this way. All time favourites like 'Blood', 'Bones', 'Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors' are regular crowd pleasers but a new song like 'Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool' that seems out of place on the album can soon be added to that list soon. And in the encore one of their first hit songs 'Munich' is easily matched by latest hit 'Papillon'.

Editors have created their own unique sound and made the right choice by going down the risky road. By broadening their horizon they have reached out to new fans without belying themselves or their old fans. I'm afraid this was one of the last times I was able to see them in a smaller club since they seem to be ready to fill every closing headliner slot of the festival season next year and bigger venues after that.

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