Friday, 13 February 2015

On Stage: Viet Cong



After the band Women ceased to exist, half of its members, singer/bassist Matt Flegel and drummer Mike Wallace, reincarnated in the new band Viet Cong together with guitarists Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen. They released their self titled debut album earlier this year, a great album that is hard to put a label on. You can hear post-punk, indie rock, psych rock and so much more on this diverse record. What would it sound like live?

Viet Cong at Paradiso Amsterdam, February 10 2015



And I'm not the only one who likes the record, since it's been getting raving reviews and lots of exposure. This is clear when the small hall of Paradiso has filled up for the sold out show. Needless to say expectations are high tonight and I'm looking forward to hearing those songs live. With only one full album out that has nine songs on it, you can expect most of the record to be played tonight. But the band kicks off with 'Unconscious Melody', a mellow song which is on their Cassette EP. Two more songs of that EP follow and it's clear most people are not familiar with it.



There's not a lot of response from the crowd and people are chatting away in the back. It also doesn't help the breaks in between songs are too long. The band takes a lot of time before playing the next song, which Flegel is filling up with some chitchat that is not easy to understand from my position. The gig never really takes off because of that and lacks tempo. In the end there simply is no real spark, which is a shame since the songs are definitely spot on. The psychedelic 'Oxygen Feed', the exciting 'Silhouettes' with that wonderful catchy groove, the noisy and heavy 'Continental Shelf' that reminds of Interpol as do many songs. These are all great gems and although the band plays tight, the songs somehow never really reach full potential.



Until the end that is, when they play the last song on the album, the over 11 minutes long 'Death', which is also the last song for tonight. It seems the foursome stretch it even more, keeping the middle part with the heavy accents going forever. Finally we see the band grow into its full glory and you can tell this could get really big and probably will. Hopefully next time we can see the band like playing this the entire show and prove they are one of the hottest bands on the block right now.



More Pictures

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Setlist:
01. Unconscious Melody
02. Throw It Away
03. Oxygen Feed
04. March of Progress
05. Silhouettes
06. Continental Shelf
07. Death


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