Wednesday 22 November 2017

On Stage: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club @ Paradiso

"Whatever happened to my rock n roll?" you can hear in the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club song of the same title. In that song off their debut album they are actually not referring to music, but you wonder what happened after that album debuted with a bang. Everything they did after that is measured up to that epic debut, but the band doesn't seem really bothered by it. They consistently release new music and visit my hometown when they do.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at Paradiso Amsterdam, November 20 2017

I saw them play a few times before, but only on festivals and never in a club show. The sold out Paradiso turns out to be the perfect place for this band to excel. Their dark and noisy rock is totally working out here. The band is like a diesel engine, that needs a bit of time to warm up, but once it's running there's no stopping it.

Their songs are mostly building up in the same way. Slowly the guitars and drums are blending in until the fire is igniting. Sometimes they will make it explode, but ever so often they let the fire smoulder and make it higher at will. Peter Hayes and Robert Levon Been are taking turns on vocals and even at one point switch bass and lead guitars. Leah Shapiro is the steady force who gives them a solid foundation, confidently playing the heavy grooves without any unnecessary finery.

We get treated to over 2 hours of greasy rock songs where Been addresses the crowd a few times, laughing at the people who are shouting. Halfway the band leaves and only Been returns for a solo acoustic performance of 'The Line'. When he leaves again, Hayes walks on stage again for his solo performance of 'Complicated Situation'. The fans are having a great time, forming a small pit in front of the stage during the wilder songs. The whole floor turns into a sweaty dancing mob, when the band closes the night with 'Whatever Happened to My Rock 'n' Roll'. This band answered it convincingly themselves, since they are keeping rock and roll alive. I'm definitely looking forward to their new album Wrong Creatures that is coming out in January.

All Pictures

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01. Little Thing Gone Wild
02. Bandung Hum
03. Beat the Devil's Tattoo
04. Ain't No Easy Way
05. King of Bones
06. Berlin
07. Conscience Killer
08. Haunt
09. Question of Faith
10. White Palms / I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier (John Lennon cover)
11. Stop
12. Carried From the Start
13. The Line
14. Complicated Situation
15. Shuffle Your Feet
16. Awake
17. 666 Conducer
18. Rifles
19. In Like the Rose
20. Six Barrel Shotgun
21. Spread Your Love
22. Red Eyes and Tears
23. Whatever Happened to My Rock 'n' Roll

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