Sunday 8 September 2019

On Stage: The Mystery Lights @ Paradiso THT

When The Mystery Lights were announced to be playing at Paradiso THT I vaguely remembered seeing them before and liking it. Indeed it turns out I saw them play Klikofest a year ago where I loved their vintage garage rock.

The Mystery Lights at Paradiso Tolhuistuin, Amsterdam September 6 2019

When the band steps on the stage I'm in doubt again though, since I don't remember the line-up. It turns out they toured without a keyboard player player back then and have added Lily Rogers this time. It's hard to imagine them playing without a keyboardist now, since her parts are essential to the sound of the band. She throws a big chunk of The Doors into the mix, which together with the vintage guitars, combines into classic psychedelic garagerock.

That doesn't mean the band is outdated, on the contrary. The songs sound refreshing enough and front man Mike Brandon's lively stage performance gives the show plenty of edge and energy. The group kicks off their European tour tonight and are still full of energy and stamina. They have warmed up enough though to play a good show even if it's the first one of the tour. There is a nice balance between explosive wild rock songs and more mellow ones, where they are taking the time to tell stories. The band name must be referring to the lighting plan of the night, where the band members are mostly lit from the back, showing only their silhouettes most of the time (and turning my pictures to shit).

The band is promoting their new LP Too Much Tension! which came out recently. On that album they continue the sound of their first one successfully. Tonight we get to hear new songs off that album of course that also sound very good live. That vintage sixties garage rock sound is very effective once you can get past Brandon's high and somewhat pinched voice. However once you do, the band has a lot to offer and prove so tonight.

All Pictures

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