Tuesday, 22 October 2019

On Stage: Moon Duo @ Paradiso THT



Wooden Shjips guitarist Ripley Johnson started Moon Duo ten years ago together with Sanae Yamada. The duo evolved into a successful psychedelic rock act that released their seventh LP Stars Are The Light earlier this year. I love their groovy sound with repetitive rhythms and a lot of fuzzed guitar. I got to see them only once so far, but couldn't wait to see them again.

Moon Duo at Paradiso Tolhuistuin Amsterdam, October 20 2019



At the venue we see a strange setup of instruments. Not the instruments themselves actually, but the screens that are assembled around them. They show a cube-like construction, that comes more close to a 3D trapezoid. The musicians enter through the back, where Johnson and Yamada are joined by drummer John Jeffrey. It turns out the screens are used to project all kinds of visuals with psychedelic colours, geometric patterns and lovely light effects.



Because of the transparent screens surrounding the band, including the front, it gives a wonderful 3D effect. Those projections alone are already an amazing vision, but combined with the psychedelic songs it is a spectacular sight. This way the three musicians are part of a space that seems to have come straight from a scene in the movie Tron. This is a definitely a stunning experience the two have put together. Johnson and Yamada have added more disco elements on their latest record, which make their songs even more danceable.



Surrounded by the ever changing light patterns, the trio keeps the beat going without many breaks. Yamada starts electronic beats that are joined by Jeffrey's drum grooves. She adds electronic layers with percussive sounds and warm synths. Johnson plays his guitar solos on top, that reminds me of a mix of The Doors and Dire Straits guitar riffs. It's a very effective combination and you simply have to let the music take you away, into that wonderful psychedelic world of music and visuals.



Moon Duo have really outdone themselves on this tour and blended their music perfectly with a light show that, although spectacular, never outshines the music. The ADE event taking place this same weekend probably had some spectacular shows on its own and I'm sure many people enjoying that event would have also loved this show here tonight.



All Pictures

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