The :: Zentrum Altenberg :: in Oberhausen, Germany, is known for being a home and host for Prog bands. Many of them return in a nice regularity to this location and we have already seen quite a few awesome shows there. BLIND EGO is no exception. I have no idea how often they already played there, we have seen them in the beginning of the last year at Zentrum Altenberg. It was the first part of the band’s European Liquid tour. The second part of the tour was scheduled for early February, but due the singer’s sickness, the shows got slightly postponed. Never mind. Same place, same ritual, the same bunch of enthusiastic people ;) And of course another fantastic show! I was much looking forward to this one.
:: pics :: LESOIR ::
Dutch Art Rock band :: LESOIR :: I only knew from the video for Going Home, an amazing and epic track from the band’s 2014 effort, Luctor Et Emergo. Meanwhile LESOIR have released a new album, Latitude, and this one wants to be presented live. Since LESOIR are signed to Kalle Wallner’s label, Gentle Art Of Music, it is no surprise to see the them on the bill of Blind Ego’s tour itinerary. I, anyway, was quite curious to seem playing live for the first time.
The quintet kicked of the show with the title track of the new album and then went back to the debut and sophomore with one song from each record. Afterwards they switched between the new album Latitude and its predecessor Luctor Et Emergo, including Going Home. It’s such an awesome track, yet displayed clearly how much the new album differs from the previous one. The songs are are way quieter, without any Metal-like tendencies. Instead, symphonic elements and spoken words samples get featured. Guitars are soft and rather Post Rock driven. The new sound reminded me a bit of The Gathering during their late phase with Anneke van Giersbergen. For my taste a bit too soft and too gentle. I missed some punch and power. Quite the opposite when LESOIR played songs from Luctor Et Emergo, where the band rocked out much more.
Anyway, the band around singer and multi-instrumentalist Maartje Meessen (who sang, played flute and piano) left a lovely impression. Maartje most time talked in German, what caused the one or the other smile. It was cute though. LESOIR always sounded best, when Maartje got supported by the voice of guitarist Eleen Bartholomeus. Double-voiced they were just enchanting.
This was a great 75 minutes show, well received by the audience.
Setlist: Latitude, Feet On The Ground, She’s Lost, In The Game, Modern Goddess, Going Home, Single-Eyed, Icon, In Their Eyes, Luctor Et Emergo, Flawless Chemistry, Gone And Forgotten, Faith Is
:: pics :: BLIND EGO ::
In rapid 15 minutes the equipment got changed. Hardly enough time to get something to drink and close to the stage. Lights went out and :: BLIND EGO :: set in with Torn, an instrumental track used as kind of an intro, before Scott Balaban jumped onto stage to start the show with Obsession. It followed an almost 2 hours set through the band’s masterpiece Liquid. Only Quiet Anger was left aside and replaced by Brake You from the debut Mirror. Beside, the setlist was the same from the last year, with the songs in a different order.
When Scott asked the audience who was there last year, almost everybody from the crowd raised the hand, responded by Scott with: “we love you too” ;)
The audience reacted as frenetic and enthusiastic as they did the last year, danced and sang every song along. Especially at the smashing hits Never Escape The Storm and Blackened all the voices grew to a notable choir, creating an atmosphere that caused goose bumps.
Likewise impressing were the guitar duels between Kalle Wallner and Julian Kellner and the solos of each. All of them much cheered by the crowd.
Scott Balaban had to take the one or the other teasing, because of his sickness that forced the tour delay and a strenuous effort for Kalle Wallner to get the dates rescheduled. But he was joking too about that matter. BLIND EGO several times apologized for this and thanked the crowd for understanding and their loyalty for being there.
Scott then scored with a soulful “fuck you” towards German chanteuse Helene Fischer, who played in Oberhausen too. Her crew seemingly crashed with the van of BLIND EGO, creating those kind of things-a-band-doesn’t-need-prior-a-show-moments.
Kalle Wallner’s partner in crime regarding music, studio and label, Yogi Lang, once again took over the duties behind the the knobs, creating an awesome sound.
I once again failed buying the Liquid vinyl, BLIND EGO failed for having some nice girlie shirts there ;) Bugger! Next year? Same place, same time? ;)
Since this was the first show of the second leg of the Liquid tour, I can only recommend to go and catch BLIND EGO playing live. They are such an awesome Prog band and they have live dates till April.
Setlist: Torn, Obsession, Not Going Away, Brake You, Never Escape The Storm, Don’t Ask Me Why, Tears And Laughter, Hear My Voice Out There, Death, Blackened, What If // A Place In The Sun, Speak The Truth