<< archive


2019-04-14 DE – Bochum - Rotunde

| Doors: 7 pm | Show: 8 pm | Tickets: 22 Euro + fees |


[Dajana] For this concert experience, I had to wait a long time. Japanese Post Rock icons MONO are on my concert wish list for years. Although the band visits European shores quite regularly it never worked out. Until now! Now, the time has come. Finally.
To outweigh the waiting I got MONO as kind of an anniversary double feature, because the band celebrates its 20th anniversary and has also released their tenth record, Nowhere Now Here.
Additionally, I have never seen the support acts live nor did I visit the :: Rotunde :: club before. An evening full of discoveries. Again. How I love that! ;)

[Dajana] Tonight’s show is the first one on this tour, if you put the Roadburn appearances this weekend aside. Since the club is located directly around the corner of the so-called “Bermuda Triangle” (a shopping and restaurant mall downtown Bochum) our illustrious company met long before the show for a nice dinner. Thank Buddha, so we discovered that the show would start a half hour earlier than announced. Lucky us, we have been there on time ;)
But before I secured myself a good place in the front row we raided the merchandise. If you see a gang of people wearing an ÅRABROT shirt next time around, they might have bought it at Rotunde club on this wonderful Sunday evening ;) Excellent club by the way.

:: pics :: JO QUAIL ::

[Dajana] Internationally acclaimed composer and virtuoso cellist :: JO QUAIL :: appeared promptly on stage - the sound engineer did not. And the light guy seemingly went awol entirely. Just at the end of the nearly 30 minutes set JO QUAIL was granted with a touch of lights. But neither JO QUAIL herself nor the still clear crowd was swayed by this little inconvenience and instantly immersed in the mesmerizing and captivating compositions of this exceptionally gifted musician. She worked with a loop and an effect pedal to create an intensive and dense sound layer by layer. She fiddled, picked and slapped her instrument to elicit wild tunes and percussive beats. And she did it with a breathtaking ease. A cello might be perceived as a big and unwieldy instrument – her elegantly curved, beautiful electric cello is not.
Unfortunately, time schedule only allowed her to play three, admittedly epic, compositions, taken from her latest efforts Exsolve and Five Incantations. The crowd’s response was enthusiastic and put a smile on her face. Fantastic artist – marvelous performance! I’m truly mind-blown!

[BRT] Yes! Wow! Awesome! A cello, a loop and a creative musician makes an orchestra out of a single instrument. Smashing! Her dynamic and epic compositions captivated me instantly and made me rush back to the merch to grab me a CD...

Setlist: White Salt Stag, Gold, Mandrel Cantus

:: pics :: ÅRABROT ::

[Dajana] A sensational seven minutes change-over and dark red lights heralded the entry of :: ÅRABROT ::. The Norwegian Noise rockers made quite an impact and are meanwhile adored and worshipped by many. ÅRABROT are loud, noisy, unpredictable, notorious, and defy any label or categorization. And they have already won a Norwegian Grammy. Now, where I have seen them playing live I understand. I fell in love too ;)
The band’s visual appearance is actually as motley as their musical style. Kjetil Nernes looked like an Amish, his wife Karin Park wore a caftan, the drummer a white polo neck and black gloves, while the bass player looked pretty normal.
kicked off their set with tracks from The Gospel, before they focused on their critically acclaimed latest album, Who Do You Love. If you deal with the band (as I did with hindsight) a bit closer – there is a story behind them and their records that explains the order of songs.
did not fall short of the stories I heard about them and their live shows and delivered a highly energetic, wild and extravagant performance. The club was meanwhile well filled and the crowd responded as enthusiastic as I did. My personal highlight was the driving Maldoror's Love and the hauntingly beautiful and sad Pygmalion from the latest record. What a charismatic and outstanding band!

[BRT] ÅRABROT are one of the greatest discoveries of the recent years. Their creative and dynamic albums with a high grade of unpredictability put a spell on me. The Gospel is a masterpiece and also Who Do You Love needs to be bought. On stage the guys and girl looked like a manic motley crew, what perfectly suits the music. The sound was not perfect, but, never mind, this way the tracks sounded even a bit filthier than on CD ;) Killing performance! Next time I want to see them doing a headliner show.

Setlist: The Gospel, The Whore Is This City, Tall Man, Maldoror’s Love, The Dome, Pygmalion, Sinnerman, The Horns Of The Devil Grow, Story Of Lot

:: pics :: MONO ::

[Dajana] This time it took a bit longer to set up everything for :: MONO ::. No wonder, the phalanx of effect pedals and stuff was huge. Not only nerds were astonished and curiously peering over the monitor speakers. The band looked tired. I guess it was the jetlag and the exhausting Roadburn weekend. Also the first day(s) on tour take its toll.
MONO much more focused on their wonderful new album, Nowhere Now Here, playing 6 of the 10 songs from it, added by rather old material back to the debut album One Step More And You Die. At Halcyon (Beautiful Days) Jo Quail appeared on stage again with her cello to perform this song with the band. She does not tour with MONO the first time, so, to play together comes quite natural. I also could imagine a musical collaboration between them (if they did not do already).
With closed eyes, band and audience likewise immersed in the multi-layered and dense sound cosmos the band created. Typical low and loud dynamics kept the show energetic. The quietest tunes came from the glockenspiel during Ashes In The Snow, played by both bassist Tamaki and drummer Dahm Majuri, piling up to a dramatic crescendo and releasing an all-destroying noise inferno. No announcements were made. While MONO’s compositions on CD are already stunning, live on stage the magic was even multiplied. What a sound experience!
If just would not have been there those fucking two (drunken) dickheads twaddling about some bullshit too loudly...
While guitarist Yoda most time sat on a chair, main man Taka leaped down to the floor every now and then to work his effects pedals. Bassist Tamaki needed even more space to switch between keyboards, bass and micro.
played for a good hour, left the stage under thundering applause and returned only moments later to reward the crowd with a 16 minutes excursus of noise called Com(?) – The grand finale of a breathtaking concert evening.
After You Comes The Flood
? Yes, indeed. MONO play in a league of its own. Unrivaled. No other band afterwards could dispute the band’s status and position. So far THE concert highlight of 2019. Still 8 months to go but I think, it is hardly to top.

[BRT] When MONO got onto stage my batteries were already flat. That might be the reason why they could not amaze me anymore. MONO play music to enjoy seated. On the long run one might realize that there is certain uniformness in the band’s compositions. Never mind, it is a pleasure to hear and see them play, even if there is not much action on stage. MONO is a band I would like to see performing live whenever they are around. There is hardly any other band of this musicianship, intensity and brilliance.

Band: Takaakira "Taka" Goto (git), Hideki "Yoda" Suematsu (git), Dahm Majuri Cipolla (drums), Tamaki Kunishi (bass)

Setlist: God Bless, After You Comes The Flood, Death In Rebirth, Breath, Nowhere, Now Here, Dream Odyssey, Sorrow, Meet Us Where The Night Ends, Halcyon (Beautiful Days), Ashes In The Snow // Com(?)



story © BRT & Dajana • pics © Dajana & Dajana Winkel • Photography