dinsdag 2 januari 2018

Wo's favourite live shows of 2017

All in all I saw 50 acts play. A few more on a festival at the practice venue of my own band in Zoeterwoude Dorp, I'm not counting, except for the closing act, that was phenomenal.

To start I am going to start with the show by a band that should have been the #1 impact wise. The whole sensation of it blew me off my feet. The noise was tremendous, the smoke and lightning incredible, the eerie effects, it all created stunning effects on my brain and senses. From the back of the venue I survived it all, albeit barely. The music was horrible. So extreme, shredding and loud that it was impossible to even call it music. The house interlude coincidentally close by me on the venuefloor only added to the mystery. A Place to Bury Strangers made an impact alright in their Paradiso show during Indiestadt.

Having said that let's move to my favourite shows. Here they are:

10.Jungle By Night. Bevrijdingsfestival 2017, Haarlem
Music that is fairly alien to me, but played so enthusiastically and funky, it is impossible to stand still. This was the second time I saw the band at a festival and both times I really liked its show. A well deserved spot on this list is the result.

9. Beth Wimmer. Livingroom show, Haarlem
Accompanied by guitarist Billy Watts of Mojo Monkeys, Beth Wimmer played a perfect show in our livingroom. The songs from her new album mixed in quite well with older favourites. As a true singer-songwriter her stories mixed well with the song. Her charming performance topped things off, creating an enraptured audience in front of her.

8. Suffix. Jammer Festival, Zoeterwoude Dorp
A totally unknown band, except for the fact the singer is the son of the singer of my former band, Flopsband. The metal of Suffix at the end of Jammer Festival, a festival of bands practicing at the Jammer, closed off in a very serious way and at an exceptionally high level going beyond the level of the other bands I saw (and my own). Change the presentation between the songs and nothing ought to be in the way of becoming wider known.

7. Chuck Prophet & the Mission Express. Q-Bus, Leiden
The fourth Q-Bus show by the former Green on Red guitarist in Q-Bus and again Chuck Prophet delivered so well. The humour in several songs on his last album, 'Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins', came out great. His older songs came over great. The kind of show that leads to a big smile for two hours in one straight stretch.

6. No Ninja Am I. Gather, Haarlem
What a fun and varied show. No Ninja Am I kept changing instruments and moods, all accompanied by two to four piece harmonies. Sander van Munster and his musical friends showed that perfection in music can be arrived at. Even in the former V&D store where one of the corners had been changed into an odd sort of living room.

5. De Kift. Gebr. De Nobel, Leiden
One of the bands that can nearly always be found on this list. Only the third show of the new tour, some details were not completely worked out, yet the band played so good. All the intricate arrangements of the new album 'Bal', to be found on that other list of 2017, came over so beautifully. De Kift was more varied than ever before as singer Ferry Heijne stepped aside more than ever before. It left me craving for his enthusiasm more than once, but the whole won out. And with the song 'Bal' De Kift has one of the best written songs ever in its possession. Just to top things off.

4. The Analogues. Schouwburg, IJmuiden
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in its entirety. That is a treat of the highest proportions. There was only one drawback, being that the surprise of 2016 was no longer there. I knew what to expect. For the rest The Analogues were perfect. Better than in the Ziggo Dome show where nerves showed a little and not all the guest were up to this giant task. In this show they were all I have come to expect. More in 2018 for sure.

3. Wolf Alice. Melkweg, Amsterdam
This was probably the most surprising show I was present at, not knowing what to expect, never having seen the band before. Wolf Alice gave it its all and so did the audience. For all appearances we had become one, band and fans. Wolf Alice played with a lot of energy, cheering the audience on like football stars their fans when they are in need of an extra push. The audience responded with ever more energy. Having the songs as well, nothing could go wrong. The variation in the music of Wolf Alice was allowed to show through and it mattered none. The show was perfectly built going from climax to climax.

2. Jesus Christ Superstar. World Forum, Den Haag
An old favourite finally seen live. The performance was all I'd hoped for and more. Spine chilling and emotional moments galore. The movie finally seen on a stage, as it once started. The music remains as strong as it was in 1973 when I first heard it. Nothing changes, really.

Photo by Wo.
1. Elenne May. Livingroom concert, Haarlem
This show tops all. Played in my own livingroom, Amsterdam band Elenne May captured me from the very first second. Pure magic and enthralment fought for a first position within me. Luckily it was not just me. Many of the people present mentioned the same thing to either of us later on. It all seemed to come together. A beautiful spring day, people in a sunny mood and beautiful music played within meters from all present. I feel so very privileged to have been able to stage this.

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