Editors @ Berns

If I were to say one word about this concert that word would be energy. That might also be because first impressions matter and Editors decided to begin their show with “Hallelujah (So Low)”, second track from their latest album “Violence”. The song is an explosion of sound and it worked perfectly to get everyone in the audience hocked.

We were in Berns, a quite impressive venue which was almost packed. As always I didn’t chose to head to the front, closer to the stage, but preferred to stand in the back in order to capture the big picture. The whole feel of the gig depends a lot on your place in the crowd. It was the first time I saw Editors live though they are old acquaintances of mine, from the good ol’ days when Bucharest had a radio station named City FM that introduced me to them by playing the song below every single hour.

“Munich” is a constant presence in my playlists and a recommendation I make to anybody who asks for some good music. They played the song, but I had to wait a while until I got to hear it. In the meantime I got to enjoy “A Ton of Love”, “No Harm” or “Blood”. People reacted differently to each song but I was pleased to see that, just like me, everybody was familiar with the tracks from the new album as they played “Violence”, Nothingness” (really like this one) or “Darkness at the Door” from it. I was really happy to hear “Sugar” and “Ocean of Night”. Tom Smith’s voice is great, it is deep and gets stuck in your mind, or it got stuck in mine. He wasn’t very chatty but took the time to say hello and thank us for being there.

The encore started with an acoustic version of “Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors”, then brought us over to the new album with “Cold” and “Magazine” just to unleash the energy of “Papillon” and finish with “Marching Orders”. I would have preferred them to end with “Papillon”, just to go out in a very loud style but the melodic softer outro of the last song calmed everybody down before we eventually decided to turn around and head to the exit.

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The Killers @ Globen

I am happy to start this year’s posts with one about a concert. Sorry for the very long silence, I’ve been busy.

So, The Killers. Well, I’ve known them since maybe 2003-2004 but back then I didn’t pay that much attention to them because it was way cooler to listen to darker, heavier stuff. I still listen to that, and blog about it, just so you know. But I’ve missed The Killers when they visited Romania years ago, so I couldn’t miss the chance to see them now. I secured my ticket last September (concert going is a very serious activity that requires a precise agenda otherwise one might actually end up broke or, even worse, missing mandatory shows) and eagerly expected to attend my first big venue concert for 2018.

The guys don’t just sing, they put up a show, with Brandon Flowers, the singer, holding the main part. And he is great at it! A showman, not just a singer, full of energy and talented, singing and playing instruments, entertaining the audience and communicating with it, he is absolutely hypnotising. His very sparkly, bright-coloured outfits might help too, a bit. They offered us a run for our money, from the new songs that they put out in 2017, which sound a lot like The Killers but are not a failed attempt at reinventing themselves, to the older tracks that can make anybody bounce, scream and sing along. Familiar guitar sounds, catchy beats and fast paced lyrics, wonderful melancholic melodies that give you the goosebumps, all of them met in their setlist. The first flashback was offered by “Somebody Told Me” which is actually the first song I ever heard from them back when they ruled the music channels and the radio stations, alongside Franz Ferdinand. Then the whole thing just got better and better with stops like “Spaceman”, “Miss Atomic Bomb”, “Human” (which at a certain time was played on TV and the radio so many times that I ended up hating it), my favourites “Smile Like You Mean It” and “Read My Mind”, all very well received. For “The Man”, a song from their 2017 album, the audience seemed a bit uninterested but that went away fast.

I think I complained before that Globen is a venue where, if you don’t have a ticket in front of the stage,  you sit… at a rock concert… you sit. Not OK. Well, that changed at the encore, and this was the first time I saw so many people standing. And dancing. Including the girl to my left who had seen them live 6 times, they’re her favourite band and Brandon is absolutely the best. And of course, me, and pretty much everybody around, we were all standing. They enchanted us all and finished with style and grace with “When You Were Young” and “Mr. Brightside” (that has a very motion picture-like video).

I am not a Killers fan, I like them, I like them enough to go see them live again, because they sound good, they make a nice atmosphere and have a sneaky way of hitting you in the face with a hammer without you even realising, meaning that they can put very deep meaning in a silly wrapping. You consume it and then when you get home you start to think about it. There were moments when the voice was choked by the instrumental part, which instrumental part was given a hard time during the first songs by what seemed to be a little desynchronising either from the guys themselves or, most likely, from the guys with the buttons. And maybe Brandon’s voice had to suffer a bit because he just couldn’t seem to be able to stand still, not even when he had to do his part with an instrument. It really seems that he loves being on stage and he loves what he’s doing there. I recommend seeing their live show and would definitely go see them again.

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Happy 2018!

Another year… gone, as Dumbledore would say. I usually write this post on the last day of the year that passed, but here I am now writing it on the first day of the one that just started. So maybe I should start this a bit differently.

Another year has just started. I want it to be a good one, with less war and hatred, more cooperation, understanding, kindness and peace. I hope I do not want too much, even if in the end I am watching the news every day and know what is out there, times are not always as dark as they seem. No New Year resolutions here for me, as always. I hope I can make myself a better, wiser and smarter person this year. Hopefully this way I will be capable of getting things done, whatever I will have to do. Not much changes within a night, just the date in the calendar, many things remain the same. And as always I hope to be healthy and happy, the same thought that I send to you, the one reading this. And to end it in a less serious mood, I will now also add a collage of my 2017. It was a good year to make memories.

Happy New Year!

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Christmas Day

Millions of voices raise carols to the sky, they’re happy and warm and so true,
But from far away the prayers do the same but they’re weeped and the voices are blue.
There are children who want a brand new toy train to go all around the bright tree,
And kids who just want some shelter from rain and some hope to be one day free.

There are lovers who walk in the snow hand in hand and look at each other in love,
And lonely hearts praying for someone to hold as sent by a force from above.
There are soldiers in war who miss their dear ones and want to go home straight away,
And people who travel around the whole World to be home with loved ones this day.

There is hope and there’s kindness in this holy night and they’re there for each on this Earth,
There’s happiness, joy and there’s love in our hearts, let’s not splatter all with sore dirt.
Take a moment to smile, to give and to be kind, but don’t take the moment for granted
Cause you’re loved and you’re warm and in this world you have everything you ever wanted.

The silence is frozen and stars fall from the skies, they brighten the world, make it white,
There’s glee and there’s prayer and peace in our minds, let’s keep them for more than tonight.
There are cats by the fire and lights in the tree and Santa is soon on his way:
Just like the ones who miss their loved ones he goes round the World on Christmas Day.

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10 x KajHolst @ Stockholm

Another kind of exciting world of rock concerts is offered by the fact that they are in essence a series of events where I feel comfortable. The comfort itself is given first of all by the music, the rhythm and energy it transmits and also by the people that are around. While I have the habit of writing a lot about events that draw together hundreds if not thousands of people, this time I want to focus on a different musical experience, same rock music, different vibe and a band I haven’t written about in quite a while: KajHolst.

KajHolst @ Kafé 44

They popped up in my playlist some three years ago and two years ago I saw them live for the first time. Their concerts can take place from some well known pubs in Söder to some obscure (to me) places where I’d never think I’d ever end up in, but it’s a good exercise to find cool spots to hang and listen to music, especially if this matches my taste or is somehow appealing. The audience of the concerts, most of the times made up of the same faces that you learn to recognise (and follow in case you have no idea where the actual spot of the concert is or how to get there), varies between a few of us with enough space around to feel safe and move right or left to snap a shot of the stage and the band playing on it, to more of us where skills in taking overhead photos are needed for immortalising a frame of the band. Probably one of my favourite gigs was one where we weren’t too many around: @PSB in June 2016.

KajHolst @ PSB

The vibe of this kind of concerts is not something that you encounter too often, they create a feeling of closeness where the focus falls on the music. It’s hard to talk about the music in one word since it goes from melodic guitar riffs to fast paced punk-like tracks that make it impossible to stand still. The lyrics can either be simple and go along the melody on one track to switch to something more complex for the next song or something totally crazy. I sometimes find them easy to relate to as I always try to offer each song I listen to a meaning of my own. When listening to them for the first time I kept having David Bowie in mind but the style of the music expanded to some uncharted territories for me so the sound of it all is a rather new addition to my playlist, but it’s good music hence my interest in every new track. Fortunately for me there is a new track at almost every new gig. And going back to these, besides the concert I mentioned above, my other favourite gig was a (semi)acoustic one played in Loch Ness Tavern & Pub. That was mind-blowing from the simple fact that you can hear the music differently. Different sound, different vibe, different feeling, same songs.

KajHolst @ Bar Brooklin

All in all, counted with the help of my Instagram feed, I’ve seen them live 10 times. I am already over that moment when I know I will hear all my favourite songs from them because not all of them make it in the setlist these days. After a few EPs and singles the band released an album, or part one of it (Album Part 1:Finite), I’m still waiting for part two, which means that the songs multiplied to the situation when they can’t be played all in one gig, to my disappointment. Yet again when it comes to music that I like I never have enough. Even so, Album Part 2: Infinite, if I got the name right, should pop up in Spotify at the beginning of next year, which means new songs to ponder upon, one of which I’ve had the pleasure lo listen to recently at another gig @PSB.

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