Apologies for taking so long to get on here with my verdict. Had no internet access in Germany unless I wanted to pay the earth to use my iPhone.
Well, it was a seriously incredible concert and brilliant few days in Berlin. An experience I'll never forget.
I'll start off by saying I am yet to recieve my mics so there's no recording from me though at least we have Emptiness' to look forward to! However, I'm kind of glad I didn't have them cuz security was very tight and I barely got my camera in. Hopefully things aren't the same if I have them in time for my next gig. They were also VERY strict about filming so I have nothing to share apart from some sneaky pictures and two minutes of Inertiatic which isn't really worth it. I'm very sorry about not having anything but seriously they were shutting filmers down instantly it was ridiculous.
Me and my two (now converted) compadres arrived at the venue around 7:15, there was only about 10-15 people there so we were fairly near the front of the queue. Doors opened promptly at 8, then we had to go through security. Got patted down, managed to sneak my camera in by taking it out of my pocket as I lifted up my arms, don't know how that worked lol! I hope things don't get like this in England, it's stupid and Ireland better not be the same. Quickly bought two shirts, the new green one and the "Metatron" image on a black shirt.
Walked in to the main hall and got right up front, dead centre. Not on the barrier but right behind a small lady so I had a totally unobstructed view of the stage. I believe I was behind Corevolta, or at least it looks like it from her video. She turned round and asked me not to push her and I said I hated that so definitely wouldn't be. She also asked if I was at the Somerset House show. If it was you, I'm sorry about occasionally pushing into your back. I was doing my best not to thats why I had my hand on the barrier sometimes. The moshing was ridiculous though, security were constantly telling people to calm down.
Now onto the good stuff...
The venue was great, amazing sound especially considering my position and I really liked the old fashioned interior. Even though the pushing and shoving was pretty bad it didn't hamper my enjoyment one bit. It was also good that although there was a gap between barrier and stage, it wasn't too big and it still felt like you were really close to them.
They came on a little after 9 to the usual, heart pumping Fistful Of Dollars theme. They all waved as they walked on looking in high spirits. People who say their passion and energy levels are gone are certainly wrong in this case, instantly you knew they meant business. Cedric was dancing, jumping around, falling on the floor, swinging his mic around, throwing up the stand and catching it with ease. When he first kicked the mic off his heel during Cotopaxi it sounded like a gun shot and the crowd cheered. Also love how dangerous his cord whipping is, so many times he nearly got people in the face with it! He was definitely his old self even if he wasn't at the earlier shows. Omar had his grassgopper legs going and brought back the salsa dancing during the L'Via bridges. Ikey went crazy as usual but also would just stare out into the crowd at some parts looking a little bored. Juan was head banging loads though I also noticed he didn't look at Dave as much like he did with Jon or Thomas, but when they did catch each others eyes they grinned at each other. Also noticed Juan and Dave would stare at Omar a lot especially during the jams, with a sort of 'where is he going with this' look on their face. They definitely look like they genuinely enjoy playing with him and are prepared to go wherever he does. And as for Dave, he is great to watch, really puts his whole body behind his playing. He would often jump right out of his seat! He likes to through drum sticks out into the crowd during songs aswell. No real antics from Marcel, though I never got the impression he wasn't enjoying it I just think he likes to concentrate a lot. Caught him laughing at Omar and Dave a few times.
Performance wise. Omar was on fire, possibly the best I've seen him play. His ideas in the jams are so captivating and the solos during L'Via were definetly a highlight. Cedric did struggle occassionally but was amazing more often than not. In my opinion he came out strong in Inertiatic, dipped during Cotopaxi and L'via, solid on Eriatarka and Goliath then it was brilliant throughout. Bear in mind he was often hard to hear cuz of my position though. Juan is Juan, inspiring playing, never ceases to amaze. Ikey is crazy, really shines with this new setlist. Marcel has some great parts, his percussion in the Cicatriz jam especially is amazing and his keys in Miranda, so good. Dave is really, really good. I think he's a great fit, definitely walks the path between JT and TP. He's got a great balance in his playing and I really enjoyed watching him. He'll surely only get better.
Though it's pretty common knowledge now, it is definitely Henry playing acoustic guitar. I could see him clear as day. Also something I've not really seen them do before, Juan and Omar would often swap guitars during songs aswell as between.
Woh <deep breath>
A little break down of the set (this is what I can remember, you might wonder what I'm going on about when you listen to the recording but its hard to describe it) -
Inertiatic - Great opener. Dave nails it as does Ikey. Cedric is great but struggles on the odd 'Now I'm lost'.
Cotopaxi - Still a brilliant song for me. Juan is all over it, I found Dave's playing occassionally sluggish during the versus but he was great on the breakdown and his mini solo/fill was so slick. Again Cedric great but struggles on the 'Up that hill' lines. Omar is also top notch on it.
L'Via - Omar = God! He really gets into it. I found Cedric a little off (don't really know why), mainly because he was so good on this track in 05 I think, still a good vocal performance. Dave grooves hard, throws in some nice fills as well, liked how he changed the pattern on the ride to his stack. Great percussion from Marcel during the bridges. Ikey is great on the ending, its pretty much one massive solo and Omar plays over him occassionally. Also no 'mother help me' from Cedric at the end just the bassline looped and then...
Goliath - Starts off with the usual drum fill. Dave is again up to the challenge. Had to check if he was using a double pedal but he wasn't. Love his fills during the chorus, fit really nicely.
Eriatarka - A dream come true! Cedric was amazing as was Omar. Only wish they would start it without the drums like they did in 06, though its a petty complaint. Love the jam, Juans bassline is great. The things Omar was coming up with were something to behold, just watching him play...jawdrop. Liked Dave's playing aswell, similar to Gene Coye with the Texas Crunkship bassline at the Charlie Hayden gig. They bring it right down and gradually build it up again, sounds cool. Cedric was improvising a lot but didn't catch anything I recognised, mainly harmonising with his moans and whispers.
Since We've Been Wrong - A real highlight. Beautiful with the acoustic in the background and Omar on electric. Cedric was superb. Noticed Dave playing the cymbals with his hands briefly during the first chorus.
Cicatriz - Probably my favourite of the night though they were all close contenders. Again Cedric killed it, so did Dave. The hyper section at the start of the jam goes on for ages now, just mental. Omar really shined. The jam is very chilled out, starts off similar to 04 versions, Dave's playing was very JT-ish. I remember thinking it could be him if I closed my eyes. It then went very quiet like the short youtube clip, great percussion from Marcel and everyone was clapping. Vocal improvs included 'Magic Fingers' by Frank Zappa and 'Fresh New Eyes' by Braniac. Then they built it up and Dave started to sort of solo though it was structured, could have been TP if you closed your eyes. Then they locked it in again and Omar started to tease the end riff. Can't really describe it but the transition was orgasmic! Everyone went crazy at the end.
Halo of Nembutals - Nothing really to note. Great song, great performance. Backdrop changed at this point, looked sweet. They all seemed to enjoy playing it and Dave looked like he eased up from here on, sort of looked like he was beginning to realise he had the parts down. At one point he did a really tasteful fill and Juan smiled and mouthed 'nice', Omar also turned to look back and smile. Cedric nailed it.
Miranda - BEAUTIFUL! Acoustic guitar, Cedric's vocals, Omar's little additions on the electric - just amazing. Dave played the cymbals with hands a few times again. Couldn't work out who was playing the Trumpet part out of Ikey or Marcel and who was doing some normal keys but they were both stunning. Then Juan came in, just great, then Dave for the epic ending.
Teflon - The transition from Miranda was awesome, Ikey was playing really nice keys and then it came out of nowhere and hit so hard. Cedric killed it, so did Omar and Juan. Dave did really well too, love how he opens and closes the hi-hat during the 'let the wheels burn' part. Goes mental at the end aswell.
Viscera Eyes - Getting a bit old for me now, but still love it. Dave kills the chorus and the snare hit he misses puts a fresh spin on things. Omars solos were brilliant. Dave had a solo aswell, did pretty much the same thing TP did just shorter. Cedric said something in spanish near the start, anyone know what it was? Can be heard on the Stockholm video of Viscera and Part III of Cicatriz on Scabdates.
The Widow - Amazing solo from Juan. Cedric really good and I loved Omar's guitar work.
Roulette Dares - Dave kills it, plays it more like JT. Love how the drums build up on the 'Inside' part like they used to, missed that with TP. Ending is a lot shorter, really droney and hipnotic. They just loop the bassline and walk off. Cedric said thank you and waved for like a minute with a real genuine look of gratitude on his face as did Omar. Everyone else waved as they were walking off.
Yeah, so a pretty good gig
Can't wait to see them this week!
(I understand if you don't want to read all that, just felt like writing it )
thanks for your detailed review. Yes, you must indeed have stood right behind me, but I was the girl left to the short one you´ve been talking to. I waited with her all day outside in the cold, which was really fun somehow... So I was the one, who tried keep seated as long as possible in the front row before the show started, because my legs already hurt from waiting outside....