Uncategorized

Motorpsycho @Melkweg, Amsterdam (NL) – 13/05 Live Report

May 17, 2013

Motorpsycho @Melkweg, Amsterdam (NL) – 13/05 Live Report

It’s 8.00 PM in Leidseplein, Amsterdam. The
sky’s covered in a thick layer of light grey clouds, there’s moisture in the
air, carried by a mild wind that soothes my face. After a nice dinner with
friends and a beer/smoke to wash it all down, we all steer towards the
entrance.
To my surprise, I find out that Motorpsycho
is playing tonight in the Oude Zaal (“The Old Venue”, the smaller of the two
stages here at the Melkweg), which makes me think that they probably haven’t as
big a fanbase here in Amsterdam as they do way down south, where I’ve seen them
perform in many occasions to a roomful of ecstatic fans. Little it matters,
though; I’ve learned, after many years of following these guys’ adventure, that
it doesn’t matter to them if there’s 1000 or just 1 person in the room. They’ll
deliver anyway. And they’ll do it in their fashion, no matter what, even if it
means that after 4 hours of incessant delivering of sanity-challenging,
spaced-out jazzy improvs there’ll be only 20 heads still standing in the audience,
while another 800 will be lying on the floor, worn-out and passed-out (their
legendary show at Roadburn 2009, anyone?). That’s for me the beauty of
Motorpsycho and their live shows: in a way, I know what I’m going to get, but
still I have no idea what I’m going to get, only HOW I’m going to get it. And,
If the past few months haven’t tamed the ‘psychos, I know it’s going to be a
long, pleasant trip.
So I enter the gates (courtesy of
Branislav, thanks mate), lose all unnecessary burdens at the wardrobe and waltz
inside the half-empty room. I look around and see many faces I know from other
MP shows, plus a few new ones, and even a few everybody should know, like
Goatsnake’s bassist, the guitarist of Italian stoners WoodWall and one of
legendary 35007’s axemen, among others. I start feeling like I’m in good
company and, most of all, in the right place. I, as I bet everyone else in the
room, immediately notice an extra pedal-board, extra-microphone and
keyboard/synth on the left side of the stage, which makes me wonder who’s going
to be on stage with the band tonight…
Lights out. The band walks on stage to the
crowd’s welcoming sound (while I was setting my camera, the number of the
attendee’s had at least doubled up, by the way) and the show begins. Bent, Snah
and Kenneth are definitely in great shape and obviously in a good mood
(especially considering that they’ve been touring for two weeks through the
best part of western Europe), as they deliver a splendid rendition of their
latest album’s opener, “Hell”, to kick off the night in style. The “mystery
guest” turns out to be none other than Swedish guitarist Reine Fiske, of
Elephant9 and Dungen fame among others (go check that stuff out, if you haven’t
yet). A very welcome surprise, I must say, as he makes it immediately clear
that he’s in perfect sync with the band and is willing to lend every last ounce
of his talent to the cause. Obviously technically proficient, but never prone
to overplaying, Fiske would definitely be my first choice if Motorpsycho should
ever decide to go on as a four-piece, like they did in the mid-90’s. Anyway,
back to the show…
Drawing in equal measure from their early
classic albums, like “Trust Us”, “Timothy’s Monster” (a dazzling,
spine-chilling rendition of “Watersound”), ”Angels and Daemons At Play” and
“Demon Box”, and their later, more tortuous and progressive efforts (above all,
the bone-shaking, spastic syncopations of “The Alchemyst”, from their 2007
masterwork “Little Lucid Moments”), Motorpsycho leave nothing behind and give
the audience a nearly flawless performance of their most beautiful music,
spanning an entire discography and nearly 25 years of the band’s history. All
enriched with lengthy gallops into improvised, progressive Motorpsychodelia,
which have become their trademark in live performance since the addition of
drummer Kenneth Kapstadt, whom I daresay is one of the most versatile, soulful
and tasteful young rock drummers of today. His ever-so-busy kick-drums and Bent
Sæther’s distinctive “upside-down” bass sound create a monumental wall of sound
which seem to be able to lurk among the people in the audience like the mist
from the eponymous movie, like a living thing, the perfect foundation for Snah
to lay down his torrential flux of graciously nervous six-stringed spontaneity.
The first portion of the show ends way too quickly for some of us, only until
we realize that 2 hours have passed already…
After a short pause, the four musici come
back for a more relaxed, mellow and introspective first encore. We get treated
with masterly interpretations of “Whip That Ghost” (from “Let Them Eat Cake”,
tonight’s most exploited of their releases) and their new song “August”, before
they leave us again while droning out the hypnotic cantilene of Moondog’s “All
Is Loneliness”, another piece of music they’ve manage to make unmistakably
their own. Fade out for a few more second, until the chanting and screaming of
the never satisfied audience brings them back on stage once again. It’s the
turn this time for their 1995 album “Blissard” (I know many in the audience
were wondering if the band really weren’t going to touch that one tonight!) and
a haunting low-tuned version of “Fool’s Gold”, wrapping up a flawless nearly
3-hour show and a great evening of enthralling rock music.
Thumbs up for Motorpsycho and Reine Fiske,
as we all walk out of the room to pillage the merch stand, while still our
eardrums resonate to the memory of that one last chord.
Setlist:
1. Hell
2. Ocean
3. Stained Glass
4. Cornucopia incl. Go to California
5. Uberpilgrim (Uberwagner)
6. Barleycorn
7. Upstairs Downstairs
8. Watersound
9. Kill Devil Hills
10. Alchemyst
11. You Lied
12. Arne H.
13. Whip that Ghost
14. August
15. All is Loneliness
16. Fool’s Gold
Motorpsycho’s new album “Still Life With
Eggplant” is out now on Stickman Records.
Report made by Tommy Morelli/2013
© Copyright
http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2013
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *