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Old 02-10-2004, 03:20 AM   #1
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The Notwist Live

I will write a review when I have time (not for a good few days)
But, if they are coming near you, you might as well just get up right now and get your ticket.

In the meantime, here are some pictures I took (because i know everybody here will love to see them) they are very large and uncropped and all just plopped on one page. once again, when i have time, i will crop em and order em and clean 'em up and everything.

picatures
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Old 02-10-2004, 03:40 AM   #2
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Alrighty in the meantime, here is a review my friend and soonish-to-be housemate Mike wrote of the show on his webpage at http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=ljosi

I think it's better than any review I'd end up writing anyway.

MY IMPRESSION of THE NOTWIST'S PERFORMANCE AT TORONTO'S "LEE'S PALACE"

The Notwist is a German progressive/post-rock band (or "glitchpop") which rocked my world on Saturday, February 7th, 2003.

I went with Ian, Damon (my housemate next year) and Damon’s friend Brian. We got there at seven and waited around for ten of fifteen minutes for them to open the doors - if you know Canadian winters, you’ll know it seemed more like two or three hours - and we went in and sat just behind the mixing booth, about twenty feet from the stage. Lee’s Palace has an interesting set up in the sense that the stage is raised up about five feet with a mosh pit directly in front - and then the bar/lounge area (where we were) is ALSO raised up a few feet. So, in other words, absolutely everyone has a good view of the stage.

Before long the opening band Themselves came on. According to Damon, Themselves is on the Anticon label, which is a loosely organized group of rappers, formerly featuring Buck 65 (who I saw last weekend). Themselves is a rap trio with all three of them playing various gadgets (involving keyboards, drum pads, and several other toys that I’d love to get my hand on). The front man, who goes by the name Doseone (for some reason) sounds like Chris Tucker rapping incoherently, REALLY fast. Sometimes facing the audience, other times facing a mirror. Over all, I didn’t love it, but I found it VERY interesting to watch, if only from a technological point of view. I spent the second half of their set sending Susan a text message – which might say something in itself.

Finally, The Notwist came on.


I don’t know much about The Notwist, other than their German origin, and the fact that they evolved from a standard rock act into an experimental post-rock entity. In this way I’d compare them to Radiohead, only instead of starting out playing pop music, they started out playing alternative/punk/metal music and have worked their way up to something that’s unique and wonderful. I haven’t heard much of their work before, but I’d easily compare their recent album, Neon Golden, to Radiohead’s Kid A – only with the presence of banjos, violins and cellos mixed in with the dub drums, voice sequencers, etc. Another thing to mention is, the front man and singer, Markus Acher, has an absolutely beautiful voice. Very smooth and soothing with a slight German accent (no Rammstein here). The lyrics, while rather simple, are more than sufficient. In fact, they’re quite good:

You know this place? You know this gloom?
We've been here before.
When life is a loop, you're in a room without a door.
Pick up the phone and answer me at last.
Today I will step out of your past.
"Trouble that we've come to know will stay with us."
With every step it slowly grows.
Rub off the rust.
Pick up the phone and answer me at last.
Today I will step out of your past.

All this is being sung calmly over a haunting, yet euphoric (and surprisingly powerful) piece of music. It started with some wind-instrument samples building to a simple guitar riff and electronic drums. The overall feeling is rather melancholy and bittersweet. Still, very beautiful. Listening, you feel like you're going somewhere. It would actually be perfect music for a summer night’s drive.

The music is both tranquil and tragic like a long goodbye.

I spent most of the concert either in awe of the performance, or deep in thought. It was the type of music and the right kind of venue where you can just let your mind wander and learn something about yourself. I felt almost guilty for doing this since it meant that my attention wasn’t placed on the band in front of me, but I feel thankful to be in that situation. And then I’d suddenly be pulled back into consciousness by the sound of one perfect song or another. In fact, there were only a few songs (old ones) which were, while good, not to my liking. All the rest was fantastic. It’s one of the better concerts I’ve been to, easily.

After the show we approached the stage. I was thinking of walking up and just saying “Great show”, but Ian suggested we just walk up on stage instead of shouting at them from the side. We did this and shook hands and thanked both Markus Archer, the singer, and Martin Messerschmid, the drummer. While they both smiled and were polite, they clearly had no idea why we were on stage or what we were doing there. I take it random audience members don’t approach them on stage very often, especially if they’re not SUPPOSED to be there. But we figured the worst that would happen is security would support us out, and since the show was over, what does it matter?

All in all, it was very inspiring and put me in a great mood. I realized at one point that this is exactly the kind of music I want to create. It combines the beautiful vocals of A Perfect Circle with the serenity of Sigur Ros and the paranoid electronic incoherency of Radiohead. I could go on and compare bits and pieces of it to dozens of other bands, but I couldn’t compare The Notwist as a whole to anyone else. This is a unique band in an age where all pop music is starting to sound the same.
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Old 02-10-2004, 09:34 AM   #3
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sounds great, im envious
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