[media stories: 2001: english]
→ 26 September 2001 Tivoli, Utrecht (NL)
→ 27 September 2001 013, Tilburg (NL)
Review of the Dutch shows of the Phanerothyme tour
(26 September 2001 - Tivoli, Utrecht (NL)
(27 September 2001 - 013, Tilburg (NL)
They're almost predictable in their unpredictability. Motorpsycho came to Holland, played two shows in a row, and made those two shows completely different from each other. In Tivoli they emphasized mostly on the 60s and 70s rock aspects in their sound, playing many songs from their last two albums. 'Go to California', on 'Phanerothyme', a nice uptempo song with The Doors written all over it, proved to be a stunning live monster with a complete absence of those Doors influences, but with a psychedelia- drenched solo-part. Out of this world. They also managed to play some brand new ones already, one brilliant jazzy instrumental (still untitled) and a song called 'Neverland', which was so uplifting and energetic I still have the main riff and chorus in my mind. Most of the new songs were unaltered in their arrangements, and that's rather unusual for Motorpsycho: They are known for their jamming and improvisations in a live setting. But the newer songs are still fresh enough to be played like on the record, so that wasn't much of a problem. But the sheer force of the band is their ability to make something completely new out of something old. And that's what they did with the aforementioned 'Go to California' and with 'My Best Friend' and 'Walking with J.' (once again some beautiful references to Miles Davis' 'So What') from the 'Cake' album. Good cover versions of 'Workin' for the MCA' (Lynyrd Skynyrd) and 'I Believe' (Ray Charles) made the concert complete. A very good show, more than two hours, but at the end I still had the feeling they could have done better. And they did the following night.
It was one of those magical gigs everyone's gonna remember for many years to come. The gig in 013 wasn't about the 70s rock, it was completely about Motorpsycho themselves. Playing much fewer songs from 'Let Them Eat Cake' and 'Phanerothyme', they seemed to have rediscovered their own classic album 'Timothy's Monster' from 1995. 'Watersound', 'Trapdoor', and 'Now It's Time to Skate' were given a stunning treatment, sending their pure magic into the rather large venue. 'She Used to Be a Twin', another song from the 'Timothy's Monster' era, made a very big emotional impression on the whole audience, which was also the case with the final encore 'Stalemate'. Both songs weren't played for years, but for this tour Motorpsycho grabbed them out of their gigantic back- catalogue. Much more than in Tivoli, their jamming and improvisations were far more in the old Motorpsycho-style, which means less soloing and more spaced out psychedelia. The natural way they let 'Superstooge' evolve into another yet unrecorded instrumental called 'Tristano' was beyond words, and it all happened spontaneously ('Tristano wasn't planned.). Even the newer songs like 'Song for a Bro', which features a whole lot of jazzy improvisations inside, were packed with that old Motorpsycho feeling. The audience loved every single bit, because in the moments where quietness was required (with songs like 'Bedroom Eyes' and 'When You're Dead'), everyone was absolutely silent. Very impressive for such a large venue. This evening Motorpsycho were in an absolute superb shape, making a formidable and emotional impression on every single person. It was one of those magical gigs everyone's gonna remember for many years to come. And beyond.
Bas Ickenroth Tobin