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“Real Again” is a fine opener, and the lyrics feel poignant and moving – as does “Mad Sun”, played ’93-style here. Bent was in decent voice for third gig in a row, and there were several fun quips between the acoustic numbers, such as “We would advice you all to sit down”, “Old non-hits become new again” and “We’re not entirely professional”. “Can’t Find My Way Home” is a beautiful song (I absolutely love the Swans-version), but didn’t quite evoke the magic of MP’s acoustic takes on “Nature’s Way” or “All Tomorrow’s Parties”. Both Olaf and Reine did fine though, although Reine’s mix was a bit erratic. “Big Surprise” had some nice singing from the crowd too, but as a whole the acoustic section was pleasant at best.
When the full band finally kicked in, “Sinful, Wind-Borne” lacked all of the laser-focus and sharp corners of Geb’s, Tomas’ and even Kenneth’s drumming on that track. Olaf is much more of a “groover” and not a “slicer”, which made it feel mushy and overly soft. All of the Yay!-tracks were very well suited for his style, though, and Snah’s exceptional soloing in “Hotel Daedalus” was the first highlight of the concert. At 40 minutes+ in, that came a bit on the late side, but it was a huge relief. Psychoverse unlocked.
On “Black As Night” they sounded like a well-oiled band, but nothing more either. It was just a decent version of a decent track, and they didn’t sprinkle any fairy dust on it. C&B > WTG was a very enjoyable section though, and actually reached one or two quite cool momentums, with very fine and playful drumming from Olaf, beautiful soloing from Snah, and Bent being hypnotic.
Reine was an excellent vibe-master as ever on both keys and guitar, but was frequently a bit low in the mix, such as in an otherwise very good “Patterns”, and particularly “The Nerve Tattoo”, where he was nearly inaudible. “Patterns” was a stand-out though, thanks to an absolutely stunning Snah-solo, where I thought Olaf was almost perfectly complimentary on the drums, playing with and against both Bent and Snah like he’d been in the band for years. A real goosebumps-moment, and I don’t think any drummer could have done that better. Following the positive thread, “Gullible’s Travails” used to bore me – even with Kenneth being the mad octopus on drums/mellotron, but this much simplified version was quite stellar, and Pt. III went from very pleasantly psychedelic with both Snah and Reine spacing out on keys before Snah went back to the guitar and took it to supersonic awesomeness, topped with Bent shaking the room with the Taurus before the transition to Pt. IV. Suuuper cool, and the sort of moment you always hope to get watching MP. YES (or YAY)!
Putting the otherwise quite mediocre “Sentinels” this late in the set wasn’t necessary a bad decision either. They brought over some of the space from Gullible’s, and it sounded breezy, pleasant and fluent, much thanks to Olaf’s tasteful drumming. “The Nerve Tattoo” was way, way off, though. Reine was something like 40dB too low in the mix, and Olaf was just not driving the band at all with his lanky bass-drumming during the verses. Yikes! Überwagner didn’t truly click either, although it was slightly better. Bent and Olaf didn’t totally gel during “The Visitant” either, although that was lifted by some great soloing from both Reine and Snah, and I got the sense that Olaf hanging by a thread in much of this final section. “Plan #1” had a particularly massive guitar sound from Snah, but Olaf seemed very lost here, with a host of inexplicable and lousy fills, coupled with some sloppy transitions that broke momentum.
They came back for “A.S.F.E.” and “Rock Bottom”, and I’m particularly glad that they did the former, because after a decent to average first five minutes, they FINALLY took off into Psychoverse again with some absolutely mind melting, thunderous attack from Snah – quite reminiscent of the Hamar “577”-noiseout, which was topped with wah wah after a few rounds. Another huge relief, highlight, and a seriously, seriously great space rock-moment. They only brought some, but not much of that momentum over to “Rock Bottom”, though. It was an average version of a pretty cool/fun closer.
So imho, there were about five truly great moments in the concert, coupled with a lot of transportation legs, but not a lot of dead air either. Much like the Yay!-album, it felt spirited, playful and wholesome, and often moving, while only very occasionally catching fire.
(Repost in two parts, because my original post disappeared)
It’s a couple of days after the first Rockefeller-show MP have played since 2016, which was the Here Be Monsters-tour with Kenneth (that somehow feels longer than 7 years ago). At the time that felt like a substantial return to form after the lackluster 2014 Behind the Sun-show. In 2014 they opened with EIGHT acoustic numbers. Tonight they stopped at five – including “Big Surprise”, which was also played here in 2014 – and 2016 (electric).
Upon seeing that Olaf Olsen was drafted in for the tour, every psychonaut instinctively knew that this would be the Let Them Eat Yay!-tour. And that’s what it is. I don’t know how many people are genuinely excited about that, but to be both fair and realistic, most of the the last couple of tours – especially 2017-2019 and 2022 have been so stunning that they’ve frequently hit all time-peaks. You can’t achieve that level of telepathy with just a few weeks of rehearsal, regardless of how good your new drummer is. And teaching Olaf the N.O.X.-suite wouldn’t be playing to his strengths either. That being said – they have taught him the full “Gullible’s Travails”, so he is getting his prog hat on at times. More on that later.
Given the circumstances, I think we should cut both the band and Olaf aeons of slack. And Olaf is far from an illogical or bad choice. When Geb left, he was one of the Norwegian drummers I initially thought would have been plausible. I first saw him in February 2000, playing a small club with Bigbang on one of the final Electric Psalmbook-dates. I thought he was fantastic, and had a combination of Krupa/Mitchell-style swiftness on the toms combined with a Hayward-like pocket and heaps of punk-energy that was just killer and very unique. He instantly became a favourite of mine. Greni’s daft lyrics didn’t matter either, because he was jumping around and hanging from the rafters. It was awesome.
And 23 year on, if Saturday did not feature the very same Gretsch-kit Olaf used back then, it was at least extremely similar. It’s not only a smaller kit, but drier/woodier than Tomas’ (birch vs. maple perhaps), and Olaf also uses a smaller crashride to his left than both Kenneth and Tomas, which puts a lot of fast energy into the cymbalwash, reminiscent of both Geb and Jacco, but with less force on the snare than Geb, making the balance (loud crashride + soft/dynamic snare) sound a bit peculiar and unfamiliar in MP. A case in point from Saturday was “Whip That Ghost”, where so much emphasis was put on the snare as a driving element by Geb, that Olaf’s take almost felt inverted, with the cymbals being the backbone of the beat, and the snare taking more of an accent-role. I think it’s fair to suspect that he is holding a bit back from uncertainty on top of this as well, and putting a lot of energy in the cymbals while holding the snare back certainly makes him less susceptible to major fuck-ups, and more flexible when it comes to cues from the others.
Rockefeller was packed, and there was a quite friendly and politely cheerful mood in the room before the gig, which sort of stayed all the way through. My expectations were extremely low by MP-standards, with my only reference points being the Hamar-recording and the setlists from the other shows. But I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, although I would agree with @otherdemon that it was a mixed bag.
Thanks for posting the full setlist, @Wulf, and sorry for double-posting, but I’ve added timings (just the songs without the pauses/banter) for those interested:
Real Again (Norway Shrugs and Stays At Home) (3:10)
Mad Sun (4:37)
Can’t Find My Way Home (Blind Faith cover) (3:52)
Big Surprise (4:15)
Sinful, Wind-Borne (5:03)
Dank State (5:08)
Hotel Daedalus (6:31)
Black As Night (The Frost cover) (5:29)
Cold & Bored (4:04)
> Whip That Ghost (11:06)
Gullible’s Travails (Pt. I-IV) (17:29)
The Nerve Tattoo (4:19)
> Überwagner or a Billion Bubbles in My Mind (4:06)
> The Pilgrim (Wishbone Ash cover) (6:01)
Plan #1 (7:23)
Rock Bottom (UFO cover) (7:27)
Total: 2h 18m (21:30-23:48)
This album is not for me, but I totally get and respect the move. The music (while unexciting) feels very sincere, and I really, really like Bent’s lyrics, and find many of them both relatable and moving. Very human, direct but nuanced. I’ll probaby read those way more than I’ll listen to this record. “Patterns” is imho their best pop-single since “In Our Tree” – or possibly “Serpentine”. But also one of only two songs I liked here, the other being “Real Again”. I’ll try some more though, and will go see the Oslo-concert.
Musically, second to third gear is what I expected – and got. Pleasantly boring perhaps, but it has a very sympathetic and open vibe that makes it less irritating and grating than Let Them Eat Cake/Phanerothyme. So yeah, no WTF here. More like a warm hug and a thanks for continuing to make the music you want when you want it!
PS: Have it first-hand that Snah has been into The Verve lately. Don’t know if that made any impact on the last two records (perhaps “Chariot of the Sun” and some of the light/shoegazy moments on Yay!?), but found it a bit interesting nonetheless. The bass-riff in “The Wheel” is quite reminiscent of “A Man Called Sun”, but Snah hasn’t listened to them before now at least.
Just read about the gruesome attack, and just wanted to say that I’m grateful this thread (thanks Johnny and suntripper) managed to reach you, punknotyet. So good to hear from you, and to know that you’re OK! I can’t even begin to fathom what you’re going through at this very moment. Sending love and compassion from Oslo.
I’m devastated by the news.
Tomas’ drumming with MP has been so incredible. Like a dream, really. There have been some live peaks over the past years that have rivalled 1993/94 and 1997/98 in terms of intensity and magic. Save for 2020, which along with being a horrible year in general, had the worst setlists since 2001, ALL the other years since 2017 have had concerts that deserve “all-time classic” status. October/November 2017 had a whole host of them, November 2018, May 2019, the Blitz-run in November 2021… And I wouldn’t be surprised if we 20 years from now look back on the 2022 Cosmoctop! Over Europe-tour as their greatest ever in terms of musical elasticity.
Tomas made a dent in the Psychoverse and gave me a new emotional connection to the band. To me, he was the best of all worlds musically. He could play anything and make it sound urgent and vital. Sure, many drummers can “play” the songs, but after nearly 6 years in MP, Tomas had become them. I’m so grateful for everything he contributed, and will treasure the concerts I saw for the rest of my life.
It’s great that Bent and Snah just soldier on without missing a beat (pun intended), but what a loss…
- This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by Devotional.
HOME OF THE BRAVE
Wooooow!!! Please, please don’t let that be a one-off! I’m still kicking myself for not going to night 3 at Rockheim. There is still a ghost of a chance after all! And coming out of “Psychotzar”… All of those encores look like a total blast, to be fair. “Have Fun” is a super cool surprise too! But yeah, HOTB is the bee’s knees.
Happy for those who were at Byscenen. Hoping for more reports!
- This reply was modified 10 months ago by Devotional.
Wow, here’s hoping that maybe tomorrow we’ll be returning, and all will be…
Thanks for that! Amazing work! Didn’t see "Motorhead Mama" listed on Another Ugly EP, although that is a hidden bonus on the same track as "Summertime Is Here". And iirc the mellotron-samples are exclusive to that release too (not part of the box set, where SIH and MM were split into two tracks)?
I’ll e-mail Petter if y’all don’t think that’s nitpicking.
The setlist is correct, @otherdemon. I'll try to share some thoughts about the concert, but it will probably end up adding more blanks than filling them. My head is still in the ozone.
The band wrote on Instagram that they would be on around 9:30pm, but actually took the stage 8:35. Hope not too many missed out because of this! How to describe the audience tonight? Polite and respectful (not a lot of talking during quiet bits), perhaps? But definitely not reserved. The evolution of headbanging hasn't come as far as most of the most progressive material here, so you can't expect a whole lot of movement, really. I enjoyed myself immensely on the middle of the floor downstairs.
The band were in a great mood from the get go – and it quickly became evident that Bent was in exceptional voice. Seriously, if you were there too – when was the last time you heard him soar like this? He nailed all the high notes with ease, and sounded pretty much amazing on everything. This was my first MP-show since 2019, and I was quite overcome with emotions when they started playing. I've missed that sound, and that experience so much. No earplugs for me, I wanted to take it all in. "Hell" has never made me cry before, but it did tonight. Pt. 3 had a really cool jam. "The Crucible" was heavy as fuck (I don't know how to put it more eloquently in my present state, sorry), and as @cloudhawker pointed out, felt sadly pertinent. For some reason, "Cosmoctopus"; a track I really like on record, is a bit of a blur for me looking back, although it definitely had some good and very intense moments. The mix took some time to get balanced, and Reine's guitar and keyboards seemed to be the most difficult to integrate, but when they hit the sweet spots, they were awesome. The drums were also fighting a bit with particularly the bass, which got better after a while. The sound was massive overall. Very physical, and just what the doctor ordered.
As with all MP-shows, just reading the menu doesn't reveal the ingredients. I'm not a fan of neither "Cloudwalker" nor "Like Chrome" on record, but these were solid, passionate versions that really elevated both songs beyond average.
The dynamics and elasticity of this band simply defies logic. This "Little Lucid Moments"-suite was a crazy, manic cat, with a mind-bending build-up/drum solo towards the end. Brilliant, super-energetic version, and I loved the twin guitars here.
Lacuna was really sweet and widescreen. By now the sound was great too, and the more mellow jamming felt almost four-dimensional at times, and speaking of tracks that are better live than on record: "The United Debased" was fantastic! As far as riff-rock goes, it doesn't get much more kick-ass than this. Debased Bloody Debased!
And "Starhammer"… The main body of the song was already the best version I've heard them do, but then they went into the faster/hamster/scooter-section, and holee… When Bent started that insanely fast groove, I thought to myself 'there is no way you're going to jam out over that tempo'. But of course I was wrong. They were really, really pushing it here, taking all sorts of chances. It was chaotic and overwhelming in the best possible sense.
By this point I knew that we would probably not get NOX'ed, and I was totally fine with that. There had been so many peak moments throughout the show that when Matt Burt filled the speakers followed by the most beautiful "Plan #1" ever, a brilliant night was rounded off in the most perfect way possible. Again, Bent's singing was just insanely good, and I loved Snah's tone here. I'm trying not to tear up just thinking about it.
Then everything went blank for me. I thought I was hallucinating, and turned around towards my friend, and just blurted out something along the lines of 'Is that…? It can't be. NOOO, there's no way… ' I know that I went home afterwards, and I went to bed, but I was still inside "The Wheel". And I still am. It was thunderous, magical, cathartic, beautiful… Talking about it feels a bit like trying to find a window into something that does exist, but I still can't fully bring myself to believe in. I just know that I was there inside it, and became part of it somehow. And after everything we've been through over the past two years, when Bent quietly and sincerely sang 'I still love you', it felt like a reconnecting of souls.
They came back for a "Fools Gold" that perhaps wasn't as good as the 2019-version, with Bent having some sort of bass-trouble – possibly the tuning, as he seemed to be browsing the frets a lot. Maybe he was still spaced out from "The Wheel". It didn't matter. It had a sort of damaged quality to it that made it a fitting closer to a mostly superb and frequently magical show.
I don't know what more to say really, just that I'm grateful, and that Motorpsycho are in many ways more important to me than ever. Looking forward to following the tour, and hope you all get to see them.
Some (if not all) of those encores were acoustic too. I just have to add a "wow", they are definitely shaking things up! That's 34 (if I'm not mistaken) different tracks played over 5 shows, of which several are long suites. Reine wasn't lying when he said they'd rehearsed a ton of tracks.
As @Johnny_Heartfield said in the Ålesund-thread, catch several shows if you can! :MPD:
@supernaut, I too really hope that they shake things up before the next run. I used to feel that after the sheer brilliance of several 2017-2018- and to an extent 2019-setlists, the 2020 ones were the worst since September/early October 2001 (only beating those out because of NOX), but these first three setlists of 2022 are only marginally better. Compared to the much more eccentric Blitz-setlists last year (where I had/still have a ticket, but couldn't go), these are a bit depressing. But the centrepieces of the shows are still the NOX and/or the LLM suites, which is not a bad deal, and will get you pretty far into the psychoverse.
I've seen some psychonauts complain about too many riff-rockers, while I'm more puzzled by them finding room for an almost 10-minute long mid-tempo plodder like "At Empire's End" in the same set as "Entropy", "Cloudwalker" and "Spin, Spin, Spin". That's not to say that they're not half-decent songs live, I just feel that they're pulling the same heartstrings in a sense, and cancel each other out after a while. I don't get that easily bored by MP doing even their more mediocre riff-rockers live, both because of their physical nature (the songs, that is), and also because they do it so damn well. It's mostly bliss. And "The Transmutation Of Cosmoctopus Lurker" is a great track imho. Easily my favourite from KOO.
They're obviously revisiting Here Be Monsters these days, and I'd also put "Lacuna/Sunrise" in the same bag as the aforementioned four songs. "Running With Scissors" has more of a hypnotic quality to it, but I agree with @supernaut that I would rather choose "I.M.S.", or better still "Big Black Dog" (that mid-part/build up with the trio in '16 was so beautiful, and it would be great to hear it with Reine and Tomas). I also agree that Sun Ship is a fresh choice, and will be hoping for that in Oslo.
PS: You may not get "Starmelt/Lovelight", but at least LLM has a very similar intro. :wink:
Yes, using NRK recordings can be both expensive and difficult to license, which is why thereâ€™s not a lot of it on Hair Cuts. Going from memory, NRK didnâ€™t record Ã˜ya 2010 on the bandâ€™s request. I believe the band did an audio recording for themselves, but I have no idea if the video feed was recorded/saved.
I know first hand that at one point Motorpsycho wanted to release NRKâ€™s recording of Roskilde â€˜93, but that was also shelved (I donâ€™t know exactly why).
NRK recorded the full show, and are considering using more of the footage for two other programmes (one of them is called Scene) but that means new contracts will have to be made for those. Many bands asked for copies of their footage on Festivalsommer, but NRK are reluctant to share what they call â€˜unpublished materialâ€™. But there are full shows of all artists involved in the archives.