[media stories: 2001: english]

Motorpsycho. Subsirkus. Tromsų, Norway. September 13, 2001.
Phanerothymal Scream

Review of the Tromsų show / 2001-09-13
taken from the Norwegian ego-zine
English. Found at the tcr site and sent in by somebody I've forgotten about... ;-).

Motorpsycho - «Phanerothyme» - cover - front  
The gig doubled as the re-opening of SubSirkus, in suitable soft pastel colors / light and modern "curvy" interior, as if to match the last two Motorpsycho "pop" album covers.  
An inarticulate scream of a concert, as Motorpsycho stumbled through a goldmine of material.

A concert can be so much more than the sum of its individual songs, a fact Motorpsycho is known for demonstrating by building excellent experiences out of their material.
This time, however, there was no rythm or flow to the concert, as if they insisted on bringing the audience down every time we had built up some enthusiasm!

It started badly with "For Free", one of the weakest tracks of the new album, Phanerothyme.

They followed a brilliant rendition of "Blindfolded" with a mediocre version of "P.P.P.P.", a mediocre song to begin with.

The concert really got started with "Hey Jane", and it is a warning sign in itself, since it after all is from 3 albums ago. And the crowd was brought down again by a lengthy phanerothymal improvisation based on "My Best Friend". A cool version, but misplaced. People got bored.

Surf's Up!

Eventually, things started picking up, especially with a long, great version of "Go To California", one of those great Californian songs where The Beach Boys meet The Doors.

This could have been the redeeming phase of the concert, as it apparently was in Bodų two days earlier (cf. the review in Verdens Gang (in Norwegian)). But this period was way short! The main part of the concert ended brutally after the classic "The Nerve Tattoo" (a song that shows that Motorpsycho's pop sensibilities is by no means a new thing).

The Slow Burnout?

The encore picked up where the main part picked up, in a rare case of Motorpsycho repeating themselves. Like last time I saw them, they started with "Whip that Ghost", before treating us with an excellent performance of "Walkin' with J.".
Before they crashed again with some slo-mo blues retro-crap that might have been from Barracuda (I have the CD, but have hardly listened to it).

The concert fizzled with "Bedroom Eyes" as the second and last encore.

Could this spell the beginning of the end for Motorpsycho as one of the truly great live bands? Surely, I was not the only one who was disappointed? If only for the glaring omission of "Vortex Surfer" ...

Tore Hogas