Messed!Up

The Soft Moon @Tower Musikclub (Bremen): Review

Lennard Boldt December 3, 2018

To get the Messed!Up team to leave their well-known home territory of concert venues in Hamburg, there has to be a good reason for that trip. In this case the reason is called The Soft Moon, catching the attention with their unmistakable signature sound consisting out of a wild mix of industrial, new wave, shoegaze and post punk.

After playing a sold-out Hafenklang as part of his spring tour promoting his latest album “Criminal”, Bremen was the starting point for the next installment of gigs after the festival season and pulled a wide spectrum of different people into the Tower Bremen.

Right from the start Luis Vasquez made clear what the audience could expect from the evening, switching constantly between energetic drumming on an empty trashcan, playing his Moog and rushing over the sides of his guitar for the opening track “Deeper”.

As if it wouldn’t be enough for one man, he put on layers of “extra inferno” with his screaming voice passing through even more effect pedals than his guitar. That’s my impression hearing them reverberate across the venue while the band were playing in the flickering stroboscope lights. That kind of wall of sound and high-energy performance set the bar already from the beginning and it turned out to be no problem at all to keep that level.

Even though “Criminal” was released this year, the focus of the concert definitely was to give an insight into the whole Soft Moon discography. Fittingly the first four songs “Deeper”, “Circles”, “Burn” and “Inside” were from different albums, thus guiding the listener through the different phases the project has gone through.

While the audience had to choose between headbanging or dancing, in some cases both, Vasquez took possession of the full space the stage offered him to jump wildly around most of the time, even knocking down his mic stand at times. As the spectacle evolved, it was accompanied by the suggestive and constantly flickering stroboscope, which only would fade out for short breaks to let some red light flicker for a change (So yeah, no memorable night at all for the people with epilepsy).

With a setlist like tonight’s it’s hard to pick highlights, but if I had to pick some it has to be the middle of the concert with “Far” and “Wrong”.  These songs in live versions are just perfect for picking up the last of the unconvinced in the audience and get them moving.

It has to be said, the sound at Tower was amazingly good and despite all these synths, noises and effects, you could still hear all layers and you weren’t confronted with a huge wall of sound which is most likely to occur with songs like these. The sound of the concert was dominated by the Moog, which oscillators I would even call the fourth unofficial band member considering the atmospheric impact they take on stage.

For the finale song of the encore, “Want”, Vasquez got the empty trashcan out again and beat it with all the strength he had left. The holes in his t-shirt are likely a piece of arty design rather than caused by everyday use, but I wonder if he didn’t accidentally rip it apart while beating up that trashcan with his drum sticks.

After the last song ended, in a big loud bang, he whispered “Thank you, Bremen”, and the band left the stage for the last time. But who needs big speeches and funny tour anecdotes anyway when you get the chance to witness an awesome concert like this?


 Setlist:

  1. Deeper
  2. Circles
  3. Burn
  4. Inside
  5. Choke
  6. Like a Father
  7. Total decay
  8. Far
  9. Wrong
  10. Parallels
  11. Dead love
  12. The Pain
  13. Give Something
  14. Die Life

Encore:

  1. Black
  2. Want

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