An appropriate outfit seems to be indispensable for an evening out in the concert hall. Tailcoats and gowns are minimum, classy jewelery wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Thank god on last Saturday dress code and occasion at the dignified Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Germany were different ones – the sixth installment of the AUDIO INVASION brought a lot of different people together at an extraordinary place most of them might not visit that often and with music that’s not normally played in a location like this. It’s a night of discovering – the creators of the AUDIO INVASION describe their concept as a journey through different areas and musical genres every visitors is invited too. The event is about an open-minded experience of music in it’s purest forms as they’ve told NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION in an interview a couple of weeks back. So, we dressed up the best we could, opened our hearts and ears and threw ourselves into the night.
Danish Dynamite . . . .
But despite the fact that the dresscode wasn’t that strict for that night the opening was pretty classical – in the form of a huge concert in the big hall. Under the direction of conductor Jiří Bělohlávek the fantastic orchestra played two classical pieces within one hour – Josef Suk’ Suite Pohádka op. 16 and 1933’s Dances of Galánta by Zoltán Kodály. An impressing scenery that seemed to touch the heart of all attending people, no matter if they were dressed causal or a bit more ceremonial. Great way to start the night anyway. And great setting for this event. With a lot of light and different floors the sold out evening got more than enough spots to groove your way through the night. While the popmusical focus concentrates mainly on technoid club music there is always room for bands with a different approach. Evening opener RANGLEKLODS is one of these bands. The energetic and experimental dark wave pop of their debut album Beerkeeper regulary fascinates NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION for almost a year now. The time is right to get the group around mastermind Esben Andersen more attention outside their danish home country. His influences are wide spreaded – from hip hop to old 80s wave, like he told us in an interview earlier this year. This pumping mixture normally creates a haunting atmosphere whenever this group plays. But, well, in order to create this intensity you need to get soaked into the sound which wasn’t really possible due to the washed-out and unbalanced sound on their stage. A problem that was recognizeable throughout the whole evening. Not on the tiny, mostly DJ-focussed stages, but on the big one with all the live acts. It was a bit better with RANGLEKLODS‘ fellow countrymen REPTILE YOUTH who brought a certain ‘rock’ appeal to the Gewandhaus on this night. Pumping indie-rock and engergetic frontman Mads Damgaard managed to make the people go wild.
We decided to waltz a bit through the location, check out the light installations and to take a look on the other stages. GOLD PANDA played his dodgy electronica productions with the help of impressive visualizations while Berlin techno institution ELLEN ALIEN followed him with a pumping set of straight beats. Really great vibe down in the smaller foyer although you already got the impression that the sold out event reached his logistic limit on this night as it sometimes was a bit too crowded in the smaller locations. But, well, on the other side this creates the feeling of intimacy a good club night actually needs. Intimacy is also a good keyword for this night’s main act SÉBASTIEN TELLIER. The french king of romance was quite a brave choice as a headliner since his overdosed 80s pop about love and sex is not a typical crowd pleaser. But the charismatic french man did his best on that night by just doing his thing with a maximum amount of coolness and charm. But especially with his flamboyant soundscapes the audio problems weren’t really helpful for TELLIER. Powerful retro-synthie-pop duo LIGHT ASYLUM down in the foyer showed how pumping and catchy it could work out when all the circumstances fit. Great show, especially due to the amazing voice and charisma of lead singer Shannon Funchess.
A (too) late night affair . . .
Final act for the night in the Mendelssohn hall was the HERCULES AND LOVE AFFAIR SOUNDSYSTEM around disco house mastermind Andy Butler. NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION already witnessed their queer dance engery earlier this year on the Berlin Festival. They had to take over a difficult role on this night. First, they were ‘just’ a short-termed replacement for main act TOTALLY ENORMOUS EXTINCT DINOSAURS who canceld his whole German tour a couple of weeks ago. And due to the fact they decided to help out they had quite a journey in the past hours since they’ve played a show in Amsterdam the other night. And second in the cause of the already delayed schedule they’ve played even later than originally planned – around 3.30 in the morning. A time where some clubbers were already on their way home or into the world of deeper and straighter club sounds. The MC’s and Butler did their best with him playing a lot of fancy chicago house stuff like he presented it on his new DJ-Kicks sampler and his two colleques singing live over the tunes. But there were clearly technical diffculties and from time to time the mimic of the people on stage looked a bit like ‘What are we doing here? We’re tired.’ But HERCULES AND LOVE AFFAIR are professionals and they’ve did their best, celebrating their uplifting house music between each other and – for a couple of minutes – even with LIGHT ASYLUM‘s Shannon Funchess who joined the group dancing and singing on stage. Quite chaotic and it got even weirder when the band invited the constantly shrinking crowd onto the stage which made the auditorium even more emptier as it already was at 4.30 a.m. A bit sad for such a fine live act- but well, considering the circumstances we can’t be mad at anyone.
This all might sound a bit like NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION is hypercritical and didn’t enjoy the evening at the Gewandhaus at all. Well, that couldn’t be farer away from the truth. It was a great ambience, we’ve danced a lot, enjoyed great vibes and got the chance to witness classical music, experimental electronic, rock and dance music within just a couple of hours. But the idea of the AUDIO INVASION is always the one of a journey. Even the event itself is constantly moving further. And on such a journey there is always room left for improvement and re-thinkings. The circumstances might not have been the best this year the crowd was excited and the event sold-out – due to the event’s fascinating concept it is definitely here to stay in the future. Whoever is interested in combining different forms of music within one night should feel invited to join the journey next year. We are sure that the AUDIO INVASION team will give all they can to solve the problems.