Location: Zollkantine, Bremen
By: Basak Günel
Photos by: Heavy Harlequin
Bremen was in for a nice psychedelic treat for the Swedish psych rock act MaidaVale as part of their European tour. This show also happened to be the last gig of their tour, making it a rather special one.
The evening started with TØLKE. The name may make you think the band comes from a Scandinavian country but they are from Bremen and they make rock music with influences from noise rock and post-rock. One nice highlight we observed in their show was the simplicity but the sincere atmosphere. The guitars are tuned to an e-guitar and a bass amp, making the sound noise-y at times. Combined with the drums and personal lyrics, the audience experienced a rather calm evening with this duo.
One ‘turning point’ in the show was the electricity going out… for real! Since there was a lot of smoke during their set, there was a power outage and so the band had to make a pause for about 10 minutes. This turned out rather well for them though as the vocalist seemed more relaxed after the incident than before and his vocals were more in sync with the music. There seemed to be some minor problems with his guitar sound but overall, the band managed to handle this crisis quite well!
It was time for a little time travel to the 60s/70s with MaidaVale. This Swedish formation was founded in 2012 and has two full-lengths so far, with the latest one “Madness Is Too Pure” out last year. The freaky colors in the band’s set was already a good sign that it was going to be a fantastic evening!
Throughout the set, the band not only showed us their perspective and vision of the 60s/70s era, but the audience also got to experience a true live performance; amazing guitar tunes combined with the powerful, dynamic, and colorful vocals of Mathilda Roth. It was a nice contrast seeing the attitude of the three band members and Mathilda’s stage presence. The band did not need to force anything as the audience was totally into it; some were dancing while others were lightly headbanging and losing themselves! This great synergy between the band and the audience made the evening a magical one.
With two full-lengths in their musical career, the band offered us a great choice of songs from these two albums but the focus was surely on the latest one. The highlight was especially their interpretation of the songs like “Gold Mind” or “Oh Hysteria!”; no song was exactly the same as the album and so this added a rather different atmosphere to the live show. The crowd also seemed to have no one highlight but many, as the whole show felt like a big climax point with many colors and emotions flowing non-stop. Now I have been to many live shows but I have rarely felt such a magical and colorful live music experience coming straight from the heart and soul. MaidaVale showed us how it’s done in their own ways! Many kudos to these Swedish psych rockers for a magical evening!