Location: Bahnhof Pauli, Hamburg (DE)
A wicked night was awaiting the crowd in Hamburg at Bahnhof Pauli. Many gathered for this black mass to experience the ‘satanic doo-wop’ act, Twin Temple. The venue was more crowded than we expected with an audience, young and old, which guaranteed a fantastic time!
A perfect bonus of this night was the support act Hexvessel, whom we are familiar with and saw a few times already in the past, with each show being a spectacle. The fact that they opened for Twin Temple this time though made our night even more magical. After the successful release “All Tree” last year, the band is getting ready to release “Kindred” on April. So we were wondering what kind-of setlist was waiting for us. The venue was already crowded before they started, building a bit of a nice anticipation.
We have been to a few Hexvessel shows already but this time, it felt like an escapism to the countryside in the middle of the big crowded city life. I could see that the band was not the cup of tea for some in the audience, but the overall atmosphere was all about that nice, organic, from-the-heart feeling with many instruments and the magical voice of Mat McNerney. In this way, the band delivered a perfect set from the beginning to the end that time passed by so fast!
With a recent and an upcoming release, we wanted to be surprised by the setlist this time and this was indeed the case as the band played a mix of songs from the old, recent releases; they started the set with “Ancient Astronaut” and continued with some gems such as “Drugged up on the Universe”, “Earth over Us” and the beautiful “Cosmic Truth” from “When We are Death”. However, “Woods to Conjure” was even not forgotten as well as the new song “Damian” from the upcoming release, which was received pretty well. A big highlight was the Coil cover “Fire of the Mind”; the Hexvessel fans already know how much of an influence Coil has on the band and it was a special feeling to hear this song live and to experience the tribute again. This Hexvessel show was quite different than the last time we saw them but proved once again how unique each show is and will be marked in our memories!
Twin Temple is relatively new to the scene as the band was formed in 2016, but here they were in Hamburg in front of an eager and passionate audience, ready to lead the black mass. Their debut full-length “Twin Temple (Bring You Their Signature Sound…. Satanic Doo-Wop)” was released two years ago followed by the latest single “Satan is a Woman” out last year and so this was the great opportunity to celebrate and devour the music!
One thing was certain with this ‘show’ from the beginning. This wasn’t a typical ‘concert’ but a ritual as well as a musical feast containing many social messages such as the criticism of oppression, sexism, religion and racism. In this sense, this was probably one of the most unique shows we have ever seen! Hell, it was even like a theater play a little bit, with the front-woman Alexandra James interacting with and entertaining the audience without even forcing anything as everything happened naturally in its course. There was your typical ‘mass’-like aspect of it with Alexandra James giving a social message from her book, or a fan being invited to the stage to ‘be initiated’ as well as the first rows being ‘marked’ with blood. Everything was double-sided as the audience was hungry for this feast and sang along, applauded and appreciated the amazing talent of Alexandra James.
Musically, everything was perfection. There was everything from the diverse instruments such as the saxophone and keyboards, to the nice dynamics between Mr. and Mrs. James, and of course the biggest spectacle being the powerful vocals of Mrs. James! I can assure you that, even the ones who experienced this ritual for the first time were mesmerized by her vocals as well as her powerful stage presence. As we expected, the band played a lot of songs from the debut album, with our highlights being “The Devil Didn’t Make Me Do It”, “Femme Fatale”, and “Let’s Hang Together”. Each song was appreciated differently but eagerly and everyone in the audience had a great time which was obvious from the smile on the faces of the fans as well as the blood on the faces of many after the show.
Twin Temple’s music might be mesmerizing when you listen to the releases but the live shows are another dimension and quite a nice time travel, taking the audience to the old times as the band paid tributes to the masters of this genre with this classic sound. Combined with the satanic themes, overall performance and the social messages, there was not one boring moment! What can we say? This was such a fantastic night and one that will be remembered by everyone! Kudos to both of the bands and the amazing audience!
The Devil Didn’t Make Me Do It
I Know How To Hex You
Let’s Hang Together
Lucifer, My Love
Satan’s A Woman
I Am A Witch
Photos by: Heavy Harlequin
Text by: Basak Günel