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And so we headed forth to an evening of mighty guitars, deafening drums and lots and lots of fun. Long Distance Calling, accompanied with Sólstafir and Audrey Horne played in the new Hamburg venue, Klubsen and we went among about 550 other music enthusiasts to check it out.
Audrey Horne had the rotten luck of being the opener and thus the crowd was pretty lethargic. It didn´t slow the Norwegian Hard Rockers down though; they played through their quick-tempo set with tracks, which consisted mostly of their latest album "Youngblood", like “Pretty Little Sunshine” and “This Ends Here.” It was interesting to see the people´s heads bobbing more and more until the double guitar solos kicked in- then they just froze in awe. The only thing I can really complain about is that the set list had only a few songs from previous albums, like “Le Fol” and none of them was “Threshold” or the most perfect closer “Last Call.” Well, you can´t always have it your way, I guess.
Sólstafir –who should have been the headliner- came up next and they never fail to impress, it seems. The audience picked up on this pretty early and cheered like madmen. The crowd was hypnotised from the starter “Ljós I Stormi” on. The crescendo of the performance was when the singer, Mr. Tryggvason took an Icelandic flag from the audience and stuck it onto his microphone stand whilst killing a bottle of Jack. As their songs tend to be a bit longer, they managed to fit in four songs in their 45 minute set. Even if you don´t like the band on record, it´s always a pleasure to experience them live. They are often said to be ingenious weirdoes in what they do and I think it fits like fist in the arse…
The headliner, Long Distance Calling was a bit strange. For those of you, who are unfamiliar to the band, their music is mostly instrumental. As such, one spends a big part of their performance subconsciously waiting for the song to really kick off with the vocals –a final crowning of a song, if you want. When the vocalist, Martin Fisher –the latest addition to LDC- did come up, he wasn´t too impressive; he sounds like a mix between the singers from Billy Talent and Placebo on a bad day. Nonetheless, the majority of the crowd loved them from the opener "Nucleus" right until their closer, “Fire in the Mountain.” As a whole, the performance wasn´t bad. The guitar-driven progressive hard rock is enjoyable, even if it fits better into an mp3 player than on stage.
All in all, the evening was a great success. The bands were great and the sound was perfect –I forgot my earplugs and didn´t have tinnitus the next day. The light, however, could have been a lot better. Apart from that, the venue left little to no room for criticism; as it fits about 700 people, it´s fairly easy for smaller bands to get a full house.