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"The German answer" on Depeche Mode - for those who do not know De/Vision is hereby illuminated the musical range - let their tour through Germany this year also happen in Hamburg. The Markthalle was full. The band posted afterwards on Facebook: "Hamburg is developing for us a stronghold."
The evening of harmonic synth-pop with melancholy undertone started by the Hamburg-based, formed two years ago band Elace. An ideal choice as support for De/Vision; musically traveling on similar fields, this band channel the synth-pop of the 80s through three decades and the current software processing. They offered an convincing show that pleased the audience very much and was therefore rewarded with a lot of applause.
Elace understand it, nice sounding melodies and entertaining harmonies to give a soulful depth, perhaps also, because spiced by a little melancholy. In any case, by the sometimes dominant, sometimes weaved into the soundscape, always beautifully played guitar that already with the first tunes as a kind of solo took the guests to the front of the stage and inside the slightly psychedelic cosmos.
Bass and keyboards came from the digital sphere of programming, but the varied played drums formed a stable framework on which unfolded the songs. Singer Andrew Kohlar, recently by autumnal viral germs shot vocally, was back in good form and presented the songs with the right mix of dedication and understatement.
Then was a speedy rebuild and clean up the stage; absolutely everything went exactly according to schedule. The stage emptied and opened the view to the rear De/Vision-stage design. In the foreground remained only a small, dreamy keyboard and a microphone stand. Substaat from Norway were obviously only with a minimal electronic set on tour.
The booming monster bass and synth loops which broke from the speakers above the audience catapulted this part of the evening in the EBM and techno-pop corner. Their sound-mix out of the conserve was a little sterile and became due to the lack of noticeable ideas after a while monotonous.
The audience was a friendly one and stood almost complete in the hall, but the sparks of dance ecstasy did not really want to skip over. This seemed to notice probably the singer, too, who disappeared before the end of the last song from the stage. Additions were not required; the show trickled to an unspectacular snack between meals without further final applause.
The deinstallation of the keyboard was in seconds. After a short time already the spotlights flashed on the stage decorations of the headliners De/Vision. In the background the banner showing the graphic of their actual CD "Rockets + Swords" appeared. And, of course, the tour was musically under the sign of this new album.
The over 20 years cooperating "electro duo" was supplemented by a drummer, who transported the live sound with additional power and force. It also added to the sounds more visual real presence which were by - mostly hidden behind the stage sets and videos - Thomas Adam generated from his electronics.
This presence was otherwise awakened to life by frontman Steffen Keth. Prancing, conjuring, evocative, also temporarily playing the keys, and as the organic movement-center amidst all the illumination focused on him the growing enthusiasm of the audience, who were singing along, swaying and visibly enjoyed the elegiac pop even up in the back rows. An extensive set list has been processed; older hits mixed with the new songs.
De/Vision offered a great performance and proved that good pop music can be a lot more than shallow or cloned in a retort or simple.