The Black Planet

Report: Pilot @ St. Petersburg & Moscow

Report: Pilot @ St. Petersburg & Moscow

The Russian band Pilot played their traditional Autumn concerts in October 20th in St. Petersburg and on October 27th in Moscow. This time, the program was called “Osennee pora” (play on words, means “Autumn time” in English), that is a direct reference to the eponymous composition and EP from 2003. Pilot is a multi-genre band from St. Petersburg that is not reduced nor limited within the frameworks of only one style. All musicians playing there are constantly experimenting with sound and performance forms, they are multi-instrumentalists and pretty good at what they do. Ilya Chert Knabengof – the band’s leader and mastermind – is famous not only as a musician, but also as a writer, benefactor and public figure. These days Pilot is one of the most popular and wide touring rock-bands in Russia.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the Pilot concerts are a special kind of good magic. Due to their creative atmosphere, you want to be out in the world, living life, be filled with this infinite happiness and joy, embrace the world, literally, and then transfer all these positive feelings onto other people. Until the beginning of the performance, a crowd wearing only black and yellow clothes and other accessories with the constant band symbol – the so-called Lyuska (a smiling face with sutured mouth) – gathered before the shows. But, there’s no need to be afraid of this sutured mouth. All Pilot fans are like one big family, understanding and thoughtful people, who analyze all words of their main idol and mastermind, the band leader Ilya Chert.

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It’s worth noting Pilot fan-clubs as a separate line. The club’s representatives exist practically in all cities of Russia. Club members always create different actions at the concerts – in accordance with the theme of the chosen song. Pillow fights, battle with light swords (Star Wars, hi!), creation of wonderful costumes, distribution of paper pieces with different signs and so on. Fan club spaces become hospital, madhouse, castle where Halloween is celebrated, yard with fresh linen on the clothes line, territory of childhood with toys blown all over the space. There’s no limit to the fans fantasy. They create clock faces with 13 figures instead of 12, special yummy treats for the musicians, present unusual things both handmade and purchased such as telescopes and many other wonderful things. This time, all visitors had been throwing maple leaves, paper planes were flying in the hall. A girl dressed as Lyuska was walking in the crowd and taking photos with pleasure.

Despite the fact that autumn is a fitting time for sadness and depression, when it’s necessary to sit on the window sill with a cup of hot tea, coffee or chocolate, the band decided to overcome this stereotype and that’s why these autumn concerts were not somber, but full of energy and mojo. Sing-along of time-tested hits, slam and mess were consequences of songs played on acoustic guitar with hundreds of lit lighters, with notes of special Petersburg melancholy. You can always see hundreds or thousands of smiling happy faces and a never-ending dialogue between musicians and their audience.

Pilot live in a special world that was built brick by brick during more than 20-years of history of the band. This world is constantly renewed, unwanted people leave, and only the devoted and right friends stay for years. It is mysterious and original, unusual looking, sometimes crazy and full of meetings with old friends. Each performance of the band is supported by an unique video sequence and light installation created and arranged for the specific tour concert, with the use of different technical novelties and devices.

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To summarize, these two concerts were those special days that will remain in the memory of attendee. Now the band is on top of their form. This was proven and demonstrated. Both musicians and spectators were happy and satisfied.

Special thanks to Daniil Petrovsky (management, booking, organizational issues) for all his help and patience.

Photos & Words by Claudia Kasikhina
Managind editor: Filipe Gomes

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