Alcest + Birds in Row + Kaelan Mikla – 12.02.2020 – Täubchenthal
On February 12th, the public that went to Täubchenthal, in Leipzig, attended a concert with three bands of very diverse styles. At first, one could consider that three different bands might turn off people’s interest in the event, but the exact opposite happened. And whoever went to the concert hall, certainly put their time and money to good use.
The first band to take the stage was Icelandic Kælan Mikla, a trio of Synth-Punk and Darkwave that has progressively been attracting the attention of the public most connected to this movement. The three women appeared dressed in black dresses and, even during the whole performance, the stage was somewhat in dim light. The gloomy and Gothic atmosphere successfully established and at 8pm sharp the concert began. In charge of the electronic music and vocal duties, Laufey Soffia’s hypnotic voice echoed in the venue while songs such as “Hvernig kemst ég upp?”, “Nornalagið”, “Kalt”, “Skuggadans”, “Næturblóm”, “Ándvaka” and “Nótt eftir nodett” were sung. Sometimes in-between songs the Laufey lit incense sticks which transformed the performance into a kind of ritual. When the first band started to play, the venue was only three quarters away, but progressively as Kaelan Mikla’s performance progressed, the venue was filling up. Half an hour after they started it was already full and it stayed until the end. Their performance lasted 42 minutes.
Then Birds in Row followed. The first French band to take the stage, a hardcore-punk trio, very energetic and very intense on stage. They had additional amps on stage, but the wall of sound generated by the guitar, bass and the drumset was too intense for the acoustics of the place, that sometimes the sound came out warped. Even so, “We Count So We Don’t Have to Listen”, “Love Is Political”, “I Don’t Dance”, “Remember Us Better Than We Are”, “We vs. Us” and “You, Me & the Violence “were excellent presentation cards for those who didn’t know the band. In other highlights, two short speeches that the vocalist gave during the concert: one inviting people to go to the merchandise stand after the concert because they like to hang out with the audience, and the second happened before the last song, saying that in this age of social networks it is increasingly easy to hate each other, but that they should be kind and help one another. 40 minutes after the first chords, the very convincing performance was over.
The last band and headliner of the evening, the second French band and the one everyone expected: Alcest. Neige, singer and mastermind behind Alcest, entered the stage smiling, possibly due to seeing the venue almost full and the anxious faces visible in all the attendees. That smile was the trigger for a magnificent concert, which showed how in sync the band and the crowd were. Promoting their last album “Spiritual Instinct” released at the end of last October, the concert began with the first two songs from this album: “Les Jardins de Minuit” and “Protection”. There followed a return to the past with the song “Oiseaux de Proie” in which Neige encouraged everyone in the entire venue to clap at the rhythm of the song. It wasn’t difficult and it didn’t take long for him to accomplish a mass clapping interaction. Some older songs followed, like “Autre Temps” and “Écailles de Lune – Part 2”, and to return to the new album, one that received the biggest cheer from the audience: “Sapphire” (and then “Miroir”). Kodama officially closed the concert, but as the audience wouldn’t budge, Alcest returned for an encore of 2 more songs: “Là Où Naissent Les Couleurs Nouvelles” and “Délivrance”. It should be noted that throughout the concert, the empathy between the audience and Alcest was really astonishing as if merged into one single element.
A very good evening, no doubt.