Monday, 27 May 2013

Great concerts I watched last night

So last night I wanted to listen to some electronic music, preferiarably in a live context. I couldn't make my mind up what to watch, I had considered performances by a host of artists before deciding on fairly recent sets by New Order and Foster The People.

Anyhow - the first I watched was New Order in Berlin last year. It's a recording of a concert which Electronic Beats hosted (the same company that was responsible for Pet Shop Boys Elysium launch concert in Berlin). The concert itself took place on June 24th at the Tempodrom in Berlin. Much like the Pet Shop Boys Elysium launch show, it was a brief performance - 44 minutes in all. It was however 44 minutes of pure brilliance, just as I was expecting. I had streamed two of their festival appearances live last year and I feel that New Order have never been better as a live act so expectations for this were very high. I was actually due to attend their Belfast show here (they were headlining a festival) last year but unfortunately the whole festival was cancelled. Anyhow back to Berlin - as usual, they delivered. 586 in particular is positively blistering in these new performances - I'm so pleased they unearthed that criminally overlooked track. Interestingly they also performed Joy Division's classic Transmission - which I know they've done before - but I can't recall them performing that at either of the two festivals I streamed. As usual they ended the show with the ever anthemic Love Will Tear Us Apart. I did find it interesting they didn't perform Bizzare Love Triangle considering it's one of their most popular songs, but to be honest it doesn't hurt to rest the classics from time to time. It was another stellar performance though that just makes me that little bit more desperate to make it to one of their shows!

The other performance I watched was Foster The People's set at last years Reading & Leeds festival. This was actually my first experience watching a Foster The People live show, which is shocking really because I've had their Torches CD for at least a year and I love it, its a fantastic album. I have heard very high praise about their live performances also so once again my expectations were very high. I have to admit they blew me away! Mark Foster is a brilliant front-man - totally comfortable on stage but yet vibrant and full of energy. Not only that, but his vocals were fantastic. He sounded just as great as he did on the record. The rest of the band were on top form musically too. Sadly though, this wasn't the complete set they performed. I watched the BBC broadcast which (as usual) omitted three songs. These being Waste, Houdini and Call It What You Want. I was disappointed that it wasn't the full set as Call It What You Want is probably my favourite Foster The People song and Houdini would be up there too. Although every cloud has a silver lining and they did show their spellbinding performance of Broken Jaw. If the name doesn't sound familiar it's because it was a bonus track that wasn't included on Torches. I haven't the foggiest notion why though because it's a terrific song, it's now become another one of my favourites thanks to this great performance. The only other downside for me - which isn't to do with the band itself - was the crowd. About three or four songs in the crowd began chanting for their chart smash Pumped Up Kicks. They didn't seem to care two figs about the other songs which I think is a bit of a joke in all honesty. It's very hipster-esque and not only that - I don't feel Pumped Up Kicks is close to their best song. Yes, it is a great song but to simply want to hear that song and nothing else does a disservice to the very considerable talents of Foster The People. It would actually be one of my least favourites on Torches (and no I'm not saying that because its their biggest hit). Nevertheless this is another excellent performance that is well worth checking out: although I want to find a full uncut broadcast if possible!

So, all in all a very good way to spend around an hour and twenty minutes of my time. I'm not sure what I'll watch tonight: I'm considering the new performance of Pet Shop Boys in Argentina that's just been uploaded and maybe a recording of Depeche Mode on their Singles Tour from Cologne. Then again, I also need to get stuck back into the first season of Dexter. If I do watch anything though I'll be sure to share it here!

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