26th of October. Friday. Another beautiful day in Barcelona. Last night’s rain had washed all the dirt and now the warm autumn sun was covering parts of the Eixample neighbourhood. “The walk to work today will be pleasant” I thought to myself and pleasant it was. The shuffle mode on my player was ON like any other morning. Caspian started. The song – “Waking Season“. And then it struck me. Four days ago I had seen the best post-rock concert in my life. Never thought something would tap “Explosions in the sky” but…life’s full of surprises. I always knew I would review Caspian when the music blog I work on launches, but after that song I knew I should write my experience now…before it fades away with time. So, it’s what I do – one take, no cuts, no translation, no dictionary. Listening to Caspian and recalling the memories of a great concert.
Syberia, a promising Catalan post-rock band opened before hand. The guys are energetic and full of creative ideas. They obviously had lots of fun while on stage which transmitted to the crowd, which I guess were familiar with their music.
So the time had come. I saw the band walking around the club (Sidecar) beforehand and I gotta say – some of these dudes are tall. Like really tall, especially Philip Jamieson and Joe Vickers (drums). No idea why when I saw Philip, who is skinny and tall (as said before) with his coat, the image of Slenderman immediately popped in my head. Not that the dude is bald, just…you know – brain. After setting on the small stage the 5 guys patiently waited to check the mics. I really enjoy the compact kit of Vickers – another evidence that if you enjoy what you’re doing and you’re creative enough you don’t need thousands of cymbals and a huge drum set. The silence in the club inevitable led to the “Well, thats awkward…” which kind of brightened the atmosphere…
…this is one of those moments I regret my English is not rich enough cause what happened next was…just hard to explain. I hope you get at least a tiny spec of what I experienced that Monday night in a club next to Plaza Reial. “Waking Season” marked the beginning of their set. The club was dark, noone dared to say a word. A minor-sounding (if theres such word) melody surrounded the ambient…a slight hint of saddness, if I can be precise… and then the guitar came along. Quietly at first, it picked up and prevailed over the mellow ambient. But this is not an ordinary guitar sound. Chords that made me feel powerful, excited and positive. Who said post rock is sad? Listen to that music. The adrenaline in my body kept increasing with the dynamic of the song. As Joe Vickers, who before that had his head down, switched from the hi-hat to the snare drum the lights show turned on. Each stroke came with a flash of light. The strokes and the light became more and more powerful increasing the breath-taking moment. I turned back to see the crowd – eyes full of hope and excitement and widely opened mouths…a transcendent moment!
…and suddenly it all stopped. The epic moment vanished in the thin air for a milisec and that was the whole beauty of it. Later the guys played “Some are white light” which has a killer ending. Throughout the show the lights kept blinking, making the whole concert one giant trip. Seeing the emotion and feeling Philip, Jonny, Erin, Joe and Jon put in their music and playing like there’s no tomorrow… Fuck this, it is completely indescribable In one second when the light is on the guys are up in the air with their guitars and with a flash of a moment they are low on the group. Drone-like moments followed by a hard comeback. What can I say about Joe Vickers? The guy is a titan behind the kit. So epic, so epic! Gone in Bloom and Bough blew my mind, as always. I thought their AudioTree live was awesome, but I was wrong.
…so how I felt when I listened to them? …that music gives me the chills, makes me feel positive for the future, makes me feel that I can and because of that I feel like I can change things, help to others. Gives an inner strength. That’s how I feel when I saw those guys live just a few meters away from the stage. The adrenalin rush through the veins is amazing. Post-rock music is amazing. Before wrapping up I have to bring up two key moments. Procellous, where Jonny joined as a drummer on the floor tom. The other one – when the whole band surrounded the kit and started hitting cymbals, floor toms, snares, playing as one.
Awesome concert. I got to talk to Jon after the concert. Was a bit stressed, who knows why. Anyhow – cool guy! I know live experiences vary among people and it is very personal, but I hope you got an idea of what I lived through.
Thank you for your time and enjoy the music of Caspian.