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ald4Matrix, Bochum, Germany
24th April 2014
A Life [Divided] & Down Below

On this night, two German band did themselves the honour to perform in the Matrix Bochum and though the concerts took place on a weekday a good crowd showed up.


Down Below

The German band DOWN BELOW was founded in 2003. While the lyrics of their first albums ‘Silent wings: Eternity’ and ‘Sinfony 23’ were mainly in English, the following releases contained songs in German language. With performing more than 100 times at concerts and festival until 2006, the band calls this its demo period. In 2006, DOWN BELOW signed at the major label Universal and released in 2007 their first album there. In 2008 they made it up to the third position at the German federal states song contest with their first song in German language. With lots of touring to promote their albums, as well as touring several times with UNHEILIG they reached a wider audience and cannot be called “Newcomer” anymore. Till this day they have released four studio albums. Before they started to work on their new album they signed once again at a new label. DOWN BELOW are Neo Scope (vocals), Carter (guitar), Convex (bass) and Mr. Mahony (drums). http://downbelow.de / https://www.facebook.com/thatsdb

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Music & Performance
The show started with the playback accompanied by the drummer before the rest of the band appeared on stage. Even though the concert was not sold out the venue was properly filled with approximately 400 people. Apparently there were quite a few fans of the band as the singer didn’t need to ask the people much to raise their arms or clap their hands. Neo Scope gave his best to perform passionately to the songs and this was appreciated a lot by the fans. Well, the music was definitely not my cup of tea. The lyrics and the performance were exaggerated pathetic and the music itself did not excite me at all. I was even tempted to throw my lighter on stage when the singer sang the lines “Ich will brennen!” (I want to burn!). It seems to me that they threw some OOMPH!, ASP, some Rock elements and some of the Neue Deutsche Härte, mixed with some soppy lyrics and melodies à la UNHEILIG in one pot and hoped that this mélange is the key to success. Touring with UNHEILIG surely helped them to gather some fans as I saw a lot of people in the audience who are surely UNHEILIG fans.

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Those people in the audience, who knew the band from the early days when they released albums with English lyrics, were deeply disappointed that none of the old songs were played. Apparently the guys have made a cut in their band’s history and only serve their newer fans by singing a kind of German Schlager. Boring and redundant in my eyes.

Setlist
01. Ketu
02. Wildes Herz
03. König
04. Nordstern
05. Zur Sonne – zur Freiheit
06. Eisbrecher
07. Auf dem Wege
08. Feuerregen
09. Alles wird gut
10. Sand
11. Neuer Horizont
12. Lauf
---
13. Leuchtfeuer
14. Euphorie
15. Mit goldenen Segeln

Rating
Music: 5
Performance: 6
Sound: 8
Light: 6
Total: 6.5 / 10


A Life [Divided]

Founded in 2003, the band from Munich produced their first two albums on their own. As supporting act they toured already with OOMPH!, EISBRECHER, APOCALYPTICA and MONO INC.. In January 2013 their fourth album ‘The great Escape’ was released. Their music can be described as Electro Rock, Synth Rock with some Metal elements. A LIFE [DIVIDED] is Jürgen Plangger (vocals), Tobi Egger (bass), Tony Berger (guitar), Mike Hofstätter (guitar), Erik Damköhler (keyboards, guitar) and Korl Fuhrmann (drums). http://www.a-life-divided.de / https://www.facebook.com/alifedivided

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Music & Performance
Fortunately the main act propitiated me. During the stage rebuilding we could listen to some RAMMSTEIN songs. Strangely enough lots of people had left the venue before the band appeared. But then I guess these were the people who are actually UNHEILIG fans. A little later I noticed that the gaps were filled by the people who arrived later, right in time to see the main act. And when the band finally entered the stage they were enthusiastically greeted by the fans. For the first song, Tony Berger played a guitar with blue LEDs where the marker dots usually are, which created a cool effect. Right from the beginning the band rocked the place. After a couple of songs Jürgen announced to perform now a song from their current album and mentioned that he has already seen quite a few people wearing the T-shirt of the new merchandise and showed us the handmade cake they got from a fan with the logo of the album. After this short speech they guys continued with their energetic performance and the audience partied with them. Their interpretation of the VNV NATION song ‘Perpetual’was really convincing though the sound was partly too loud. The vocal qualities Jürgen were mostly quite good and at ‘On the edge’ he proved that he can growl as well, but at ‘Walking in my shoes’ his singing was a bit thin and thus the guitars were too dominant. Nevertheless people enjoyed the show so much that they screamed and shouted for more.

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For the last song the singer left the stage and stepped on the barrier in order to get in contact with the crowd. Of course the people would not let the band leave the stage without an encore. Jürgen thanked the audience of Bochum for coming to their show and said he was happy to start the tour here and to affirm their affection red paper hearts were shot in the audience to their final song. Well this fitted of course perfectly to the title of the song ‘Heart on fire’.

Setlist
01. Intro
02. Change
03. Isolation
04. The lost
05. Wait for me
06. It ain’t good
07. Clouds
08. Doesn’t count
09. Perpetual (VNV NATION cover)
10. On the edge
11. Space
12. Walking in my shoes (DEPECHE MODE cover)
13. Other side
14. Anyone
15. Hey you
---
16. Feel
17. Words
18. The last dance
---
19. Heart on fire

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.8 / 10

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All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.black-cat-net.de / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)



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