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ennlfrdeitrues
introMatrix, Bochum, Germany
29th December 2016
Die Happy & Nordn

It feels like yesterday that I have last entered the Matrix (ha, ha) for a concert although it has been a few weeks since my last visit to the club in Bochum. It is DIE HAPPY I am going to see tonight and of course, the rock concert takes place in the dungeon, meaning the tube. Despite the always great atmosphere, I have yet again mixed feelings about the venue, considering the sound. And yet I am looking forward to seeing not only one, but two German bands. As this is the last concert I am attending in 2016, I am expecting an entertaining night and great fun.


Nordn

NORDN open the show tonight. The band of five has been formed in early 2016 and is based in Hamburg. They play a mix of pop, rock, indie, and hip-hop with German lyrics and have just released their first single ‘Nie zuvor’ (‘Never Before’). Find out more about NORDN, upcoming shows, and new releases on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NORDNBAND 

Music & Performance
NORDN enter the stage just like a typical twenty-something rock band. The audience watches intently and starts to cheer as the two guitarists, the bassist, and the drummer show up with singer Martin Gillen. Or rapper Martin Gillen for he basically does both. He greets the crowd, introduces his mates, chats with and engages the people.

nordn1

The set contains mainly mid-tempo songs between pop and rock with sung choruses. Some verses are rapped which reminds me of Casper at times – although without his intense and raw energy, and without his distinct voice. The music itself is surprisingly melodic. ‘Noch nicht gehen’ (‘Not Going Yet’) with its deep atmosphere is my personal highlight, while the first single ‘Nie zuvor’ (‘Never Before’) marks the end of the show. The performance is good and people in the tube seem to have fun. The sound though is an issue. I love deep, vibrating basses but tonight, it is excessive. Because of the droning bass, it is sometimes hard to catch the lyrics or hear individual riffs. Altogether, I am satisfied with NORDN, their charismatic and fun performance, and how they warm up the stage.

Setlist
01. Regenwetter
02. Weil es geht
03. Noch nicht gehen
04. Lange her
05. Hände / Schaff dich ab
06. Handylicht
07. Nie zuvor

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 6
Light: 7
Total: 7 / 10

nordn2


Die Happy

DIE HAPPY is a German rock band from Ulm that has been formed in 1993. Singer Marta Jandová and guitarist Thorsten Mewes are two founding members while bassist Ralph Rieker and drummer Jürgen Stiehle have joined DIE HAPPY in 1999. Over the years, the band has released thirteen studio albums, among them their debut ‘Better Than Nothing’ from 1994 and the 2014 release ‘Everlove’. Their album ‘Supersonic Speed’ from 2001 increased the band’s popularity and acclaim drastically. Today, they are well known for their energetic, melodic rock songs. Visit DIE HAPPY’s website http://www.diehappy.de/, and check their Facebook page https://de-de.facebook.com/DieHappyOfficial for news, videos, and announcements.

diehappy1

Music & Performance
It is a quarter past nine when the ‘Same Shit Different Year’ tour arrives in Bochum and the intro for DIE HAPPY begins. The Matrix is dark, the stage scarcely decorated, and people in the crowd start whistling with growing anticipation as haunting bells and organ sounds fill the tube. Then, under cheers and applause, the drummer, bassist, and guitarist enter the stage and start playing. Singer Marta Jandová follows shortly after her band mates and is greeted with screams of joy and more applause. DIE HAPPY jump into the opener ‘Go For It’, performing vibrantly and energetically right from the start. Some minor problems with the hi-hat are simply fixed while Jürgen Stiehle continues playing, and the sound is much better now. The front rows are dominated by young women and couples in their twenties. They dance, they sing along, they clap their hands. Everybody is having a great time. After three songs, we are greeted by Marta Jandová who chats and jokes around before DIE HAPPY continue with ‘Easy Come Easy Go’.

diehappy2

The atmosphere is elevated throughout the show, with hands thrown up in the air, accompanied by cheers and happy faces. DIE HAPPY know how to entertain their fans and engage them with sing-alongs and good humour between songs. The set is rich in variety. This is shown when DIE HAPPY perform 'Perfect', a powerful mid-tempo ballad, followed by 'Too Fast', a much harder rock song that roars and rolls through the venue. After the Rage Against The Machine cover ‘Bullet In The Head’, the time has come to step down a little with an acoustic performance of ‘Whatever’ during which the fans sing the chorus. ‘The End’, yet another mid-tempo ballad, literally ends the acoustic set. The following up-tempo number animates the crowd again and people dance. DIE HAPPY have also brought a special guest: Thomas Godoj joins the band for ‘I Could Die Happy’.

diehappy3

After nineteen songs from over twenty years of band history, DIE HAPPY say ‘Goodbye’. But what kind of a show would it be without an encore? Without ‘Supersonic Speed’? The band plays three more songs, and calls it a night with the before mentioned ‘Supersonic Speed’. The night is over but people keep smiling as they leave the venue. I am satisfied without being a fan of DIE HAPPY. The elevated and positive vibes, the high energy, and the jokes and anecdotes strewn in leave me in a good mood. The sound has been good, the guys play with a nice attitude without being bold, and the charming Marta Jandová fits in perfectly.

Setlist
01. Go For It
02. Peaches
03. Violent Dreams
04. Easy Come Easy Go
05. Genuine Venus
06. Dance For You
07. Perfect
08. Too Fast
09. Like A Flower / Bullet In The Head (Rage Against The Machine cover)
10. Whatever
11. Cry For More
12. The End
13. Big Boy
14. If I Could Fly
15. I Could Die Happy
16. Blood Cell Traffic Jam
17. Love To Hate You
18. Rebel
19. Goodbye
---
20. Not The Kind Of Girl
21. Wanna Be Your Girl (Remix)
22. Supersonic Speed

Rating
Music: 7
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.5 / 10

diehappy4

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)



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