31st January 2020
Diary of Dreams & Support: Us
As I spent most of January travelling, this was to be my first concert 2020. And what a perfect start of the year. I was still euphoric from the memories of last autumn’s mini-tour, when DIARY OF DREAMS announced that this would be one of their last headline shows in Germany of this year. While this already made me slightly wistful, it just gave me more motivation: I just had to be there!
US are a most fascinating newcomer from Sweden. Founded in 2015 by Andrew Montgomery (GENEVA) and Leo Josefsson (LOWE, STATEMACHINE), they describe their electronic music as “The soundtrack to the movie of your life”. Their sound is as convincing as it is unique. Obviously, their music impressed Adrian Hates as well. He invited them to support DIARY OF DREAMS on a mini tour last October and I must say, I’m really glad they returned this year. http://www.usmusicspace.com / https://www.facebook.com/usmusicspace
Music & Performance
I believe, the music of US takes some time before it reveals all those wonderful details of its unusual soundscape. I remember well how at the first show I just stood there and listened to the different facets of the synthesizer played by Leo and Andrew’s impressive voice reaching amazingly high keys with perfection. From time to time I drifted off. But with every other show, I started recognizing the songs and their tunes got stuck in my head. Also with every show they varied their setlist and improved their performance by making it more and more dynamic.
So this time, I was already looking forward to the show. It seems, many more in the audience did as well. When they entered the stage in their trademark white overalls and the lights attached to their necks, they were greeted with loud cheers. The set was started with the somewhat dreamy ‘Mute’, a cover from STAKKA BO, which already showed the amazing range of Andrews vocals while the synthesizer manages to impress with said refined details without ever being overloaded. I strongly recommend to watch the beautiful video of this song.
This was followed by some songs, which are not yet published - ‘Dying on the Vine’ and ‘Solitude & I’ - one of them was played before only once (when supporting DIARY OF DREAMS in Wiesbaden two weeks ago). Then the set went on to the quite catchy ‘In Denial’, which groovy rhythm made everyone clap along and dance within a few seconds. Finally the set was closed by ‘Voyager’, one of my favourite songs. “Come on, to the end of the world…” says the captivating chorus and I really hope, we will see much more of those guys.
I am glad, they will be joining DIARY OF DREAMS for the upcoming shows as well. And I was even gladder to see, that in January they released a physical version of their debut ‘First Contact’ which I (and many more people) bought happily at the merchandise this evening.
02. Dying on the Vine
03. Solitude & I
04. In Denial
06. Never Get Over
Total: 9 / 10
Diary of Dreams
I never know how to introduce a band that has been an important part of my life for so long. The project around mastermind Adrian Hates has been active tirelessly for more than 25 years, releasing 16 studio albums, playing several hundred shows all over the world (and I mean all over the world) and thus becoming an integral part of the dark music scene. And it was most wonderful for me to see their development, always having a trademark DIARY OF DREAMS sound and yet always exploring something new with their albums, while becoming a wonderfully strong live band with a most energetic interaction with the audience and a powerful, organic sound. Well, seems after all those years, I still can’t get of their unique live energy... https://www.diaryofdreams.de / https://www.facebook.com/officialdiaryofdreams
Music & Performance
And so the set started already with three songs from their current album ‘Hell in Eden’ - ‘Made in Shame’, ‘Epicon’ and ‘Listen and Scream’ - an explosive start, as all three songs are extremely powerful with strong choruses and driving guitars. And so the audience responded with equal energy, cheering loudly from the first notes on and shouting along the corresponding lines, especially during ‘Epicon’, when Adrian held the microphone above the crowd. It is also this kind of interaction between the band and the audience that I like so much about DIARY OF DREAMS gigs. Adrian encouraging the crowd to sing along loudly, Hilger standing right at the front of the stage while playing his powerful guitar riffs, Dejan standing up behind the drum set and encouraging everyone to clap along… And the crowd following every bit, cheering, singing, dancing. Both sides were energising each other in an amazing way.
Adrian was more than grateful, telling us that this was their very first show in Wuppertal and they definitely had to come back in the future. Also, he introduced happily the newest member of the live band, their new keyboarder Felix who joined the band spontaneously last October. Adrian also announced once more that those shows would be their last fulltime shows in Germany this year. When there came a loud “Why?” from the crowd, he explained that he wanted to finish the next album which should be released at the end of the year, so they could start really strong next year. Well, suddenly this news turned out to be very good news and again there was loud and enthusiastic cheering from the crowd.
But of course, DIARY OF DREAMS do not only have loud songs. At the middle of the set there was the wonderful piano ballad ‘She and Her Darkness’, starting delicate and fragile before giving way to the epic arrangements with added guitars. And I just loved how the audience seemed to follow every emotion of this song with awe. This was followed by ‘Haus der Stille’, one of my favourite songs of the set as it is from the ‘Menschfeind’ EP and to me it was rather a rare occasion to hear it live - quite contrary to the next song ‘Träumtänzer’ which became the live hymn of DIARY OF DREAMS and was introduced jokingly by Adrian with the question “Do you know that song?”
At some point, Adrian noticed that Andrew and Leo from US were standing next to stage. So he went to the side of the stage, looking directly at them, but both were deeply focussed on their phones (actually, as they were just posting about the DIARY OF DREAMS show on social media). When they noticed a moment later how many heads were turned to them, they were looking quite embarrassed at first but in the end laughed a lot just like Adrian. After the song Adrian explained shortly why he was laughing so much and went on to praise US. “Wonderful musicians, wonderful on the stage and behind the stage. I really hope they will do some more shows with us.” (analogous)
The main set was closed by the oldest song of the evening, ‘Butterfly:Dance!’, which to me brought up happy memories especially of the COMA ALLIANCE tour when Torben Wendt and Adrian Hates performed the song together just as they did 19 years before. And so, some of those fans in the crowd that visited COMA ALLIANCE shows a year ago, now mimicked the rainbow gesture that developed during the COMA ALLIANCE tour. Even though the main set already had 14 songs, this was of course not enough. The loud cheering from the audience convinced the band easily to play four more songs, including the epic final with the well-known ‘The Curse’.
And so we left Live Club Barmen, with happy smiles on our faces and already thinking about when we would see our next DIARY OF DREAMS show.
01. Made in Shame
03. Listen and Scream
06. Soul Stripper
07. Reign of Chaos
09. She and Her Darkness
10. Haus der Stille
12. King of Nowhere
13. Decipher Me
15. Endless Nights
18. The Curse
Total: 9.8 / 10
All Pictures by Nastja Iz