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intro DSC01797Circus Probst Revierpark Nienhausen, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
28th August 2020
Empathy Test & Sono

It is strange to say, but finally after 173 days without live concerts in these weird times, we were finally on the way to the first concert under pandemic rules. Almost six months without live music - this period in time feels so endlessly long and short at the same time. On the way to Gelsenkirchen it still felt unreal that this was going to happen tonight. Before the show we also had the chance to meet friends who we haven’t seen for a long time. That’s something that we all were craving for as well - live music, this special energy, emotions, meeting friends from all over the country and even beyond and having a great time beyond the everyday sorrows and thoughts.


SONO, based in Hamburg, were supposed to celebrate their 20 years anniversary in 2020 with a tour and as countless number of artists had to postpone the dates to February and March 2021 - celebrating 21 years of SONO in full hopefully. They just started the tour with two gigs on 6th and 7th March 2020, but the rest of the tour could not happen. Beside of the tour-still-to-happen SONO released in February the ‘20 Years - The Singles 2000 - 2020’ collection. In summer the new single ‘Chasing The Light’ hit the digital music stores.

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Music & Performance
The atmosphere was special. The show took place in a circus tent, with friendly and very generous support of Circus Probst. I was sceptical how it would feel to sit there with about 300 people while the capacity is several times higher, but the way we were placed it felt surprisingly okay and not too empty. The circus arena that was tonight the stage for the musicians felt quite far away at first, but as the concert started there was an extreme spark of energy between the audience and artists. We all were hungry. For music, live experiences and this unique atmosphere that shows create in the certain moment in time and therefore just cannot be replaced by anything else. No live stream, regardless the quality and enthusiasm, can replace what a live show can create. It was incredible to feel the tingling flowing through the veins - as if something woke up after almost six months being paralyzed.

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Lennart adapted his outfit to the venue as he decided to wear jacket that you most likely know from circus shows. And the audience did not wait long to show how much every single one there had missed shows like this as well. Under different circumstances all the distance and unusual set-up might have been a challenge, but here the passion for live music connected us no matter what and it felt unreal and like finally coming back home after a long journey at the same time. SONO played an amazing set, firing one highlight after another all around. Be it the new single ‘Chasing The Light’, the classic ‘2000 Guns’, the wonderful homage to David Bowie with ‘Space Oddity’ or the dancefloor smashers ‘Supersonic’ or to end the wonderful set with ‘Keep Control’ - I am sure that many visitors will agree with me - this show was perfect and very much needed!

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01. Living Memory
02. Chasing The Light
03. What You Do
04. Dangerous
05. A New Cage
06. 2000 Guns
07. All Those City Lights
08. Supersonic
09. Flames Get Higher
10. Top Of The World
11. Space Oddity
12. Always Something Missing
13. Let Go
14. Blame
15. Better
16. Keep Control

Music: 10
Performance:  10
Light: 9
Sound: 9
Total: 9.5 / 10

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Empathy Test

As SONO also EMPATHY TEST had a whole lot of shows planned for this year to perform their new album ‘Monsters’ live, but the pandemic hit here too and the actual ‘Monsters’ tour has been postponed to January & February 2021. But together with Pluswelt they managed to book some pandemic conform shows right now and after the shows in Gelsenkirchen und Zofingen (CH) EMPATHY TEST are also going to play in Hamburg, Dresden and at the NCN Special in Deutzen in a few days - don’t miss your chance to grab a ticket for this small tour and of course the main tour in winter 2021!

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Music & Performance
Oh, I’ve been looking forward to this. EMPATHY TEST released with ‘Monsters’ a master piece surpassing themselves. To hear all the songs form ‘Monsters’ live was pure magic. EMPATHY TEST create with their music an enchanting bubble that you can hide inside and feel so safe and real while dealing with your own monsters and emotional stories. The last time I’ve seen them on stage was in November which is almost a year soon, but at the same time with the lack of concerts it doesn’t feel as far away as well. 2020 absolutely destroyed my personal feeling of time and its passing. Being here and now in a venue where talented artists and a lot of dedicated people who belong to the crew, all have been hit extremely hard by the pandemic, are creating with all their power despite having a hard day a magical long lasting moment for all of us.

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I don’t remember the last time before this evening in August when I have had a smile on my face for many, many hours and tears of joy in my eyes the way it happened here. Damn. It was pure. EMPATHY TEST presented this setlist for the first time life and after a long life break. The songs appeared even more special in this setting and hit the nerve. Isaac, Chrisy and Oliver made this evening as perfect as it could be. ‘Empty Handed’, ‘Love Moves’ or ‘Holy Rivers’ - I am still feeling the goose bumps. Seeing all the people around with shiny eyes and feeling free despite all the rules was indescribably beautiful and sharing this moment with some of my favourite people.

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‘Love Moves’ marked the temporary end, but of course hoped and expected the guests from UK to come back and got rewarded with three more songs - ‘Demons’, ‘Losing Touch’ and the song that stuck with me since then for a few days now - ‘Here Is The Place’ - the perfect fit for a closing song. What’s left to say - thank you for the music, for the dedication to everyone who made it happen and bringing back the feeling of being alive! SONO, EMPATHY TEST and every single member of the crew made this evening something special and absolutely worth a trip of several hundreds of kilometres, smashing down the feeling of inner emptiness and bringing back the sparks into our eyes.

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01. Monsters
02. Empty Handed
03. Making Worlds
04. Skin
05. Bare My Soul
06. Stop
07. Holy Rivers
08. Incubation Song
09. Fear Of Disappearing
10. Doubts
11. Love Moves
12. Demons
13. Losing Touch
14. Here Is The Place

Music: 10
Performance: 10
Light: 9
Sound: 9
Total: 9.5 / 10

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All pictures by Nastja Iz

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