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P60, Amstelveen, The Netherlands
July 20th 2007
Apoptygma Berzerk, NG-PRO

Yet again the organisation of Underground frequencies has managed to get one of the bigger bands in the scene to the Netherlands. This time the nice venue of P60 in Amstelveen has the honour to welcome Norway’s Apoptygma Berzerk. Quite a name in several countries around the world but in the Netherlands the 550 people venue was big enough for an intimate concert for the Dutch and many German fans.


The Dutch electro-duo NG-PRO has been around in the goth scene for about 7 years. During this time, they have ‘officially’ released 2 EPs and a full-length cd – while the repertoire of other songs and remixes is probably uncountable. As one of the names that regularly turn up on various flyers, the name NG-PRO does ring some bells for most within the scene, even with those that are not directly (or consciously) acquainted with their music, like yours truly. In other words, the opening act for Apoptygma Berzerk absolutely seemed like something to look forward to.

The music was the first and very pleasant surprise. Very danceable and highly energetic; definitely showing a high potential for wider success. For an electro performance, it must be noted that the instruments were played live – switching between keyboards and guitar, or laptops and keyboard and what seemed like a drum machine, while singing when deemed necessary. Deemed necessary by the duo themselves, that is. At times the voices sounded a bit superfluous, as the music itself was able to speak for itself perfectly. The fact that the vocals were regularly slightly or less slightly out of key added to a feeling of disappointment at the vocal parts. Luckily the emphasis was on the music most of the time, which made sure that the music stayed energetic, very danceable and very, very enjoyable.

Despite the very high dance factor of their music NG-PRO did not succeed in creating a vibe in the venue and the audience hardly even moved. This is definitely not due to the music or to the passion of the musicians themselves. The problem was, that they did not succeed in communicating their passion and their music very well. While playing live is an asset that should be appreciated in an electro-band, these musicians did not seem to posess a natural charisma for performing. These musicians were obviously very devoted in playing their music and also trying to get the crowd going at times, but mostly they were occupied with their instruments, which caused the music to stay on stage rather than enticing its audience as much as its makers. For those who enjoy watching musicians make music this is great, but they would have to be in front of the stage to be able to see it. From further backwards the visual aspect of the performance was poor, apart from the great lighting. It would definitely add to a performing vibe if the musicians started by, let’s say, wearing the same clothes or even clothes that suit a performance, however simple these clothes may be. Also, they could be more outgoing and spend a bit more attention to getting their vibe across rather than just creating it for themselves. I am positively sure that if the visual aspect is improved the audience will move along much easier, as the music itself is very inviting to do so! Up until then, just listening to the music is the most enjoyable -and indeed very enjoyable- experience of NG-PRO.

01. Burn
02. Star
03. Ameath (working title)
04. Angels
05. Shelter
06. Etenity
07. What you give
08. Decadent

Music: 9
Performance: 4
Sound: 7,5
Light: 7
Total: 6,9

Apoptygma Berzerk

Apoptygma Berzerk are a band that vary their music quite a lot. Even though their music is mostly electronically focused, there has been a musical shift towards more alternative, guitar-oriented music. Hence, a varied audience consisting of fans of different ‘eras’ -or albums- are present at the P60; from cybergoths to more rock oriented Goths and just simply alternative looking people. While APB fills up stadiums elsewhere in Europe, the small P60 was not sold out but there were enough fans to fill the place relatively well. Perhaps the fans that had originally planned to come to the –cancelled- pre-Summer Darkness gig last year (which was booked in a larger venue) 

The gig was a good reflection of APB’s versatility; they played a very varied set of their repertoire, which will definitely have suited the mixed bunch of fans. No album was dominantly represented in the set, and regularly singer Stephan Groth announced “another old school song” in various ways, to which most part of the audience kept reacting enthusiastically. By the end of the gig, finally, club hit “Unicorn” was played, adding the usual climax effect; the audience to dance like never before. “Until the End” was then announced as the last song. Afterwards, Groth strangely announced another last song, which turned out to be “Nonstop Violence”. Probably Groth’s mistake, as this song turned out to be written on the setlist as the first encore song.  After having left the stage, the audience was screaming as usual and some band members replied by teasing the audience. Then finally, APB came back to play “Love Never Dies” to a delirious audience. The song itself is such a bombastic climax that playing another song after that felt impossible; it could only be a disappointment. But suprisingly enough it wasn’t, APB proved that they could even top that song in climax terms, by playing a wonderful version of “Mourn”.

From the moment APB started to play, the audience was entirely hooked. Every aspect of the performance was in the right place, and used very well. The charisma of Groth, good lighting, great sound, great band unity, great communication; no errors here at all. This concert was top quality in every aspect, and showed how versatile APB is. Great entertainers, great show, great music. Great time.

01. Eclipse
02. You Keep Me
03. Spiritual Reality
04. Starsign
05. Deep Red
06. Mercy Kill
07. Kathy’s Song
08. Lost in Translation
09. In This Together
10. Burning Heretics
11. Shine On
12. Love to Blame
13. Unicorn
14. Until the End
15. Nonstop Violence
16. Love Never Dies
17. Mourn (Mesh)

Music: 8.5
Performance: 8.5
Sound: 8.5
Light: 8.5
Total: 8.5


More photos on page 2

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