19th & 20th September 2019
The Foreign Resort & Support - Berlin: XTR Human / Leipzig: Sebastian Söllner
THE FOREIGN RESORT released their current album ‘Outnumbered’ in April 2019 which is, to be honest, one of the strongest albums I’ve listened so far to this year. An US tour followed right away and currently the Danish Post Punk combo is on tour in Germany, France and Italy. Welcome to the review of the tour kick-off in Berlin and Leipzig.
Berlin, 19th September 2019
The special guest on the first night of the September 2019 tour was XTR HUMAN. The Berlin based Post Punk band, founded in 2012, kidnapped us right into the darkness with their ‘Dreams’. The band used for their performance visuals that were chosen with great attention to detail, from arty to dark forests, XTR HUMAN took us on a ride into the darkness and prepared more than perfectly for their Danish colleagues that would follow. Actually, the guys from THE FOREIGN RESORT were just standing in the audience themselves and listening to XTR HUMAN. XTR HUMAN made a great performance and I was glad to discover their music and experience them live.
The catchy and dark songs made the audience dance and enjoy the Thursday evening with songs like ‘Dysfunction’ or the single ‘Reflections’ from 2018 that closed their set. A well-chosen special guest for the kick-off of the tour in the capital city. https://www.xtrhuman.de
03. New Dawn
06. On Miracles
07. Greater Scale
08. Miller’s Love
Total: 8 / 10
The Foreign Resort
The Danish trio has conquered the hearts of many Post Punk, Cold & New Wave fans around the globe in the past ten years. Their debut album ‘Offshore’ was released in 2009, a whole bunch of releases followed. If you want to give a listen, check-out ‘New Frontiers’ from 2014 and of course ‘Outnumbered’ from 2019. And with more than 450 live shows all over Europe, US and Canada they can truly look back at a pretty decent live history, sharing the stage with bands like KILLING JOKE, SHE PAST AWAY, THE KVB, ACTORS, THEN COMES SILENCE, GOLDEN APES, COLD CAVE, ASH CODE and many, many more. http://theforeignresort.com / https://www.facebook.com/theforeignresort
Music & Performance
THE FOREIGN RESORT decided more or less spontaneously to play this show without a given setlist and let the audience decide which songs they are going to play on the go. That alone is pretty cool, I know there are many bands that go straight with the setlist as those are the prepared songs which is totally fine. But being able to play songs as they are wished for really impressed me. The Berlin gig seemed to have those little technical issues that are probably just the most natural thing on the first show of a tour. Like the band coming on stage, starting to play the instruments, the atmosphere is on point, but the singer’s microphone doesn’t work. Yeah for cable connectors that are in the correct power box. Or not. But again, that’s where you can see all the huge live experience. Short stop, check what’s wrong, fix the problem - “Ah, probably this one?” - and just start over and get the audience back into it in just a few seconds. And with ‘Obsessing’ it’s succeeding easily.
The next 1.5 - 2 hours were just enchanting. A varied journey to the deepest abysses, hopes and thoughts of human beings. Broken hearts, lost minds, dreaming lovers, and disappointed travellers - every song tells a story and Mikkel, Steffan and Morten master the interplay perfectly. While Mikkel’s announcements in between the songs are absolutely heart-warming, their songs spread a web of melancholy, from light and dreamy to heavy, plunging into the abyss and spaces full of empty darkness. What sounds dead serious, was actually a warm night. The popular ‘She Is Lost’ was announced by Mikkel jokingly as ‘THE FOREIGN RESORT play “Soft” Rock’ (original in German “THE FOREIGN RESORT spielen Kuschelrock”). Actually almost all announcements were made in German.
The audience that night was a bit more introverted, maybe because of the fact that many had to get up early next day for work as it was still just Thursday. But I am sure everyone at Slaughterhouse enjoyed the gig. However, Berlin was probably not too smooth, but still a great kick-off and full of great funny and emotional moments. Sometimes the imperfect is much more perfect than you can imagine.
Total: 8.8 / 10
Leipzig, 20th September 2019
This mini tour journey was meant to have travel delays all the way. And so the next day, on Friday, we spent this perfect sunny late summer day for the most part on the bus stuck in the traffic on the highway between Berlin and Leipzig and arrived in Leipzig around 1.5 hours later than scheduled. So just a short stop to grab some food, drop the luggage and here we go again. Anyway it always feels great to visit Leipzig. This city is breathing alternative lifestyles all the way. Though I am here every year for Wave-Gotik-Treffen since 2012, somehow I managed to skip Noel’s Ballroom as venue, this amazing, beautiful pub, and restaurant and concert venue in all the years. Shame on me. This place is so beautiful, though I might have got lost without my personal guide as there are so many rooms.
We thought that the support would start around 9 pm tonight, however it took a bit longer, but so I was happy to find an Astra beer here - like the typical tourist visiting foreign places and still eating and drinking the same stuff as at home. Just joking. Also the cider sold here was awesome.
So after a while SEBASTIAN SÖLLNER, announces by DJ Knüpfi, came on stage, sat down to the piano and started playing and singing for us. This performance makes it so extremely difficult for me to write about it. During the first one, two songs I thought, oh wow, that’s a really beautiful, exciting voice that is awesome to listen to. And also the piano play was good. However, from song to song, the insecurities came through, the songs were started and interrupted again and Sebastian seemed to just want to leave the stage which he did after just a few songs. I don’t know the reasons for what happened here, just wish him all the best and hope he will find a way to enjoy the next time on stage way more as he is for sure able to convince the audience with his beautiful voice and obvious talent.
The Foreign Resort
Like in Berlin the guys from THE FOREIGN RESORT were standing in the crowd during the performance of the support and waited afterwards patiently until they were able to enter the stage.
Music & Performance
Other than the day before, tonight they had a setlist again, though that didn’t mean that they wouldn’t play songs also spontaneously. You can read the setlist as a collection of gems and no wonder, tonight the venue was fully packed with beautiful creatures, in the best mood to dance and enjoy a night-out full of brilliant, powerful Post Punk straight from Scandinavia. So with ‘Onto Us’, ‘Obsessing’, ‘Hearts Fade Out’ (hello catchy tune), ‘Dead End Roads’ and ‘Suburban Depression’ THE FOREIGN RESORT blasted mercilessly some of their strongest songs around the venue. The crowd was dancing, singing and the eyes were just shining more and more with every song.
After ‘Suburban Depression’ Mikkel commented his view from the stage with “A room in motion. It looks beautiful”. Indeed, it really did. And the Goths did not get a chance to rest, ‘She Is Lost’ followed just immediately. And then the song that got a red heart on the setlist, ‘Quiet Again’. While this one totally deserved that heart, I would give at least two hearts for ‘Flushed’ that conquered my mind sometime in between of these two gigs and happened to jump on infinite loop while I was on my way back home the next day. ‘Flushed’ has the vibe of something forbidden, bittersweet emotions, a little bit of ‘In Your Room’ from DEPECHE MODE mood wise and Mikkel’s vocals transfer all the despair and emotional chaos in such a clear and direct way, while the music is riding on the literal “Dark Wave”. The songwriting of this song deserves so much more appreciation than words could ever describe. A whole lot of songs later, the crowd still didn’t want them to leave, but after an encore the magical evening transferred into the Panic!-party that was taking over afterwards.
As I wrote before, the gig in Berlin was despite some little technical errors a beautiful one, but Leipzig was just an emotional explosion at so many levels.
Setlist (as it was planned, some changes were made during the live performance)
01. Onto Us
03. Hearts Fade Out
04. Dead End Roads
05. Suburban Depression
06. She Is Lost
07. Quiet Again
10. Burn In The Night
12. Orange Glow
13. New Frontiers
14. Send Your Heart To The Riot
15. Dark White
Total: 9.8 / 10
All Pictures by Nastja Iz