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hatari Bahnhof Pauli, Hamburg, Germany
2nd February 2020
Hatari - “Europe Will Crumble” Tour 2020 - Support: Cyber

I tried to catch HATARI live for a few months now. Their popularity due to the participation at the Eurovision Song Contest had grown fast and the controversy for sure helped. For me personally it was less because of their (for some) provoking outfits but more their political statements that made me become more interested about their music as well. So seeing them coming back to Hamburg just after a few months after their last performance that I missed, was a good reason to finally go and get my own experience of their live performance.


Special guests on tour with HATARI is the duo CYBER. CYBER is a two-woman band from Icelandic capital Reykjavik, performing “experimental Hip Hop, merging music and theatricality”. The band was originally formed 2012 as a “Thrash Metal / Pop / Rock / Disco concept”, but turned into the Hip Hop project over time. Originally also formed as a trio, they are currently touring as a duo. Their first long-player ‘Horror’ was voted as best Hip Hop album by the MBL Icelandic newspaper, nominated for the Icelandic Music Awards and won the Kraumur Awards in 2017. /

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Music & Performance
I am not listening to Hip Hop on a regular basis though I don’t mind it if it catches my attention. But since it is not on my “regular music rotation list”, I cannot compare it to anything else in the genre or tell you if it’s better than something else. But sometimes it is even better to not expect anything as I did this time and just watch the performance and let it make an impression by itself without any expectations. CYBER left a lot of impression on me actually. It was interesting to watch their show that consisted a kind of office set-up with a table, vintage phones, two chairs and some more requisites. Their also retro-chic dresses looked different from what someone might assume a Hip Hop duo might wear. While I am learning Norwegian for a while now, I am totally lost in understanding Icelandic though this language also fascinates me.

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But the artists made it quite easy for the audience as they talked in between of the songs, sometimes also explaining a bit what the next song is about, and just telling a story with their whole performance. There was even time for a dress change in between. CYBER put a lot of effort in this performance considering them being “just” the support band. The “tin paper dresses” they got the day before in Poland, as they told. The dresses they already had with them burned down in the fire a few days before in Copenhagen. So the tour was quite challenging already. Anyway they didn’t show any songs of the challenging life on tour. The visual and entertainment part was absolutely on point. Strong, flirty, confident and individual - a really inspiring show!

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Let’s talk about music. Groovy, fresh and absolutely catchy music and seductively good vocals. All the sensual, strong vibes of girls who know what they want. The last song that was performed - ‘Caprisun’ is a newly released single in 2020. The announcement for the second song was “Talking about boys”. The next songs is called ‘Snákar’ - always with a confident phrase on the lips. To confirm that they are worth to listen to - I ended up listening to their songs for a while the next days. Recommended song to listen to ‘Aspen Barbie’. The end was a bit confusing though. CYBER ended up acting like they are back in their office, sitting at the table, answering or actually not answering the customers’ phone calls while it was “toot-ing” through almost half an hour with some announcements from the tape in between.

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A quite different way to fill the break between two acts. For a few minutes entertaining, but most of us ended up sitting down and not paying attention to what was happening on stage anymore. I heard some people complain about the “annoying tooot-sounds”, myself I am doing good in ignoring it, but they were indeed quite loud and after a while one was really wondering when they would end. I am absolutely sure there is a theatrical message behind the whole thing. But I am not sure that it left the kind of impression they wanted to. Anyway, the main part of the performance was absolutely killing it.

01. Aspen Barbie
02. Snákar
03. 10:30
04. Finnðig
05. Caprisun

Music: 9
Performance: 10
Light: 9
Sound: 9
Total: 9.3 / 10

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HATARI was formed in 2015. Major popularity came to the band with their participation at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv and the political controversy that they sparked by showing the Palestinian flag when the score was announced and of course their BDSM inspired stage performance and Industrial infused music. Their first EP ‘Neysluvara’ was released in 2017. The debut album was just recently released in 2020 - ‘Neyslutrans’. The band is also known for showing support to the LGBTQI* community and criticizing capitalism. /

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Music & Performance
First of all it was quite different to see HATARI on the small stage of Bahnhof Pauli compared to the footage I’ve known them from before. But it is also something special to see a band from that close. The venue was well packed and the fans waiting for their band to arrive. HATARI are one of those bands who have a very strong, in a positive way quite crazy and dedicated community that is following them around and is also like a mirror of the band itself - I saw many people dressed in all possible creative ways and it was really interesting to see all those different people. The person next to me came even from Seattle to see some of their shows. Pretty impressive and great!

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The three guys entered one after another the stage in their extravagant outfits. I am personally quite use to this kind of clothing - means it does not surprise me that much personally,  but I get that it can make many people who are not used to it freak out a bit - though especially Klemens is at times wearing way less and at the same time more provocative stage outfits. Matthias and Klemens vocals are very different from each other and so make the songs sound very varied. Also not all songs are performed by both. Like ‘Þræll’ that was performed just by Klemens and Einar, the drummer stayed on stage as well. Songs performed by Klemens have the tendency to sound softer with his high, gentle voice while Matthias brings more “martial” style in it. For ‘Hlauptlu’ the girls of CYBER came back on stage made a quite intense performance together with the guys of HATARI. The interplay of dominance and submission was pretty obvious and leading here and it was entertaining to watch the way that the girls interacted with Klemens and Matthias especially.

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Before ‘Spillingardans’ Matthias was addressing to the crowd in German, introducing HATARI and the mission of it. As I found out afterwards Matthias is doing this part every single show in the language of the country they are performing in. This shows some dedication to the message and since the speech is more than just three words, means also some additional work just before the show. Another highlight was ‘Spectavisti me mori, op. 8’ that was performed together with the violinist Hekla Finnsdóttir - a purely magical moment of the whole show - as I am myself absolutely in love with the violin play it was a pleasure to listen to it and also see everyone else so enchanted by it.

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The intro to the last song before the encore was once again in German, imitating the German state TV news - part of things being said, not exactly cited, just a few things I was able to write down - “Here is the First German Television… Climate Change. From tomorrow on there will be no more live on this planet. There is no hope at all left. Even Helgoland will go under. Merkel will hold the very last conference tomorrow…” The speech was as you can see very dramatic, but held by the calm voice of a news speaker and you can see there were several sarcastic parts that are just true. The criticism of politicians just holding never-ending conferences without actually doing something is real, I’d say. Everything just dramatic, with the visuals that have been underlining the apocalyptic messages of HATARI throughout the whole show. There are many ways to talk about the issues. The way that HATARI choose to do it, is for sure not the only one, but one that reaches out so some people, especially young people, who actually do care about it.

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When the guys came back on stage for the encore they first held a kind of worshipping ritual that surprised me and I felt quite “busted” actually. Klemens came back on stage holding a festive cup, while Matthias came on stage holding a bottle of Fritz Limo in his hands in a way you usually would present just something very special. The bottle was presented to the audience, than Matthias poured the limo in a very dedicated way into the cup and then something that we might call a baptism began. All band members were one by one “hallowed” with the limo and at the end also the audience. As I also researched afterwards, they use a local lemonade brand in every place they perform to run this baptism. There are several versions of the meaning - it might be something that shows how much capitalism becomes part of a new religion we all live in. And being actually a fan of Fritz Kola (not sponsored, unfortunately) myself, they made me think of it actually way more than if they would just have taken Coca Cola which is quite popular being criticized as global player not paying attention on environmental or social issues.

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This is - hopefully - different with the local brands in many cases, but then we have here probably some symbolism of local patriotism or whatever the message here might be. There are a lot of versions and ways to think of the message behind it, anyway a surprising way to communicate with the local audience. The evening ended with ‘Hatrið mun sigra’, the song that HATARI performed at the Eurovision Song Contest and literally everyone in the audience knew of course. It is impossible to put HATARI in any specific genre and it is also not that easy to understand all of the sent out messages right away, especially not understanding the Icelandic lyrics, but it is also what makes it interesting to get to know more about them.

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So no wonder, there is so much dedication in their fan community about them. Sex sells, yes, but everything gets even more interesting and intriguing, when there is an actual message involved.

01. Ódýr
02. Tortimandi
03. Þræll
04. Hlauptu (with Cyber)
05. Spillingardans
06. Klámstrákur
07. Spectavisti me mori, op. 8
08. 14 ár
09. X
10. Ógleði
11. Klefi / Samed
12. Engin miskunn
13. Biðröð Mistaka
14. Nunquam iterum op. 12
15. Niðurlút
16. Hatrið mun sigra

Music: 9
Performance: 10
Light: 9
Sound: 9
Total: 9.3 / 10

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All Pictures by Nastja Iz

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