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Highly SuspectDie Kantine, Cologne, Germany
28th February 2020
Highly Suspect - European Tour 2020 - Special guests: Calva Louise

HIGHLY SUSPECT are without a doubt one of the most promising American Rock acts. With their saturated Stoner Rock, Rich Meyer (bass) and his twin brother Ryan (drums) and their singer and guitarist Johnny Stevens have put themselves at the forefront of a new movement. The earthy and rough Rock, characterized by Blues, Progressive, Grunge and Alternative elements and full of strong vocals and rolling guitar riffs stands on the one hand for a return to old influences, but also for a progressive approach to the sources. This is also true for the band’s third album ‘MCID’, which came out in November last year, and which manifested a rather drastic shift away from the band’s roots, towards a more Hip Hop oriented style.


Calva Louise

CALVA LOUISE are a Manchester three-piece Garage Punk band, formed by Jess, Alizon, and Ben. Their debut album ‘Rhinoceros’ was released last year, and recently they have released a new single, called ‘Camino’. www.calvalouise.com / https://www.facebook.com/calvalouise

Music & Performance
CALVA LOUISE started their set right on time at 7:30pm, and the sold-out Kantine was quite well-filled. Their high energy brand of psych-pop Garage Grunge, paried with a solid high volume amplification won over the party minded Cologne audience in nearly no time. It was a blast, seeing the trio celebrate their unique punk-infused style on stage, even though bass and drums were almost swallowing up Jess’s voice and guitar sounds at times. Nevertheless, this was the perfect way to kickstart a Friday evening.

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 6
Total: 7 / 10


Highly Suspect

The quartet from Cape Cod, Massachusetts has been around since 2009, when Singer Johnny Stevens, brothers Rich and Ryan Meyer starte out as a cover band in local bars. HIGHLY SUSPECT’s debut ‘Mister Asylum’ put them on the map of rock aficionados due to the single ‘Lydia’ receiving a ton of airplay on local radio shows. Their second album ‘The Boy Who Died Wolf’ got them a Grammy nomination for the song ‘My Name Is Human’. For more on the band go to www.highlysuspect.net or https://www.facebook.com/HighlySuspect.

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Music & Performance
It took some time for the band to arrive on stage, and initially, singer Johnny seemed to struggle with his wireless mic, which turned out to be a prank, but at 8:40pm the band kicked off their set with ‘Bath Salts’. HIGHLY SUSPECT lead singer Johnny Stevens was wearing a thick jacket, and it took him a while to get acclimatized, as some of his interactions with his band mates and the audience seemed a little numb at first. Further into the set, the band became more relaxed, and a bottle of Patrón Tequila began to appear, and made its way between the band members and some members of the crowd. Meanwhile, the spotlight turned to bassist Rich Meyer singing the bluesy ‘Arizona’, letting the crowd catch their breath in between.

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Fan favourite ‘My Name Is Human’ got an odd treatment, and their debut single ‘Lydia’ was beefed up with a seemingly endless guitar ‘solo’, during which Johnny kneeled in front of his stomp effects, and dialed wild combinations of synth and delay effects. The set ended after a good 100 minutes of playtime with the band coming back on stage after a short break, wearing neon pink jumpsuits and beanies, and they proceeded to play two big songs from both of their last albums; ‘Tokyo Ghoul’ and ‘16’ from MCID and ‘Serotonia’ and ending the night with the modern masterpiece that is ‘Wolf’. All in all, HIGHLY SUSPECT delivered an energetic show with a lot of effects, and the audience seemingly loved it. It remains to be seen, what kind of road the band will take after their rather unexpected embrace of rapping and synthesizers.

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Setlist
01. Bath Salts
02. Bloodfeather
03. Claudeland
04. Snow White
05. Juzo
06. Arizona
07. Canals
08. Taking Off
09. My Name Is Human
10. Round and Round
11. Lydia
12. Freakstreet
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13. Fly
14. Everything Is Sex
15. Tetsuo’s Bike
16. Tokyo Ghoul
17. Silk Road
18. 16
19. FWYT
20. Serotonia
21. Wolf

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.5 / 10

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All pictures by Andreas Klüppelberg
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