16th July 2021
Konzertsommer im Revier: Faderhead - 15 years show - Support: Scheuber
I do not overestimate when I say that I was really excited for this. The last concert before the first lockdown for me happened to be the FADERHEAD show in Mannheim in March 2020 that was supposed to be the kick-off for the “Asteria” tour - and became so far, the only gig of this tour that didn’t happen until now. However, this gig in Gelsenkirchen - as part of the “Konzertsommer im Revier” organized by Pluswelt Promotion and Kulttempel Oberhausen - was meant to be a special: 15 years anniversary for FADERHEAD! Almost to the day 15 years ago Sami played his very first live show at Dark Dance Treffen in Lahr (Germany).
SCHEUBER is not an unknown guest for most of the people attending the show as the frontman Dirk Scheuber has been a member of PROJECT PITCHFORK for many, many years and started his own project SCHEUBER. Also, he has been opening the ‘Asteria’ release show for FADERHEAD in October 2019 (remember?) and several shows of the ‘Night Physics’ tour in 2018. https://www.scheuber-music.de / https://www.facebook.com/ScheuberMusic
Music & Performance
SCHEUBER offered the audience a worthy introduction for this special evening. The start was made with ‘Mindflux’ from the current album ‘Numb’, released in February 2021. Electronic music that made many people in the circus arena stand up and dance right away. The following ‘Helium’ is continuing in a melodic, engaging way and so the crowd is slowly but surely warming up more and more. ‘Magenta’ from the current album ‘Numb’ really stands out to me. And with the crowd also the frontman Dirk was getting more and more engaged with the live performance, literally going around the whole circus ring and presenting a total of eight songs.
The electronic beats engage the audience to dance and everything that was about to come. Dirk’s voice feels at the same time comforting and peaceful - balancing out the whole performance as full. A lovely start for the main act of this evening!
04. Tempting Fate
06. Chrystal Eyes
08. Feed The Flames
Total: 8 / 10
This is going to be a little bit of a personal retrospective too - along with this evening’s theme. I hope you enjoy it and maybe can relate to one or another memory or feeling with your personal experiences. Alright - 15 years FADERHEAD is indeed a really good occasion to play a gig, though we all would have wished for it to be under different circumstances. However - the current rules allowed for a more or less relaxed evening while knowing that people were tested or vaccinated. And this gig actually exceeded all of my expectations.
My personal journey with FADERHEAD started on 28th December 2012 with a show in Bochum where they played together with AESTHETIC PERFECTION - so soon to be nine years ago. FADERHEAD aka Sami is one of these artists who always seemed to stay true to himself, while evolving, probably as most people struggling, questioning own ideas, trying out things, putting some of them aside again or sticking to new paths despite the fact that some people still seem to be surprised that the sunglasses aren’t part of the show for many years by now. And I enjoyed following all of the phases in a different way. I knew about FADERHEAD years before, but somehow my teenager-self decided that this was not the kind of music I would enjoy and I more or less ignored it until the mentioned gig. This show in 2012 however challenged my expectations in a very positive way and I just remember that feeling of being blown away by this performance and the versatility and so really surprised.
The last full-length album ‘Asteria’ was released in 2019 and is the 10th album in the discography of FADERHEAD. I still remember the release show on the 4th October 2019 as a very special night with very special people by my side enjoying what we love the most - live music. For the next year we were excited to follow around for the ‘Asteria’ tour, but - as for everyone - Corona happened and here we are almost 1.5 years later finally getting a live show again. In between there have been so many different shows - full-time gigs, epic festival shows, a bunch of opener gigs too - I remember the theory that we actually wouldn’t live in Hamburg - might be true to some extent - sometimes we spent more time on trains and busses and waiting at train stations than at home, I guess. And I am glad we did. And of course, the releases and collaborations that were every time so different and enjoyable to discover. https://linktr.ee/faderhead_official
Music & Performance
The show in Gelsenkirchen became nr. 24 on my FADERHEAD list. Yes, I have one for some of my fave bands cause I’m a nerd. And I also love Excel, so never mind. However, I was actually worrying about getting through to the show - as just two days before and following the huge flood came over the area just close to where I live at the moment and to get to Gelsenkirchen, I had to pass one of the most affected areas somehow. Some more hours on trains and busses later I arrived. We even had time for lunch, to reconnect after such a very long time and to head over to the venue. However, so many months on live show withdrawal I am just grateful this gig could actually happen despite everything. We missed the countdown a bit, but beside this were wondering what this stage set-up was about.
Just when the music finally started and the guys came out to the epic intro on stage - first the DANCEFLOOR GLADIATORZ from Gelsenkirchen joined FADERHEAD for the first time on stage and went straight to their spots at this epic table constellation, then Joel Meyer and Jörg Lütkemeier who have been an inherent part of the live crew for many years appeared and took over their positions and so Sami himself followed and they all together set the crowd immediately on fire - damn! I had no idea a show like this would be possible at this venue. I am extremely grateful for the shows here and the opportunity that we get here, however the circus arena is a challenging venue for everyone and I am still impressed about the effort that Sami and his crew put into building up this set that allowed them to interact with almost everyone, no matter at which angle the people were sitting - or most of the time dancing and jumping. I still get goosebumps all over when thinking back about the energetic explosion that happened continuously over the more than 90 minutes of the gig. In my personal memory what we got here was super close to the show at Amphi 2019 - if you’ve been there, you know what I mean.
The evening was an intense ride through 15 years of FADERHEAD - from ‘Generation Black’ (‘FH-X’, 2016) to ‘The Other Side Of Doom’ (‘Asteria’, 2019) to ‘Escape Gravity’ (‘Anima in Machina’, 2016) - we got the dancefloor smashers, and the emotional ballads. And what I love the most about FADERHEAD shows that actually makes them so good is the strong bond and interaction with the audience built from everyone on stage to the crowd. ‘Know Your Darkness’ and ‘Skinny Witches’ from ‘Night Physics’ (2017) followed - two songs from an album that I have listened to excessively and so those songs put me back into a busy, kind of exhausting, but also super cool time of new beginnings and personal growing. With ‘I Did Not Know’ we got the single that was released together with Sven Friedrich (SOLAR FAKE) and I am so happy that we finally got to hear it live. Same goes for ‘Better’ (released feat. Chris Harms from LORD OF THE LOST). Both songs have been released as singles by themselves without an album some time ago - great songs and I love the duets that happened here, however also performed just by Sami himself they just work.
Another song that made me happy in the setlist, ‘Vanish’ from the debut album ‘FH1’ (2006), set free many flashbacks I believe! Ballads á la FADERHEAD have their very own signature. They’ve evolved over the time, but all of them have a specific signature and it does not stop confusing me that so many people still seem not to know about their existence. Just HOW?! And here we are! Surprises did not only happen in the setlist, or stage set-up and crew but also in between. Sami started to talk about a person in the audience who “didn’t have anything better to do than to take a train to the Mannheim show in 2020 right after her final study exam” (I mean - of course not?). And so, he got a bottle of champagne to give to her at this show almost 1.5 years ago, however the backliner Fede managed to build in the box where the bottle was so much into the stage set-up that it was not possible to get it out anymore, if I somehow recall the story right. Then Corona happened. And so, this was the first opportunity to get this bottle to her and congratulate with her graduation. Well, you all who have been there heard the name anyway… this person who suddenly held a bottle of Champagne in her hands was me.
To say I was surprised is to say literally nothing about my mental and emotional state of mind at this moment. And still now, two days later recapitulating this moment over and over again I am lost for words and just full of gratitude. I am not even able to remember this moment properly, just the overwhelming mix of emotions. I just remember my first thought when I heard my name was “Damn! What have I done?!” looking at my friends who were as clueless as me. And of course, the song that followed was ‘Champagne and Real Pain’. It became my and my soulmate’s song some years ago. We managed to tell Sami that we were happy about it being back in the setlist independently from each other. It was probably around 2017-18 - we both went through a ton load of s**t just a bit earlier and this song happened to hit the nerve at this time. Another reason why this moment got so real: I actually owe some of the harsher FADERHEAD songs that I was able to work through my thesis despite my supervisor constantly making it almost impossible for me with excellent results and without losing my mind. Don’t try to tell me that music wouldn’t have superpowers.
The following ‘Acid Witch’ as probably my favourite from ‘Asteria’ brought back the memories of the last two live shows when it was the opening song as well. ‘Swedish Models And Cocaine’? A classic! Always just fun to see it being performed live. ‘Houston’ give me more of these songs please where Mr. Spencer (aka Jörg) gets to set free all of his spirits too! Actually, it somehow disappeared from one of the notebooks, but could be found on the backup luckily. And now I always have the story about how this song was born in my mind - thanks to Hamburg’s metro and douchebags that you sometimes meet there. ‘TZDV’ came way too early! It usually marked the end of a show but despite everyone leaving the arena the audience was on fire and of course demanding for more. And we got more. ‘Dancers’ and ‘Destroy Improve Rebuild’ were chosen to finish this evening appropriately and made the energetic and emotional overload perfect.
From what I read in the comments on social media I am pretty sure we all felt the same here. Thanks to FADERHEAD for 15 years of versatile and strong songs, mind blowing live shows and the courage to destroy, improve and rebuild!
01. Intro + Move Harder
02. Generation Black
03. The Other Side Of Doom
04. Escape Gravity
05. Know Your Darkness
06. Skinny Witches
07. I Did Not Know
08. From His Broken Bones
11. Champagne and Real Pain
12. Acid Witch
13. No Gods, No Flags, No Bullshit
14. Fistful Of Fuck You
15. Someone Else’s Dream
17. Swedish Models and Cocaine
21. Destroy Improve Rebuild
Total: 10 / 10
All Pictures by Nastja Iz