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ennlfrdeitrues
Tochka Club, Moscow, Russia
20th February 2010
Mesh, Assemblage 23, Tenek

On Saturday, the weather wasn’t too pleasant and while we were standing in a queue that was gradually getting longer, we as everyone else there started to look a bit like snowmen and couldn’t wait to come into the venue to get warm at last. It goes without saying that the event started later then it was announced and that’s why we managed to be in time for the first performance of the evening.


Tenek

TENEK is a project of Geoff Pinckney (vocals, programming, synths and bass), who also is a member of MESH, and Peter Steer (vocals, guitar, bass, synths and programming). The duo released the debut EP in 2007 and after almost two years they recorded the first full-length album, which turned out to be rather successful. http://www.tenek.info/ / http://www.myspace.com/tenekuk

Music & Performance
When TENEK appeared on the stage, the crowd still wasn’t big, yet people continued to arrive and all of them immediately joined in, ready to dance and just enjoy the concert. The musicians said that they were happy to perform in Russia for the first time but it was hard to believe that it was the band’s first visit of our country especially judging by the hearty welcome of the audience. Besides the professionalism of the duo, also the quality of the sound was a plus for the show. People in the hall supported the band during the whole set and TENEK’s powerful yet melodic songs sometimes with a slight shade of melancholy were met with enthusiasm.



Soon the venue was filled with energetic music and the atmosphere was brought up to the mark. The voices of both members of the formation excellently combined and supplemented each other and all the tracks performed by the duo produced a fairly good impression. Peter mostly played the guitar but sometimes he switched over to the keyboards then took a microphone holding it as a dumbbell and at first it seemed he wanted to do exercises but in truth he started to sing. TENEK performed the 30 minute set wonderfully well and heated up the audience besides the musicians themselves seemed to be glad by that welcome. So they promised to come back sometime and left the stage but before the people could recover after the gig, ASSEMBLAGE 23 came to the audience.

Setlist
01. I Don’t Cry
02. If I Should Fall
03. Higher Ground
04. Where’s the Time?
05. Submission
06. Stateless
07. No Time for Fighting

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 9
Light: 8
Total: 8.6 / 10




Assemblage 23

ASSEMBLAGE 23 is an electronic act from the USA founded in 1998 by Tom Shear and during over 10 years of the existence it recorded 6 studio albums including the latest work entitled ‘Compass’ which was released in October 2009. ASSEMBLAGE 23 is Tom Shear (vocals, music) and two session musicians: Paul Seegers (keyboards) and Kevin Choby (electronic drums). http://www.assemblage23.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/officialassemblage23

Music & Performance
With the appearance of ASSEMBLAGE 23, the fans started to rejoice and that joy doubled because the first song of the concert was vigorous, tuneful and touchy ‘Smoke’ from the project’s new album ‘Compass’, but the setlist mostly consisted of old, well-known and even more armour-piercing songs, which made everyone dance, jump, shout, wave their hands and in general the audience just raved. But something like that was also going on the stage and the person who could easily arrested one’s attention was the drummer, resembling some kind of the perpetual motion machine, restless and crazy. Maybe, he stopped playing in the pauses between the songs but I didn’t notice it though.



On the other side of the stage there was standing the keyboard player, who did his job with perfect calm and so it seemed that he wasn’t affected at all by the noise of the hall. Tom was rushing between those two poles apart and definitely he was completely devoted to the performance. Moreover he didn’t forget to shake hands with the fans and repeated “spasibo” - “thank you” - almost after each song. The music of ASSEMBLAGE 23 completely overwhelmed the people and carried them away at least for an hour. Everything could be described with one word, euphoria, when the audience sang along with vocalist some parts of the songs and rewarded the musicians with a storm of applause. The screens placed on the stage still didn’t show anything but in that case it was even better because nothing drew our attention away from the show itself.



But sooner or later everything good comes to an end and ASSEMBLAGE 23 finished the set with wonderful ‘Dissapoint’ and went backstage. Unfortunately there was no encore despite the screams of the audience “we want more” and after a prolonged change-over it was time for MESH, the final act of the evening.

Setlist
01. Smoke
02. Opened
03. Naked
04. Drive
05. Madman’s Dream
06. Collapse
07. Damaged
08. Alive
09. Impermanence
10. Document
11. Let the Wind Erase Me
12. Spark
13. Dissapoint

Rating
Music: 10
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 9.1 / 10




Mesh

MESH is a Synth-Pop outfit from Bristol, England, founded in 1991 by Mark Hockings (vocals, guitars, keyboards, programming) and Richard Silverthorn (keyboards, programming); during live performances they are supported by Geoff Pinckney (keyboards, backing vocals) and Sean Suleman (drums). The band’s latest full-length album is still ‘A Perfect Solution’ released in 2009 which attracted a lot of new fans to the formation. http://www.mesh.co.uk/ / http://www.myspace.com/mesh_a_perfect_solution

Music & Performance
When MESH came to the audience, the hall exploded because there were a lot of fans of the band and just lovers of good, qualitative music, but actually the quartet simply couldn’t play anything else. The musicians didn’t communicate much with the crowd nevertheless all the emotions were expressed through the songs they performed. The vocalist as usual was wearing his hat and like the other members of the band he was outwardly restrained and concentrated. The concert started with mesmerizing and striking ‘If We Stay Here’ from ‘A Perfect Solution’, but the songs from the latest release were alternated with some older compositions and indeed the setlist could satisfy the most sophisticated fan and every piece was met with applause.



In general the performance went off on a very high level anyway it’s hard to express everything that was going in the hall during the gig. Standing on the second floor we were just observing a storming sea of hands and heads moving in time with the music and the whole view was spectacular. Finally the screens started to work showing different pictures to supplement the songs. Of course the impression produced by the compositions was intensified thanks to such presentation. The set finished after midnight as there were also two encores, one-track each. During the performance of ‘Friends like These’ there were shown the pictures of the audience taken at the beginning of the event and no wonder that most of the fans were touched by that and couldn’t control their emotions. As for the lack of communication during the concert, it was more than compensated on the after-party, when everyone could talk to the musicians, take autographs and pictures.

Setlist
01. If We Stay Here
02. Trust You
03. Leave You Nothing
04. Shattered Glass
05. I Don’t Think They Know
06. Not Prepared
07. Hold It Together
08. Petrified
09. How Long?
10. Want You
11. Can You Mend Hearts
12. Only Better
13. Is It So Hard?
14. From This Height
15. It Scares Me
16. Who Says?
17. Everything I Made
---
18. Crash
---
19. Friends like These

Rating
Music: 10
Performance: 7
Sound: 9
Light: 8
Total: 8.7 / 10



In tote all three concerts turned to be just great and apparently it pleased not only the audience but the musicians as well. All the impressions won’t smooth out soon and we can hope that events of the kind will become a good tradition.

All pictures by Era Gray
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