Alte Seilerei, Mannheim, Germany
7th September 2013
Mesh, Portion Control & Spetsnaz @ Super Schwarzes Mannheim
The concerts took place at the event ‘Super Schwarzes Mannheim’ (Super Black Mannheim) which is a party series on every first Saturday of a month where dark club music is played and every now and then they have interesting and cool live acts. Despite the amazing line- up the venue was not sold out but a good crowd of roundabout 400 people showed up.
Opener of this evening was the Swedish duo SPETSNAZ. Right before the doors opened you could see groups of their fans arriving. Just from the moment on the duo entered the stage and started to play the audience started to dance and pogo to their music. The singer Pontus Stålberg showed a great stage presence by dancing while singing and thus animated the crowd to do as well. Their setlist worked really well and people enjoyed the concert very much. The guys showed that they have a lot of humour and self-irony, too, for when they played ‘That perfect body’ Stefan Nilsson, who is not really slim, opened his shirt poured a bottle of water over his chest and belly and introduced his perfect body to us and made a funny show of it, especially when he discovered the camera of my workmate and started to flirt with it.
Of course we did not have to miss ‘Apathy’ which is a traditional club song at every dark/ gothic/ EBM party. To sum it up it was a great concert which was enjoyed by the audience and even my friend who is not into EBM music liked it, too. https://www.facebook.com/pages/SPETSNAZ/23395943282
01. Between Whatifs and Might Have Beens
03. Degenerate Ones
09. That Perfect Body
10. On the Edge
Total: 8.5 / 10
I was very much looking forward to see PORTION CONTROL live for the first time as I liked what I discovered on YouTube from them. But my expectations were lowered when they started to play. Almost half of the audience went outside for a cigarette, drinks or whatever and only showed up at the last songs of their show. You probably don’t get so easily access to their kind of music that is a kind of Electronic/ Industrial/ Noise sound, although they are definitely pretty good, but their stage presence doesn’t make it easier. You did not get the impression that they like to perform but more like they are doing their job. Their show was underlined by video animation, mainly in black and white, on the monitors in the background. Unfortunately they had some technical issues during one song so that there wasn’t any video and the bass line was quite extreme. But it was fixed very fast. Except some fans amongst the audience who for sure were happy to see them perform, it was quite clear for which bands the greatest part of the people showed up. It’s really a pity as their music is really amazing. As I hardly know any songs of them I cannot present a setlist and couldn’t find it online. http://www.portion-control.net/ / https://myspace.com/porcon
Total: 6.5 / 10
Just in time the people, who were outside during the previous concert, were back to welcome MESH with great applause. Amongst them you could see a lot of fans who obviously travel long distances to see their favourite band. The party started right with the first sounds of ‘Adjust your set’. On stage there were the monitors that MESH usually has at the shows to underline the atmosphere of the songs with their video animations. Although it was really a pity that the venue was not sold out one could almost be happy that it was not packed as it was so hot that everyone was immediately in sweat. Despite the heat everybody was dancing and singing and the audience demonstrated that they know the lyrics by heart, singing along with the band, and when you looked around you saw a lot of enchanted faces. The guys from Bristol, UK, did not only present a long setlist with a good mixture of songs from their actual album ‘Automation Baby’ but some of their older songs and they had some surprises for us, too. So they played ‘This is the time’ in a special version, ‘Flawless’ in a new live version as well as ‘Room with a view’ and ‘How long’ was performed in a new fresh version by the underlining melody played by Lord – Richard Broadhead on his keyboard.
Besides my all-time favourite ‘Step by step’ they even played ‘Fragile’ which was a great decision. It’s been long since they last performed this great song which works really fantastic at a live set. Apparently Lord- Richard Broadhead gets more and more confidence with every further concert as you can see him now dancing a bit and smiling which is quite nice to see. Richard Silverthorn on the other side of the stage is for sure a good guide as he is always dancing so wildly behind his keyboards that you expect that one day it tumbles down. And to our surprise even Mark made some indication of dancing. Well, we definitely want to see more of “dad dancing”. Not to forget Sean Suleman who makes the live setting complete with his enthusiastic drum playing. Usually Mark plays guitar to some songs, too, but this time he left his beautiful red guitar at home. But Richard was switching between his keyboard and his guitar and did his Rock’ n’ Roll thing. While playing guitar there was a funny situation as Richard and Mark had a kind of body- check because Mark walked into the space where Richard was playing. One was immediately reminded of the film ‘Dirty dancing’ with the discussion about the dance space of two persons.
Their last song was ‘Taken for granted’ which is not only a brilliant song but gave the audience the song lines “I need to start again! Take me far away!” as a new tradition for singing as loud as possible for an encore. And when the guys appear back on stage all are singing these lines together before MESH starts with their encore. This time it was ‘Born to lie’ and then ‘Friends like these’. One encore is not enough of course and thus Mark appeared on the small stage at the FOH, while the Richard, Sean and Lord- Richard played on the main stage, to perform the last song of the evening. But even with this encore they had a last surprise for the audience as Mark did not sing ‘Can you mend hearts’ but instead ‘You couldn’t see this coming’ which is a wonderful song to end this fantastic concert. To sum it up: it was a magnificent concert with a long setlist. I guess we were all exhausted, in sweat, rather croaky but happy.
A short while after the concert the guys showed up at the merchandising stand so that the fans could get their stuff signed, having a photo with them or just have a short chat which is really lovely as the fans see that their ‘heroes’ are just like you and me. http://www.mesh.co.uk/ / https://www.facebook.com/meshtheband
01. Intro/ Adjust your set
02. Automation Baby
03. You didn’t want me
04. This is the time (special live version)
06. Flawless (new live version)
07. Never meet your heroes
08. You want what’s owed to you
09. How long? (new live version)
10. Room with a view (new live version)
11. Just leave us alone
12. It scares me
14. Everything I made
15. Step by step
16. When the city breathes
17. From this height
18. Taken for granted
19. Born to lie
20. Friends like these
21. You couldn’t see this coming
Total: 9 / 10
All pictures by morTICIA & Ilka Kirschke