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Weststadthalle, Essen, Germany
05th December 2006
Mesh, Iris and Conetik

On Tuesday the 05th December, we went to Essen to see MESH and their support bands IRIS and CONETIK. The concert took place in the WESTSTADTHALLE, situated in the center of Essen. I didn't know this location before and now I can say that I didn't miss anything. The location is a little square room with the charm of an exhibition hall, the stage is on the long side of the room and the acoustic is terrible.


The evening began with the first support band CONETIK. CONETIK is a Norwegian duo that started out around the turn of the millennium with an idea of blending rhythmic electronic music with rock influenced vocals. In the years that followed, the concept has gone through a lot of changes, bringing the music from a harder - bordering on industrial - sound, to a softer and more pop oriented sound. While their sound is now less industrial, they have never lost the original nerve in the music. CONETIC are ANDREAS and STAIN. /

CONETIK didn't hurt much, but I don't really need that. It's mostly catchy Synth pop sounds with pleasing vocals, easy to listen to but not very diversified. The set included eight songs, taken from the both available albums CARBON ELECTRIQ and CUBE MUSIC.

The singer performed his vocals dedicated. The only instrument on stage was a keytar, but the keytar player didn't play much during the show, the main part of music was playback. The venue filled up during the show, but the most people were waiting for the second band IRIS.

01. Disillusion
02. Electronova
03. Secrets And Sins
04. Exit #0
05. Conekted
06. Toxic
07. Suzanne (remixed)
08. Cold star

Music: 7
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 7


Taking elements of rock, glitch, retro-flavored-synth music, and coloring it with a decidedly melodic worldview, IRIS is a band that's hard to classify. The new album, WRATH, is the latest signpost in the IRIS- story - a record which is energetic, complex, and emotional. IRIS was formed in 1993, first called FORGIVING IRIS, and went their way over the years. IRIS are Reagan Jones (vocals, songwriting), Andrew Sega (keyboards, guitars, production) and Brian Pearson (live guitars and occasional studio work). /

The set started with LANDS OF FIRE after the intro and included ten songs taken from different releases. Quickly the crowd was infected by the spirit of IRIS, the pushing electro ballads were very charming and the soulful voice of singer Reagan perfected the melodic Synth pop sounds. But it was recognizable that Reagan was not very satisfied with the sound at the venue.

The singer, flanked by the guitar player on the left side and the keyboard player on the right side, dominated the stage. He didn't sing only - he lived and suffered the stories behind the lyrics and his expressive performance charmed the audience very well. It was a convincing performance and the temper of the audience grew steadily.

01. Intro
02. Lands of fire
03. Vacant
04. Imposter
05. Waves
06. In spite
07. Sentimental
08. Generate
09. Hell
10. Appetite
11. Sorrow expert

Music: 8
Performance: 9
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 8


MESH from Bristol were founded in 1991 and consist of Mark Hockings and Richard Silverthorn nowadays. Neil Taylor, the third original member left the band in summer 2006. This tour is the first tour without Neil, and Geoff Pinckney - a long time friend of the band undertook his part on stage (keyboard and backing vocals). Live drummer at the tour was Gary Howe. MESH is still one of my favorite bands - it's ingeniously Synth pop with beautiful melodies, catchy refrains and significant lyrics. MESH were touring already in Germany in spring this year and in summer they had played a great gig on M’ERA LUNA festival too. Now we could enjoy MESH for the third time this year and we were very curious about potential setlist changes and the new keyboard player too. /

The setlist was a little bit modified relating to the first part of the tour in spring and included again a lot of songs taken from the current album, started by REST IN PIECES after the intro, just as hits like LITTLE MISSILE, YOU DIDN'T WANT ME or IT SCARES ME. Quickly, the spirit went over and the whole crowd was dancing and singing along. The band was in a good mood too and had a lot of fun. A great show once again, unfortunately the pleasure was impaired by the bad sound in the location. The main set finished with CRASH and the band left the stage for the first time, but they came back quickly to perform the first encore FIREFLY.

MARK begun the song joking with the words: "Good evening, we're MESH", due the fact that it was the first song at a former tour and this were the welcoming words then. After FIREFLY the band left the stage again and for the next encore only MARK and RICHARD came back to perform ROOM WITH A VIEW, dedicated to "LeeLoo" who was running the MESH fan club. During the last song FROM THIS HEIGHT the whole band was on stage again and the set finished with the fantastic long outro like last time.

The stage setting was as usual - in background the drums between the both keyboards and the singer in foreground. GEOFF played the second keyboard and took over a great part of the backing vocals as a replacement for NEIL who had left the band. He did a good job - despite some minor mistakes - and I think he's a real enrichment for the live line up. MARK sang the songs powerful and soulful and like as the first part of the tour RICHARD or MARK played the guitar additionally during some songs. Some nice surprises were the new video projections, at the beginning of the show it started with opening credits like a movie.

The highlight was the projection during FRIENDS LIKE THESE: Before the doors opened, in front of the venue a crew member took pictures of the waiting fans and during FRIENDS LIKE THESE a slide show of these pictures was integrated into the video, so the fans could see themselves on the backdrop - very crazy and a nice act of friendship by the band. After nearly two hours, the show finished too early anyway and I'm happy that we don't have to wait for a long time to see MESH again because in January (27th) 2007 they will play at the ELEKTRISCH FESTIVAL in Krefeld and I think I'll be there!

01. Intro
02. Rest in Pieces
03. Petrified (Dance Mix)
04. No Place like home
05. Leave You Nothing
06. Open up The Ground
07. To Be Alive
08. Little Missile (New Mix)
09. Can You Mend Hearts
10. What Are You Scared Of
11. Fragile
12. Step By Step
13. Friends like These
14. Purest People
15. This Is What You Wanted
16. You Didn't Want Me
17. It Scares Me (Fast)
18. My Hands Are Tied
19. Crash

20. Firefly
21. Room with a View
22. From This Height

Music: 10
Performance: 10
Sound: 7
Light: 10
Total: 9.6

More pics at Black-Cat-Net

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