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SchillerTheater, Gütersloh, Germany
19th November 2017
Schiller - “Klangwelten Live 2017 - Pure Electronic”

German electronic artist SCHILLER is touring currently with his “Klangwelten” program. After his celebrated 2016 arena tour, SCHILLER started his new tour through Germany and Switzerland under the motto “Klangwelten Live 2017 - Pure Electronic” and also stopped in the quite small theatre in Gütersloh. Germany’s number one electronic artist played his dreamy instrumental sounds among others at the philharmonic hall in Munich, at the Gewandhaus Leipzig or at the old opera in Frankfurt. “Klangwelten Live 2017”, that’s instrumental classics from eighteen years of SCHILLER, pulsating rhythms and artfully arranged spherical sounds. http://www.schillermusic.com / https://www.facebook.com/schillermusic

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Music & Performance
Today’s venue, the sold-out theatre of Gütersloh, is an architecturally really successful building and an appropriate surrounding for SCHILLER’s show. In the past, I had seen Christopher von Deylen’s project already, but mostly on different surroundings and set-up, i.e. with guest singers. In the foyer there was first time for some drinks. And you should have them there, since you were not allowed to take beverages into the concert hall. I took my seat in the last row and had a good view to the stage and things happening there… although visibly not very much happened at all, just as expected. Thze electronic equipment was of course already set up on stage and in the middle, mastermind Deylen took his place. On the right side, there was room for Cliff Hewitt and his various electronic percussions, left was the position for Martin Roberts on guitar and other electronic instruments.

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The concert started straight with ‘Klangwelten’ and ‘Ultramarin’. The sound was perfectly mixed and attuned to the building with vibrating basses but never too loud or overmodulated. On the other side there was nearly no light and the screen for the videos was in my opinion too small. I would have expected the visuals being in line with the perfect sound – and all-over audio-visual experience. But the audio aspect was definitely in the foreground. I am sure most visitors did not care much about the visual aspect though. After the band hymn ‘Schiller’, Deylen for the first (and last) time in the Set 1 addressed the audience, praised the location and said some non-binding words. After the first two songs, the video screen was used for some films and animations, but since it was so small, it failed the maximal impression.

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As already said, there were no vocals or guest singers. And so, the focus of the current tour was on the electronic music, a coherent flow where the songs were partly interwoven and covered the previous nine studio albums quite well. Better known i.e. ‘Das Glockenspiel’ from the 1999 debut album ‘Zeitgeist’. But also the newest work, ‘Future’ (from 2016) was included. After a good hour, the first part of the evening was finished and the audience was applauding loudly. But in my eyes, the concert so far was not a “real”, emotional concert experience. Surely a matter of taste! In the following break I heard a lot of exuberant praise for the performance. But a curiosity in my already very long concert history should follow now: in the break, there was an announcement through the speakers to leave the building. It needs to be evacuated. While the fire brigade arrived, the audience was allowed to enter the nearby Stadthalle since it was quite cold outside. Of course, there were a lot of discussions… at the end it turned out that the smoke from stage caused a fire alarm. There was no real danger at all. 

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After this break of a different kind, the evening went on with Set 2, starting with a short sequence when Deylen entered the stage and played music. I think many had expected a tiny comment about the things just happened, but nothing. But finally, the visual aspect of the show was offering a little more variety; i.e. the glow sticks on stage were used more intense. Nice was also the weightless Mr. Deylen on screen during the song ‘Schwerelos’, showing the unity of music and vision. On the other side, I personally missed PETER HEPPNER (currently on tour as well) during ‘Leben… I feel you’. With the well-known rhythmic ‘Ruhe’, the second part of the evening ended, SCHILLER bowed in front of the audience and Deylen introduced his co-musicians. Without a big break, the encores were played and released the audience into the cold night.

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To conclude the evening… I felt a bit ambivalent. Setlist and sound were convincing, but I would have imagined the visual aspects more opulent. And there was nearly no interaction at all. If this is worth the entrance fee of about seventy euros, any visitor had to decide for himself. I don’t want to judge. ‘Much smoke for nothing’ would certainly be a too cynical motto for the evening, but I think that the evacuation action will remain in my memory...

Setlist
-Set 1-
01. Klangwelten
02. Ultramarin
03. Schiller
04. The Future III
05. Once Upon a Time
06. Das Glockenspiel
07. Tiefblau
---
-Set 2-
08. (Unknown) (Christopher at the front of stage)
09. Berlin – Moskau
10. Leben… I Feel You
11. Schwerelos
12. Denn wer liebt
13. Sehnsucht
14. Polarstern
15. Ruhe
---
16. Mitternacht
17. Opus: Reprise

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 7
Sound: 9
Light: 6
Total: 7.8 / 10

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All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)

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