Alter Schlachthof, Dresden, Germany
6th April 2019
Project Pitchfork - “Akkretion” Tour 2019 - Special Guest: Faderhead
PROJECT PITCHFORK is one of the most active bands out there: the “Akkretion” tour started about a year ago with the first leg and the release of ‘Akkretion’, the first part of a trilogy. The second release, ‘Fragment’, followed in October 2018 as well as the next tour leg. So just a few months later the third tour leg continued the journey, starting in Oberhausen on the 1st March and with a final show taking place in Dresden, at Alter Schlachthof. This spring 2019 tour leg was supported by FUTURE LIED TO US, but for the last gig in Dresden this slot has been filled by FADERHEAD who already joined PROJECT PITCHFORK on tour in autumn 2018.
In between touring last autumn with PROJECT PITCHFORK and already working on the new album that is scheduled for October 2019, FADERHEAD just released a new EP called ‘Starchaser’, available via Bandcamp, consisting of six brand-new songs that show a wide variety and, while having a strong FADERHEAD signature on them, also show some new elements that might direct to the next album. Before the next full-length album will be released in a few month, following by a tour in winter/ spring 2020, FADERHEAD is playing some festival gigs, i.e. there are gigs confirmed for Plage Noire, Amphi Festival and Nocturnal Culture Night (NCN). https://faderhead.com.
Music & Performance
Unlike last time when we were heading to Leipzig in November to see the combo of PROJECT PITCHFORK and FADERHEAD in Werk II, this time it turned out to be a perfect sunny spring day with 21°C. So there was nothing that could mar the anticipation for tonight’s gig. In Dresden we met a friend who joined us, got some dinner and hurried to get to Alter Schlachthof venue, as the clock slowly got closer to 7 pm, the time scheduled for the doors opening. The queue in front of the venue filled really fast when we arrived. No wonder as I heard more than 1,600 tickets were sold. Really impressive! As last year, the time between the doors opening and the start of the special guest’s slot was 1.5 hours which is, if you ask me, a bit too long. An hour would be totally fine.
At 20:30 FADERHEAD entered the stage, tonight as a duo with Joel Meyer aka… whatever you will call him… this guy gets new names everytime Sami is presenting him. The intro to the song ‘Night Physics’ from the same-titled album was the intro for this gig as its been all the way during the ‘Night Physics’ era and so an actually slightly warm feeling of excitement started to spread around with the first chords of it. This first song is all you need to kick-off a gig - powerful, engaging beat, melodic verses and a feeling of that anticipation that you get just before going-out to explore the night life. With ‘Generation Black’, an older track found its way into the setlist that can for sure be interpreted as a hymn for the scene and it works just great as that. Unfortunately here the problems started: a pretty loud, confusing cracking sound appeared and at some point the sound of the microphone disappeared.
The guys were able to fix it pretty soon, but it came back during ‘Know Your Darkness’, one of the club hits from the current album. So the song had to be cut just a few moments before it was over anyway. Nevertheless, FADERHEAD acted as professional as they just could be in that moment, proving how important a good back-up is and that helped to save the situation and Sami acted just as calm as most people on stage never would be able to be in such a situation in front of more than 1,600 people. With ‘Ctrl+Alt+Del’, a new song from the ‘Starchaser EP’, that was released about a month ago on 11th of March via Bandcamp, was presented live and worked fine. It is a strong track with an aggressive, straight-forward conceot of music and vocals. The rest of the setlist was for the most part a pretty harsh one - songs to dance and shout out loudly.
Just in between the dreamy, mystic and fragile ‘Skinny Witches’ was performed that shows so much contrast to songs like ‘Destroy Improve Rebuild’ or the unpolitically political ‘No Gods, No Flags, No Bullshit’. The end of the set marked the mandatory ‘TZDV’, no later than here the artists and the crowd should have forgotten about the technical problems in between; the crowd celebrated with the special guest of the night and got ready for the hosts of the evening - PROJECT PITCHFORK.
01. Night Physics
02. Generation Black
03. Know Your Darkness
05. Destroy Improve Rebuild
06. Skinny Witches
07. Sick City
08. No Gods, No Flags, No Bullshit
Total: 8.8 / 10
The third tour leg of the “Akkretion” trilogy tour was about to end tonight in Dresden and a huge amount of people followed the call of Peter Spilles and his band colleagues to celebrate the final show together. The night before the band played in Prague, so Dresden was also geographically a great choice to play the last gig. But not just because of its location this city was a good choice for this special evening. https://www.project-pitchfork.eu
Music & Performance
First thing that is immediately standing out is the impressive stage set-up with the high (!) podium that can be reached via a long stepladder and where the two drums are set up. Minimalistic is for sure not a slogan for PROJECT PITCHFORK. Also the lights that were installed above the drums are not just interesting in the way they look like, also they create very special light and so atmosphere that I fell in love with already last autumn.
The set started with the title song of the tour, ‘Akkretion’. ‘Akkretion’ is more on the pensive, calmer side of the song spectrum of PROJECT PITCHFORK. A soft start into a set of about 2.5 hours filled with in total 26 songs! The second song of the setlist made a huge jump into the past, ‘Conjure’ from 1992, is a classic with a straight line and aggressive yet clear vocals and message. ‘And The Sun Was Blue’ with its so catchy melody that sticks to your mind immediately followed, before the intro of the probably most famous song of the band started. Not many words needed to describe ‘Timekiller’, a timeless classic that will never fade away or lose anything of its aura.
Picking some of the songs from here, there is a reason that I don’t call them highlights because almost every song of the band seems to be one in its own way, continuing with ‘Alpha Omega’, another 90ies song from 1995 that breathes the spirit of that decade and the spoken verses with the popular chorus. This song brings the audience back to the mid 90ies directly from the first chords. ‘Volcano’ plays more with the key themes and has a kinda more playful attitude. While the lyrics are, as we can expect, pretty dark and morbide; the melody and the vocals sound so much softer than they probably should when you think about the meaning of the words. The following song, ‘Rain’, is, as it was already in autumn, one of my highlights and so I don’t get tired to emphasize it. A really strong, catchy, perfectly danceable dark masterpiece dominated by the deep vocals of Peter Spilles, this playful key melody and the driving drum beat that just potentiates in the live performance with two of them!
The last three songs of the regular set are ‘Pitch-Black’, ‘K. N. K. A.’ and ‘Beholder. All of them unique and epic in their own way. The lyrics of ‘K. N. K. A.’ got probably most popular of all, being a popular merch slogan and as actual as they ever could be. Of course when the band left the stage after that official part the calls for an encore got loud and even stamping was to be heard. That gets quite loud when even just a part of the 1,600+ people does so. Of course the band came back to play another sequence with ‘I Am (A Thought In Slowmotion)’, ‘Acid Ocean’ and ‘Existence v4.1’. All of them memorable through their key melodies, thoughtful lyrics and the distinctive, deep voice of Peter Spilles connected to an unforgettable experience and journey through the decades and human and social abysses.
The atmosphere in the venue was amazing. Somewhere in front of the stage there was a moshpit, the first 15 - 20 rows celebrating really hard, while the rest was immersing deep into the music and dancing all the way through the extended concert. After the encore there is? Alright! Another one! PROJECT PITCHFORK say “goodbye” for this part of the tour leg with four more songs, the epic and magnificent ‘Souls’, the electronic & driving ‘Onyx’, the rave-inspired ‘Rescue’ and for the grand final ‘Jupiter (Or Somewhere Out There)’. A really long, impressive and intense gig with band and fans celebrating together the end of a tour that is just marked by a short break before PROJECT PITCHFORK come back for the festival and open-air season starting with the sold-out Plage Noire Festival at the beginning of May.
An extended concert night came to an end after about 3.5 hours of exceptional live music. Thanks to the “DJs Graa and Qorg” for hosting the inofficial, spontaneous “aftershow-in-the-merch-corner-party” to let the night fade away smoothly with fine rave tracks before our own tour group set off to a 2-hour-drive back to Berlin.
03. And The Sun Was Blue
06. Alpha Omega
07. An End
08. Mute Spectators
11. Drone State
12. There Is Much More
13. Terra Incognita
14. The Longing
15. In Your Heart
20. I Am (A Thought In Slowmotion)
21. Acid Ocean
22. Existence v4.1
26. Jupiter (Or Somewhere Out There)
Total: 9.8 / 10
All pictures by Nastja Iz