4th December 2021
Solar Fake - “One Evening Two Shows”
When SOLAR FAKE entered the stage of the Kulttempel in Oberhausen, you could feel the relief in the building. Yes, we get to see a live concert. The days before, the band, the staff and the fans trembled because of the recently introduced anti-Covid-19-spreading-measures in the state of North-Rhine-Westphalia making live concerts nearly impossible to happen. But in the end, everything worked out well and the concert was allowed to be played.
To get access you had to be fully vaccinated or recovered, you had to show a negative test that mustn’t be older than 24 hours and, in addition - probably the most annoying thing for everyone in the building - you had to wear a mask during the entire show. Or, to be more precise, two entire shows which made it even worse. SOLAR FAKE repeated the program they played in Dresden and Leipzig three months ago. So, several hundred people witnessed two full concerts for a fair price of 52 €. The setlist of the first one consisted of rarely played tracks from older albums and a dozen of cover versions. The second part of the evening featured lots of well-known hits and tracks of the current studio album, ‘Enjoy Dystopia’, which was released in February.
Music & Performance
ARCHIVE, WESTBAM, TALK TALK, SHE WANTS REVENGE, RADIOHEAD, LANA DEL REY, DAVID BOWIE, LINKIN PARK, THE KILLERS, PIXIES, HIM and EDITORS - what do those bands have in common? At first sight, probably nothing. But the correct answer is: They were all part of the show. The reactions were quite different. Of course, everyone knows songs like ‘Join Me’ (HIM) or ‘Creep’ (RADIOHEAD) and sang along, but let’s be honest: Do most SOLAR FAKE fans regularly listen to records of LANA DEL REY, ARCHIVE or SHE WANTS REVENGE? Probably not. And singer Sven Friedrich, keyboarder André Feller and drummer Jens Halbauer did not pick the most famous songs of these artists. The crowd got to hear ‘Gods And Monsters’ instead of, for example, ‘Summertime Sadness’ (LANA DEL REY) and ‘These Things’ instead of ‘Tear You Apart’ (SHE WANTS REVENGE). Two songs that SOLAR FAKE originally wanted to put on one of their records but, as Sven mentioned, “we couldn’t get the rights, the copyright holders didn’t want to make it happen - because they are stupid.” Ok, he didn’t seem to mean the last part too serious...
In between the covers SOLAR FAKE threw in some old tracks they don’t play too often. Sven told the “sorry, we should have rehearsed that more often” joke numerous times throughout the evening, but in fact every song sounded great. Crystal-clear synths, pounding drums and the touching voice of the singer - the sound was great, there was a lot of energy in the venue and the crowd enjoyed every second of it. Just a short personal opinion in between: Tracks like ‘No Apologies’ or ‘I’d Rather Break’ should be a part of every SOLAR FAKE concert. Especially those two are pure “instant hits” with great melodies and an uplifting character. After 22 songs the first show came to an end. But nearly everyone stayed at the Kulttempel and spent the break in the smoking area (and there were also some non-smokers who just want to take off the mask to breathe some fresh air for a few minutes), the bar or the merch desk where some shirts, stickers and stylish chains were sold.
At 10pm the second show began. Eight songs of ‘Enjoy Dystopia’ were played - probably the first time most people got to hear them live. Similar to the LP, SOLAR FAKE started with the impulsive ‘At Least We’ll Forget’. A great choice to start the second part of the night. Sven asked “how many people just came for the second show?” but just very few people reacted. It seemed like more than 95 percent in the Kulttempel bought the complete package. And in addition to the new songs, they got all the hits. ‘All The Things You Say’, ‘More Than This’, ‘Observer’, ‘I Don’t Want You In Here’, ‘Where Are You?’, ‘Sick Of You’ - the fans clapped, danced, jumped and sang along like there’s no tomorrow. Probably (and unfortunately) it was the last concert of the year for nearly everyone in the building. So, the audience spent every ounce of energy and left Sven nearly speechless. His comments were short: “Incredible”, “Outstanding”, “You’re crazy” and so on.
After around three hours and 45 minutes the show ended with the ballad ‘Wish Myself Away’ and very loud applause. Sven stated that “I hope we all see each other again soon in better circumstances”. That should be possible just a few metres away from the Kulttempel. Just a few hours before the show SOLAR FAKE were confirmed to play at the E-Tropolis festival that should take place on September 24th in the Turbinenhalle Oberhausen. And some months before that the “Enjoy Dystopia” Tour should take place with nine dates in different parts of Germany. If you’re into dark, melodic electronic stuff - grab your opportunity and go see them!
Setlist: Covers and rarities
01. Fuck U (Archive cover)
02. You Need the Drugs (WestBam cover)
03. No Apologies
04. Such a Shame (Talk Talk cover)
05. These Things (She Wants Revenge cover)
06. I’d Rather Break
07. Creep (Radiohead cover)
08. Pain Goes By
09. (You Think You’re) Radical
10. Gods & Monsters (Lana Del Rey cover)
11. Heroes (David Bowie cover)
13. One Step Closer (Linkin Park cover)
14. Anything You Want
15. A Bullet Left for You
16. Somebody Told Me (The Killers cover)
17. Where Is My Mind? (Pixies cover)
18. Join Me in Death (HIM cover)
19. Papillon (Editors cover)
20. Your Hell Is Here
21. If This Is Hope
22. I Can’t Remember
Setlist: Enjoy Dystopia and hits
01. At Least We’ll Forget
02. Reset To Default
03. This Pretty Life
04. Under Control
05. Trying Too Hard
06. All The Things You Say
07. I Don’t Want You In Here
10. Not What I Wanted
11. Arrive Somewhere
12. Es geht dich nichts an
13. More Than This
14. The Pain That Kills You Too
16. Sick Of You
17. Where Are You?
19. Under The Skies
20. I Despise You
21. Wish Myself Away
Total: 9 / 10
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)