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RomeQuasimodo, Berlin, Germany
29th November 2022
Rome - “The Lone Furrow” Tour 2022

ROME was founded in 2005, by Jérôme Reuter, a singer and songwriter from Luxemburg. On stage, Jérôme performs sometimes alone and sometimes joined by other musicians. ROME’s music is often described as Neofolk and mixes several influences, I have heard that ROME themselves define as “Chanson Noir”.

Their music is often sad and of a singular, melancholic beauty. Whereas some Neofolk bands have often been criticized for playing with fascist aesthetics, ROME uses sometimes explicitly antifascist lyrics. Their latest album, ‘Hegomonikon’, was released only a couple of days ago. Their “The Lone Furrow” tour was postponed from 2020 to 2021 due to the pandemic. Although the concert was late at night during a weekday, the Quasimodo was nearly full. The audience was mostly middle-aged or older, and, surprisingly, only some of them were visibly belonging to a dark subculture.

Music & Performance
Before I start with the review itself, I have to state that I like ROME a lot - Jérôme Reuter’s live solo performance at the Stella Nomine Festival this year was definitely my personal highlight. I am a big fan of Jérôme’s voice and I have enjoyed every single concert I have watched so far. That changed at Quasimodo - and it was not the band’s fault. ROME, in this case, Jérôme Reuter with his guitarist and his drummer, appeared punctually at 10:33pm, greeted by a jolly, but not enthusiastic audience, who had waited listening to old partisan songs - if I recognized them correctly. The band begun to play and I was petrified, since I have seldom witnessed such sound problems. The drums were way too loud and together with the also too loud guitar completely “drowned” Jérôme Reuter’s voice.

The furniture of the whole club was vibrating by the bass sounds, making it really hard to listen to the band. I do not know if, due to the construction of the club, which had lots of corners, maybe the sound was different at different parts of the club and at the stage - because the band seemed not to notice the sound problems, or at least they did not mention them. It was not until the fifth song that, at least, the vibrations stopped and the sound improved. At the sixth song, ‘The Torture Detachment’, Jérôme’s voice developed its whole enchanting power, but sadly, the sound deteriorated again during the seventh song, although at least the vibrations never reappeared. But the sound remained fickle and casted a cloud over the performance of the band, who gave their best. Maybe that was the reason that the audience never got ignited completely by the concert, although the spectators seemed to enjoy themselves.

It was really a pity, because as usual, also the drums were very interesting to watch, since the drummer switched professionally between different rattles and other unusual beat instruments. One of the most acclaimed songs was ‘Who Only Europe Know’ where the audience began to sing the chorus. Jérôme Reuter dedicated ‘One Lion’s Roar’, to the volunteers helping in the Ukraine, also pointing out that at the merchandising point, there was a donation’s box for donations for a refugee camp for Ukrainian war refugees. After 19 songs, the band finished their regular set. Before the encore, of which the first song was performed by Jérôme Reuter solo, he joked around that he had to tune his guitar, because “für Berlin reicht das nicht” (it is not good enough for Berlin).

The three encore songs were met with lots of applause. The encore song ‘One Fire’ was also my personal highlight of the evening. Although it was a bittersweet evening, I would highly encourage everyone to join ROME’s next concert - the music itself is of high quality and can normally be enjoyed without any sound problems.

01. Like Lovers
02. Celine in Jerusalem
03. Die Nelke
04. Sons of Aeeth
05. Solar Caesar
06. The Torture Detachment
07. Neue Erinnerung
08. Kali Yuga Über Alles
09. No Second Troy
10. The Brightest Sun
11. Der Wolfsmantel
12. Das Feuerordal
13. Families of Eden
14. Hearts Mend
15. Ächtung, Baby!
16. Going Back to Kyiv
17. Who Only Europe Know
18. Uropia O Morte
19. One Lion’s Roar
20. The Ballad of Mariupol
21. One Fire
22. Swords to Rust - Hearts to Dust

Music: 10
Performance: 9
Sound: 3
Light: 5
Total: 6.8 / 10 

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