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Zeche Carl, Essen, Germany
18th January 2008

When I saw the band for the first time in Krefeld, I was very impressed by their live performance and so I couldn’t resist when I was asked if I wanted to go to another concert.  And so, I was looking forward to see the band again, this time at the Zeche Carl in Essen.

SONO’s first single ‘Keep Control’ became a hit; in Germany and even in the American billboard charts where the single stayed for six weeks. ‘Keep Control’ was also the first German hit ever, which was awarded with the title “Track of the Year”. With their first album ‘Solid State’ - which also became a great success they also attracted the attention of people from the most different scenes and was also an indicator for the variety - SONO provided that they are not limited to a specific scene or genre. The second album is called ‘Off’ and was released in October 2005. The third and latest album with the title ‘Panoramic View’ has been released on 5th October. SONO are Lennart A. Salomon (vocals, guitars, writing, production), Florian Sikorski (keyboards, writing, production) and Martin Weiland (keyboards, writing, production, DJ). /

Electronic pop music incorporating also organic elements and e great voice. A short but fitting description I think. The set in Essen mostly presented songs from the current album ‘Panoramic View’ but also the well-known hits from the previous ones. After a short intro the set started with the fast forward ‘The brightest Star’ followed by ‘All those City Lights’ which is also the first single taken from ‘Panoramic View’. The next one turned back the wheels of time to the first album as ‘2000 Guns’ the song with which SONO firstly caught my attention was the next one presented in a slightly different version with another intro.

While the CURE-esque ‘Someday’ regardless of it’s rather slow tempo has a groove that’s catching you right away, the following melancholic ‘Miles away’ was something to calm down again and just listen to it. The instrumental part at the end of the song was combined with a guitar solo unfortunately not included on the CD version. The band didn’t give us much time to rest as the next songs ‘Dangerous’ as well as the following ‘Always Something Missing’, which will be the second single by the way, and ‘Too Many Madmen’ were something you couldn’t stand still to.

Same thing with ‘Open The Door’ taken from the second album ‘Off’ with it’s special and fast-paced vocal style reminding more of a Rap and ‘Carry On’ that is traversed by a feeling of melancholia and after ‘Stuck in the Middle’ was also heavily sweat inducing it was finally time for another balladry tune namely ‘My Favourite Place’ before the main set was ended with ‘Blame’ and one of my favourites ‘A New Cage’ in an extra-long version. After the band was clapped and jubilated back on stage it was time for the encore which held up songs like the club hit par excellence ‘Keep Control’ where the audience intonated the chorus parts together with Lennart and ‘Whatever’ as the very last song.

As already experienced a while back in Krefeld, the synths were built up on the left and the keyboards on the right side in the back part of the stage, usually the places where Martin and Florian are squeezing the sounds out off their tools. Some kind of curtain showing the band logo strobe lights were hung up and combined with spots spreading varied coloured lights during the show. A concert with SONO is like spending a good time with some friends even if there are a hundred people together in one room. The band was always in a good mood making jokes or telling stories like “I broke my leg when skiing though I wasn’t skiing at all” to over bridge some “Technical problems”. Apart from that there was groove in the performance in every single moment. Either you saw Lennart moving over the stage or just playing his guitar while singing and speaking of the guitar.

I was surprised for another time how many sounds can come out off such an instrument aside from the usual stuff. As I mentioned earlier the band was in a very good mood and the spark sprung over to the audience immediately with the first bar of  ‘The Brightest Star’ and lasted until the last song ‘Whatever’. After the gig had ended lots of happy people were leaving proving that SONO did a great job again.

01. The Brightest Star
02. All Those City Lights
03. 2000 Guns
04. Someday
05. Miles Away
06. Dangerous
07. Always Something Missing
08. Too Many Madmen
09. Open the Door
10. Carry On
11. Stuck In the Middle
12. Your Favourite Place
13. Blame
14. A New Cage (Long)
15. Technicolor Dreamgirl
16. Keep Control
17. Whatever

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 8.4

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