|Event:||Amenra + Boris|
|Location:||Kino Šiška, Ljubljana (Slovenia)|
As you should already know, the Aristocratic staff is always open to suffering and self-loathing. For this reason, when the announcement came out last November of one of the most powerful pairs around, it shook our spirits: for some of us, Amenra live are certainly not a new thing, but for me they (almost) were, as well as Boris in maybe one of the last chances of seeing them in action.
So, once again, mandatory trip to Ljubljana to inflict yet another blow to our eardrums and enjoy the frisky evening air at -10 degrees.
Straight from the Land of the Rising Sun, Boris just celebrated their first 25 years around playing their essential album "Pink" in its entirety, a manifesto of their stoner side, full of groove and fuzz. During this tour, the Japanese trio chose to change drastically and play another (almost) full record, their latest effort "Dear", which gives us some heavy, elusive drone which just in a few occasions makes way to something more tangible.
I have to say that, being my first time, I didn't know what to expect and this probably worked for the best: 75 minutes of heavy noise with a highly theatrical drummer/singer, the lovely Wata who delights us with accordions and graceful and moving solos and, in general, a beautiful state of detachment from reality for the public – or, at least, for me. Songs like "Dystopia -Vanishing Point-" or "DEADSONG", together with more accessible material like the singles "Absolutego" and "Memento Mori", create a range of soundscapes which are just as effective as on record, if not more.
It might have been one of the last chances to see Takeshi, Wata and Atsuo in action, but we strongly hope it won't. May they continue for another twentyfive years like this.
As Colin himself said during a recent interview on an Italian radio, Amenra are somehow lucky to share something with their audience, like kindred spirits travelling on the same wavelength. This fact is particularly evident when you take part to one of the live Masses celebrated by the Flemish quintet: looking left and right, all you can see is a crowd in total reverence towards a band who rolls over everything and everyone, a great leveller which leaves each one of us naked, facing our inner demons.
The guys on stage are totally focused in some sort of emotive trance since the very first moments, with Colin and Bjorn Lebon behind the drums building an almost unbearable climax, which resolves itself with the explosion of "Boden", hitting us like a freight train backed up by the before-mentioned Lebon and a furious Levy Seynaeve on bass. With the two axes doing their job without overkilling it, raising their heads just when it is necessary, the band plays some usual and less usual pieces in relation to their latest setlists, from the mandatory ".Razoreater." and "Am Kreuz" to the very nice surprise ".Silver Needle. Golden Nail." as the set closer, as it should be.
Very, very few words from Colin to the public, this time without any hooks on him, but desperate as usual: the audience, in turn, doesn't seem to need them, estranged from reality and powerless in front of it all. The music, supported by great visuals on the backdrop, is unbelievably intense yet extremely clear, something that really added something to the whole thing.
After eight pieces, the end comes too quick for us, with the band leaving just as they came about an hour before, in total silence. Unrivaled.
Despite the exclusion of some top notch songs from the last album like "Children Of The Eye" and "A Solitary Reign" (!), as well as the lack of merchandise (!!!), this was an experience destined to leave a mark: two acts like these together, maybe a bit unexpected, is not something that happens every day and, in all honesty, we feel sorry for thos who didn't attend one of the strongest candidates to the best concert of the whole year.