close your eyes
[music, concerts]

Lambchop @ the Mousonturm, Frankfurt/Main

When I arrived at the Mousonturm last night the venue was packed. The music had already started. I heard listener unfriendly disharmonic violins with double bass. It turned out to be a piece by Polish classical avant-garde composer Penderecki performed by the DAFO string quartet from Krakow. Exactly the opposite of what I had expected to hear this evening.

The next surprise was that the string quartet which was announced as a support act was not really opening for Lambchop. Kurt Wagner and the seven co-members of his band were already installed on stage and immediately started performing their set with the DAFO quartet providing the string section. I was amazed how seamlessly the obviously classically trained three ladies and the one gentleman from Poland blended into the calm and relaxed Lambchop sound. It's a sound with a positive life-affirming vibe few bands are able to create. Like a sweet fig radiating all the sunshine of a hot summer on the palate of the gourmet. And the crowd was soon enthralled by it. It took some time though as in one of the first songs a short time-span attentionist started clapping in the middle of a long pause within the song. Kurt Wagner and his bandmates neither did get themselves worked up by this small incident nor by the short power cut when Lambchop performed unplugged for about half a minute. They were like a slow unstoppable train always reaching the destination but always arriving late without any passengers complaining as the ride is so beautiful everyone forgets about time. Their setlist was fixed and they didn't play any requests (Kurt said that it would have been not easy) but it didn't matter.

Kurt's voice which is in a way holding together the music was raspy but in a gentle way. I had feared it to be much rougher, much closer to the stage just before a throat cancer candidate gets his larynx taken out. His voice was full of passion though I must admit that as so often I didn't really listen to the words. No falsetto this night. Not that I really missed it.

At one point Kurt tried to use his cell phone to call his wife in the States. Maybe it was part of the show but I was really reminded by my own awkwardness with new technologies when Kurt had big difficulties to dial the number. He then left the phone next to him and performed the next song for her. I'd really like to know if she heard it.

The pianist who did a lot of the talking did some good entertaining when telling several lame jokes. The first one went like this:

Q: Why do ducks have wet feet?
A: To put out fires.
Q: Why do elephants have flat feet?
A: To put out burning ducks.

There was another one which I have changed a little, I guess:

Q: How many American presidents does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: One. He holds on to the bulb and waits for the world to revolve around.

For the encores the string quartet left the stage and Lambchop on their own seemed like a prisoner who had just been released catching up with real life. In their heart they are punk rockers. Suddenly rocking hard they destroyed the atmosphere they had built up in the ninety minutes before like a monsoon rain which is clearing the tension of the heat. Somehow I liked the idea of this cataclysm but in reality it wasn't as good as it could have been. Maybe as they haven't discovered the addictive drone component of noise like Yo La Tengo for example who to me seem much subtler when they rock out.

The following may sound stereotypically but I don't care. If you ever see Lambchop play near where you live go and see them. You won't regret it. Their records are great but their live music is an experience you will never forget.


danke sehr! ich freu mich schon sehr auf morgen.

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last updated: 2/23/21 8:55 AM
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