Stopping off in Berlin once again, this time apparently filling in a gap in their schedule supporting Depeche Mode on tour (the DM have a history of great taste in cutting edge openers, bless ‘em). Berghain is the natural choice for them at this stage, it's always a big statement to take on this imposing space, but their nonstop touring regime means they are ready for the challenge. It's February, Berlin has been quiet, and everyone is ready for this kind of show.
Mueran Hermanos open the evening, and this Argentinian duo have made Berlin their base and have developed a cult following that deserves to grow as their sound develops and their live show grows. Their aim tonight is to mesmerize and create a feeling of tension that builds with each layer of sound, with a rhythmic combination of analogue synth and bass guitar. The room fills up with people as they play and the sound, which is mixed perfectly, gets louder in volume as the set progresses, showcasing how immaculate the p.a. here at Berghain can be when in the hands of the right engineer… Tomas and Carmen are also given the benefit of some fantastic lighting and their set ends as if they were the headliner – the show belonging now as much to them as The Soft Moon.
The best place to watch a band here at Berghain, if you can grab a spot there, is in that space behind the p.a., next to the stage, where you can get up close and personal, transforming any show there into a more intimate experience. Despite being known for its debauchery on club nights, Berghain can be a challenging space for a band to create an energy and a good vibe – Festsaal is sorely missed for that – but sure enough, the Soft Moon bring their metronomic beat to the dancefloor, and the folks at the front at least begin to throw shapes. There’s been comments elsewhere that the set was too short – but they delivered a blast of throbbing noise pop that captivated with its shards of distorted guitars and dark vocals. Thrilling and fun, The Soft Moon are a step away from being an essential band.