Wednesday 21 November 2012

Review: Moon Duo (again) + Camera

I often take the longest over reviews of concerts that I really liked. It seems paradox but maybe it is because I want to do those reviews extra well in order to pay adequate tribute to the performance. It has been a couple of weeks again since Moon Duo played at HAU1 but I am still inspired by it.

Sure, I have praised Moon Duo before and extensively on this blog. There is a teenager in me that still has favourite bands, like Health, and like Moon Duo. What exactly attracts me to those bands is of course the music, but also the imagery and coolness factor. There - I have said it out loud. And really, it doesn't get much cooler than Moon Duo. 

So far, I have only seen Ripley Johnson's musical projects at Festsaal. Both Wooden Shjips and Moon Duo have passed through Festsaal regularly. It was therefore surprising to hear that Moon Duo had been booked into HAU, itself newly refurbished after a summer break. On that note, HAU did not look any different to me really, but I suppose it takes some real effort to keep it just the way it is, which is beautiful. I wish I could make my flat look like HAU, with its combination of dark wood panelling, Art Deco lighting and modern art. But that's a topic for an interior design blog and maybe beside the point here.

It was the first time that I got to witness Camera in a "normal" setting, meaning not in one of their guerilla concerts on the streets of Berlin, not with atrocious sound and not with a member of the band missing. Given my history of Camera concerts, I was well intrigued and made sure to be at HAU at 8pm sharp for Camera's performance. What can I say? While I think they are a very talented group, I do wish they had stuck more to their prog guitar sound and had ventured less into the world of electronics. The band is very static on stage and with a lot of the music now being produced by a variety of eletronic equipment, for me personally, the performance lacked some energy. I will probably buy their record though at some point, because they are good song writers. There is no denying it. I have just not been able to see a concert of theirs that would blow me away the way I keep expecting. Maybe Camera and I are not meant to be, but it's not for a lack of trying on my part, or theirs probably.

Of course I had already gone to a Moon Duo concert earlier this year and was therefore familiar with the live performance of the songs from the new album "Circles". Or so I thought. The Duo has since put together very impressive projections, which complement the music perfectly and truly engross you in their sound and performance. It is almost like joining another world for an hour. The projects start with just a fuzzy background that seems to have some structure to it. By and by shapes appear and are added to it, eventually turning into colour blocks and so on. It is like an evolution of graphics. (see our pics below) The sound being wonderful at HAU1 and the atmosphere of the room perfectly complementing the music and performance, this gig could not have possibly gone better for the Duo. Everyone, I mean absolutely everyone, who was there loved every minute of it. Somehow, when the last song was played, I felt almost relieved. I was enjoying it so much and yet I was not sure I could take it any longer. It is like Moon Duo challenge the listener musically and visually, while surprisingly pop and accessible. A gift.
Moon Duo have yet to disappoint me. May that day never come. In the meantime, I will continue to play "Circles" as my daily soundtrack. I am already yearning for more - more Moon Duo records, more Moon Duo shows, more more. Moon Duo have me addicted and I love them for it.

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