A Gretchen virgin, I was very impressed with the surroundings I encountered. Vaulted brick ceilings, old ornamented warehouse pillars, cloth panes for coziness. It can't have been easy to decorate this place to become a trendy club and the designers did well. It is still a difficult set-up sound-wise though, but more about that later.
Vex Ruffin, the first group, is a bit of a hit-or-miss kinda thing. The electro-clash beat-heavy music is great throughout; they are obviously good composers. The vocals are distorted and low-key and as such not original - this has been done too much lately. Overall, it was a nice, dancable act, with less hip hop elements than I was expecting but some lovely tunes. But they played way too long and we were not the only ones remarking on this. Not all songs were hits and over an hour is just too long for the opening band in my eyes.
Crystal Stilts, on the other hand, kept it to a tight 45 minutes. They convey a better energy on a small stage - compared to my last CS experience at Festsaal - and they seemed really happy to be playing, even smiled once or twice. If you know Crystal Stilts and know how introvert they are as performers, then you appreciate this especially. Musically, they were great and the new material very promising; the sound left some depth to be desired though. Not that the dedicated audience at the front would have noticed. The gig was far from sold out but these guys just went crazy wild despite the missing rapport from the band with the crowd. Fun times.
I was a little worried this gig might disappoint the way it did last time. But I needn't have worried. A cosy evening with the Stilts.