Tuesday, April 25

10 years ago

motorpsycho -Blissard Tour '96 (ticket for Berlin 25.04.1996)

Exactly ten years ago today I attended my first Motorpsycho concert at Berlin's Knaack Club. As a matter of fact this was also my very first contact with the band -- I had not heard or read anything by or about the band yet, there were neither expectations or pre-occupations, I was all "blank canvas" towards the band & its music. Now, May 2006, I will attend my 33rd concert by the band in four days' time -- so this seems like the right moment to look back & dig for some memories in order to celebrate this personal anniversary of mine.

In 1996 I was still very much the typical kid of the early 1990s: Bands & music from Seattle ruled my musical universe back then. Pearl Jam was (and still remains) the one and favourite band of mine, many famous & less famous contemporary fellow Seattle bands could be found on my record shelf as well. Having grown up with parents who used to listen to Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen & Neil Young at the breakfast table my autobiographically first (and most important) musical passion was & is the music of the late 1960s. Apart from the classic late 1960s psychedelia I wasn't listening to a lot of space-rock yet.

I don't know what made me check out Motorpsycho that day but something about the very short pre-view in the city magazine Zitty had me intrigued (I wish I had kept that article). So much that i actually skipped the very first concert of a band of friends of mine (Harder They Come) in favour of Motorpsycho at the Knaack just five minutes down the street. Well, Harder They Come have long been disbanded but Motorpsycho are currently in the 17th year of their carreer...

Luckily I had purchased a ticket beforehand, because when I arrived to the scene at Knaack the place was sold out & tightly packed. Most of my memories blur, but I remember being thoroughly impressed by the focus & the devotion of the band. All I could make out were three crazy long-haired Scandinavian guys bent forwards over their instruments, not looking up, creating a mindblowing sea of sounds. Of course I didn't know any songs, so the crucial point for me was when the band went into the most incredible version of "All is loneliness", a song I knew & loved all too well from Janis Joplin's repertoire. The fact that they choose "All is loneliness" to cover had me raving to my friends for weeks. Little did I know back then about "The house at Pooneil corners" or "California dreaming" for example. They had instantly won me over with this very mix of "contemporary guitar rock" & Sixties influences.

They played following set:
Starmelt/lovelight, Wearing yr smell, Nothing to say, Sinful wind-borne, Shrug & fistful, Heartattack Mac -> True middle -> All is loneliness -> Plan #1, Flick of the wrist // S.T.G., Greener, The one who went away

Too bad I wasn't familiar with the band's repertoire because looking at the setlist now it seems like a dream-setlist indeed. Judging by a fan recording of the show (which I first heard five years after the show) the performance did stand out as well, though that is a tough judgment to make since they stormed through most 1996 sets with equal power & inspiration.

The next day I bought the "Timothy's monster" 3LP box (after having bought the "Mad sun" 7" at the show itself). Curiously enough it took me a while to get into both items, especially "Timothy's" proved to be not easily accessible for this new fan. I would have probably been better off (and more easily convinced) had I bought "Blissard". I was, however, fascinated strongly enough to not miss a future show & grow into a hardcore-fan by the time "Trust us" was released. Ten years later, as I find myself updating this blog, Motorpsycho is one of the bands/artists I have developped the strongest love & bond for, alongside with Pearl Jam, Grateful Dead & Neil Young they rightfully conquered their very own place in my heart as my most favourite & adored musicians.

Looking at the incredible setlists of the current tour it seems as if this isn't going to change anytime soon. I am anxiously anticipating my first of five shows during this tour on saturday. There is nothing better than the most familiar & best loved feelings of them all: when the band walks on stage...

You can download the Berlin 1996 show here, there is no sign-up required.


Anonymous jtr said...

This is a nice story. I see myself writing a similar thing about my first MP-experience in 2011... or my first Tussler-concert in 2014... or about my first Motorpsycho-concert in 2016.

Hm...When I had the chance to see them in 2002 in Vienna, I chose to see Sigur Ros instead - which was also a mindblowing thing, so no regrets.

10:39 PM  

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