Late wednesday evening might not be the best time for two fairly unknown bands to gather an audience, but I was still a bit surprised that there were perhaps 15 people in total watching these two bands play - even the tickets costed just six euros. The "bar floor" was pretty packed, though. Anyway, onto the bands.
"We are Neondad, and we're from the '80s." This quartet's music ranged from mellow moments to harsher notes, but the overall experience could be described as very emotional shoegaze-rock. The sound and playing were splendid in both the rather minimalistic and the more "rocking" and "rawer" parts. There was no real need for earplugs, which was good since I forgot to take any with me. Neondad's music is not depressed, although slightly melancholic. I would describe the songs' content as warm and honest emotions. The band was relaxed and seemed to have a good time on stage, and the live-sound suited the skilled and slowly evolving songs.
I don't usually listen to this kind of music at home, but in a live-situation Neondad was really enjoyable. Bonus points for wearing neon sticks and telling bad jokes, the special mention this time being awarded to the one about Ramones and Europe's "Final Countdown."
I received Kiveskives' new album a day before witnessing them live, so I wasn't too sure how their gig would be like. The trio's guitarist took the stage wearing something like a diving suit with a baby's romper on his head, the synth-player wore a sleeping suit, and the drummer, well he had normal clothes actually. The band's songs are instrumental rock-tunes with a distorted guitar (and now I started to long for my earplugs), nintendo-like synths and skilled drums. Some occasional shout or other vocal outburst were also used to bring some easier understandability to the otherwise twisted songs. The guitarist kept jumping around throughout the gig, so the experience was a visual one as well.
In addition to the chiptune-retro, jamming bits and sudden changes in the riffs, paces and the songs' overall style, the songs had surprising tribute-like adds; "Remu" bows down to Hurriganes, one song had synths that reminded me of Prodigy and there were other bits with '80s discopop-influences, some childrens' song melodies, a bit with Indian exotics... the list goes on. The front of the stage was initially empty, but after a couple of songs there were two to four people dancing through the rest of the gig. Kiveskives got to play an encore and give some autographs, too, and the band seemed to enjoy their time on stage.
Overall I enjoyed watching the band play, and it was clear they've rehearsed their craft a lot since there was no sloppiness to be heard. The gig was fun and entertaining, and made it clear that despite the humour in the band's music, they are no joke.