This night we had at first the pleasure to witness seven musicians coming down on some big distortion, while the crowd stood in a point of stasis, a display like concrete statues in the park. Only the occasional sips of beer told me the other members of the crowd were alive.
The band's strong atmospheric metal worked only partly in the small hall of Semifinal, as the drummer dominated much of the soundscape with his fierce hammering. The triple guitars boomed like thunder and the drums clashed like artillery. The band was really intense!
While the guitars moved without effort from melancholic atmospheres to the aggressive monoliths of distortion, the drums showed a lack in accents.
The other big con was that the vocals were mixed way too low. On album this might be an excellent solution, but in alive setting the band needed a focal point - a leader.
Performance wise the band was no master in showmanship, but the overwhelming display of musicianship was strong.
Towards the end also the crowd had shaken off their paralyzed stances and awarded the band with sets of sporadic applause, the boldest ones gave a whistle or two.
I can appreciate the fact that Velvetcut’s latest album is fairly demanding to adapt for a live performance, but it still seemed that the lineup got off to a very slow start.
Though a necessity, the strong use of backing-tapes was somewhat annoying in the start, specially when the band experienced some trouble getting into sync. In retrospect it proved a quick trouble to conquer and by the end of the first song the groove was incredible and the performance in great sync.
To be honest though, the backing-tape was somewhat irritating and throughout the gig there was some small confusion while the tape was played solo.
Like The Chant, Velvetcut was neither any masterful display of showmanship, but there was a sense of professionalism around them.
However, the thing I came for was the songs. Velvetcut’s tunes still touch me as much as in February when I first heard "The Electric Tree" and might even have grown along the year. The songs were fairly well converted for band of three + playback, but i might have wished for a stronger live take.
When we reached the last songs, the band had stopped leaning on the prerecorded material and the performance was very self assured. It finally turned into a full-scale rock concert... and then it ended.
The biggest con was that the set was way too short.