In review: Planningtorock at Berghain

Concerts such as Planningtorock’s Powerhouse remind me of all the reasons I moved to Berlin in the first place.

Given their track record of honest, no-nonsense approaches to composition, we all presumed that the show would be something of a fairly personal and raw performance. What we were treated to, however, completely and utterly surpassed any expectations we might have previously harboured.

Initially shielded by a transparent curtain, Bolton-born Jam Rostrom delivered a complete knock-out of a show. It became immediately clear that a huge amount of work went into the construction, curation, and production of this concert – with the end result almost flawless (I’m not holding Jam accountable for any technical issues that were pretty much beyond their control).

A beautiful ode to the support of a devoted mother, father and sister Beulah, from this reviewer’s perspective, this seemed to be an overwhelmingly cathartic experience for Jam. Writing and performing these songs appeared to be a form of soul-cleansing, with Jam appearing quite emotional at points when preaching words of forgiveness.

There was an incredible, indescribable energy in the room – I’ve never been to a performance before with such a muted yet obvious presence of love for the artist coming from the crowd. There’s a big difference between hordes of screaming fans professing their undying adoration in a rather flippant and overt fashion, and the rock-solid quiet support and respect coming from a loyal audience who have followed the artist since day one – and will continue to do so throughout their musical journey. I don’t know about you, but I know which one I’d prefer.

Accompanied onstage by wildly talented non-binary and genderqueer dancers and musicians, Planningtorock’s show in Berghain was a celebration of all that is unique and curious. We left feeling so privileged that Jam had chosen to share such an intimate part of their spirit with us – plus, on a musical level, it was an innovative and soulful occasion, firmly cementing their position as a pioneer of the genre.

The minimal and industrial feel of the venue set the perfect tone for a performance so rich in colour and vitality – there’s no way we’re missing the next show Planningtorock hosts. I implore you to support this innovative and exciting artist in any way you can: listen to their records, collect their merch, buy tickets to their shows – whatever! You’ll be better off for it.

 

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