Beautiful Introspection: Lina Tullgren and Adam Torres at Kantine am Berghain

Tullgren

Lina Tullgren and Adam Torres brought some North American charm to a small but appreciative crowd at Kantine am Berghain on Sunday.

Torres warmed up the audience with a smooth acoustic set. His music is most recognizable by his pure falsetto notes. Most of the choruses soar up and take you along with them. This is especially true on “Green Mountain Road”. The melody continually aims upwards; the words speak of a distant place. It drags you on and fills you with a sense of longing, of the German Fernweh.

If there is a quicker way to appeal to a Berlin crowd, I am yet to hear it.

Though an assured performer, Torres is an unassuming and almost nervous presence on stage. He has an endearing charm though and certainly understood his European audience. Introducing “A Beast will find you by name”, he said “this is a song about a recurring nightmare. It seems like right now in America we’re having a recurring bad dream every day”. If there is a quicker way to appeal to a Berlin crowd, I am yet to hear it.

His set included some new tracks, as well as those going back to his first EP. From the gentle “Mountain River” to the brooding “Hatchet”. The gem though was “Morning Rain”. It’s as perfect for a miserable Berlin night as it is for a lazy Sunday morning in bed.ž

She has a real chemistry with her band, connecting with them visibly as well as audibly.

Then it was time for Lina Tullgren, accompanied by a bassist and one of the most enthusiastic drummers you are likely to witness. She has a real chemistry with her band, connecting with them visibly as well as audibly.

When the technician turned on the smoke machine, all three giggled and danced about like children who had just seen bubbles for the first time. “This is a new experience for all of us. A. Being in Berlin…. and B. The fog.” She said between songs before admitted with a laugh: “I am fine with both of them.”

They say that live music is always better than records. But that’s not quite true, is it? We have all been to bad gigs. But with Tullgren it really is the case (even ignoring the delight of the smoke).

The introspection and beautifully crafted lyrics are still there, just with a huge injection of drama and depth of emotion impossible on a record.

On her records, Tullgren’s music is mellow and almost sedate. In her live set, she brings an intense energy to each track. Her records are good, but her live show is great. The introspection and beautifully crafted lyrics are still there, just with a huge injection of drama and depth of emotion impossible on a record.

Though their music and stage performance is quite different, both Torres and Tullgren are equally captivating live. They work well in concert as well, each set complementing the other. We can only hope that they will return to Berlin soon, and ideally together once more.

 

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