LeVent Steals the Show at Pete International Airport

I’m going to make a controversial statement about the Pete International Airport show that took place last Friday at ZUKUNFT am Ostkreuz: though the band played a perfectly adequate set, I believe they were upstaged by their openers, Berlin trio LeVent.

Blame it on personal taste; perhaps I was always going to feel more of an affinity for the rougher performance and stoner doom-psychedelia sound showcased by LeVent compared to P.I.A.’s more mellow slightly hallucinogenic pop.

I can’t deny I came to the show equally excited about both bands. But it isn’t often that, during the opening act, I completely forget that it isn’t meant the evening’s climax. In my opinion it was.

Their songs were moody, heavy with a grungy psychedelic sound, frequent fuzzy Bass IV solos, and singer Heike Rädeker’s deep, droning vocals.

Sometimes openers seem to act like they know they’re somewhat of an afterthought, sheepishly reminding the audience who they are, playing a few quick songs and dashing off. Though LeVent thanked the headliners for having them, their quiet confidence and loud lengthy set had all the power of a main act.

LeVent Zukunft

There was also obvious rapport between band members who played with each other, improvising, interacting, and seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves.
Their songs were moody, heavy with a grungy psychedelic sound, frequent fuzzy Bass IV solos, and singer Heike Rädeker’s deep, droning vocals.

Combined with ZUKUNFT’s remoteness and wooden interior, I was transported to some awesome trippy garage show in the woods. LeVent’s set was truly hypnotizing.

It was a nice, mellow hypnogogic pace and the songs sounded dreamy and pretty.

This is not to say that Pete International Airport’s set was totally disappointing. Far from. Maybe LeVent was just a hard act to follow. To me, using the first band’s performance as a foil, the American Foursome featuring the Dandy Warhol’s Peter Holmström seemed a little scattered, a little soft.

The band set up their instruments and then dove right into playing before the audience even knew what was happening. I wondered at first if they were still tuning their instruments, the build-up was so gradual. I definitely appreciated this discrete approach as a novel and surprising way to start a set.

They continued in this way with songs bleeding into each other through seemingly improvised sounds, electronic and otherwise. It was a nice, mellow hypnogogic pace and the songs sounded dreamy and pretty.

In a way that’s admirable, surprising, not sticking to expectations, but it just seemed a little messy.

I took more issue with the little interaction or perhaps even chemistry the band seemed to have. Everyone sort of did their own thing and stayed in their own little corner of the stage. This had the interesting effect of making the band look more like a soundscape experiment, but also threw off the harmony a little bit.

Between Pete shoegazing in his spot on the right, to the synth guy, Daniel Sparks, immersed in his instrument, to the singer, Tara Autovino, dancing by herself, not quite in rhythm, and Jason Russo (of Guiding Light) rocking out in the far left by himself, all in a wide row, if you were to take a picture of each individually you wouldn’t quite believe they were from the same band.

I guess in a way that’s admirable, surprising, not sticking to expectations, but it just seemed a little messy after LeVent’s very self assured performance.

Overall both bands delivered trip-out worthy performances in their own right.

Be first to comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.