8am – I took a coach from Berlin to to the town of Leipzig. The weather was miserable – grey, rain, clouds, muddy and wet.
12am – Walking through the streets under the drizzling rain I felt that the day set the perfect mood for the Soft Moon concert, going hand in hand with my overall expectations for their music.
9pm – I arrived at one of the oldest surviving theatres in the whole of Germany – ‘UT Connewitz’- by far one of the most remarkable places I had ever set foot into. Looking at the design of the stage as a portico modelled relief with pilasters, I thought that The Soft Moon could not have chosen a better place to showcase their music.
Black lit gloom, with fierce white lights and shadows
11pm – Black lit gloom, with fierce white lights and shadows (All not too comforting for someone that suffers from epilepsy) set The Soft Moon with the perfect visual representation of what they were all about – dark, heavy and experimental.
Emerging from from a haze of smoke, all wearing black t-shirts, Vasques and his sidekick duo – Luigi Pianezzola (bass) and Matteo Vallicelli (drums) kickstart the show with chaotic, industrial, post-punk sounds.
The Soft Moon began the set with Black, the first tune on Deeper, featuring pre-recorded synths working as a backdrop to the bassist and the drummer pounding out drum beats colliding against Vazquez’s whispery vocal delivery.
All that fit the vibey mood of the show perfectly
Apart from promoting tracks from their latest album Deeper, the band also dug into their earlier albums with songs such as Circles and Dead Love performed amongst the numbers. One has to mention that most of their earlier compositions are instrumentals, and all that fit the vibey mood of the show perfectly.
However, throughout the later stages of their set, The Soft Moon’s emphasis became heavy on bass, snare, and electronic pad. And being the multi-instrumentalist he is, Vasquez also decided to swap instruments for some of their songs.
At one point Vasquez wailed away on the garbage can he had brought on stage
This was extremely evident when the band performed ‘Wrong’, where at one point Vasquez wailed away on the garbage can he had brought on stage.
But that was not all, as Vasquez then started playing the bongo, accompanying it by lopped screams and a high-tempo energy.
All this indeed got the crowd dancing, and I couldn’t help myself joining in.
A healthy comparison to a Depeche Mode and NIN sound could be made, but Vasques took The Soft Moon’s music into a deeper, noisier dimension.
Lopped screams and a high-tempo energy
A dimension at which The Soft Moon had to come back on stage for an encore to bring the night to a pulsating close with Want, Die Life and Circles.
12am – The overall artistic package does indeed help the attendee’s experience, and The Soft Moon receives an applause for that. I leave the venue feeling satisfied that I had travelled two hours to see such a band in such an amazing space!
Review by Shawn James
Picture from Wikipedia under CC2 Licence
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.