Advent is a very special season in Germany, as you might know: We prepare ourselves for Christmas roaming Christmas markets, lighting a candle on the Advents wreath every Sunday, and opening another door on the Advents calendar to find a small present every day. Besides the bad weather, one of the best times to visit Germany, especially when Deine Lakaien are touring with their Acoustic set.
The locations of the concerts like the Christuskirche in Bochum, the Alte Oper in Erfurt, and the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg - just to name a few - exhibit special flair, intimate with great acoustics to support the purest presentation of the bands music.
I was lucky to attend the first of two shows in Hamburg. The extra show was added, since the one originally planned was sold out so quickly. This first one was supposedly unreal, since Alexander announced the real show for the next day. Felt real enough, though, a fact which Alexander did not fail to recognize later during the concert.
The beginning is very calm, the focus on the ballads. Alexanders tender interpretation is enhanced by Ernsts gentle touch on the keys. The softness enfolds the audience like a warm winter coat and I doubt that it is possible to capture this in a recording. It even is not lost when glassware or pegs are applied to the strings. What I like most about Ernsts piano preparation is the fact that it is never done just for the sake of doing; it always serves the interpretation, even if a certain show element comes with it like in The mirror men, where Ernst beats up his instrument.
This time, however, the grand pianos were treated more kindly, since this song was not part of the set list. The forceful element of the music was not missing entirely but represented by Down, down, down, where even the mike went down, Over and done, Fighting the green, and new in acoustic garb The ride.
Like always, the contrasts in the songs appear strongly enhanced when reduced to piano and voice. In Fighting the green this is achieved by dynamics put to the extreme. In The ride the stanzas are accompanied by a piano reduced to pure rhythm, while the chorus is as playful as it can be. Playful but with a very soft touch is Without your words. Most of the ballads, however, rather emphasize the quiet hopefulness of the season like Walk to the moon, Wunderbar, and the poetic Eternal sun that is filled with silent tension.
And one more time, the closure of the concert is Love me to the end. The real end, but the acoustics of Deine Lakaien send you home with your heart full of joy, just as it should be in Advent.
Thanks a lot, dreamdancer :-)