This was good, this was SO good, well at least Japandroids! But first These New Puritans. I was so surprised how little people seemed to know them. I guess people listening to The xx don't listen to These New Puritans?! I even overheard someone saying in response to Jack (vocals) saying this was going to be their last song, something in the realm of 'hopefully last song ever' (!!!) I was standing front row and I had the feeling I was the only one who knew any of the songs. Or at least, one of the few, 'cause I couldn't really tell whether there were people behind me who knew them. It wasn't that crowded either which came as a surprise. Because These New Puritans are already quite an established act I expected a lot of people to be there early as they could have easily be headlining the gig instead of supporting. I expected some fans. To me seeing them play with The xx felt like going to two gigs instead of one, but I guess not everyone felt that way so the audience treated them like any other support act, meaning standing looking at the stage without any movement saving all of their energy for the main act. Whereas The xx have one album out These New Puritans have already finished their second, which in my opinion is as great as their first, even more dark and experimental just the way I like it, so to see them support The xx is kind of strange. Of course, The xx is way more popular and are one of those hypes who have gained popularity very quickly. But Puritans were just as good especially George Barnett, the drummer who's also a professional fashion model, yep ;) He played with so much energy, I loved it and I was standing straight in front of him. The bad thing though is that it's been quite a long time ago since I went to a gig the last time and I notice that every time I find myself having trouble with my camera again. I remember at the Julian Casablancas concert there was something I could have done to make my pictures even better, but that was afterwards and because I didn't have any gig coming on soon at that time I forgot what exactly it was I could have done better. So last night felt like I had to start all over again. So I couldn't get my camera right, not until there was a bit more light. During The xx it didn't work out either so I eventually gave up entirely and just focused on the music. When I saw The xx last year for the first time I already noticed that they aren't exactly a band that's interesting to see live. Back then I was so nervous and excited that I thought perhaps the reason for me not getting into it completely was that I was just a bit too overexcited so I couldn't really handle it. But now I know that's not entirely true. I feel the problem with them is that their music is too soft. However, it would work fine on a night out in a club, like doing a DJ set or something. 'Cause I felt like really dancing as if standing in a club, the way you do with friends, and not in this concert kind of setting where you stand in front of the stage. A big difference from last time is that they decorated their songs with some new sounds, added things. They've made them a bit more beat heavy so to speak which is one of the reasons I felt they might be better doing a DJ set than playing a live gig like this. At the same time I have the feeling when seeing The xx it's better not to stand all the way at the front?? I have a feeling there's a very big difference in experiencing the concert from the front row compared to standing a couple of rows further at the back. I might be wrong, 'cause honestly I wouldn't know as both times that I've seen them I was standing all the way up front so basically I just can't tell. But something tells me the performance is better when you get a really good overview of the stage. All in all they were still quite alright. They only played for one hour which is short but it was okay. The light show complimented the song nicely and they brought in a lot of bass which I like. At times though a bit too much perhaps. I just wished the audience danced more 'cause I had a feeling a lot of people were just standing motionless as if not feeling the music. I was pretty glad the concert didn't last too long, they were already half an hour late, 'cause after The xx I had to make my way up to the room upstairs where Japandroids were going to play! I was most excited about seeing them last night so I had to be there. I was so annoyed at first 'cause everyone seemed to stay and hang around even though The xx were done. Problem was they played the remix of the Florence + The Machine cover remixed by The xx so it kind of felt like the concert wasn't over yet which was also because the big lights didn't come on immediately and it was still kind of dark. But normally a lot of people seem to make their way to the exit quite fast, but this time noone seemed to move. And I kept thinking aren't these people aware of the amazingness that is about to happen in some minutes upstairs???!!! I felt like getting mad 'cause I wanted to go upstairs so badly to see my beloved Japandroids play! And not one soul seemed to understand the importance of it and let this boy walk through. Eventually I made it, got to the stairs and then climbed my way up and I happened to be just in time 'cause as I was walking in I overheard Brian (who plays guitar) doing an introduction saying something like 'Hi we're Japandroids we're so glad to be playing in Amsterdam', you know, the usual talk. So I believe I was in time just for the first song. And as the song started playing I could see a small moshpit come to life so I instantly knew this was going to be a great couple of minutes!!! :D As always you have the bar crowd, those people who seem to come to the concert more to enjoy their beer than the music. And last night there were many of them, as well as the kind of people who just stand watching as if waiting for the bus that never seems to arrive. The first seconds I was a bit in the distance but already moving way more than the people around me so it didn't take very long before I also got to the front. Normally I wouldn't just move to the front passing all the people who have been their earlier than me, taking up their spot. But in the little room the rules are different. I just know those people at the back dont really care, they are there to drink beer and watch as if at the cinema looking at a screen from their cinema seats. So I can just pass them without feeling bad about it. So that's what I did and I went WILD!!! Thank you audience, or at least the group of kids at the front. I felt like such a teenager :D I even wore teenager clothes, meaning a pair of jeans a T-shirt and Converse All Stars or Chuck Taylors, whatever you want to call them :)) This was the outfit I used to wear, before I came to really care about style and fashion and taking things to a whole new level. But it was the perfect outfit for me to just lose all sense of control. Aaaaaaaaah it was SOO GOOD!!!! This is how I like them. I felt like Bloc Party at Lowlands, Klaxons and the Wolf Parade gig. It was unreal. Everyone there at the front was as crazy as I was shaking their heads moving around jumping pushing each other. It's every boy's dream, or at least it should be!! Ooooo and they were so good. So much energy. They play so well. They really are in control of their instruments and it's only the two of them. Brian on guitar, David on Drums, nothing else. It was fucking epic. Even some of the songs I didn't know or that I knew but had not taken much time to listen to yet got me completely crazy. I loved every second. Some people started stage diving, one girl at the front started to scream hysterically which made me laugh when the boys started the first notes of, apparently, one of her favourite Japandroids' tracks, brilliant! It so felt like a private party. As much as I like These New Puritans and The xx, those two were nothing compared to as what took place upstairs. It was unbelievably good. I was shouting all the words of the songs, hands up like everyone else. Acting like fools. I love it though every time there is a break you see everyone around you who some seconds ago was as crazy as you are just coming onto their own again being all quiet but then as soon as the music starts playing again they completely lose it and we all seem like a bunch of kids who drank too much. I wish I could go to a gig like this every night of my life. Those I like the most! Hopefully they return to Amsterdam soon or play somewhere else in this country. I would not want to miss it for the world!
Don't ask me how I did it but I managed to take some pretty okay pictures during the Japandroids gig. They could have been a bit clearer I guess, a bit more light, but they're still pretty fine. Oooo the awesomeness of last night. I'll remember this for months to come :DD
And a video, not made by me
Thanks to jacquestourneur
These New Puritans
No pictures of The xx, only mental pictures ;)
But there's a video
Also by jacquestourneur
And for fun, George Barnett as a model
Kid's no joke, he's serious model. He walked shows for people like Roberto Cavalli and even my dear Mr. Slimane has shot his picture!
Via The Fashion Spot and Livejournal
I'm still on a search for those Dr. martens boots :(( Might have to go all the way to Rotterdam today to get my pair