Black Rebel Motorcycle Club @Ancienne Belgique, Brussels – 1 April 2013


Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, whose name is taken from the movie The Wild One (1953, Marlon Brando), is a trio from San Francisco, California formed in 1998.

Peter Hayes is the guitarist, founding member and lead singer. Before founding BRMC he briefly joined The Brian Jonestown Massacre, appearing on their 1997 album – Give It Back!

Robert Been is the high school friend of Peter and the son Michael Been from The Call. He returns to Belgium for the first time after losing his father in 2010 in Hasselt, during Pukkelpop Festival, while the latest was accompanying the group on tour as a sound engineer.

The current drummer is actually a woman. Since 2008, Leah Shapiro is drumming for BRMC but she also has a special link with Belgium. She made ​​her first public appearance with the band 5 years ago, on the same stage of Ancienne Belgique, the venue of their concert in Brussels on April 1 this year.

They have released 7 albums: first in 2001, the latest this year. Maybe that’s why their journalistic descriptions are made using the terms of the 2000s: revival, neo-psychedelic, neo-folk, and cite among their influences Oasis, The Verve and former bands as The Brian Jonestown Massacre. The concert left me a different impression. One of rock’n roll.

BRMC

Photo by Mana Constantinescu

Most of their songs begin by starting up forcefully with all instruments together. A force which reminds of Led Zeppelin and keeps up till the end, without artificial composition or superficial repetitions. Plus, they manage to keep the public on the move without talking too much.

Something that I really appreciate at any concert is a setlist of more than 2 hours, which proves a performing live philosophy that clearly exceeds the limits of the 1 hour and 20 minutes “branded” concerts, maybe 1 and a half hours, if we count also the encore.

Just these 2 elements, plus a sold-out venue full of fans and you can change your opinion that BRMC would be an easy concert or a nice going out for a beer on a weekend night. I am keen on their seriousness and unpretentious complexity. They respects and present their influences going from rock, punk and alternative to acoustic, from songs full of dark emotions to folk ballads, like a trip through the American underground music of everywhere and anytime.

The Setlist was as follows:

Let the Day Begin (The Call cover)
Rival
Red Eyes And Tears
Hate the Taste
Beat the Devil’s Tattoo
Whatever Happened to My Rock ‘n’ Roll
Ain’t No Easy Way
Berlin
666 Conducer
Love Burns
Returning
Mercy (Robert solo acoustic)
Devil’s Waitin’ (Peter solo acoustic)
Fire Walker
Teenage Disease
Conscience Killer
Windows
Lullaby
Funny Games
Six Barrel Shotgun
Spread Your Love

Encore:
Sell It
Lose Yourself

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