If there is one band out there escaping any conceivable criteria for describing their association to a certain style, that band is Motorpsycho. They play psychedelic, they play rock and roll, they play pop, hard rock, jazz, metal, prog-rock, country rock, you name it. Impressive discography, many collaborations and probably the most important thing, always a surprise live. I’ve discovered them only several years ago, which is relatively recently compared to their 25 years activity. Facing their extensive discography, I had that eternal question: which albums should I start with? I found out soon enough that the answer is: any, just start with any. Their identity shapes up in no time, for the simple fact that they are not a musical ensemble with uncountable changes in line-up or constantly searching for their identity or success. Since 1989, the band kept the same core and made many friends.
Motorpsycho’s performance on 29 May in VK Brussels followed a pre-defined structure: two parts, acoustics and electric. And this was pretty much everything one could predict on the show. All the rest was a constant crescendo which lasted for almost 3 hours, during which everybody’s limits were pushed outside any comfort zone. Slowly but firmly guided by the genuine charm and kindness of Bent Sæther (always amazing me on this one, how come it’s even possible to rock out so hard and still send out the most soothing vibes!), the guitar wizardry and ingenuity of Hans Magnus ’Snah’ Ryan, the awesomeness and at the same time the modesty of their guest and friend Reine Fiske and last but not least, Kenneth Kapstad’s exquisite art of drumming.
The acoustics set was a smart but sensitive warm up for the subsequent electric tour de force. Started in a lullaby manner with Coventry Boy, going through the happy and hopeful “Waiting for the One”, it ended with their intense and mournful “All is Loneliness”, the perfect link to the electric set. With “The Bomb-Proof Roll and Beyond”, Motorpsycho routed a heavy metal madness through new songs from their latest album “Behind the Sun”, old songs brought ahead unexpectedly, long crafted interpretations, and a rewarding well-deserved extensive encore. Everything for a crowd formed mostly by connoisseurs who took in the wall of sound almost as in a shamanic experience.
On Motorpsycho‘s official website Bent Sæther himself reports on the concert and setlist:
“De Vaartkapoen is an excellent venue located in what used to be a crummy neighbourhood, deep inside darkest recesses of Brussels. We played there once before in the mid-90′s, and back then the neighbourhood kids stole shit from us, so we were a bit worried getting in. But all went really well and we had no grief from the locals yesterday, and I think a good time was had by all!
An old venue sometimes has issues, and so does this: we spent just ’bout all afternoon trying to find out why the fuses blew everytime they used the lights. This was a time consuming procedure that even ate into our soundchecktime and threw us a bit off. The weird stage balance we eventually ended up with didn’t impede the proceedings too much though, and the gig went just fine!
First acoustic Loneliness in years went straight into the first Bomb-proof Roll of the tour, and we played the first My Best Friend – sloppily but farout – since 2002! Great attentive crowd too, and an enjoyable evening all together!
Coventry Boy / Trixeene / Now It’s Time To Skate / w4t1 / All Is Loneliness
bomb-proof roll … / The Magic And The Wonder / On a Plate / Hallucifuge / Kvæstor / My Best Friend / Hell pt. 1-7
Upstairs/Downstairs / Cloudwalker / The Other Fool / Alchemyst”
My personal conclusion: one more Motorpsycho concert to bringing us closer to the other side of the Universe.