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Let them Eat Cake?

May 5th, 2019 | Posted by elfworld in Journalism | Music

Motorpsycho

Not when you have the world famous Norwegian prog rock band Motorpsycho playing in your town! The neighbouring town of Ålesund was given an amazing concert last night. Read my review here!

Motorpsycho are music legends in Norway, and they have a huge name among rock aficionados in Europe and the UK too. They’ve created a vast body of music, and every new album is met with glowing reviews and big interviews in international magazines. And it’s always a pleasure to see them live.

Last night they played at Terminalen in Ålesund, so I took the trip over the mountain to review and shoot the concert for a magazine. I was very happy to see people in the early 20s there, as well as people approaching their 60s. There was also a huge amount of women at the gig, something that was unheard of back in the day when I started attending prog gigs.

Motorpsycho at Terminalen

 

The band had their breakthrough in 1993, and the albums Timothy’s Monster and Demon Box, are considered classics in Norway today. However, the band has evolved considerably since then. They never stand still, and always surprise us.

The band takes no prisoners either at their concerts. You never know what you’re gonna get, because the set list is always changing. And with so many records under their belt, that’s hardly surprising. And even if they have evolved into a pure prog band these days, they still dip their toes into the world of psychedelia, jazz and more straight rock’n’roll. And there’s also a lot of improvisation going on, especially for Snah on guitar.

Motorpsycho at Terminalen

 

The set list was a nice snapshot of the band’s career. They started slow with Pills, Powder + Passion Plays from 1997. The cover of Pilgrim byWishbone Ash was a surprise. I know they have played it on tours before, but I hadn’t expected it tonight.

The Other Fool, which in my head is still a new song, despite that it came out in 1999, lead us directly into the masterpiece that is The Alchemyst.

Towards the second half of the set they concentrated mostly on the last two albums, The Tower and The Crucible. The latter is the album of the year for me, thus far. I was therefore thrilled that they played all three songs from that record.

The title track from The Tower finished the concert, with intense guitar playing by  Snah. Not a dry eye in the house, almost.

Motorpsycho at Terminalen

 

The show was intense, warm, very loud and with a dark and sinister light show. When you then suddenly get sudden bursts of intense lighting straight in your face, it makes a photographer’s work a bit difficult. The discrete animations and sinister film snippets projected on the back curtain only added to the mood.

As mentioned, the sound is loud, and during certain parts of the concert the sound could get a bit muddled. Especially at the start of the concert, when the vocals was hardly audible. But this improved during the concert and after a while you didn’t notice it anymore.

Check out the band on Spotify, if you don’t know them already. If you like good prog and rock, this is the band for you!

PS! The title of this blog posting is a play on their album title Let them Eat Cake.

Motorpsycho at Terminalen

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2 Responses

  • Giannandrea says:

    Hi Hogne,
    I’m an italian “first hour” fan of Motorpsycho.
    I always appreciated their desire to explore new areas with every new record they published, but I’ve to write just a couple of things…
    I sincerely loved their first albums and I still feel goose bumps thinking about this sequence:
    1991 – Lobotomizer
    1992 – 8 Soothing Songs for Rut
    1993 – Demon Box

    Those were the “grunge years” and, even being far away from Seattle, Motorpsycho gained a lot of respect in that kind of music, Feedtime is still one of the best riff I ever heard!
    Performed alive it was even more powerful (if possible) \../

    I know that everything must pass and this band wants always to progress, but let me say that I miss that energy!
    Without forgetting Gebhardt on the drums for “Demon Box”, the perfect trio in my personal opinion.

    Giannandrea

    • elfworld says:

      Thanks for your comment. Personally I’m more of a fan of what the band is doing these days, but they’ve never made dull records.



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