Therapy? in Warsaw, Poland 25.11.09
Therapy? in Proxima, Warsaw, 25/11/2009
Alright, my fellow Therapy? fans, I need to apologize. Yeah I know - "Never Apologize, Never Explain", but indulge me. This review took me a while to write. There were two reasons for this. The first reason I will get to in a moment since it is a personal one; however, I feel I need to address the second one now (which technically makes it the first reason, or does it?).
So... where the fuck were you?
Here is a band that has been consistently releasing albums of at least above average quality for about 20 years. A band that has intelligent lyrics dealing with topics ranging from political protest to complex adult emotions like guilt and regret. Most importantly - a band that really fucking KILLS live... and perhaps a measly 150 people showed up. What happened? Were the 14 EUR tickets too expensive? Or was it because Alice In Chains had a gig on the same night? I just don't get it.
Either way - shame on you. You missed out on what I will remember as one of the most enjoyable live performances by any band this year. The band is just insanely good and extremely tight, while being very careful to cater to what the audience wants. They play all the right songs and they play unplanned encores. How many such bands do you know?
But before describing Therapy?'s show, let me say a word or two about the support uh.. person, ie. Ricky Warwick, better known as the vocalist and guitar player of The Almighty. One would think that an acoustic set would be terribly out of place here but this was definitely not the case. Ricky's music is extremely uplifting in that somewhat frustrated protest song aesthetic that New Model Army or Billy Bragg are known for. Arrenged for just guitar and voice, these songs gained even more of a DUI call to arms quality that is so crucial to this sound. Also, Ricky's cover of Motorhead's "Ace Of Spades" was absolutely fantastic. Who knew that this legendary song's essentially somber lyrics can transformed into a bona fide protest song? I had a few beers and simply let myself sink into the music. It was all about feeling and most importantly of all - it made me hungry for a bigger sound with the same emotion. In other words, Ricky succeeded fabulously at warming all 150 of us up for the similarly emotional but naturally more electric Therapy? show that was to come.
And then... it happened. Sadly, I'm not talking about the headliner's show yet. Instead, what happened is some drunk guy ran straight into me. He was friendly and I don't really hold this against him - after all - we were at a rock concert. Nevertheless, as I discovered a few minutes later, just as I was trying to photograph Andy Cairns as he entered the stage - he did smash my camera into smithereens. Needless to say, I was furious and it took me a while to get over this accident. We are all volunteers here at Metal Storm, my friends. The camera is gone and with it, so are the photos I took of Ricky and would have taken of Therapy?... All that I have is some blurry pics that my girlfriend managed to take. It's better than nothing, of course, but I'm still sorry.
Whew. OK, now then, with this off of my chest, let's get back to Therapy?. They were just excellent. What is it about a well-tuned power trio that somehow elevates energy levels to rarely achievable heights? I don't know what it is but this band clearly has it and every single person in the crowd knew this: "here is a band on fire". Although Crooked Timber was not surprisingly the focus of this night's setlist, the band actually played for over 2 hours with two lengthy encores (second encore was 7 songs!!!). We got to hear some of the excellent new tracks such as "Clowns Galore", "Enjoy The Struggle" and an extended version of "Bad Excuse For Daylight" and on top of that, we got a huge amount of classics, including "Teethgrinder", "Potato Junkie", "Screamager", "Trigger Inside", "Stories" and even an electric version of "Diane".
And then there is Neil Cooper. Holy shit this guy is good. His drumming was so powerful, fast and frentic, I have a hard time comparing it to anything I ever heard. The whole band was tight as hell but Neil just shined.
So there you have it. An absolutely superb show that you shouldnt have missed (obviously, if you don't live in Poland, you shouldn't have missed those shows on the tour that were in your country). It was a bit rough for me for personal reasons but hell - Therapy? made up for it with the music. After all, the camera would become obsolete sooner or later, but the memory of this phenomenal gig will remain with me forever.
||Written on 22.12.2009 by With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. He lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he does his best to avoid prosecution for being so cool.|
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