Freak Kitchen - Hessenhalle, Gießen, Germany, 06.02.2010
Freak Kitchen - Hessenhalle, Gießen, Germany, 06.02.2010 by Ivor (30)
The first week of February I was in Germany, in Karlsruhe near Frankfurt. I wasn't there because of any concert, which is often the reason for traveling for me. As you might guess, this had to be fixed somehow and, hey-ho, as luck had it, Freak Kitchen was in the area. A lucky coincidence like that has never happened with me before and such a chance is never to be missed. Rubbing my hands I was beginning to think that this trip was indeed promising to be really good. It was an easy task – a mere matter of persuasive suggestion – to get Daniel aka promonex interested in the gig as well, and thus it was decided to hit the Freak Kitchen gig in Gießen on the Saturday night together.
Hessenhalle is your average mess hall, pretty large and it was looking like it would be pretty empty as well. The sales hadn't gone too well, I think. However, when Complex 7 got on stage there was quite sufficient amount of people hanging out. Unfortunately for them, or more likely for us, Complex 7 represented the kind of prog metal you get bored with. The music is all right but the vocals are ruining it – high-pitched, stretching words, a bit nasal; you know – the annoying type. In this regard Germany has quite a number of similar prog bands that could be interesting and break through to wider audience if it weren't for the vocals. In short, warm-up failed.
However, a short while later it started. Ladies and gentlemen, bow down to the yellow cow, the crazy band, the mighty Freak Kitchen! The band entered the stage, accompanied by the disco beats while tuning their instruments. It wasn't exactly the opening I was expecting but in a way fitting and underlining their image of freakiness, a prelude to the opener "God Save the Spleen." From the start you could feel that this trio had something going, the instant connection was made with the crowd and welcome was warm.
There is something entirely awesome about going to concerts in an out of the way places. One of the most important aspects is that there is a high possibility that only interested people will show up at the gig. There probably ain't no unpleasant people around who sometimes manage to screw up the gig for everybody around them. That is what seemed to be going on in Gießen. Although the crowd was a bit sparse, the people there were for the band only, and so very much into music.
So, an interested crowd, great music, and the band that constantly interacts with the crowd. What else would you want? Yes, more interaction! That is what Freak Kitchen is good at! It is amazing how well a trio can fill the stage. There's always something cooking during the songs. There is also something going on in-between the songs, while changing instruments for example. And Mattias has always something funny to say, sometimes even incomprehensible things. Moreover, even every mishap is turned into a funny interlude, be that broken guitar jack, lost guitar pick, or just playing the song wrong. It can even be educational: "If you played three sixteenth, onetwothree, four times you get three four one time. And now is the time you said 'Whaaaat?'" You can watch the full interlude from Gießen here: YouTube.
What else can you expect from a Freak Kitchen show besides the stuff mentioned earlier? Right, some experimentation as you can see a cool instrument in the previous interlude if you click the video. Guitar playing with chopsticks, dildos and whatnot – that is Mattias IA Eklundh. However, in our case it was the Kelstone, a stringed instrument invented by a Belgian dude Jan Van Kelst, a sort of mixed stuff between a guitar, a bass, and a keyboard. Check it out here: YouTube. To quote Mattias: "It kicks some serious ass. It's got bass, and flute, and harp... and you've got a Volvo. Everything is built in. You can get coffee here. It's just a wonderful peace of instrument." On this instrument Mattias teamed up with Chris to play excellent rhythm song, while Chris assisted, making faces outdoing Jordan Rudess during his best keyboard solos.
To put it all together into a more coherent impression of the gig, it was freaking awesome. Yes, freaking is the right word. Not that other word you might think. Freak Kitchen delivered a gig full of somewhat spontaneous stage show (to which Mattias refers as cheap), a gig full of energy, and awesome songs. It's a bit pity that the selection of songs was mostly from the last three albums. Not that I can complain about that seeing Freak Kitchen live for the first time. This band is surely something you shouldn't miss if you like hard rockish stuff with a twist and a lemon. If you think whether to have Freak Kitchen perform on your festival, think no more and get them. They will rock the stage.
1. God Save the Spleen (Land of the Freaks)
2. Porno Daddy (Move)
3. Speak when Spoken to (Organic)
4. Honey, You're a Nazi (Land of the Freaks)
5. Chest Pain Waltz (Organic)
6. Teargas Jazz (Land of the Freaks)
7. My New Haircut (Freak Kitchen)
8. OK (Land of the Freaks)
9. Hateful Little People (Move)
10. The Only Way (Land of the Freaks)
11. Kelstone Interlude
12. Murder Gropie (Land of the Freaks)
13. Razor Flowers (Move)
14. Propaganda Pie (Move)
15. Nobody's Laughing (Move)
16. The Rights to You (Organic)
In the end I have to thank welcoming people at Kultureinitiative Gießen, especially Stephan for granting us the press access. Special thanks goes to the band, for meeting their fans after the gig, for doing the interview with us, and sharing the mighty German unfiltered beer. But more on that later. And of course my hosts for the night, Daniel aka promonex and Rina.
Complex 7: http://www.complex7.de, MySpace
Freak Kitchen: http://www.freakkitchen.com, MySpace
Kultureinitiative Gießen: http://www.kig-giessen.de
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