It’s been a while since Vonsild and his gang conquered NorthSide Festival in the rain. A concert we, the audience, and they, When Saints Go Machine, clearly remembered, and I’m sure both parties were pleased with experiencing this one without heavy rain.
Being that When Saints Go Machine hasn’t released anything new since the critically acclaimed Infinity Pool, one could argue that the slot could’ve been given to a Danish band with a new album out, but WSGM hasn’t been playing many shows in the last couple of years, except for a show or two with Copenhagen Phil. I witnessed one of ’em, and though that was something out of this world, I’d really been looking forward to seeing WSGM as WSGM.
Silas, Jonas, Simon, and Nikolaj opened with a new one (bold move), before throwing in ‘Degeneration’ early in the set. They sounded great, but it could’ve been way louder – and when WSGM isn’t played loud enough, you’re not really a part of that special atmosphere they’re known for creating. It got better throughout the show, as the volume was turned up a notch, but it was one of those shows where you could have a group conversation without yelling. That’s never a good thing, and it most definitely had an impact on the experience. Sadly, as – besides from having members of the stage crew on stage a quarter of the show – it really was a great show.
The new stuff sounded incredibly promising, and – as always – so did their big ones; ‘Konkylie’, ‘Mannequin’, ‘Parix’, and, towards the end, ‘Kelly’, ‘Church And Law’ and ‘Add Ends’, that ends up in a huge soundscape and Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild screaming with everything he’s got. They know what they’re doing, and they’re doing it better than most bands. But at the same time, you’re in the presence of musicians who aren’t robots. Though a machine park is brought on to the stage, it’s not a matter of pressing play – this is difficult shit, and you can sense the concentration and the eager to do well. And every time the audience gives something back, the very thankful band on stage just gets better. Synergy, really.
A slow start made it difficult for WSGM, but they fought back, and it really felt good having them back performing festivals.
Low sound made it difficult to enter the WSGM universe, but with promising new material and old hits, they fought back and did a really good job. (4/6)