Of all the reasons to go to a show, I came up with the weirdest one last night: German National Pride! Yes, I’m Austrian but think of us as Germany’s lazy, grumpy cousins. When the pitch for last night’s show at the Entry hit my inbox with not one, but two German artists on the bill I made it a priority. Germany always had a very active art scene and Berlin has always been its beating heart. Since moving to the US I had lost sight of that and was reminded last year when s t a r g a z e r joined Polica at First Avenue. There was something special about them that I realized I had missed. The show started early and the Entry had its blackout curtain drawn over the entrance.
Cologne’s Josin comes from a musical family and felt the draw to become a singer during medical school. Germany’s Spiegel described her music as “Stilles Leid” – silent suffering. And her set indeed started very quiet. Fans listened in rapt attention. When I clicked my pen to write this down, the click sounded loud and intrusive to me. Josin weaved a complex web of sounds. Synths, driving beats for some songs, her guitar, and always, always her voice floating in an out of the music. My favorite was “Feral Thing” about the wrong person to love.
During her set I always felt reminded of something but the penny did not drop until this morning when I listened to her music while writing this: Radiohead!The Entry had filled up quite nicely by the time Mogli took the stage. Her tour is called “Mirrors” and her stage setup certainly had that vibe with vertical LED lights with reflectors surrounding the band. In the small space that made for some very nice effects (and some challenging photography). Her vocals at times reminded me of medieval music wrapped in a modern artsy pop package. There was a light moment when “Ghosts” a song about the Black Forest that was supposed to start with rain sounds got a synth groove instead. That corrected, it drew the crowd in and got them lost in the fog and rain of the German mountains. “Aftermath” was a brand new song. As Mogli put it “Songs always mean the most when you write them”.
Both performers last night were special, unusual and fascinating. If they are any indication Germany’s art scene is alive, well and still quirky. And as my friend Langen always reminds her readers: It doesn’t matter why you go out to see a show, get out there and support artists.
Set List: Alaska / Road Holes / The Constant / Strobe Lights / Ghosts / Bones / Cryptic / Aftermath / Another Life / Patience / Wanderer / Echo / Milky Eyes / Waterfall / Two Lungs / Mirror