Sunday 29 March 2015

Live Review: Colour Haze + Radio Moscow + Monomyth, March 12, 2015, 013 Tilburg, The Netherlands

March 12, 2015 is going to go into my music journal – yes, I have a music journal – as the day that my appreciation and gratitude for Colour Haze grew. I’ll let you in on a little secret, every time I mention Colour Haze in my music journal I say the same thing. One might call me a scratched record because of this but I’m convinced that due to the ethereal power that is Colour Haze, this statement requires repetition. So what happened on March 12, 2015? Well, Colour Haze visited Tilburg’s 013 for the first time in God-knows-how-long and brought along their friends Monomyth and Radio Moscow to accentuate the onslaught of psychedelic beauty.

Monomyth is a Dutch band who with the release of their latest album, “Further,” found a home at one of Holland’s most respected record labels, Suburban Records. When it comes to local talent, this label doesn’t mess around, so it’s no surprise to see their bands stand tall as opening acts for the crème de la crème of the stoner rock community. Last night, when Monomyth took to the stage and opened the evening with smoke machines and a light show that was worth the ticket price alone, it was no different. The band deserved to be there and was welcomed with open arms. Actually, most of those in attendance stood there with their eyes closed, impervious to the beer flying out of their cups, as their heads bopped round and around to the massive space rock tones moving through the air. After a glorious forty five minutes, the band hung up their instruments, went to go stand with their arms wrapped around each other’s shoulders at the front of the stage and took a bow. As the crowd cheered and clapped, screaming for more, it was obvious Monomyth had just won themselves some new fans.

The next band was Radio Moscow and they immediately won points by being able to set up their stage and get rocking within fifteen minutes. This set the tone for their show – there were no bells and whistles, just music. The bassist and drummer were stage left and center respectively but played as though they were connected at the hip. This firm foundation was needed so guitarist Parker Griggs could freely noodle his way in and out of the heavy bluesy grooves with never ending guitar solos. His smokey, gritty voice commanded attention every time it plowed through the chaotic rumbling of the band. When it comes to Radio Moscow, there’s no shortage of getting down to business, which, when compared to the meandering Monomyth and Colour Haze, highlighted the other side of the psychedelic genre.

My first exposure to Colour Haze was in 2005 when their self-titled came out. The timing for that album was perfect, I had burnt myself out on punk rock and I was looking for something new and Colour Haze was it. Ever since then I have seen every Colour Haze show within a two hour drive from my house, and once I even drove six hours to go see them. For me, the time I spend in the car to get to their shows is meaningless because seeing those three guys up on stage make it all worthwhile. Last night I drove those two hours again and as usual, Colour Haze delivered. They played “She Said” with the most confidence I have ever seen them do that with, moved into “Transformation” while grinning from ear and to ear, and brought two or three songs from their latest album “To the Highest Gods We Know” into the live setting. These songs had a whole new impact as they were finally provided room to breathe rather than being confined to a compact disc. My personal favorite, and based on the crowd’s response I wasn’t alone, was “Aquamaria.” Colour Haze got lost and taken away by this song making it feel as though the music was coming from a different, higher up place, rather than the musicians themselves. This was a humbling moment for myself, and when Koglek, with his bright eyes and trying to hold back a smile, simply said “thank you” after the song’s conclusion, I knew he and his comrades were humbled as well.

There isn’t really much left to say about last night other than Tilburg’s 013 was home, once again, to a night of psychedelic bliss. Monomyth laid down a strong set and set the bar high by doing so. Radio Moscow shuffled for forty five minutes, and Colour Haze tied up all the loose ends and left everyone’s mind blown. I wouldn’t mind seeing this tour come around again.

Words: Victor Van Ommen