The night before 10 November, my friend called me, excitedly proclaiming that Young Guns were playing a show at the LOGO the next day – their first show in Germany in about four years nonetheless – and from the tone of their voice I simply knew I had to accept the invitation. We went to buy a ticket and, even though not completely convinced yet, I was looking forward to the show
and the forbiddingly attractive lead singer.
A few hours later, I found myself at the LOGO, listening to about half an hour of pre-concert music coming from the huge speakers mounted to the wall, until the German support band with the striking name anorak. began their set. I had not heard of them before, and due to my prior experiences with opening bands my expectations were quite low, but just after listening to the first few notes of the lead guitar, I knew that I would be looking them up on Spotify once I got home.
Philipp Lessel, the vocalist and bandleader of anorak., performed with enthusiasm and perpetual energy from start to finish, bouncing across the stage while screaming the lyrics to their songs, which had me nodding to the beat continuously. The other band members also contributed their part to the overall quite convincing stage show.
Their sound, especially the tranquil guitar parts, reminded me a lot of my favorite band ‘Being As An Ocean‘, since they pretty much share the same musical style – melodic post-hardcore with occasional elements of indie music: loud, aggressive outbreaks alternating with calm, mellow passages throughout most of the tracks.
anorak. played several songs from their debut – and so far only full-length – album ‘enthusiasts and collectors’, which, I’d like to add, is now an integral part of my playlist. Still, the song that speaks to me the most is ‘the mood’ from the Single ‘kalter frieden’:
The crowd was not as keen as the five rather compelling guys would have deserved for their performance, but that is to be expected from such a small location as the LOGO, and the concert was nowhere near sold out. Still, there was a considerable amount of applause after they finished playing.
The next twenty minutes had us impatiently waiting for Young Guns to finally start their set, while one of my friend’s acquaintances was totally losing their cool and excitedly jumping up and down in front of my face, which in turn got me all riled up as well. Then suddenly all lights went off, four rather charismatic
and attractive guys entered the stage, the drummer started playing a vigorous beat signalling the beginning of the show, and even though I had never seen this band before and had only heard a single song of theirs, I felt a shiver of anticipation running down my back.
They opened with ‘Rising Up’, the single and one of their most well-known songs from the 2015 album ‘Ones and Zeroes’, with the crowd going… somewhat wild. After all, there is a difference between the audience of general/alternative rock and that of the heavy metal or post-hardcore bands whose concerts I usually visit.
However, the positive, expectant atmosphere contributed a lot to me enjoying the whole set. Among the lyrics that most struck me and remained in my head even after the concert were the words:
“Yeah, they say that your best ain’t good enough. But don’t bow down when you could be rising up.“ (Rising Up)
Young Guns’ style of music is comparable to bands like Mallory Knox, DON BROCO and Deaf Havana and, in my opinion, resembles some of Three Days Grace’s more recent songs. There are melodic guitar passages, heavy drums, powerful clean vocals and (as a former bass player I cannot leave this out) a scratchy, electrically distorted bass line that gives songs like ‘Mad World’ their cool, edgy sound.
The majority of the setlist was taken from their newest album ’Echoes’ (2016), and from ’Ones and Zeroes’ (2015), while the remaining few songs can be found on Young Guns’ older releases ’Bones’ (2012) and ’All Our Kings Are Dead’ (2010). Overall, this created a well-balanced mix of general rock music, sometimes bordering hard rock, and the indie/alternative rock elements of their latest works.
In between songs, lead singer Gustav Wood took his time to profusely thank the crowd for supporting the band, spending their time and money coming to the concert and for giving him and his mates a feeling of a home away from home each time they come to Hamburg on tour. I’ll have to admit that, despite never having seen this man before, I was quite touched.
Towards the end of the concert, the mood got more intimate as fans sang and cheered along to ’I Want Out’, which contains the haunting lyrics “Cause if this is love, baby, I want out.“, and when they finally played their most famous song ’Bones’ at the very end (I had been waiting for it the whole set), I felt as if I had known them forever, as if I was part of their band. And that was a darn beautiful feeling.
Not as beautiful as having the arm of Gustav Wood on my shoulder as we were taking a picture, though.
tl;dr: I had lots of fun, enjoyed the music of both the support and main band, and developed a crush on Young Guns’ handsome lead singer. So go check them out below!
The featured image can be found here
Listen to: Rising Up, Daylight, Awakening, I Want Out, Bones
Listen to: the mood, ….birds, morning view, forlorn/desolate/alone
– by Samira
Samira was listening to the album ’Echoes’ by Young Guns while writing this review