Setup indeed was for a kids show, early start (doors at 18:30, first band on stage at 19:00) and early finish. And, much to my surprise, there were a couple of kids out on parents day in the audience. And, also much to my surprise, it was a sold out show – but that surprise may stem from the fact that the bands are from another niche that i don’t follow that closely in my own little niche.
Kick off was with Hard Strike and i new fuck nothing about the band. But hey, experiencing the unknown is part and parcel of enjoying mu-sick so i am always open to it.
For me they looked like something randomly assembled (remember, i love consistent stage attire) and sounded to a certain extend like something thrown together from all ingredients that make up Hardcore, Metalcore and related niches.
Hard Strike (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 18.03.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)
At moments it sounded surprisingly bad (and i guess a not optimal sound mix was part of that experience), at other moments just dull. Best moments where went they actually did let go the driving element and one guitar tried some flirting overcast – those where moments where multiple things actually fitted together.
Here is a snippet, a short blast that sounded actually on the better side for me:
Checking upon them after the show i realized that they actually never wanted to be a live band in the first place but are a circle of friends spread around Germany and the US that was initially focused on recording only.
So my feel was not too far off and listening to their recorded output that comes accross a wee bit more pleasing. And, also worth to account, it was their 3rd live show only.
Next Giver from Cologne and they pleased me already with consistent stage attire, so they had a bonus early on. They also used intro muzak for getting ready on stage, another little nugget of consistency.
Their sound was much more consistent too and i would guess could be filled under “Modern Hardcore” (if only ever such a mu-sick-al cupboard existed). They have two nice guitars with balancing sound, an energetic bass and an active singer – plus a pretty good drummer that turned out to be the real asset, keeping things together and pushing forward.
Giver (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 18.03.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)
Here is a short blast, rather untypical as their songs tend to be longer and much more complex:
For me they definitely had something, besides relentless energy also some few choice words, though their English lyrics are rather something to check out than to be able to understand from the performance.
They played a very short set and as much as Hard Strike got not too much audience feedback. Actually it very much felt that the audience was in it rather for Be Well than to enjoy and provide feedback to the support stints.
Not even 20:30 on the clock and it was time for Be Well to blast off, right from the first song with a lot of action from the audience and singing-a-long. The only thing i know about them was that the singer used to be in Battery (a 90’s DC hardcore outfit), is a well known producer and that one of me mates likes them very much.
That mate also loves the other football team in Hamburg, so his love choices are at least debatable. But he loves them so much that he took his son with him, so that tells you how much he believes in them (and that he wants to influence his son, who sported a Samiam hoodie) quite early before he hits 16.
Be Well (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 18.03.2023 (c) gehkacken.de 2023)
For me they were a blank sheet of paper, as they went on that sheet did fill actually with some good melodies, some harsh breaks and a singer keeping it all together with a unique stage presence.
The mu-sick sure is not 100% up my alley but what they do and how they do that is far off from being annoying. For me it looked and sounded like this:
They got loads of action, they got 10 year old girls crowd surfing and they looked after the smaller kids in the audience too. And the singer emits a lot of personal touch and seeks contact with the audience a lot.
That said, on a much more personal level he did a sort of confession as the lead up to one of their signature songs (that many in the audience where able to sing-a-long):
He is depressive, struggles with depression for a long time and has a hard time to live the life he wants to live (and that includes a small girl and a wife, giving him all the love he could ask for but him having problems to mirror that).
That very personal song has a great sing-a-long:
Depression is haunting and I’m not ok Everything is going to be alright Is just a thing people that don’t know say I’m lost and worried and I feel afraid Of all of the things that are inside my head That I have been far too ashamed to say But I want to get better, I want to change
Thanks Brian, that was brave and outspoken – well done.
From there on on-stage and off-stage where fully united and the Hafenklang literally exploded when they performed their encore with a class repetition of “Young ’till i die” from 7 Seconds. Apeshit galore!
Way to fast it was over and for a Saturday i was home very early. As it was a kids show, i stayed off booze and that was a good feel too. Be Well worked quite well for me, though they won’t be my first love. I guess not even my 2nd. But as ever, if you do not dare to seek mu-sick that you have not seen before than you will loose out.
Give them a try, it may be worth it!