The preliminary report is followed by the follow-up report: The concert series Bells Echo took place on November 4th, 2022 in the UT Connewitz, the historic cinema in the south of Leipzig. Our author was on site and enthusiastic – and then again not. Read it yourself.
Even before admission, a number of people gather in front of the door, with and without a ticket – a ticket at the box office costs 40 euros, says a white A4 note at the entrance. So you can still get the last tickets. The door will be opened at exactly 7 p.m., because the first act will start at 8 p.m.: the duo Corecass. In the meantime, their instruments can be seen in the interior, there are a few guitars, a harp and an electric piano promisingly on the stage.
Corecass with concert harp and electric guitar
The duo begins the concert with birdsong and harp sounds. The sound envelops the audience, mostly seated on the floor. Everyone in the room is now sonically on a walk in the forest, in a landscape – the sky darkens as the two musicians become menacingly technoid, only to then become cathedral and thus even more powerful. Organ sounds dominate wide parts. Again and again there are reduced phases in between, in which the room can be heard. Or rather just not to hear: not a single whisper, cough or rustle, there is absolutely concentrated, respectful silence.
Meanwhile, the walk in the woods becomes a walk on the moon, the set transforms from sublime to humble – while remaining dramatic and exciting. The two musicians manage to create a monstrous, yet dynamically differentiated, richness of sound. After 40 minutes, Corecass leave the stage to loud applause, which is being converted for the Leipzig pianist Moritz Fasbender.
Fasbender: ironic, classic, poignant
Moritz Fasbender begins almost like silent film music and plays the piano with his back to the audience, gradually using her synthesizers. Their set is virtuoso-freaky, self-deprecating audios with a narrator are built in between the pieces as a kind of commentary.
Her part is sometimes more classical than electronic. A lot of clear, trembling piano sound can unfold, which is repeatedly broken-motivated, associative-experimental. With “Gravity Gain”, an emotional climate with strong, driving beats and for me their strongest piece of the evening, Moritz Fasbender impressively ends their performance.
The UT Connewitz room, the visuals, the audience and Fasbender: It’s a match made in heaven. Frenetic applause – then the audience, which has grown in number, goes blissfully one last time and goes outside for a smoking break or to the bar. Renovation break.
Interim conclusion: The event is perfectly timed, the timetable is adhered to to the minute. Highly professional (what else), from a single source, visually perfectly overlapping and coordinated. Two visual artists are there and project their artworks in the old cinema all the way up to the ceiling. It feels almost too perfect for a live event. Or simply very well planned, rehearsed and, on top of that, stage management that leaves nothing to chance.
Headlining Ben Frost as Vanishing Point
Ben Frost, the highlight for all live act fans and unofficial headliner of the evening, comes on stage (on time) – the UT is now completely full and a new lighting concept marks the grande-grande finale: It’s dark, foggy, rich blue club light shines on the stage. Applause, get up, most seem ready to move now – finally.
Already the intro thunders, booms and could really melt the audience into a crowd standing and dancing in front of the stage. The bass runs through the entire body. Frost shuttles back and forth on his machines on the set table, which is more than two meters long, and finally blasts off.
Above all, it is one thing: extremely loud. A physical thunderstorm, a noticeable pressure of sound, if you wanted to put it positively. Everything is obviously at the limit – and therefore immersive, certainly ingenious – but not just too much for me. Too many decibels. Some people can’t stand it despite hearing protection, including me. When leaving, one could also say fleeing, two guests tell me: “We were looking forward to Ben Frost the most. But it’s just way too loud.”
I’m not necessarily angry or disappointed, Bell’s Echo was top-class, inspiring, touching and I’m grateful for the two music performances I was able to experience. But the end of the event was – unfortunately – unbearably overwhelming. Verdict: 6.6/10. Too bad.
All pictures: Klaus Nauber