Jesper Binzer / Gus G
I was really happy when Gus G was announced as the opener for Jesper Binzer. I don't think I've ever seen him play live before. Maybe with FIREWIND or DREAM EVIL ages ago but I'm not sure that's the case. Anyway, if it was I surely didn't know to appreciate him back then. But I really enjoyed his “I Am The Fire” album and even if I haven't listen as much to “Brand New Revolution” for some reason it's still a very good one. And now, brand new “Fearless” sure gave a good first impression out of the songs played this night.
Musically this performance was totally flawless, Gus is a fabulous guitarist and despite the band only being a trio together with Dennis Ward on bass and Felix Bohnke on drums it all sounded very powerful. Or actually, a bit towards the back, right in the middle it all sounded amazing. Then the intensity and dynamics were there in the sound while it all got rather biased upfront which made opening “Fearless” all guitars since I was standing right in front of Gus' guitar amplifier. Again, I love to get this direct hit of a guitar but from a musical experience the more balanced sound was to prefer. Since I'm the most familiar with “I Am The Fire” it was the songs from that album that went down the best for me. So I really enjoyed hearing “My Will Be Done” and “Letting Go”. Another favorite from the set was new “Mr. Mason”, a heavy and groovy piece of music and it was clear that this was a good one. It really got the crowd moving and received a good response when done.
I'm normally not a fan of covers but I have to say that Gus G's version of the DIRE STRAITS hit “Money For Nothing” was rather spectacular which also can be said about set closer and title-track from “I am The Fire” and it was with this one I realized I'd been standing in the wrong spot for almost the whole show. Backing up a bit it all turned out quite different since the sound got very comfortable and dynamic a bit towards the back. Still it was a very good show and it sure is a true pleasure to watch Gus play.
Gus G setlist:
02. “My Will be Done”
04. “Brand New Revolution”
05. “Letting Go”
06. “Mr. Mason”
07. “Money for Nothing” (DIRE STRAITS cover)
08. “I Am The Fire”
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A lot more people gathered in the changeover between Gus G and JESPER BINZER and while most were taking on a good spot to see the show one slightly too tipsy couple was tuning in Tokyo right next to the stage making the timeslot x-rated...
I was actually surprised that Kulturbolaget got packed out. I didn't expect the place to fill up in this way. For sure, D-A-D is the band that have drawn the biggest crowd and gotten the most massive response at 'Helgeåfestivalen' but this is Jesper solo and that never have the same turnout as a band. But of course, I was thrilled to see the people walking and with that it was set of to be a very good night. The title track from Jesper Binzer's sole solo album “Dying Is Easy (Rock'N'Roll Is Hard)” started the show and this, apart from one cover song at the end of the set was the only thing he played. I think it is super cool and brave for an artist to do a thing like this. And frankly, if he was to play songs from his main band, what would be the point of a solo tour? But just as for Gus G the sound was rather biased here as well. But leaning towards either side the guitars drowned most everything else. And people, at least in the first few lines at the front, knew these songs so “The Space She's In” and “Planet Blue” went down really well and with these the crowd was full on to the show. Jesper really is irresistible. He's very charming when he's speaking Swedish and the combination of straight in-your-face attitude and very cozy works. It's very nice and a lot of fun watching and all of it really boosted the crowd setting the spirit in the place very high.
Frankly, I think the “Dying Is Easy (Rock 'N' Roll Is Hard)” album is a little too soft, at least for my taste. It is a good record, good collection of songs but the album haven't done a whole lot of impact on me. Live though these songs became a bit rawer and the power from the band and the volume did them good. The nerve and intensity was there and Jesper's vocal effort was outstanding. He sounded fantastic, a bit of that Rock'n'Roll edge but was carrying melodies in a mighty fine way. On the album Soren Andersen play and he's also been doing shows with JESPER BINZER. But since he was off on other business Tim Alvin Boström got some really big shoes to fill. He did great this night and I (almost) didn't miss Soren at all.
Jesper constantly made sure everyone was following his stories and it became very charming with the phrase; “Sweden, do you understand what I say...” Jesper's Swedish accent is a little off but that he actually does speak Swedish in Sweden is very cool and he shall have kudos for that. One of the stories told about an upcoming Record Store Day release, with a unique B-side. “Undecided”, a moody piece of music that sounded absolutely fabulous. It will be hard to get it I suppose since those releases are limited and hard to get if you're not out that specific day. This was a true highlight of the show. Another real favorite from the show was “Saint Fantasia” and also “Tell Myself to Be Kind”, again it all sounded fantastic and the delivery from the band was just flawless.
After “The Future Is Now” there was a short break before the encores came. First out was “Dream Big”, the A-side of the Record Store Day release. Another great track but it felt a little strange to have this mellow piece of music in the encores. The real deal came in the THE SAVAGE ROSE cover “Wild Child” which ended the show. This mellow pop-song have gotten a real power-injection and become a Heavy and suggestive piece of music in the JESPER BINZER version. This version suited Jesper's voice perfectly and gave me goosebumps all over. And it all was an impressive performance. It's strange that a whole lot of nothing, I mean, a Rock band on stage is of course nothing but it was not an extravagant show like D-A-D normally have it. It was peeled off, bare and honest and the longer into the show it got, the more carried away I got. When the last notes faded out and the band said goodbye I couldn't wipe the smile of my face (and the elation lasted all the way home). And looking around, most everyone felt the same. If that's not a good grade of a show I don't know what is.
JESPER BINZER setlist:
01. “Dying Is Easy (Rock 'N' Roll Is Hard)”
02. “The Space She's In”
03. “Planet Blue”
04. “Real Love”
05. “Rock On Rock On Rock”
06. “I See It In You”
08. “Saint Fantasia”
09. “The Bumpy Road”
10. “Tell Myself To Be Kind”
11. “The Future Is Now”
12. “Dream Big”
13. “Wild Child” (THE SAVAGE ROSE cover)
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