+ SOLAREZ / OUT OF SEASON
Location: Stuttgart, Röhre (Germany)
Date: February 20th, 2001
Finally I got to see the great Samiam on a headlining tour. The last time I saw them was on this festival tour called “Flying high across the sky”, where they played along with ALL and some other bands opening for the Bloodhound Gang. That show was okay, but Samiam had only a short playing time back then. But this time me and some friends made it to Stuttgart where one of the last German shows of this headlining tour took place. I was quite curious about the gig, because on the one hand I was so much looking forward to seeing them play the songs from their latest album “Astray” live, but on the other hand I was not sure if they could manage to create this great guitar sound you can hear on their records also on stage, because right before the tour their second guitarist James quit the band.
The first thing that was rather disappointing about this show was that he merchandise of Samiam was completely sold out, there were no CDs, stickers or shirts left. Oh well, but that doesn’t seem to be such a catastrophe, does it?
First band this evening was a local group called Out Of Season. Their sound? A mixture of this rocking style similar to bands like Samiam etc. and New Metal? I don’t really know. Their show was ok, but really nothing special, although at least the singer moved a bit on stage while the rest of the band mainly stood around playing their songs. As I said, okay for an opening act, but not my cup of tea.
Next band was again a German band, this time from Berlin. They were called Solarez and I also find it hard to describe their style. It was a lot more complex than that of Out Of Season. Emotional Rock with more complicated arrangements? Maybe. But once again, this was not exactly the kind of music that I listen to every day. Not that you think I am not into German bands or something, not at all. I mean there are lots of great German bands out there, e.g. Coach or Relief, but these two bands couldn’t blow me away.
I think the huge majority of the crowd that evening (about 400 people in total) thought the same and was glad when Samiam finally entered the stage. The first song was the opening track from “Astray” called “Sunshine.” Unfortunately the sound guys had forgotten to plug in Jason’s mic, so he could hear himself through the monitors, but other than the first row (where I stood), no one could hear the singing. When “Sunshine” was almost over, the guy behind the soundboard finally solved this problem and when Jason’s voice could be heard in the club there was this huge screaming from the fans, no joke! “Factory” was up next, one of my favourite songs from “You are freaking me out.” Even at this early stage of the show one could see that the second guitar was not that much missing. Well, of course the songs sounded a bit different with just one guitar playing, but I didn’t have the impression that the songs didn’t work out this way. And I guess the rest of the audience thought in a similar way, because everyone was just happy to see these four cool guys on stage. After “Factory” Jason asked the crowd if the vocals to “Sunshine” could be heard, and when the fans showed him that this was not the case he promised to play that song again later on. The third song was probably my favourite one from Samiam, entitled “Capsized.” This song is so great, one of my alltime faves. Everyone sang along, there was lots of stagediving and dancing.
Samiam played a cool mixture of both old classics and new soon-to-be classics just as “Stepson”, “Bad day”, “Full on”, “She found you”, Ordinary life”, “Super Brava”, “Mexico”, “Mud hill” etc. etc. When Samiam left the stage for the first time it didn’t take long until the audience yelled them back. They played some more songs, one of the last ones being “Sunshine” again, this time everyone could heard the vocals. The very last track of their set was “Dull” from “Astray.” Then the show was over. I liked it a lot. Before the gig there were rumours that this would be the last Samiam tour before they would call it quits. But I don’t think this is the case. At least I hope this is not true, because Samiam are still one of the best bands out there and they proved this successfully this evening. Yeah!