Filter Live at the Bi Nuu, Berlin

Alright, so I have written two insanely long and insanely insane blog posts about Filter this Summer. And I feel like writing another one – in English. And I don’t even have to explain why, because this is my blog and I can do what I want. So here it goes.

After the opening gig in Berlin and the first MEGA-tour-date in Hamburg (I’ll explain) I wrote { this short and concise entry } about how I felt after the last two concerts. There was another text almost as long, where I put Filter’s and Richard Patrick’s life in my own words, but I will save that text for the next tour.

Haha, fat chance. The thing is, a few weeks before Europe, when Filter was touring the states, their official Facebook page told people to come see them NOW, because this was their last chance. The news spread quickly and people got really sad and upset, but also a little excited, because there had to be a reason and the reason is Richard Patrick’s new involvement in a score for the upcoming crime-drama-thriller True Crimes with Jim Carrey.

Anyway when I heard I didn’t get too sad. I was still euphoric about the fact that Filter were coming to Europe AT ALL, because the last tour simply wasn’t lucrative but – and I know everybody says that about their favourite band – they were doing it for fun. And now Filter was coming over to tour with Rabia Sorda, Lord of the Lost (from St. Pauli) and Combichrist with a massive Industrial-Metal-superfest called Make Europe Great Again!.

When the first European gig went up on facebook (in Munich) I couldn’t sit still for a second until Hamburg was announced as well. I immediately bought tickets and then later – after the new album Crazy Eyes was officially out (I got it sooner, because I had supported the creation of the work on { pledgemusic.com }) and I was listening to it on repeat on { Spotify } I decided I’d go and see their opening concert in Berlin as well.

Das Ticket allein war die Kohle schon fast wert! ¤ <3 ¤ <3 ¤ <3 ¤ #Filter @filter_richard_patrick #Berlin

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So on June 2nd (to which I had been looking forward to more than my birthday and my Summer holidays combined) I got on the bus in Hamburg and arrived in Berlin few hours later to attend my first Filter gig since 2013 and probably one of the last.

I got there a little late because I didn’t feel like I needed to see Rabia Sorda live. I had listened to some stuff of theirs on Spotify and quickly built the opinion, that it’s not for me.
Boy, was I wrong.

When I got to the location – the Bi Nuu – it was tiny! Not small like { Hamburg’s Knust }, but tiny like { Cologne’s Luxor }. The stage ended where my knees began and although there was quite a big number of people for such a small venue it was no problem to walk up to the front and stand in the first row which I did, because fuck me, this is Filter and I am a fan and I just need to be upfront, I don’t even know why, shoot me.

Rabia Sorda were still playing their set and I could not believe how much better it felt live. Maybe I just missed industrial metal hard the last few years, where I rather attended my usual „Altherrenrock“ concerts, which means as much as „Rock for old men“ or „Rock played by old men“ – German has many splendid words but the meaning can often be layed out different ways. Anyway both is accurate, I’m talking Toto, Queen, The Eagles, Bryan Adams, Dream Theater, Marillion, Spandau Ballet etc. etc.

But my emotions for the subgenre of metal aside I really really enjoyed Rabia Sorda and I was a little sad I had missed the first few songs and although I was excited to be hearing them at least one more time live, in retrospect I have to say this was their best gig.

During the break I got into a conversation with the beautiful girl next to me. Turns out she wasn’t from Berlin either and came especially for the gig and she would be at the Hamburg gig tomorrow as well. It was her first Filter concert which kind of made me excited and anxious as well. I hadn’t seen them live in three years – what if she didn’t like it? Would the new songs work out live as good as I imagined they would? What if she didn’t know the new album?

Of course she knew the new album and we talked about our favourite Crazy Eyes songs. Turns out Welcome To The Suck (Destiny Not Luck) was both our favourite at that time and when Bobby Miller put up the setlist right in front of us we were ecstatic, to find Suck on it.

3…2…1…meins. @filter_richard_patrick

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Soon Filter appeared next to the stage and a long elaborate and new intro started to play. The crowd went wild and – also in retrospect – I want to say that this was the best audience of all three concerts, the little room was filled and people were loud, nice, moving, respectful and I did not get scarred. More about that later.

When Filter entered the stage to the starting title The Take everybody was moving and dancing and screaming along, it was wonderful, and really hot and crowded and I was so directly in front of the lead singer, that I almost felt embarassed in my own socially awkward way – until I reminded myself that I’m trying to be less awkward and more outgoing.

"Zu nah" gibt es nicht. @filter_richard_patrick

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Dancing to these awesome awesome live tunes definitely helped a lot. You can’t stand still at a Filter gig – wait, actually you can, of you’re a douche but I’ll explain later. The Take was followed by two songs from Crazy Eyes: City of Blinding Riots and Mother E.

Somewhere on the Filter Facebook Fanpage I had written, that I could not believe, that I would soon be able to hear this kind of music live. And there it was and it was even better than I ever imagined.

(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do which followed took us straight back into the 90s. It’s one of my favourites but not my all time favourite Filter song. That would be You Walk Away and – as you could see on the upside down setlist above – the song that came next. It is one of my absolute absolute all time favourite (I know, I repeat a lot of words, it’s to add emphasis, I know they’re there twice, but rightfully so) and my favourite from The Amalgamut (I mean, the disc starts with it and it is raw and comes with full force, it’s a tough and a perfect entryway into anything really, what can I say?) which was my overall favourite Filter album until Crazy Eyes because American Cliche, Columind and So I Quit are also among my alltime favs from the last 10 years or so (I’m getting old you guys. The 90s are almost 20 years away. Horrifying.).

Anyway, then came Head of Fire and Kid Blue from Crazy Eyes. The weird thing is, since I was so much into Welcome To The Suck, Nothing In My Hands and Take Me To Heaven the other two had completely gone by my radar. But after this gig I gave them both another chance and another and another and very quickly ended up, listening to both of them on endless repeat.
They work absolutely perfect live too.
It was wild.

I think it was about that moment, when the acoustics in the tiny ballroom went downhill. There seemed to be problems with the lead’s mic for the following songs the singer could only be heard very badly or very quietly but in between songs everything seemed kinda fine. I don’t know, there were technical problems and they didn’t get them quite fixed.

But it did nothing to the mood in the Bi Nuu. People were still going along, dancing, clapping, screaming, it went through the roof. Let’s talk about the band for a minute. The first time I saw Filter, { back in 2011 at the Markthalle in Hamburg } the band consisted of Richard Patrick, Mika Fineo at the drums, Bassist Phil Buckman and Rob Patterson on the guitars – the gig was raw and hard and technicallyquite perfect but in a loud uncontrolled way. The second time around in 2013 Jeff Fabb was on the drums, Johnny Radtke played the guitar and somehow Phil was still there but the band seemed more settled and of course the set was overall a bit „poppier“ due to the whole „poppiness“ (okay, I’ll stop.) and smoothness of The Sun Comes Out Tonight.

Now there was this group of young and awesome and completely talented people around the gracefully greying Richard Patrick. You have { Oumi Kapila } as the lead guitarist, he worked on Crazy Eyes too – a bunch! – and he’s from Australia. I don’t know how that is musically relevant, but he has this great, heavy accent. Live – So loud, so active, so present yet at the same time impeccable, framing the whole band, holding it together with his guitar. Very hard to describe. Guess you have to see him. Go there.

{ Bobby Miller } is the allrounder. He plays the guitar, does the on stage video- and sound design and all the technical stuff I don’t understand nothing about, sings the second vocals and plays the keyboard. Yeah, you heard right, Filter have a keyboarder now. If I would read this text out loud to you personally (I do that a lot, but mostly to myself) I would say this in a sweet and caring voice, because that’s how I feel about Rotten Bobby. Otherwise I really don’t need to say much except it seemed to me in Berlin, Hamburg and Oberhausen that he is like the mother of each gig. He makes things happen that should happen and in the way they should happen, controls it, plays it.

Now, Phil Buckman was a great bassist. But he was too present, too strong, the focus was put on the bass too much during that era and I’m saying this as an absolute fan of the (often) underrated instrument. { Ashley Dzerigian } is perfect. I have never before heard so many compliments about any bassist, than at this year’s Filter concerts. And they could not have made me happier, if they had complimented me. Ashley is technically absolutely flawless, she makes me feel as if she had always been with Filter, she just naturally fits in with the essence of her playing. She plays the bass lightly but firmly at the same time and there are such difficult parts and heavy parts she plays with such a naturalness. I don’t think anybody in the audience did not fall in love with her or her playing.

Last but not least there’s Chris Reeve on drums. I mean just look at him playing my favourite song:

Amirite?

Great band, great troop, perfect together, absolutely grown to the task of bringing the best Filter experience I’ve had. Yet. Haha. I’m not laughing.

So I’m not going to lose more words about the set, I’ll make a list – except for one thing: When it was Welcome To The Suck’s turn Richard Patrick turned around to the band and said (I was probably one of the only ones being able to hear it because I was standing way too close to him (probably uncomfortably close – for us both) in this tiny venue of love and happiness) „Nah not that, I hate that one.“ I shit you not, he said „hate“. It was The Perfect Drug all over again. Keep this in mind if you want to go on reading, it will get more important later.

Instead it went on with the other Welcome To The something.
giphy

One more good – no – excellent thing though: After rambling about the evil Empire in Star Wars (shout outs to my buddy Kylo) and comparing it to the US Government (very good) they played American Cliche which was not only a big surprise but the first time I heard it live! (I died a little) (very) (so happy) (thank you) (like Skinny at the Luxor three years ago)

Okay, now, only one more thing: I’m kidding.
Here’s the playlist

. . : : / / : : . .

02.06.2016
Bi Nuu, Berlin

The Take
City of Blinding Riots
Mother E
(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do
You Walk Away
Head of Fire
Kid Blue From The Short Bus, Drunk Bunk
Jurassitol
Your Bullets
Pride Flag
Nothing In My Hand
Welcome To The Fold
–//–
American Cliche
No Love
Hey Man, Nice Shot

All in all an absolutely fantastic gig and totally worth the 4 hour trip and 45 mins of sleep at an extremely shabby Hostel somewhere in central Berlin that night, before I took the 6 am train to Hamburg to go to work before going to see Filter for the last time at the Große Freiheit 36.

 

 

 

 

 

The gig was amazing, Richard Patrick often likes his talks with the audience and talk he did – about the US political systems, about racial and social injustice, about the LGBQT* community, about Trump, Hitler, his kids and their future. Filter is a political band.

 

 

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