A mirror, a German song and a special guest

The Anatomy of Frank – Swamp, Freiburg; November 25th, 2017

“This is so magical” a happy Kyle exclaimed after The Anatomy of Frank’s show in Freiburg when he looked at the downpour of snow outside the window. It was a perfect summary of the concert we had just seen. Sometimes the best concerts happen in the most unexpected places and this was one of them. The air was charged with good vibes right from the start and the guys delivered a great set with a few surprises. It was impossible not to be drawn in and in the end we cheered so much we even got an extra encore. Every concert should be like this one. 🙂

As I walked to the venue it was raining heavily and I the first thing I noticed is how small it was. There were not many tables or chairs, which gave us a little more space, but overall the darkish bar did not look very inviting. Also people were allowed to smoke inside which didn’t make the air any better. All this made me think I should have skipped this one and gone to Barcelona to see Árstíðir and Sólstafir instead. Yet I was here and decided to make the best of it. At least the mirror behind the stage made for some interesting pictures. 😉

P. and A. arrived, but it was still a long wait. Around 30 minutes before the show the venue filled up and everything looked better already. L. arrived, ready to film and we got into a discussion of red lights and dark venues. The light we got in the end was not read, but very dark indeed. It didn’t feel much brighter than candles. Either way, we were ready, the mood was good and people seemed excited about what was to come. 🙂

They started with ‘Blurry’, just Kyle on guitar, soon joined by Jimmy and Max. The room instantly grew quiet and attentive, people seemed to move in even closer. In the mirror on the wall I could see how packed the venue was and knew that I’d been wrong to have such low expectations of this show. People showed up to see the guys and it became clear during the concert that many were fans who knew the lyrics and sang along. It put a big smile on my face. 🙂

The music sounded wonderful and when I was not watching the guys I watched L. do her job. Photographing was hard because it was so dark and I once accidentally blinded Max with my focus light. (I’m so sorry Max!). I pretty much gave up after that and just enjoyed the show instead. It was so much fun. The longer they played, the more the guys got into it, feeding off of the energy that came from the audience. Everyone in the room was right there un the moment, enjoying the songs, many moving or singing along and it gave the band the boost they needed to perform even better than they usually do. I was completely caught up by the mood, letting the music carry me. It was exactly what I needed.

Slowly but surely I am falling in love with the live versions of all the South America songs, especially the ones I did not know before the album was released. Not only is the music amazing, but there are so many great lyrics that I am still in the process of discovering them. They play such catchy tunes that one could easily suspect forgettable pop songs, but the words go so much deeper than that. every song tells a story, sometimes openly, sometimes between the lines and it’s these stories that makes me come back time and again. As with many other bands it was the music that drew me in, but the lyrics that made me stay. Currently ‘Holy Mountain’ and ‘Andes’ are my favorites.

At one point, I think it was after ‘The landing of the plus ultra flying boat’, which had a nice “Lalala” sing along from the crowd, Kyle announced that he knew we were all in a happy mood, but he wanted to do a sad song for us that he’d just learned. I wondered what was coming, but not in a million years would I have guessed this one. He launched into a cover version of ‘Alles nur geklaut’ bei Die Prinzen. In perfect German I might add. It was as hilarious as it was great and prompted the crowd to spontaneously help out on the “oohohoho” part. If I had not been so busy singing I would have been laughing my butt off. Well played Kyle!

Time flew, because this concert was so perfect. I felt myself smiling the entire time and no matter where I looked, people had equally happy expressions on their faces. This night, they had a special guest named Lou on trombone. He was great, really got into the grove there. He joined the first for ‘Andes’ I think and then again during the encores. It was just really cool to have an additional instrument and he did an amazing job, even unrehearsed. 😀

The main set ended with ‘Svalbard’ and I could not believe it was over already. Where had the time gone? Why could they not play for another hour or two? Before walking off stage Kyle introduced and thanked everyone who worked behind the scenes and we cheered for all of them. We kept cheering until they were back on stage and played Vancouver’ for and with us. The trombone helped us out, but of course we had to sing anyway. For the second night inna row I was part B. While Kyle explained what we had to do, Jimmy motioned with his hands, showing the letters and pointing. It was all great fun, but it was still not enough and we yelled and clapped until Kyle came back.

Someone shouted for him to play Elvis and he pretended not to know anything about him. That made me grin because it reminded me of one of Svavar Knútur’s concerts back in September. 🙂 Anyway, he finally gave in and said he would do one final song which turned out to be ‘Fools rush in’, otherwise known as ‘Can’t help falling in love with you’ by of course Elvis. It was great and everyone sang along once more. The perfect ending to a perfect show.

Afterwards I just watched everyone, but did not engage. Said goodbye to P. and A. who had a train to catch, waited a bit and realized I was not in the mood for conversations or crowded, smoky places so I left, carrying some happy memories home with me. Thank you guys, see you soon!

Setlist

Blurry
Girl from Ipanema
Diagonal North America
Patagonia
Holy Mountain
How do we lose it
The landing of the plus ultra flying boat
Alles nur geklaut (Die Prinzen cover)
La Llorona
Andes
Svalbard

Vancouver
Fools rush in

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