I’d rather be dead than buried alive

Joseph Parsons Band – Subrosa, Dortmund; February 13th, 2014

Before I left the Subrosa on that Thursday night I thanked Joseph Parsons for a great concert and told him I was glad I came. It was absolutely true and why such an amazing band does not fill bigger venues is beyond me. For well over two hours they played their hearts out, catering to their fans as well as to the casual listeners, playing current songs and old, fast and slow, known and unknown. It was entertaining, at times breathtaking and pure fun.

The Subrosa is a small venue and was so packed there was hardly any room to move. As I walked in I noticed someone was already on stage. Had they started early? Yes, they had, but this was only the unannounced support act. Stefan Honig was his name and he played some enjoyable acoustic songs. I liked it. Soon I spotted one of my former colleagues by the bar and walked over to say hello.  He was surprised to see me and I had to admit that I didn’t know the band for long. Yet I had liked their latest album so why not check them out while they played in my city?

While researching them for an album review I had heard they were a good live band, but after having seen so many concerts over the years I am cautious with my expectations. It turned out I needn’t have been. When they walked out, people already cheered loudly and soon I understood why. These guys were great, playing with passion and feeling, immediately grabbing my attention. Sometimes I forget that good music will always grab me and carry me, no matter what mood I’m in when I enter the venue. Joseph Parsons Band reminded me of that fact.

They were crammed on the small stage, surrounded by music and football related memorabilia with barely any room to move, but none of that mattered. They did not need a big stage or a big show, juts their instruments and an audience willing to listen. From the first minute on they gave us all they had. It was obvious they enjoyed being there. Their enthusiasm carried over into the audience and they were rewarded with lots of applause and cheers.

I didn’t know all that many of the songs because they did not limit themselves to playing only material from their latest album. Happily they mixed songs from different albums and even different bands Joseph Parsons is a member of. The fans knew all the songs and seemed satisfied with the selection. I found myself moving in tune with the music and smiling happily.

In the middle of the set they took a short break. Time to get drinks and chat for a bit. My former colleague had seen them before and wanted to know what I thought. I told him how much I was enjoying it.  🙂

After the break, Joseph returned to the stage alone for a solo set. Apparently he had collected request beforehand and now dedicated them to the fans who had asked for them. One request he picked up on the spot as someone yelled it from the audience. I love it when musicians are flexible like that.

The band returned and the concert picked up speed. They played rockier songs now, louder and groovier than the first half. The audience got more active too, whooping and yelling their support. Everyone got a solo too – it was much fun listening to those. I fully understood why they have followers who go to more than one concert. 🙂 Every song was amazing, no matter if I already knew them or if they were new to me. It was always easy to get into the music and pick up some of the chorus to sing along.

After two hours they said goodbye, but we would not let them go without an encore. They played three or four more songs before leaving the stage for the final time. It was such an amazing night with a lovely band that truly knows their trade. When it was over I took the chance to thank them briefly and buy a live CD. I’m sure this was not the last time I have seen them.

pictures of this concert

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