Sentimental fool with a stitched up heart

Dave Hause – Riff, Bochum; June 17th, 2014

“It rarely happens that someone I see for the first time moves me to tears. You did it. It was really, really awesome!” thus my words to Tim Vantol after his show with Dave Hause in Bochum. Now don’t get me wrong, I really like Dave Hause and I enjoyed every second of his set, but Tim just took me by surprise. I know for sure I’ll go and see him again if I get the chance. The same goes for Dave though – I had only seen him as a support act or on The Revival Tour so far and seeing him solo was absolutely worth going there. This concert was the perfect combination of two great singer/songwriters for me, pretty much as good as it gets.

The Riff was a location in Bochum I had never been to before, but it’s centrally located and easy to find. There has been some confusion as to when the doors would open and the concert was supposed to start, since the venue’s website listed 8 pm for both. When I arrived at 7:30 the doors were open so it was safe to assume they’d start at 8. It was still quite empty at that time and I got a nice spot in front by the side of the stage. I’d seen Dave Hause a few times before on The Revival Tour and supporting The Gaslight Anthem, but Tim Vantol was unknown to me so I wondered what his music would be like.

Armed with just his guitar Tim Vantol stepped on stage, said a quick hello and started playing. Apparently many people in the audience already knew him and his songs – they sang along form the start. His music instantly appealed to me. I found myself listening closely to the words he sang and wanting to sing along despite not knowing the lyrics. His performance was honest as much as it was passionate. he sung about things that mattered to him and talked about a few of them too. He mentioned how he had quit everything else for life on the road and was doing this now for five years – it was clear that he loved it. In the beginning he mused about the people who were “crazy in a positive way” and followed him around, some of them standing right there in front of him. The songs spoke to me and they moved me much more than I had expected. One of the songs was about assisted suicide and Tim commented, saying he believed that when you are severely ill it should be your choice if you want to live or die. It was a great set that lasted for about 40 minutes and ended with him asking us to sing along, claiming we would need that for Dave as well.

Setlist (incomplete)

If we go down, we will go down together
I could have been a dancer
Apologies, I have some
Hands full of dust
Dirty boots

About 20 minutes later Dave walked out, guitar in hand, welcoming us to the show with the first song. Meanwhile it had gotten lot more crowded and hotter at the venue. He was supported on keyboards and guitar by a guy he introduced as his little brother Tim. While Tim still seemed a little shy, Dave was into it from the beginning, smiling at everyone. After a short while, both looked like they were enjoying the gig.

From the first song on they set the tone for what would follow. This was all about participation and Dave made sure he made a connection with the crowd, coming close and singing directly to some of us. The audience didn’t need much urging on, this was what they had come for – to sing along and to listen closely. His songs, while often far from happy, are good to sing along to or just get lost in the music – they come from the heart and speak to the heart, they feel real. I loved watching people sing along with all their might and I loved letting the music take a hold of me and carrying me for the night, making me forget about everything else.

The brothers joked with each other a lot, Dave telling us a story of how they were sharing Jim Beam on stage at a concert somewhere in the US and gave some out into the audience. It all went well until Dave pointed out that Tim is only 20 years old and they were stopped by the venue due to the legal drinking age of 21. 😀 Dave also told us he only brought Tim to show that he was once young and handsome. ´someone yelled “You still are!” and he replied “Well, I’m not young any more.” If he already feels old, what am I supposed to I say? 😉

Since I didn’t have Dave’s current album yet, many of the songs were new to me and singing along was a bit difficult. It didn’t spoil any of the fun though. 🙂 The selection was a good one and every time he asked us if we were still with them, loud cheers came in reply. During the concert Dave went into the audience twice to sing from there. the first time around he even took his micstand along and stayed for the entire song, the second time he just went down for a little while.

Tim had learned German in high school and tried it out during the concert. 😀 At one point Dave used a make-up stick to paint his brother’s face with the German flag, first the cheeks and a little later the forehead, despite Tim’s protest. As soon as he got a chance he jumped up and wiped it away with a towel. His revenge was to put a hat with a flag- headband and “Germany” printed on it on Dave’s head. Both were laughing, especially when Dave declared he was not gonna take off that silly looking hat. 😀

It was a wonderful concert with a great audience and I was happy I had gone there. On the way out I had a brief word with Tim Vantol and bought both of his CDs. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough money to buy Dave’s as well and will have to do that some other time. I hope I get a chance to see him live again soon.


Autism Vaccine Blues
Time Will Tell
Same Disease
Pray For Tuscon
Father’s Son
We Could Be Kings
Prague (Revive Me)
The Bridge (The Loved Ones song)
The Shine
C’mon Kid

The Great Depression
I Swear (The Loved Ones song)

pictures of this concert

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