From the time in my life when the awareness of music was awakened I always loved going to shows. And during that (I think) 10year old journey, from the moment the 12 year old boy went to his first gig, there was always the same way of feeling AFTER the show. Pain and buzzing in the ears, an abyssal back pain, almost total dehydration from screaming and singing…and probably a rash around the mouth, since you spend half a show eating dirty hair from the person in front of you. But also there is that other, a sort of emotional side of “gig aftermath”. The show was either wow or meh. The “meh” shows were bitched a bit and then kept quiet about, whilst the “wow” ones were talked about for days, even weeks. And that emotional side never really changed for me and I was always quite sure how I would feel about a show. But then came Analena and changed this “theory” from the core.
A complete lack of words on what to say about the event. Nothing. Luckily, none of my friends asked me “how was it”, because I really wouldn’t know what to say…except that it was amazing. Yes, it was. But as much as it blew me away, the impact ripped words out from my mouth and I guess I finally understand the meaning of the expression “breathtaking”. And although I will post this review, I still feel like this is just a bunch of random words put together. And it’s short.
So let’s start this the old fashioned way… The show took place two days ago, on October 17th 2009 in the Culture Center “Grad” (grad means “city” in Serbian). After the shock of seeing on a flyer that Analena was going to play in Belgrade another shock came when I saw that 36 Daggers will be the support band for the event. 36 Daggers is a prominent punk/emo band from Serbia and though I love them very much, I have never been to their show, since short after I heard about the band they disbanded. So I guess I don’t need to explain to you how I felt when I red their name on the poster. And let me be honest, for a brief period before the show, I actually forgot that the band even existed since their songs were lost on some cds in the depth of my room. Guilty. And since this is a revelation of hearing an amazing band for the first time twice, I won’t let it be forgotten again and will even share it in the upload section with you boys and girls.
The show was scheduled to start at 9 pm, but with a bit delay it started around 10 pm. The show started with the sound of 36 Daggers blasting through the venue. “From Nowhere” was one of the first few songs played and since it being my favorite it really set up a strange mood in me, kinda saddened nostalgia, quite weird but very much enjoyable. And then it continued…”Kalpa Minutes”, “Song About the Raven”, “Seven Targets Left”, were just some of the songs that were soothing the ears of the audience during their half hour performance. I was standing literally at the back of the crowd, so I didn’t see the band, since they played on the floor (true screamo no-stage venue, haha) so I can’t really say anything about the visual aspect of it all. The crowd was very much alive, singing along and moving to the rhythm of the songs. The last song they played was “Eugene In Love”, their longest song and quite an epic ending. During the last minute of the song, I hoped that this show was really a reunion for 36 Daggers and that in the future they will continue playing and maybe put out some new material.
When 36 Daggers finished, my friend, my girl and myself charged and moved up close to the “stage” and grabbed a nice spot for the three of us. And after a few moments, Analena literally exploded in the venue. The eruption of emotion and music came in the form of the song “Carbon Based Organisms”, really a stunning opening since this is my favorite song. The sound was perfect and me being so close to them while they were playing created a feeling of being almost swallowed by their behemoth instruments. The screams coming from Analena were particularly interesting for me, quite powerful and literally “moving my brain” (quote taken from my greatest inspiration). After the song, Ana talked a bit how it’s been five years since their last show in Belgrade. And it was really kinda sad, not because of the five year break, but because of the mere fact that they are from the country they come from and we are from the country we come from. Whoever knows a bit of Balkan history, knows that there has always been strife and hatred between Croatia and Serbia. But at the show there was non of that present, we were all the same, speaking the same language with absolutely no differences. Apparently both of our “scenes” are holding hands up high to reach each other, but we are sadly divided by rows upon rows of scum who hold ancient grudges which should have been forgotten a long time ago. Either way, Analena continued their show with their amazing songs like “Work In Progress”, “Spilt Milk”, “In Theory and Practice”, “From Automatic To Manual” and they even surprised us with a few new songs, “Inconstantinopolis”, “Send in the Clowns” (if I heard the name of the song correctly) and one song about pirates (that’s how they presented it). The crowd was alive all the time, singing, screaming and jumping around and at times screaming into Ana’s mic. Hehe, in one moment the security guy tried to move the crowd away a bit, but Ana turned him away saying “Don’t worry boys we can handle ourselves fine”. At the end of the show, a rave party was due, but as soon as house beats started, we scrammed away.
As I said, a bunch of random words pilled up together. I am still confused with what to say about the whole event, but my lack of words is definitely not a sign of a “meh” show. A peak at the “wow” mountain, an amazing opening of the concert season and this is running forward to be one of the best shows this year. I certainly hope we won’t have to wait another five years to hear Analena again…
After the show when I got home, the buzzing sound in my ears was extreme and the back pain was maddening…but it made me smile.