Milky Chance at Vicar Street, Dublin, 5th of February 2015
Vicar Street has been transformed for Milky Chance’s first ever Irish gig. Dream-catchers decorate the stage, Clemens Rehbein’s voice resonates like the six million dollar Bob Marley, and the mood of escapism into the exotic is as big as the band’s fabulous barnets.
After picking up a bunch of awards for their debut album ‘Sadnecessary’, including the European Breaking Borders Award, Milky Chance’s star has risen enormously over the past year and a half. Stolen Dance was last years Pumped up Kicks, spending an unbelievable 611 weeks in 21 different charts around the world.
When they come on stage there’s already a chant of “Milky Chance, Milky Chance” going around the arena, as excitement rose for the kick-off. The guys begin slowly, keeping pace with the sound of the crowd, before taking off into Stunner.
Rehbein’s guttural drawl is more like an instrument than a voice. Fairytale follows, before they move into Sadnecessary, both of which move slowly. The syncopation of the guitar and drums is bouncy enough to encourage the crowd to hop away to the music.
Lyrically, all of their songs do sound a little bit similar, but on the other hand, the variety of sonic ambience that they create is the real cornerstone of their music. They’re capable of summoning the image of a Mediterranean sunset or an Indian Summer even in this darkened arena.
An archaic air is apparent as they move into Junked Flash Mind, a celebration of ragged youth, the crowd reacts as you would expect, screaming approval of the song choice.
Of course, it’s obvious that the crowd reacts loudest to the band’s biggest tracks, but their popularity does extend beyond their two or three big hits. There are plenty of people singing along with the creeping combinations in Feathery or the solemnity of Sadnecessary. The extent of their appeal may well prove to extend beyond any one-hit wonders. They somehow manage to subvert the moodiness inherent in much of their music into very rhythmic, post-Eurodance beats.
Loveland loosens the mood in the arena, sounding acoustic and traditional, especially as they choose to introduce a harmonica to proceedings. This combination of influences would be confusing if the relaxed ambience that penetrates all of their music weren’t so overtly obvious
One song does remain conspicuously absent from their set, even as they finish at the peak of the night, with Stolen Dance. We haven’t heard Down by the River yet. It seems an outrage until they come back out for the encore and race into Given, before finishing us all with the aforementioned hit.
If you’re one for stories with morals, the best thing to take from tonight is that Milky Chance will be back. They don’t sound content with their lot, nor do their fans seem content to settle with what they’ve released. We just want to hear more!