It was eight o’clock sharp when the crowd at Tolhuistuin heard an unsual greeting: “Good evening, we are Stereolab’’ announced with a fake French accent, Nic Offer who also put on a dress in order to best impersonate Laetitia Sadier.
It’s definitely interesting to see a very experienced band to embark on such a tribute as I guess that many other acts might be quite happy enough in having an established career and would consider it as something inferior to do, since normally bands decide to focus on covers at the beginning of their career and, let’s face it, most of the average tribute bands out there, unfortunately, sound just like that, average. Or maybe it’s just me who can’t really understand the science of it. Back to what really matters – Stereolad’s gig – the fun that !!!’s members definitely have on stage by playing songs like French Disko or Transona Five seems to be truly contagious as attenders gradually got excited with the performance
Naturally, this is also a good opportunity for attenders to either discover or rediscover Stereolab’s wonderful discography. And, who knows, maybe in the future we might be able to witness to a supergroup formed by !!!’s and the remaining members of Stereolab, just as it has happened between Franz Ferdinand and Sparks. Back to reality, it would already be quite cool if Stereolab would reunite again and tour together with !!!.
After a performance of more or less half an hour, Stereolad left stage and the same five guys re-emerge this time as !!!. They started off with a catchy one, apparently ‘’Span Vogue” which is either a new song or a quite old one that I don’t think I ever heard before. Immediately came one of the many highlights of their latest album As If and also of this night, ‘’All U Writers’’. The song definitely made the crowd go nuts, although they already felt ecstatic since Nic Offer started doing his very own choreographies on the previous tune. Nic Offer’s never-ending energy and astonishing dance moves is something you can’t avoid paying attention to, but it is equally an effective metaphor to describe how it feels for an attender to be at a !!! gig – it’s totally insane, a true epicness. My praise to Offer is also extensible to their new vocalist, who definitely also knows how to groove and, obviously, well in the spirit of !!!.
The setlist was naturally highly focused on songs from As If that at some point just follow each other in a row, including “Every Little Counts’’, probably their coolest song since ‘’One Girl/One Boy’’ but this is a bold statement and requires a more precise definition of ‘’cool”. If the entertainment wasn’t quite enough, Offer came off stage to dance together with a couple of attenders, an incredible moment that would happen again during in their encore.
And what to say about the effect that anthems like ‘’ Must Be The Moon’’, ‘’One Girl/One Boy’’ or ‘’Heart of Hearts’’ had on the crowd? The intensity of the performance simply went up again, reaching stratospheric levels and it was clear that most attenders were raving like there was no tomorrow.
When the last of this sequence of songs was over, !!! left the stage for a deserve pause of ten minutes or so. They came back – Offer wearing the dress previously used during the Stereolad gig – to perform the vampiresque ‘’I Feel So Free (Citation Needed)’’ with the frontman inviting the crowd to sing along the chorus with him. As expected, the crowd clapped and joined their voices to Offer’s at the right time, the perfect moment to illustrate that band and audience were in complete harmony.
After the closing track of As If, the group abandoned the stage once again. In their second and final encore, they went for ‘’Yadnus’’ the properly wild ending to a beyond-amazing show.