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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ill Niño, Labia & A.S.P. @ Salzhaus Winterthur

Yesterday marked a special day for Labia. It was the first time they were the opening act for an internationally famous band. Admitted they already played at several Festivals in front of big crowds, but a club show where everyone is there for either the main or the opening act is definitely another pair of shoes.

A little bit of back story: Ill Niño wanted to make a stop in Switzerland during their European Tour but were lacking support acts. The organization of these supporting acts fells to the manager of the Salzhaus in Winterthur, where the gig took place. He remembered seeing Labia in a concert and thinking that they were pretty cool. So he phoned Labia's guitarist to check if they were available and if they knew of another supporting act which could join them. The band was very pleased by this offer and accepted swiftly, proposing Aggressive Sound Painters (A.S.P.) as additional supporting act, having already played with them in Davos.

So that's the story how Labia got hold of this special gig. Now to the concert itself. A.S.P. were the first to play and even though they had a tough start, with many people still queuing outside or lingering around the bar, they played a solid show which slowly drew the people closer to the stage and could even animate some to dance along. I liked their performance a lot and was a bit sad to see them go after only 25 minutes. But that's show business. By the way, if you were wondering what A.S.P. sound like: imagine the first album of Disturbed ("The Sickness") with occasional and brief visits of Serj Tankjan. This time I was fast enough after the concert and I got hold of one of their CDs.

Next up were Labia and they started without warm-up directly with their harder songs. By now the room was decently full and around 400 of the 500 expected visitors were observing the show. Labia played a cool gig, showcasing all their best tunes and they were well received for it. The audience participation was very good and many people clapped, (tried to) dance along and there was even a small moshpit during two songs. During this gig I became aware of a peculiarity of Labia's sound and its effects on the uninitiated. Many people were dancing along, jumping around or headbanging but they were frequently distracted by the breaks and tempi changes in the songs. For me as a long time fan this was no problem, I knew where change my movements, but the newcomers to Labia's sound had a harder time. However, this variety is what I like most about Labia's music and I wouldn't want to miss it and I'm sure that this gig was a big success for them and hopefully brought many new listeners.

Last up were Ill Niño, obviously the main act of the evening because the Bar was now completely deserted ;). All in all they played a good concert including all their greatest hits and a couple of cover songs from bands such as Sepultura and Slayer. These cover songs were my personal highlights of their show, however, they couldn't convince me to buy one of their CDs. Yet the majority of people seemed pretty pleased.

And so ended the day which featured my 33rd Labia concert :)

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