Watching a Leprous show it is to witness creative minds expressing themselves in the most beautiful way. A performance that’s all about the achievement with everything from the music, the pulsating lights and the hypnotic video projections all working together in harmony with one thing in mind – to make you feel great. On a late summer evening, Quantic Club played host to an intimate performance from none other than Leprous in support of the newest album called “Malina”. For this sold-out show, Leprous shared the stage with 22 and Agent Fresco.
The evening starts with 22, a prog-rock band from Norway or as they are also described: “the New Energy Musik”. 22 have defined their own musical domain as an eclectic, energetic and stadium-appealing progressive rock outfit. They sang “Plastik”, “Sum of Parts” and other great songs. Within minutes, 22 creates an atmosphere with intense beats and rhythms.
As part of my long list of bands and artists I really should see, Agent Fresco has been on the list for some time. I’ve seen many greats and some legends so how has Agent Fresco slipped by? Chance or timing has never happened to make it possible, but tonight that is all about to change.
The crescendo during the introduction to “Dark Water” causes an increase in crowd volume as Agent Fresco unleash one of their most successful tracks. You gain a sense that the band have considered their set list carefully, planting particular well-known songs at key points like “Pyre” being one and “Dark Water”being another. The advanced lighting system and images that justify the number of trucks outside the venue, come into play during the whole show which in many ways feel an unnecessary requirement as Agent Fresco can hold the audience’s attention without the need for elaborate visuals.
Leprous could let their notoriety do the work for them. But luckily that is just not their style. In support of their new album, Leprous treated the Romanian audience with an hour and a half set featuring some of the best performances you are likely to find anywhere in the business today.
The ritual started with “Bonneville,” the first song from their excellent new record “Malina,” a heavy tune both emotionally and musically. The transition from the new song “Golden Prayers” to “From the Flame” illustrate the band’s ability to switch between a heavier metal sound to a song with a slower pace and more melodious sensibilities. This is possibly at the heart of Leprous continuing popularity. The bass of Simen Daniel Børven should power through your body as it kicks in on “Stuck”especially for those fortunate enough to be in front of the stage.
Slowing the pace and increasing the heart rates, Leprous amaze us with “Angel”, a Massive Attack song. On top of everything Einar Solberg’s voice was the star of this evening.
The precise drumming of Baard Kolstad is a key element to the Leprous sound as it’s accuracy needs to be in line with the various samples that are used, demonstrated perfectly with the beginning of “The Valley” (from the “Coal” album) and its finale when they sang the last song, “Slave”. The tempo is increased for the last songs of the evening, “From the Flame”and “Slave”, which allows those at the front one last burst of energy before the cold reality takes the stage as the band exit. Leprous are a mighty fine collective of musicians whose performance is refined and faultless, and this sold-out show was a supreme statement.
In the end, the band awarded the Romanian audience with the title of “best public,” and they deserved it. It was a trance-inducing neurological experience that had become a memorable daze. There wasn’t a single sad face in the packed out Quantic Club that night. Not a frown, not an expression of boredom, or any eye rolling.. What happened was an event that simply radiated joy, and swept everyone in the room along with it. Leprous aren’t just one of the best live acts you could hope to see this year, they are one of the best live bands around, period. If you like them on CD, you will be absolutely blown away live. Go see them live!
Photos by Octavian S.
2. The Valley
3. Golden Prayers
7. Angel (Massive Attack cover)
8. The Price
12. The Flood
13. From the Flame