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Culture Reviews
dEUS
B2 Club 
By Erik Jansma
dEUS are, as they say themselves, back. It’s probably the right thing to say as the indie rock band has had break from recording as long as five years. The long awaited new album meets mixed critics, even by hardcore fans. It’s lacking the experimental touch and the band is not renewing, so they say. Is this comeback just an encore then?

A concert review is not going to answer that question, but why not see if the concert at B2 contains some indicators on whether dEUS is future-proof?

First of all, dEUS obviously still succeeds in gaining some interest from us music lovers. Or rather: Talking about a full house! Way into the third song of the gig, people were still queuing on the stairs in order to get in. A shoehorn would have come in handy and would have been indispensable if only a few more tickets would have been issued. Good news for dEUS, good news for B2, bad news for a shorty who came in late.

Those who already passed ticket control were joining in on a collective madness for the five gentlemen on stage. The refreshed line-up features 3 new band members and the founding fathers Tom Barman (lead vocals, guitar) and Jan Klaaszoon (violin, keyboards). The new members each have an extensive musical resume too, albeit from bands not known outside Belgium, France or The Netherlands. However, the band looks and plays like they’ve been together from day one. The band sounds coherent, well played-in and well-rehearsed. The multi-vocal choruses (a trademark of the band) still stand like a house and even the occasional violin produces a note or two. There is enough room for improvisation in the gig and whether dEUS plays rock, grunge, funk or combination of it, either fast or slow, it all just sounds very, very solid.

dEUS also puts down an overall interesting performance. Front man Barman is not afraid to still freak out and jump around on stage. He has found a new companion for doing so: guitar player Mauro Pawlowski, who radiates rock ‘n’ roll coolness as if he were Keith Richards. At moments things look chaotic on stage, which is good because rock bands are supposed to be a bit chaotic. However, it is clear that these musicians know what they are doing; they stay in control of the songs, the concert, and themselves.

And that is actually where the criticism seems to start making sense: maybe dEUS is thriving on routine. In spite of the take-no-prisoners attitude with which they perform, apart from the occasional “Spasibo!” there is not much real interaction with the audience. Neither are there any real musical surprises. Yes, the encores are long and nice, but who wouldn’t perform one or two for a crowd that enthusiastic? That same crowd however proves me wrong in complaining that the gig wasn’t that special. The vibe was, after all, great, and everybody had a good time. So I’ll leave the verdict as: dEUS as good as can be expected, the crowd and B2 at their best!

13.04.06
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