If someone told me I would witness a fine and crowded Hard Rock/Heavy Metal show in the middle of the week in goddamn Osijek, I would have smacked his head with a fucking bass guitar.
As it seems, now I must smack myself and do it really hard. A couple of days ago, on a Wednesday evening, we went to Randevu/Danđn bar with no high hopes of seeing something different than a great band performing for almost no one, but man, we were in a surprising denial. We picked a table at the ground floor, got ourselves a couple of beers and listened to the music playing from the stereo while the sounds of the soundcheck were outreaching behind the closed door of the “dungeon”. An hour or so later, it was time to go downstairs to listen to the first and only band of the evening.
As mentioned before, the surprise occurred when we saw a fair number of people, in the middle of the week, waiting to see a show in Osijek.
After defeating a few small technical difficulties, Formosa from Essen, Germany, said few warm, friendly words to the crowd as an opening ceremony and started to play. The “bad boys” are currently on a rather long and lasting tour promoting their second full-length release “Sorry For Being Sexy” through the Balkans and then heading to the western parts of Europe. At first, I thought that the drums were too loud compared to the rest of the band, but then I realized their drummer Paris Jay is no wimp behind the drum kit, so it’s kinda natural to notice his pounding style of playing. Accompanied by Nik Bird on bass and vocals, and Nik Beer on guitars, they form a fascinating Hard Rock power trio with classic 80’s image and non-compromising but funny lyrics. People instantly fell in love with their music. It was all about simple but memorable hard rock riffs, mind-blowing guitar solos, firm bass and drums as a foundation, and specific high-pitched vocals. Some of us were focused on the stage and nodding heads in approval while the other ones were dancing to the catchy riffs Formosa was sending through the amplifiers. Not only were few brave people in the audience dancing, but the band was shoving their dancing skills as well. It was loud and clear that they came here to have fun. Their choreography was based on “Judas Priest moves” but with more hard-rocking ease and tease which was really something not so typical to see comparing to the other bands that come to play here.
The atmosphere during their set was like a home party; getting sexier with every note and the band was really creating some astonishing energy between them and the audience. Things got quite steamy during the title track of their new album “Sorry For Being Sexy”, a catchy tune that got people repeatedly chanting: “Sexy!” in a small dungeon. That was totally a cute moment.
Somewhere in the middle of the set, an older man came downstairs bringing beer to the band, and the band was surprised and grateful to the mysterious donor. Actually, that is not a first time that has happened at a concert in Osijek. I witnessed a few times at other gigs a random guy showing up from nowhere and bringing beer to the bands that were playing. Once a guy even brought a fuckin’ pizza on the stage. They were always different men, nobody knew them and they were, in that matter like a first aid kit to the thirsty and hungry musicians. Maybe we’re on the edge of some sort of conspiracy theory, right?
Speaking of beer donors, the mysterious older guy came right in time to fuel the band’s bellies, since shortly after that, came their drinking anthem on the setlist. The song “Fuck Up Your Liver” got the people cheering: “Pivo! Pivo! Pivo! Pivo!” and surely, Formosa understood what that meant so they approved the act in all its blaze of glory.
The hard-rocking humor continued when Nik Bird announced a song dedicated to his ex-girlfriend, he admitted that it was a pretty rough break-up since she was a “Big Boob Babe”. That was one of the few tracks from their first release “Tight & Sexy” that they played and it was a definite killer tune.
The guys were not showing any signs that they were getting tired, probably because you can’t get tired when you play they were playing, smooth, hard and with pleasure. Since I’ve listened to their second album for quite an amount of times, I noticed that they played all of the songs from the setlist just like they were recorded, from tone to tone and from beat to beat, but with more raw energy and power. That is truly a thing you can admire when listening to Formosa.
A tune like “Sugar Daddy” brought a calming pleasure to the well-prepared crowd, and yet the other ones, like “Love On The Highway” and “Never Stop Rock’n’roll” brought the adrenaline out, so not a single person was unsatisfied.
When the end of the show came, we truly wanted more. Despite it being Wednesday and that a lot of us had to go to work in the morning, one band playing for an hour was just not enough. Formosa agreed with us immediately. They played two more songs as an encore, with the last being the opening track of their second release called “Bad Boys”. In the middle of it, the band had a small singing task for us in the audience and I think we pulled it off together pretty well. We were loud and the band was proud.
After the musical part of this mid-week night, all of us had a little beer “meet and greet” with this fabulous hard rock power trio until they had to leave for a ten-hour drive to catch their next gig in Italy.
That is the true spirit of rock’n’roll and the right way of being in a band.
Live fast as you can, play loud as you could, and sleep only as much as you can manage!