Summer has been fairly uneventful, all things considered. A big city like this is not exactly the place where most people want to be during that time so it’s not surprising things came to a standstill. At least when it comes to what sparks my particular fancy. That being said, to revamp the concert season, we generally wait for autumn, that bittersweet period of the year in which you lament the passing of the good days of carefree holidays but at the same time be glad it’s still not cold. But I digress.
It was fitting that a band with such a track record as God Is An Astronaut get to extend the sentiment I described. For me they always gave off an impression of a “fringe” kind of band, they find their way on just about any setlist I create for myself to help with the daily routines and yet, for bizarrely unknown reasons, I have never extensively indulged myself in their craft, even after seeing them live for the first time a few years ago.
One melancholic intro at about 22h and away we go, God Is An Astronaut kick off with the brand new song called “Epitaph” from the new album of the same name. The place is absolutely packed, this has certainly been a long awaited event. And right from the word go, I am taken away by the mesmerizing light fixtures. I’m a firm believer that music is for the ears of its consumer and everything else is complementary at the best of times, but every once in a while, a spectacle like this one really adds to the atmosphere. Like, really really. No matter how many times it happens. After the initial dust has settled, the band have informed us of a tragedy that struck their family which drove them to unleashing a much darker set and ambience.
It became more and more amazing over the set just how much they are able to convey with almost no words. They do it so well, the transitions are so smooth, music like this you can keep on for hours upon hours. It feels “same-y” but it’s far from it. With “Fragile” they remind us of its very meaning, the things we take for granted, and then later “Forever Lost”, I suppose dealing with inner fear. It all follows a theme of sorts, cherish what you have, be kind to it. Towards the end, the massively heavy “Suicide by Star” and “Centralia” provide some distance from the melancholic and more into the raw kind of mentality, again reminding us of the spectrum of emotions we must not run away from, for our own sake. All while the lights tell a tale of their own.
Originally scheduled to play at “Božidarac“, the venue was ultimately changed to Dom Omladine just days before the show. Usually, when you hear that kind of information, it doesn’t bode well, but other times, it’s an upgrade. This time, it was an upgrade, the “Amerikana” has far better acoustics and is just generally better suited for this kind of thing (it also makes it easier to commute, but that’s a different story). The sound was intense, really strong and with the distortion very much pleasing for all of us. They did change the layout of the place and with it some other minor things.
One of the issues that stepped on my toe was that they replaced the good kind of beer they had in offer for the absolute garbage tier canned stuff but with a fancy name on it, jacked up the prices and hoped the band on stage is good enough not to make anyone notice (which may have happened before this, I wouldn’t know). It’s nitpicking and while there’s also a few other things (every person has their own bone to pick), none of it is a deal breaker though but it’s certainly not how I remember it and it also could be one of the reasons why the concert-going culture and lifestyle is in steady decline and bands like these, however good, can only keep things afloat for a limited time.