tangerine dream

The next concert of the season was Tangerine Dream, also at the Mountain Winery, July 14.

In a word, it was LOUD!  With a stringed instrument like an electric bass for example, the sound of a note will decay and fade out as time goes on.  Not so with a synthesizer!  The sound just starts going, and keeps on going as long as the guy holds the key down, until everything around is vibrating.  I had earplugs in for a lot of this.

The visual stage tableau was well thought out.  There were the hot chicks around the edges (not to be sexist, but even Joanie commented on the outfit worn by the blue-eyed blonde in a mad-hatter style black hat to the left to the left of the stage) and at the center was the grumpy old German guy who started the band, however many years ago.  The only remaining original member.

Behind the two main keyboard players were two large flat-screen displays of the current synthesizer patch panels in use (at least from what I could tell).  Behind, projected on the winery wall, was a quite effective psychedelic light show.  Between the sheer volume and the dizzying effects, no drugs required to achieve a mind-blowing state of consciousness.  Like, wow, man!

I’ve never been a great fan of the mechanical rhythms, but at least when Tangerine Dream started using them, it was innovative and experimental.  Not like nowadays when it’s the tedious norm.  And their manner of using them is a bit different from your average pop slush.

Also, the drums were live, which helped.  By which I mean that the drummer played the rhythms live, though the sounds were largely sampled.  Other instruments were an electronic cello, saxophone (genuine), and electric guitar.  I felt that the music did best when the electronic texture provided the backdrop for the solo work on the live instruments.  And that it did quite often, reaching soaring heights of blended electronics with human talent.

It was nice at intermission to find other listeners familiar with some of my favorite bands recently: Ozric Tentacles and Porcupine tree, &c.


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