When Saints Go Machine, Store Vega (Nov 2011)

Store Vega, Nov 2011: Rating 5 out of 6 stars

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Photo: Tom Spray

Roskilde festival 2010 Orange stage openers “When Saints Go Machine” showcased their latest studio album, “Konkylie,” at Store Vega on Saturday in front of a partisan sell-out crowd. The album is one of two studio works that have seen the Danish electro-pop quartet achieve quite the following domestically as well as abroad. Saturday’s concert in a nutshell was the unstoppable sound of a band that’s going places very quickly indeed.

“The Saints” got the ball rolling with the “Kelly,” a flagship number off their new album, Konkylie, a dreamy rendition that set the stage for what was to come by creating a sense of collective impatience enhanced by piercing flashes of green light rays slashing through the mist. Three songs in and the misty, mysterious mood that the concert started with was all but gone, replaced instead by bombastic synth sounds overridden by lead singer Jonas Kenton’s poignant falsetto vocals alongside gnarling riffs and well-timed drumbeats. Jonas Kenton and drummer Silas Moldenhawer are in fact equally well-known for their outings with their side-project, “Kenton Slash Demon,” a rhythmic, more buoyant blend of electro fused with heavier drumbeats and less vocals. It was this very influence that frequently interjected the more soulful sounds of the night, and with great effect.

From Dreamy to Chaotic

In fact, the switch between some of the band’s more dreamy sounds and their explosive, upbeat forays was what made the concert as endearing as it turned out to be. When Saints Go Machine sounded not too different to Baroque pop English band Anthony & The Johnson’s at times, whilst at others they were astoundingly akin to the edgy NU disco sounds of New York project Hercules and Love Affair. Jonas Kenton looked delighted to be on stage as he pranced back and forth in the midst of his high-pitched , stooping over the lead keyboard to chip in with input of his own at times. This sense of playfulness peaked as the memorable “ Parix” tune was played towards the apex of the show, creating widespread smiles and hearty claps of approval amongst the audience. If “Paris” set the stage, then “Fail Forever,” The band’s most well-known song set it alight, encapsulating everything that was good and grand about the evening.

Rating: 5 out of 6 stars

Allan Mutuku Kortbæk

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