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MOTORPSYCHO and ELDER live at the Markthalle, Hamburg (May 16th 2019)


Fuck, it's Saturday night, and that Motorpsycho concert was already two nights ago. So let's do this.

Thursday was a special occasion, as Stickman Records celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary, which meant that there was a second label band as support.


Elder are a stoner rock band with classic doom influences, which has gradually shifted more towards psychedelic rock and prog. Seeing them live pretty much underlined my previous impression, which is: yeah, this is good - but good enough to buy an album? Nah. (Ok, I have that one live album on CD, but that was a Roadburn Records sale.)

I loved the heavy bass sound, which was also the rhythmic foundation - strongly suspect an influence from the headliner there -, and I liked the parts which tended to the jammier psych side most. On the other side I found the general tempo and especially the vocal parts to be a bit too samey.

All in all Elder were good, but not mind-blowing or essential.

However it's of course not the most thankful slot in the world to open for an elemental force like Motorpsycho.


The Norwegians performed as a quartet, the guest musician on keys and additional guitar again being long-time collaborator Reine Fiskes, just like the last time I saw them (Roadburn 2018).

The approximately two hours long show started smoothly with "Pills, Powders And Passion Plays", before they surprised me by already playing my absolute favorite from last time, "Ship Of Fools". How many bands are out there, who can play such an epic tune at the beginning and keep up that level afterwards?

Being a Motorpsycho fan since "Heavy Metal Fruit" with some insular knowledge of their previous work, their setlists are always a mixture of Yeah I've heard that live before, not sure if I know this but it's cool and fuck yeah, I know THAT to me. This time it almost didn't matter matter to which category each of the mostly long and jammy songs belonged - I was never bored even in the slightest.

I said "almost", because I have to admit that my favorite part of the show was when they played the whole "The Crucible" album in reverse order. The mammoth title track was played with two doubleneck guitars, which was the pinnacle of Motorpsycho's prog extravaganza this night. And "Lux Aeterna"... man, this song is just so incredible beautiful. Until it gets fucking sick that is, of course. Loved it.
Also "The Other Fool", "In Every Dream Home", "You Lied", the encore "The Tower"... damn, that whole thing was just brilliant.

The sound was great, the placing of softer breathers inbetween the mostly monstrously heavy steamrollers perfect.

The only small downside was that they obviously had to cut it short at the very end, so they didn't play at least that second encore track which I saw on the setlist afterwards. But can you really complain about that after such a full motorpsychotic treatment?


I'd rather complain about that deer which almost hit my car just a couple of minutes before I arrived home. I was shaky for so long, I could have listened to at least one more Motorpsycho live long track during that time.



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