THROUGH THE SENSES AND BEYOND: COLOUR HAZE LIVE AT HARD CLUB, PORTO
19/05/2018 Psychedelic rock is fascinating. Whether its the rich and hallucinogenic sounds, the hymns to the gods of the desert or the power to invoke mental kaleidoscopes, this music genre has a lot to offer and that, in turn, has captured the attention of a lot of people in the past few years. It comes as no suprise, then, that on a night such as this, the gathering would be tremendous. The desire to be taken on a journey through various planes of existence was notable on the eyes of everyone present, as we entered Hard Club Club to the sound of Jesus The Snake’s hazy harmonies. Heavily influenced by Pink Floyd, this Portuguese group mixes the gentle melodies of 70s prog rock with the fuzz of stoner. Playing songs from their eponimous debut EP, the band took us on an instrumental journey through a peaceful desert in what was a very enjoyable and relaxed performance. Quite the nice way to start off the evening.
From the harmonious escapades of prog, we move on to the spiritual and arid soundscapes of psychedelic rock. Coming all the way from Germany to play on such a singular night, TAU presented themselves onstage as a four-piece band, as opposed to the usual duo comprised of Shaun Nunutzi and Gerald Pasqualin, playing songs from their debut LP, Tau Tau Tau. This was quite the surprise for many, as the band fuses the psychedelic elements of rock with ethnic instruments and sounds, creating something very unique. They reminded me of Wovenhand, if the Colorado group were more into stoner music. Songs like “Mother” and “Venadito” created a rich and enthralling atmosphere, with vocalist Shaun addressing the audience in a lively manner, inviting them to sing along. And, little by little, they did, clapping along the way.
It was then time for the headliners of the night, Colour Haze. The German trio had played in Portugal for the first time last year in what was a sweet but short gig. This time they were accompanied by a fourth member, keyboardist Jan Faszbender, who also played on the band’s latest record, In Her Garden. Right off the bat we are met with mesmerizing projections, with the first chords of “She Said” resonating through the entire venue. We were in for quite the trip. At first, the audience was motionless, taking in every breath of air they could, reacting to every single riff delivered by the band, murmuring every word spoken. But as soon as “Aquamaria” started to be heard, the first moments of activity began. Heads bobbing, hands trembling, eyes shining with pleasure, the whole body overcome with emotion: we could barely tell what was going on. In an instant, Colour Haze were taking us beyond space and time, to a place beyond all senses imaginable.
The band’s performance itself was an exercise in precision and improvisation, hypnotising everyone present with an intoxicating but healthy aroma, playing songs from In Her Garden, like “Skydancer” and “Labyrinthe”, as well as classics like “She Said”, “Überall” and the well-received “Tempel”. After “Transformation”, the band left the stage and we thought for sure that is was over, as a round of applause was heard. But there was a promise made when the show was first announced, a promise of a two-hour long set. And that promise was kept. Vocalist/guitarist Stefan Koglek and drummer Manfred Merwald came back onstage to play “House of Rushamon” and then, with bassist Philipp Rasthofer and Jan, the band closed the evening with a hymn to affection and friendship, the aptly named “Love”. This two-song encore was absolutely magical and everything we could have hoped for as an ending to the show. After this, the band is drowned in a sea of applause and love, something they definitely deserve. We will hardly ever forget this wonderful night and we are sure all the bands involved won’t also. It was truly a journey through the senses and beyond.
Words by Filipe Silva
Photos by Marta Rebelo