Second time seeing 65 in two weeks! This time I was back on home turf. Alex came along as well. We had both been somewhat nonplussed after their 2018 Decomposition Theory gig at the same venue, but this would be more like a “classic” gig. (In hindsight, I actually enjoy listening to Replicr, the album that Decomposition Theory evolved into, and I like listening to the Wreckage Systems livestream. But it wasn’t what I’d been expecting going into the gig.)
Abi dropped us off at Tolhuistuin. Alex was suffering from a blocked ear, so he’d be experiencing the music partly in mono, and partly through the heavy bass vibrations. Neither of us was super excited about Sugar Horse as the support act, so we showed up late.
It was interesting to compare the two gigs so close together. Tolhuistuin is a larger venue than St. Luke’s. The sound quality was also much better here: not nearly so harsh, and with much greater separation and clarity of the instruments. I did have earplugs with me this time, but I didn’t need them squeezed in to their absolute maximum capacity.
The band seemed much more relaxed up on stage, which is perhaps not surprising. The St. Luke’s gig was the opening night of the tour, and the first time they’ve played a full tour for quite a while. The times I’ve seen them they’ve never interacted much with the audience, but they had a little bit more chat in Glasgow than in Amsterdam. The break between the two halves of the set was much longer. In Glasgow, they left the stage for just a couple of minutes, while in Amsterdam they took a full 15-minute break. Alex and I watched the first half from the balcony, but we had time to queue up for a drink at the bar, along with a hundred other people.
After the break we found a spot downstairs and watched the second half of the set from there. Just as in Glasgow, they played the whole of Wild Light in the first half, and a collection of bangers for the second half. They didn’t play “Supermoon” in Amsterdam, but they did leave the stage and come back for an encore of “I Swallowed Hard, Like I Understood”.
The crowd seemed warmer than in Glasgow, but maybe that was because there were just more people in the venue. And as at the Decomposition Theory show five years ago, there was a dude who shouted “Radio Protector” before they played it… and after it as well.
Merch haul: a grey Wild Light t-shirt for me (L is a good size, but I don’t think the vinyl printing on the front is going to last well) and a black Specialists t-shirt for Alex.
- Heat Death Infinity Splitter
- The Undertow
- Sleepwalk City
- Unmake the Wild Light
- Safe Passage
- Install a Break in the Heart That Clucks Time in Arabic
- Retreat! Retreat!
- Crash Tactics
- Radio Protector
- I Swallowed Hard, Like I Understood