Before I write about my last Hasselt experience I mentioned in my previous post, I feel obliged to give you a short background on why and how it happened.
As you know, I am a big music lover. I like discovering new artists, new songs, new sounds. But as much as I love the new, I am as well very much attached to the old. I have my list of “love-forever” artists that I’ll support and listen to until they play. I really enjoy going to other countries to see how people react to my music.
As you also know, I am a very spontaneous person. I say something and I do. So it happened in September that I met two lovely Belgian guys on one of Couchsurfing meetings. We got on well straight away. We met when they were visiting Warsaw and I was showing them our nightlife as well as giving some tips on what to do in the city. We talked about many different topics and one of them was music. Another was travelling. In a short, it turned out that one of them comes from Hasselt, Belgium and it happened that there was a concert of one of those bands at the end of October so we just decided we would all three meet again in Hasselt during this gig.
The day arrived. Unfortunately, one friend couldn’t join us so the two that were left eagerly marched to attend the event.
The evening was a part of Nordic Weekend that took place in Hasselt at the end of October. There were several gigs, parties, DJ Sets and other attractions prepared for the participants. The gig that we attended was organized in Cultuurcentrum Hasselt, a huge and impressive building dedicated to all forms of arts and culture. The gigs were to be played in one of the theater rooms there. They were my forever favorite Low Roar and new great discovery, Siv Jakobsen, whose songs I knew from Spotify.
Ok, one more explanation here. I know that for some of you who know me and know the story, it sound just ridiculous that I went there. Not to go too much into details, here’s why. I discovered Low Roar during my first visit to Iceland. I fell in love with the music, because it was very personal, intimate and honest. I’m not a fan of explicit, noisy, content-less artists who are so full of themselves that can’t quite see anything else than the tip of their noses. Hence, Low Roar became my top 10 most frequently played artists. His music accompanied me, as well, during my whole stay in Iceland, it was more than 1,5 years full of many different experiences. And this music was always somewhere in the background, just like a soundtrack of my life. It just became an integral part of all my activities. And I liked it a lot. 🙂
I needed to take a break from this music when I moved back to Poland. There were a lot of issues going on and the music that used to give me so much happiness at that time triggered very negative feelings. I listened to it last in June. I had a similar story once with Radiohead, now back on my playlist.
That’s why it was even more obvious to me that I should attend some gig during their Fall Tour in Europe. As luck would have it, Hasselt turned out to be the place.
I couldn’t have picked a better place. The theater room had great acoustics, the audience was very attentive and silent, something that is very rarely observed nowadays. I stopped attending concerts because I’d always leave them annoyed by the people. I can’t understand why you go to the concert to listen to music and instead you spend it talking all the time to your friends, the bartenders shaking cocktails, and the general noise is louder than the music. It’s just so disrespectful to the artist, and those who really just want to enjoy music.
The audience in Belgium is very peculiar. They’re very reserved when it comes to expressing their enjoyment (I was the one who clapped hands first!), but on the other hand it makes the experiences high quality. I could just sit there and enjoy. What a pleasure!
And the music itself. I am truly amazed by the progress the band has had. When I compare the two gigs I attended this year they’re like black and white. And the gig in June was really good. It’s just the overall feeling. Guys rearranged the songs, added some “spice” to some songs and changed the order on the set list. There was my favorite “storytelling” part, as I really enjoy Ryan’s way of telling the stories behind the songs. There was still this intimate moment with just acoustic guitar and the voice, there were elaborate electronic (a bit Sigur Ros) transitions between the songs. There was charisma, energy, unity between the band members. I guess my friend’s just one comment “SPLENDID!” can for sure sum up the performance.
I was moved to bits an extremely happy I gave myself a chance to rediscover the music and let go of all negative feelings that still were somewhere there in my mind. I left the room uplifted and full of good energy. During the gig I’d think about all the memories that this music evokes in me, good and bad, and for sure the good ones outperformed the bad ones.
It must be true love, I guess. 🙂
There’s one more thing about Low Roar that I appreciate a lot. It’s the way they treat their fans. After each show, they go to the public, pateintly sign records, t-shirts, take photos, talk with people even when they’re super tired. Respect guys, really. ❤️