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25091Review: 12/4/2009 Magma l'Alhambra

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  • Michael Feathers
    Dec 4, 2009
      Great show at the l'Alhambra last night. I was a little thrown by the
      beginning of it, though. They played a lot of new material. One long
      piece with an abrupt and lumbering bass line (very repetitive) started
      out. I know I've seen a youtube clip of it, but I have no idea what
      the name is. It was followed by a few more pieces which didn't
      connect with me (maybe because I haven't heard them enough). They
      seemed a little lighter melodically and harmonically than Christian's
      usual compositional style.

      The band stopped for a break after those pieces and then launched into
      Ëmëhntëtt-Ré, skipping the spoken word introduction that is on the CD.
      It was a very good rendition. I was a bit scared that I wouldn't care
      for Hervé's voice, but he did a great job with Ëmëhntëtt-Ré. My
      favorite bit is the beginning of Ëmëhntëtt-Ré II, right before the
      Hhai section, and that came off very well.

      They ended with one encore which involved bringing six additional
      people on stage for a rather long choral intensive chant piece. A
      friend told me that they said that each of these four nights they will
      have different people up to sing with the band on encore. It was a
      great piece, so of chant gospel feel. Julie Vander was one of the
      singers, and Bruno joined in too. James did some very good guitar
      over it and it was fun to watch Isabelle up above smiling as she sang,
      enjoying herself.

      Bruno was excellent throughout the show also. He can't seem to stand
      still. I was also amazed at what a monster Philippe has become. I know
      he's been playing forever, but I've never seen him play with such
      absolute confidence. I mentioned to a friend that there probably
      isn't another gig on the planet which requires someone to play the way
      that Philippe plays with Magma. Incredible demands, and he did it all
      so effortlessly.

      All in all, a very good show. Looking forward to tonight also.