Sunday, June 19, 2005

Rascasse in Concert

Rascasse reappeared this weekend after a six months pause in very good shape. The Berlin-based band, whose music is a mixture of bass, drums, saxophone, trumpets, guitar, keyboard and two voices, decided to give their first real concert. Although I had already seen them in action in some local bars and festivals, playing some lively music and showing good potential, I had never imagined witnessing such a great concert.

The preparations for the concert started about one month ago, when they rented a circus tent next to the remnants of the Wall, which divided Berlin into two different cities until fifteen years ago. Coincidence or not, West-Berlin Rascasse chose East-Berlin Klein Gärtner as their cover band, giving the whole event some harmony-between-west-and-east atmosphere.

The next step was publicity, so they posted advertisements all around the city. As a matter of fact, their invitation got a privileged spot on a wall just around the corner, making people think twice whether to spend a Friday night buying tickets for the U2 concert in Ebay or to support some local band. Knowing Rascasse’s concern about corruption, social injustice and world politics, I can immagine some of the musicians posting their own invitations around Berlin, avoiding the official fee of 120 euros per wall.

On Friday night, around 10 pm, the tent was full with five hundred people, reaching its maximum capacity. The lights went off shortly and then on again. Hard to believe, it was Rascasse in concert..!

The band played during two and a half hours the best mix of Reggae, Funk and Ska you could expect from a relatively unknown band. It actually seemed as if they used their time-off to review all their songs and give each of them a particular identity. Most people complain that all Reggae and Ska songs sound pretty much the same, but what Rascasse achieved with their new sound is wonderful. The right mix of moods and cultural influences, as well as the variety of topics in their lyrics (which are mainly written in German, English, French and Spanish), makes their repertoire simply amazing.

The quality of the band would have paid the five euro entrance by itself, but the circus tent was also hiding some surprises. Around 11 pm three East-European beauties appeared on stage, ready to climb onto a five meter high trapeze. Some seconds later and they were already up there, performing impressive acrobatics to the rhythm of the music. Not only the musicians couldn’t help looking upwards every now and then, but the spectators started screaming and clapping like crazy. The collective euphoria became particularly strong by the end of the night, when the girls reappeared while Rascasse played their well-known Mr. President.

More than a concert, the whole experience qualified as premium entertainment. Unfortunately, I have no pictures or videos to proof what I am saying, and Rascasse’s current homepage doesn’t reflect yet what they are to become. But if they keep playing like this, you can be sure you’ll hear from them again.

1 comment:

globalloonan said...

I think the guitarist from Rascasse is a dog. I think the singer from Ganz Grosses Tennis is hot.