Rumour has it that Panoplie is ceasing its activities for good. I was wondering what provoked this disaster. I know that organizing events costs energy and money, and sometimes results are not what one expected in terms of revenues, audiences and impact. I thought that maybe Panoplie does not get the praise it deserves. Then I realized that I had not produced a single report about its events since 2009.
For what is worth, here is my view of the PIN V.
For the audience, it all started on Friday the 10th of June. Before us, two of the most interesting Italian rock bands: Julie's Haircut and Afterhours. For the Julie's, it was their third time in Luxembourg. Actually, they closed the PIN IV in 2010. You may know this band: they play a music style that has to be defined using two paragraphs, (including specific ad hoc new musical terms) but that keeps you mesmerized from the beginning to the end. Better to live it than to explain it, sincerely. They sound very experimental and give a taste of what would be music in the future. At the same time, their music moves you (in different senses of this verb).
Julie's Haircut were stratosferici and it was sad to let them go after what seemed a short time. Luckily enough, they were replaced by Afterhours. I am aware that I run short of positive adjectives when describing this band. There were some changes since I last saw them: Rodrigo D’Erasmo for Dario Ciffo and Xabier Iriondo for Enrico Gabrielli (who could not find a moment between his 37 other bands). In football, the D’Erasmo – Ciffo move is like replacing a left-side defender with a left-side defender. On the other hand, the Iriondo – Gabrielli replacement is like sending the goalkeeper out and having a centre forward in.
I have never heard the Afterhours so harsh, so loud and so noisy. In a positive sense: don't get me wrong. I was however happy that we were at Exit07 and not at d:qliq, otherwise my eardrums would be by now like gruyere cheese with E. Coli. More than a line-up, theirs was a front line in some kind of army. They looked very aggressive, specially Iriondo, stiff as a soldier and with the looks of some medieval-fantasy warrior. As Marco put it, the band was in very good shape... almost as good as Agnelli's biceps. So I enjoyed the concert, but I think I preferred them with Gabrielli’s one-man orchestra on their side.
On Saturday, PIN imitated Afterhours and went back to its roots, i.e. to d:qliq. It followed more or less the patterns of the PIN 3 and dedicated the second night of the festival to pop music. On stage, Athebustop (discovered at the PIN I), Denise (brand new discovery) and Perturbazione (old friends of the Panopeople). Athebustop (aka Claudio Donzelli or "Nipotino") was excellent. It was moving to see how moved he was. In that sense, it is funny how someone like Claudio, who is always smiling and looks happy, is able to communicate such a melancholic feeling with his melodies and lyrics. Athebustop achieved a great performance. I would highlight his duo with Cerasuolo for "Peter Pan" (actually, it could have been "Time", a song I missed). He was a good musician in 2006, but he has steadily improved and reached an optimum level. We will be expecting his album.
Denise, an old friend of Athebustop who sang with him two numbers, was very nice also. She has a very interesting voice, which sounds exotic and familiar at the same time, and a good band around her. I also liked the way she behaved on stage, her shy looks, her soft whispers to introduce each piece and the special instruments and gadgets she was using to play her music. It was flowery pop, refreshing and cheery... somehow she reminded me of Ariadineve (c.f. PIN 3). Sometimes the voice was lower than the instruments and therefore difficult to hear, which was a pity (and this reminded me of Il Genio, c.f. always PIN 3). Maybe pop will not kill your soul after all.
Finally, Perturbazione. What a wonderful band! Pop with an attitude, a characteristic style, a message, some rock hints, good feelings, rhythm, a perfect blend of instruments... Hats up for the person who had the idea of adding a cello to a pop-rock band. Cerasuolo's voice was excellent on Saturday from the beginning to the end. My favourite (not very original): "Buongiorno buonafortuna".
I have in the meantime found why Panoplie might want to give up. To use a sentence that was sung on Saturday: non è la fatica, è lo spreco. For every concert, there is always a bunch of rude kids that show up only to have a chat in front of a band. Lads, if you don't care about music and it's played so loud that you have to raise the volume of your voice so that it annoys all the people around, why don't you go somewhere else to yak-yak-yak with your pals?
For the PIN VI, we will hire a frightening bouncer... Maybe Xabier Iriondo.