Arts & Entertainment, Features

REVIEW: German folk group Milky Chance wows at House of Blues

“Man, that was good,” Clemens Rehbein said mid-set during the Milky Chance concert at the House of Blues on Tuesday. Rehbein is the lead vocalist and guitarist for the German folk band, who displayed their raw and unique talent in a stunning performance on the 14th stop of their “Blossom” tour.

Playing to an energetic sold-out crowd, the band opened with the track “Clouds,” drawing the audience into their dream-like world, perfectly complimented by a lights show. As the energy built throughout the concert, so did the crowd’s volume. The audience was so rowdy, in fact, that during the encore, Rehbein had to take a step back and start their 2013 hit “Stolen Dance” over again.

Lewis Capaldi, a Scottish singer-songwriter with a new EP out entitled “Bloom,” opened for Milky Chance. Capaldi and his fire-haired pianist warmed the audience up with what he described as “really sad songs.”

“Milky Chance has loads of happy songs, so indulge me,” he joked with the audience. By the end of the set, Capaldi was met with explosive cheers and some audience members exclaimed that he should audition for “The Voice.”

The duo was as skilled as they were entertaining. Capaldi had great quips that made the crowd laugh, he and encouraged audience participation. Capaldi shares the growly and intense sounding vocals as Milky Chance, with passionate lyrics and sliding chords. It seemed like no coincidence that the concert opened with songs from his EP “Bloom” before Milky Chance played their hit record, “Blossom.”

As Milky Chance played their incredible album, the band’s intense passion during hits like “Cocoon,” “Bad Things” and “Ego” were met with enthusiastic reactions from the crowd.

The most unique thing about Milky Chance is not the rock harmonica, nor the use of bongo drums, nor that they are from a small German town. It is that they have individual passion for their music that comes through in every note.

Their set was truly hypnotic. Each musician is a master at their craft, and it’s obvious that they give every bit of their soul to the music. Filled with so much energy, the band was able to extend their songs to jam out together and give pause to their music. Their focus on the harmony of each song was magnetic and made it hard to look away.

“Blossom,” released in March 2017, is the band’s first album with guitarist Antonio Greger. Greger blended right in, working very well with the original members of the band as he played a passionate rock harmonica. There were times toward the end of the set where Greger even had to kneel and catch his breath.

The percussion, however, was so abrasive that it made my heart skip a beat. With a classic drum set in addition to a percussionist, Milky Chance focused heavily on their songs’ rhythm, more than they do on studio recordings. The percussion made the concert jump, and the audience with it.

Jumping around himself, Rehbein certainly performs like a rockstar. From shuffling to getting on his knees to dancing and playing with other band members to reaching out to the crowd, Rehbein was sensational. Each band member brought life to their music with dance and visible zeal.

Rehbein communicated little with the crowd, barely taking time between songs. Instead, he communicated through his music, moving to different parts of the stage and singing to fans, and encouraging clapping and singing along.

Most of all, the band seemed genuinely appreciative of the crowd’s response. Taking moments to pause and say “thank you,” or gesture to their heart as a sign of thanks, only made the crowd cheer harder. Bands that are both incredibly talented and humble in the face of success make their mark in the hearts of fans and in record books.

Milky Chance is a band of brothers in a family of musical passion. While each is an expert on his instrument, they play off each other, truly listening and creating a vibe of cooperative discovery in the music. They are true musicians, able to show off their own talent and collaborate to create a masterpiece.

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