Review: Minami Deutsch at Crystal Ballroom on November 30th
Written by Robin on December 1, 2019
It was my first concert attended at Crystal Ballroom and yet again I entered a venue, surprised how much bigger the room turned out to be from what I had expected coming into the building. That seems to be a theme in Portland: Impressive venues hiding behind unflashy facades. Something similar could be said about Minami Deutsch: They walked out on stage without a bang, simply got to their instruments to get the final tune right and got ready to play – but once they started their set, there was a much different aura in the room.
All band members were highly skilled with their instruments, delicately for the most part, uproarious at times. I was especially impressed with the interplay between drums and bass guitar – they often combined to produce a sound that could draw you in. In their promo description, they promised to “create the feeling of leaving half your brain in a Volkswagen down an endless Autobahn in 1972 and one-half lost in the astral plane as boundless light, above space and time”. Before attending the concert, I didn’t know how to feel about that abstract. Once I stood in front of stage, that imagery came back to me. Closing my eyes, it felt as if I was in a car in a tunnel, pushed by the incentive rhythm of drums and bass guitar, while the intermingling sounds of electric guitars added flashing lights, almost creating an impossible feel of infinity.
Minami Deutsch played their set without saying much in between the songs, maybe due to a lack of English skills, maybe because they are on the quiter end, maybe both. When they left the stage, it seemed to me the packed room would have enjoyed another song or two before Kikagaku Moyo came on. But quickly after the last song ended, the lights turned back on and music was played over the speakers. Nonetheless, only a minute later the band came back on stage and excited cheers could be heard from among the audience. To their unfortunate surprise, the band only came back to remove their instruments from stage. It was nice seeing such unpretentious behaviour by a group of people who have just performed a set in front of a good thousand. Minami Deutsch don’t fail to create a bang but they do it solely through their music – a wonderful live act to witness.