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28.10.2009 Bat for Lashes @ Postbahnhof
As the lights dimmed over the audience at Postbahnhof, the stage became illuminated in red and Natasha Khan's haunting, rich voice spread throughout the hall. Drums soon merged into the song, becoming stronger and faster and pounding a rhythm onto the meandering vocals. The stage flashed with lights: bright, colorful, and perfectly coordinated with every drumbeat.
Each song was balanced between moments carried only by Khan's voice and those that were layered with strong percussion, ethereal bells, guitar, harpsichord, and keyboards. The songs were patiently constructed; each consecutive note proceeded to add or remove an essential layer of sound without a single thoughtless, unplanned moment.
Khan first sat at the piano for ‘Moon and Moon.' Bathed in light her breathy voice floated on top of the melody of the keys. Her appearance and demeanor expressed a surface of shyness and timidity, yet the underlying passion and intensity could be seen and heard with every note. The songs were based in pure emotion, moving from despair and sorrow to love and joy. Both she and the rest of the band gave solid and powerful performances, expanding the sound of her live songs into an even more dreamlike, eerie universe than what can be heard on her latest album.
Assisting to achieve this otherworldly atmosphere, her live appearance went beyond sonic adventure and passed into a visual state of blended and spiraling colors. The lights followed the tone of the music, gracefully sweeping the stage during the mellower sections of the songs and flashing relentlessly during the sections with more intense rhythm.
Unfortunately all dreams end at some point. The churn of sound and color eventually softened and dimmed. After her initial set, Khan and her band returned to the stage to bid a final haunting farewell. Leaving the stage, Postbahnhof grew dark, and then the house lights lit up the hall: Welcome back to reality.
Written by Brit-Maren Schjeide
Photos by Lucas Kromm
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