Outside, a hard and warm summer shower had just ended. Inside, the medium-sized club Gretchen in Berlin was perhaps at half capacity with an audience of two hundred, and here, the rain started again. It was unusual dark in the club, even before the show started with the ten minute loop of a rain sample, and after Dean Blunt entered the stage amidst the loud, wet soundscape, he gave what can only be described as a top notch performance of anxiety and overcompensating confidence. Strolling around on the stage, doing nothing but stare calmly, yet nervously for the next few minutes, he set the tone for what was to come.
The show was not for the faint of heart, or for the narrow minded. It was half of an art show and half of an sensory rollercoaster, with a hint of a pop concert thrown in the mix. There was a muscular guy, for example, standing in the back of the stage, sometimes leaning against the wall, sometimes standing around freely, but never doing anything of purpose for the concert. At times, Blunt took his place and let the music play – which was from tape for the whole show, except for a saxophonist and Joanne Robertson with a guitar. Sometimes he sang through the heavy fog from the machine, or rather spoke – or whatever: it was his typical sprechgesang.
If one had to interpret, had to name a topic or two for the show – and the art aspect invited such an approach – it would be “wastefulness” and the above mentioned overcompensation. As on his albums and mixtapes, the songs often ended abruptly or noise samples interrupted the sweet melodies, and after another rain interlude in the complete dark and foggy club, a heavy strobe light set in, changing pace to the pitch of the noise and lasting well over ten minutes into the next two (and last) songs. It was complete sensory overload where you couldn’t decide whether to cover your ears and eyes or let it wash over you, swallow you whole. The show ended abruptly after a little more than an hour, but it felt like a whole night out. Or a life out.