Young Gods - 15th anniversary show, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, England - December 4
I can't help but feel a slight irony in the fact that The Young Gods celebrate their 15:th anniversary with a London show at the very same night as AC/DC take their crotch rock to Wembley Arena. Because although both are undeniably rock bands, they are as different as two sides of the same coin could possibly be.
Which is not least evident tonight. Divided into two sets, the first part of the evening is dedicated to "the other side" of The Young God's work. It starts off with an acoustic guitar performance by Al Comet, but the better part is taken up by singer Franz Treichler's solo work. His captivating ambient atmospheres veer from an earthy, slowly threatening feel to more contemporary glitch spheres. Heightening the experience are female dancer Nuria de Ulibarri, whose nude slow mo performance in the dark is not as much erotic as painfully sensual, and a rewarding narration by leftfield anthropologist James Narby.
But no matter what a challenging and brave surprise the first part is, it's hard to deny that the real treat comes with the second part: The Young Gods' live show.
Time loses importance as the three-piece take to the stage. Franz Treichler spins around like a dervish, doing weird little pirouettes and surrendering to the God-given, all consuming, simply stunning cascades of twisted guitars, nature sounds, concrete noises and throbbing bass lines Al Comet beats out of his sampler. It's breathtaking. It's absolutely fabulous. And when the band jump head first into a blasting rendition of "Night Dance" it feels like the best music I've ever heard.
The Young Gods are not so much a band as a force of nature. They can be eruptive as a volcano, strike like lightning, and be soothing like a summer breeze, often all in the same song. But not just an amazing live act, they are a much needed proof of what a shame it is to let music be only rock'n'roll, when it can be both that and cerebral, poetic, carnal and beautiful.