The times when I used to frequently drive to Munich to see whatever band was playing that night are officially over since I started university. My attendance at metal shows dropped significantly, so I was thrilled to see annisokay in Stuttgart during their European tour, even though I’ve seen them two times already. This time, however, I didn’t go unprepared: I brought my good friend and photographer Felix von Hagen with me, who took some phenomenal shots of the sold-out show.
The audience at the Universum, a cute club in the subway station “Charlottenplatz” in Stuttgart, was quite mixed: all ages from 15-70 were represented that night, which goes to show that metalcore can be enjoyed by anyone and not just by rebellious kids. The sound of the venue was absolutely stunning, even when standing very close to the speakers. I was very pleased about the fact that especially the vocalists were very well audible this time.
The first support band Rising Insane started playing at half past seven. I didn’t know the band, and neither did at least 90 percent of the audience. It was very refreshing to see a band so unknown as Rising Insane making an effort to deliver the greatest show possible. So many bands get discouraged quickly and stop including the audience into their set after a while. Rising Insane truly gave everything they had, and people started picking up on their energy towards the end of their short set. I for one very much enjoyed their music, as well – they sound like Breaking Benjamin playing metalcore, and the vocalist sounded phenomenal.
I Set My Friends On Fire were next to enter the stage. Up until today, I cannot say with certainty what exactly that performance was. After their set, I Set My Friends On Fire ranked really high on my list of the weirdest music I have ever heard. Genius or schizophrenic? Insanely creative or complete garbage? I will let you decide after checking them out.
What I thought of them didn’t matter at all, though, as a large share of the audience went completely nuts during their set, and the guys seemed very thankful for the opportunity to go on tour and reach people with their music. To add more, their vocal harmonies were actually decent. Even though I really just wanted their set to end as quickly as possible, I cannot deny that they did a great job performing.
Annisokay started their set with “Coma Blue”, the second single off their newest record “Arms”, then continued with some classics such as “What’s Wrong”, “Smile”, and “Carry Me Away”. Many of their new tracks found their place into the setlist, and as expected, they sounded phenomenal live, I was very pleased to hear that people actually knew the words, too. Everyone in the club sang along passionately to the chorus of “Good Stories”, one of the most heartfelt annisokay songs, and of course to crowd favorites like “Smile” and “Blind Lane”. Annisokay’s extensive touring all year round definitely shows: I have never seen them perform with more ease, joy, and confidence.
Unfortunately, I had to leave the venue at around half past ten to catch the last train to Mannheim, just before annisokay started playing “Sea Of Trees”. I can’t say anything about the end of the show, but judging from the atmosphere at the Universum up until my (very hesitant) departure, the band and the audience probably had a blast until the very end of the sold-out show and beyond. I’ve been following annisokay for quite some time now and it is absolutely heartwarming to see how much love they are receiving from their growing fan base in any city they might be playing. In general, it was a pleasure to see the band having so much fun despite them all being sick. Music truly is the best medicine – for those sick with a cold and for the heartbroken alike.