Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Gliss Melweg, Amsterdam, Oude Zaal 3/11/05

In my politest New Yorkian, I said, “hey, if you want to talk, go to the FUCKING back, but I’m here for the concert.

In my politest New Yorkian, I said, “hey, if you want to talk, go to the FUCKING back, but I’m here for the concert.


The opening act Gliss, a three piece from Los Angeles consisted of David Reiss on guitar, bass and tambourine, Martin Klingman on vocals, guitar, keyboard, bass and drums and the Danish vixen Victoria Cecilia on drums, bass, background vocals, programming and b3 organ. The song highlight was the extremely catchy Halfway Gone, which was dream like with dark seductive rhythms, big bass fuzz, surfy guitar riffs and retro drums beats with of course lots of crashing symbols. All three of the members kept switching instruments and stage locations, hence the description above.  Klingman’s voice sounded just as if he was the songbird teenage love child of Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore.  His voice was hauntingly sexy, he had that just out of bed after a long night of drinking whiskey and attending beatnik poetry open-mic happenings. The band was selling their EP and tee shirts for the amazingly cheap price of 5 euros each after the show and I bought one of each gladly. 


Similar Sounds: Death Cab for Cutie, The Raveonettes, The Kills, and Longwave

Roots Influences: My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Siouxsie and the Banshees. I highly recommend checking them out at :




Singer and guitarist Peter Hayes quietly slips on stage wearing a large acoustic guitar with mouth harp attachment.   With out any recognition of the onlookers of the small hall in the Melkweg, he goes right into Complicated Situation, a song from BRMC third and newest album Howl.  Hayes’ hair is slicked back, exposing his angularly beautiful face.  No more moppy bed headed white boy afro, no this was a completely a different Peter Hayes then any of the previous 5 BRMC shows that I’ve attended.  He remains alone on stage for the first 2 songs.  Robert Levon Been (as he is called now, previously Robert Turner) and drummer Nick Jago sneak on stage during Devils Waiting to harmonize.



The crowd was mixed as it always is in Holland. There are lots of kids who might have heard one or two songs, or whose older brother might have attended a show last year, and that was before… they had turned the ripened age of 16.  They vividly remembered the look in their brother’s eye, the look of pure rock wonder and vowed to someday experience that same awe.   Well here they were, at their first BRMC concert, drinking Heineken and talking!  Somehow I feel like these kids have nowhere else to go, they have money, so they come to concerts and talk during the shows.  Sometimes I just don’t get it.  They need schooling.  I actually asked a group of kids standing behind me to stop talking early in the show. In my politest New Yorkian, I said, "hey, if you want to talk, go to the FUCKING back, but I’m here for the concert."  They apologized and later the mosh pit separated us during Whatever Happened to My Rock in Roll which they now call the "Punk Song".  This got the little kiddies really bouncing. I can officially say that since they are nearly half my age – as I’m almost 30 – I am ready to start bringing an old-fashioned umbrella to beat chatty Dutch kids on their heads at live gigs.  These kids ended up really enjoying the show, as I bumped into them drunkenly later that evening. 



I’ve got four words for you all… Weight of The World.  This song is a classic.  One of the most beautifully written sung and played ditties of all time.  Good old Atlas would be proud to have this as his theme music.  "It’s the weight of the world, I know, as I’m struggling to be. It’s the weight of the world, I know, as you were mine, and we will find…Time will change, still the world remains the same".  This is an anthem that I will chant to myself and out loud for the rest of my life.


Smoke, fog, lights and good-old rock and roll… the red washes across the whole audience and they’re soaked in the blood of the BRMC.  Magnetic, pulsing, fuzzy, warm and fragile, the BRMC is one of the best live performing acts that I have ever seen and they keep getting better as their music keeps getting better.


The encore included Spread your Love like a Fever, and Heart and Soul, a song they claim was written in Amsterdam, or first jammed out in Amsterdam, not entirely sure, but I would love to meet them sometime to ask them about it.  The show was fantastic and once again the BRMC blew me away.  Maybe it was the all the beers I drank, maybe it was the company I was with, but most likely it was a combination of it all, mixed with the sweet classic American rock and roll music of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.


 Words: Zoe E. Gottehrer