Haunting, operatic sounds sneak up from behind the keyboards, sung by a woman dressed in black sheer and red lipstick. An ambiant chorus rises with the sepia fog, and the man with the bow tie walks up to meet the microphone. All the while the drums have been building, building, building, then suddenly— the stage ignites with light, the base vibrates through the floor boards, the drums kick in with a crash—
and Efterklang arrives in Paris.
The Danish band of three childhood friends— Mads Brauer (electronics), Casper Clausen (vocals) and Rasmus Stolberg (bass)— performed last night at Café de la Danse in the 11th arrondissement. They were joined by Peter Broderick (piano, violin), Tatu Rönkkö (drums) and Katinka Fogh Vindelev (choir), and together, they brought down the house.
I had never heard of Efterklang until I received an invitation on Facebook to attend this concert. I don’t normally splurge for bands I’m not familiar with, but after listening to a few songs off of Efterklang’s latest album, Piramida, I knew this one would be worth it. Better yet, the show happened to fall upon my last day of the semester from hell! I figured that an evening with Efterklang would be the least I could do to reward myself.
This performance turned out to be one of the most incredible concerts I have attended in my concert-going-lifetime. These musicians send their music out into their fans like a gust of wind, sweeping them up like leaves and raising them to the sky. Efterklang gets under your skin and into your spirit. Their song permeates the very air you breathe.
Even though I quite obviously fell in love with this band, Efterklang is one of those groups whose music is best enjoyed live. The recordings are excellent, yes. But they cannot capture the power, the ambiance or the energy Efterklang emanates from the stage, nor the thrill of experiencing it all from the third row. Nevertheless, this band has quickly become one of my favorites.
The rest of the Café de la Danse crowd and I loved Efterklang so much that we brought them out for an encore, twice. During the second encore, the group played their acoustic single, “Alike,” which is featured in a film they made recently with Vincent Moon. Casper, the lead singer, came out onto the stage and sat down on a box right at the edge, inches away from the audience, while the rest of the band made a half circle around him. They performed the song without microphones, without amplifiers. It was just Efterklang, the music and us.
Like any concert, this one was incredible only because the audience’s energy was just as powerful as the band’s. Music is a reciprocal art, and throughout the entire concert, we listeners were pounding our feet and clapping our hands to keep the show accelerating faster and faster. Sharing this experience with all of these strangers was one of the most inspiring aspects of the entire night. Every time I attend a concert like this I am reminded of music’s power to bring people together and create something unique. My evening with Efterklang can never be replicated, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Efterklang will be returning to Paris (at Le Trabendo) on April 26th! Wanna join me?
What’s one of your favorite concert experiences? Share your story in the comments below!
Smiles and all the best,