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Despite my being over an hour early, the place was already packed. I managed to fold myself in three, balling my six feet in a little corner on the floor right up front, hoping that no one would come ask me to stand.
The atmosphere was relaxed, people smiling and (mostly) prepared to take a bit of a squish for a hear and glance of Mr. Rice.
The staff of Michelberger had prepared a cozy atmosphere in the lobby of the hotel, moving out some couches and making space for people to stand and for the band, improvising with a reading lamp turned to the microphone as a spotlight and a couple of naked-bulb lamps on stacked books for lighting.

Hanna Leess (9/10)
Start 21:05 / End 21:40
I didn’t know there would be an opening band but there they were: Hanna Leess on guitar and vocals and Tom Osander on drums. Hungover from Halloween, she said that getting a call that morning to open for Damien Rice was the perfect cure. Perfectly in tune with each other and each on their own, Hanna and Tom played a show that was fun to watch. The leading lady had a charming and quirky way about her, kicking her legs a bit gracelessly, mischievously, yet sexy and charming, giving it her all, tweaking the guitar strings mercilessly, taking her voice to a level where I imagined a wire taut to the point of breaking but then not, bringing it back only to give it her all again.
Jumping and (voluntarily) convulsing just to make her point and woe to anyone who would disagree.
But why would anyone dare? Why would anyone want to?
She made it compellingly and proof was the audience’s loud reaction.

Damien Rice (8/10)
Start 22:05 / End 23:20
After the good opening set of Hanna Leess, Damien Rice got even louder reactions.
By the third song, he had us all singing, dividing us in three groups, each with a part to “Volcano”, slow at first and then progressively faster till it got a bit ecstatic, the brilliant drummer (whose name, I am embarrassed to say, I didn’t ask) on point the whole time although Damien said that they hadn’t played with each other in some years.
Some songs, like “Delicate”, were done without drums, Damien singing his heart out, head leaned back, eyes closed, voice full and round and bouncing out to each of us.
People yelling out titles of songs, Damien polite, sweating, wiping his brow with his sleeve, the white towel folded and waiting for him on the floor which he didn’t use, as if the only things he wanted to touch were his guitar and the glass of red wine, which he raised time and time again to the good-mood-ed group of about 30 people who had decided to see the concert from outside, who clapped and cheered and waved with the rest of us.
Two song encore: a groovy rendition of Prince’s “Kiss” and one where Damien Rice kneeled down and let the drummer have center stage. And here he showed us (even more so) what he’s capable of.
Spent again, having sobbed and laughed and danced and thought and taken it all in and in, I went out for a much needed cigarette.
Thank you, Hanna Leess.
Thank you, Damian Rice.
And thank you to Michelberger Hotel and their lovely staff.

Nice pics of the event on the website “NineCrimes“.

 

Venue: Michelberger Hotel
Price: free entrance
Setlist: Damien Rice

Berlin, 01.11.2014.

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Comments
  1. celiaamitsis says:

    thank you to ninecrimes.it for the name of the drummer.

  2. celiaamitsis says:

    excuse me, let me rephrase that:
    Thank you to NineCrimes.it for the name of Damien Rice’s drummer, Mr. Earl Harvin.

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