Soft Moon at Scala
Yesterday at Scala it was not a concert. It was an experience.
The Soft Moon made love with the audience for an hour and a half of pure entertainment.
The stage was simple and minimal: drums, electronic drums, keyboards and microphone. That’s all.
With these few things the band of multi-instrumentalist Luis Vasquez can do everything and so it was.
Between new pieces of the latest “Criminal” and old ones, the one-man project band born in 2009 in the USA brought down the entire theater with blows of electronic beats and drums.
Vasquez plays a myriad of instruments alternating with incredible virtuosity: while he sings clinging to a microphone that dominates him from above, he passes from the guitar that he drags with him to every corner of the stage like a lover taken and left; then he leans over the keyboard, then beats on the drum.
But what left the audience ecstatic was the way he played the percussion: Vasquez compulsively pounded his chopsticks and his hands on the drums as if he were playing his accelerated heartbeat and striking them in a frantic spasm that enters your head and kidnaps you.
He seems almost non-human when he wiggles on stage like a wild animal that expresses his anger and passion.
He uses the torment in the song lyrics to beat the drumsticks on its bin, and he’s unleashed: yes, what you hear in “Circles” and that produces that sinuous and obsessive rhythm is a tin can.
Vasquez with a trash bin can create masterpieces of electronic dark-wave.
What the Soft Moon offer at their concerts is more than just music: the light show was also breathtaking and amazing.
The headlights followed every note, every word, emphasizing the emotional thrust; the warm white light cast on the musicians from the back of the stage enveloped them with a light-dark frame that emphasized their vibrant silhouettes as in a play of light and shadow.
So you never saw the face of the musicians, you could only see the dark forms moving compulsively, as if they were ghosts that crossed beams of light and smoke.
You could see the drummer’s drumsticks, Mario Vannicelli, moving furiously as if they were an extension of his hands, so fast that you could hardly catch their movements.
You could see the shape of the keyboard player Luigi Pianezzola coming out of the blue and red light like a priest of electronic music.
Lights and movements were perfectly synchronized with the music to create collected moments and energy explosions.The audience moved in sync with the lights and the baton, as if moved by a force inside the bowels that could not help but support the visual and auditory stimulation; it looked like the coils of a snake crawling in compound shots.
When the Soft Moon played “The Pain” the whole theater almost came down: a slow and suspended attack and then the music and lights explosion; you could feel the walls tremble under the rhythm of that room where a mass of some mystical-tribal religion was taking place.
For those of you who have seen the scene from the film “Perfume – The Story of a Murderer”, the one in which all those attending to the death sentence of Grenouille, bewitched by its scent, are lost in an orgy of love that embraces the whole square; the next morning everyone wakes up stunned and they do not understand what happened.
Here, the performance of the Soft Moon was like that; at the end of the concert, the audience has awakened from a inner journey personal and collective at the same time, from an ecstasy that has left everyone dazed and happy.
Words and concert photos by Federica Diaz Splendiani