Why I like Passenger

25 Feb New Friends

Let’s get this out of the way to start off with: I never really listened to Passenger more than what I happened to hear on radio. So that’s basically 2 songs.

When I heard that the man was scheduled to come to South Africa, I did a bit of homework by watching some of his videos. this taught me 2 things:
1. He likes going places. Seriously, have you seen in how many music videos he is walking somewhere?
2. I kinda like his tunes.

Beautiful sight from the @josecuervosa deck watching #PassengerSA. #Cuervolucion

A photo posted by Christo Baas de Beer (@baasdebeer) on

Now, to fast forward from there to the show, I have to include my friend Jose Cuervo. He invited me to have some tequilas and go check out the Passenger gig at Zoo Lake in Joburg. I said yes, because Tequila. (You won’t easily hear me saying no to anything that involves some Cuervo). I arrived at Zoo Lake with my lovely friend Jaxy. She was just too amped for the show, seeing as she is a die hard Passenger fan. I had to calm her down a bit, so we headed straight for the Cuervo container. Yes, container. It’s a bar, built into a shipping container, with a deck on top and awesome people all around. A few shots later, opening acts playing and new friends made,  we found some shade and chilled a bit. It was hot, and the icy Cuervo margaritas were flowing rapidly.

Dear @josecuervosa, I NEED a wall like this in my house… #Cuervolucion #PassengerSA

A photo posted by Christo Baas de Beer (@baasdebeer) on

Then Passenger took to the stage.

His first little joke was aimed right at me. Something about people expecting a band and then one dude rocks up on stage with just a guitar and tight jeans. I ignored the tight jeans part, but proceeded to pre-judge an international act for touring with just a guitar and a stomp box. How dare he. Why should people have to pay to see one man when he could very easily have had a band? How is he ever going to fill up the massive stage and… and… “wait a minute. This guy is kinda good”.
Yup, from the moment he strummed the first cords and started singing poetry, I felt the urge to apologise to him for my previous train of thought.

@PassengerMusic taking the #Cuervolucion to the next level! #PassengerSA

A photo posted by Jose Cuervo (@josecuervosa) on

Passenger was absolutely brilliant. The man is an entertaining, profound lyricist with an awesome sense of humour. He knows just how to engage a crowd 100% of the time. Some story telling between songs, but not too much. A joke here and there, but not wannabe stand-up, and the perfect songs for the vibe of the day.

I love the man’s social commentary on things like racism, the entertainment industry and even relationships.
I always say that if you walk out of a show a bigger fan than you walked in, it was a good show. By this logic, the Passenger show was one helluva epic gig! My only wish would be that radio stations would start playing more than just two of his songs.

Jaxy is prettier than meThanks for a delightful day Jose! You guys are legends. And Jaxy, thank you for showing me how much a true music lover can still enjoy a live gig. You echoed Passenger’s sentiment perfectly by immersing yourself into the event, and not into a little screen.

**BONUS**

Here’s a video that Passenger made while in South Africa

Bittereinder does Aandklas: A Knight out with the King

23 Dec Bittereinder at Aandklas Stage

Yes, you read correctly: Bittereinder does Aandklas
Now, if you know any of the words in that phrase other than “does” you are most probably a Pretorian and raised with proper taste in music (go thank your parents now).
If you know all three of those words, you find yourself part of less than 1% of human population (which is pretty much the case when you are South African, but that’s beside the point).
You are the exception!
Bittereinder at Aandklas CrowdGetting to the gig, we were greeted by an unusually empty Aandklas (everyone was on the deck at the back having some pre-drinks and getting ready to rock out with the Grind Radio people). All the tables had been moved away and the stage put to good use, having all of Bittereinder’s gear already set up.

After a couple of intense games of foose and lots of brandy (I blame the cute promo girl for my hangover), we headed to the newly created concert area where we were entertained by the awesome beat boxing talents of Aandklas manager Jodi, who has the magical ability of making even the South African anthem sound really, really cool!
Bittereinder at Aandklas Jaco van der MerweWhen Bittereinder took the stage, it was quite difficult to find a comfortable place to stand, so we opted for our favourite spot in Aandklas: a tabletop.
Having found our spot at the top of the world and fending off all would-be intruders, we had the perfect view of the stage, with only Louis being a bit obscured from our vision by the pole that Jaco clung to so religiously throughout the show.

Then the bass dropped.

In true Bittereinder style, the boys nearly blew out my eardrums and the bra’s off the girls in the front row (though, I think that might have been more of a voluntary action from the girls’ side).
Bittereinder at Aandklas Peach van Pletzen

Now I myself, being not-too-sober of thought by this time, could miraculously still keep my footing on said tabletop and rock out to the sound that we as Pretorians have come to know and love as OURS.

We claim Bittereinder as our own, as they have claimed Snor City as theirs. Admittedly, I do not know all of their songs off by heart, but there is still something special that happens every time you hear the words “Pretoria in my Hart”.
Bittereinder at Aandklas Louis MinnaarBittereinder has a way of making you move, no matter who you are or how kak a day you had.
When you hear their sound you cannot help but get either a retarded grin on your face or belt it out with them. We all know how to spell it *B I to-the-double T E R…* and we are all more than willing to put our hands up like we’re deurmekaar.

All good things must however come to an end, and this show in particular felt as though it was over way too soon (probably due to an alcohol-induced time lapse). In this time, however, I had managed to lose track of the friends I went with, chat up a girl, make new friends, piss said girl off and run into friends that I haven’t seen in almost two years.
All in all another magical Knight Out at Aandklas, with the soundtrack supplied by one of the Capital’s greatest exports.

*All pictures in this post by Henno Kruger*


I do apologize for taking so long to write this piece, but I have been extremely busy on other adventures, all of which will also be featured here. Keep an eye open for my next post, where I will be talking about other Kings, police cars and quiz nights.


EDIT: This is the final prove himself post for Michael King. After this, he will be an official content contributor on Baas de Beer’s Blog. – Baas de Beer

How the Foo Fighters ruined my life

17 Dec Christelle Duvenhage - Foo Fighters 04

Why am I writing about Foo Fighters now?  I mean, it’s been 4 days since they blew minds and rocked worlds in Johannesburg. Surely, I should have said something earlier…

Well, one reason would be that I was busy. More so, I was dead. Seriously, after the weekend my body just didn’t want to do anything other than meditate on the awesomeness that I experienced. The main reason however, was that I didn’t want to write just another hyped up piece while the foo-drenaline still surged through my body. It would have been too subjective.

Christelle Duvenhage - Foo Fighters 01Now, with a mostly clear mind, I can share with you how the Foo Fighters ruined my life.

Wait, what? That’s a bit harsh I hear you say. Well, let’s start from the beginning.

Making the trip to the show with High Five Party Bus was one of the best decisions I could have made. Starting out with a drink or 2 at Aandklas with 400 other Foo Fans and then bussing to Thatchers in Lonehill to have the official pre-Foo-party, was great fun.. The Barbosa Experience warmed us all up even more than the Cuervo on the bus already did, rocking some awesome party tunes and teasing us with a few Foo Fighters songs.

Starting a #Cuervolucion with @josecuervosa on the way to @foofighters on the @high5partybus

A photo posted by Christo Baas de Beer (@baasdebeer) on

Back on the bus, heading to Soccer City, or FNB Stadium, or whatever it is you want to call it, I sat back and tried to imagine what the rest of the night would be like. I knew that I had to make sure to miss BLK JKS if I wanted to keep my good vibe going. I was still willing to give them another chance, until my friends that went to the Cape Town show told me they were as shit as always. I knew that I would be willing to tolerate Kaiser Chiefs before the real show. I planned on sitting somewhere while they played just so I could get a good standing spot after that.
I knew that I would like Foo Fighters.

I was obviously wrong on quite a few levels.

In the belly of the beast. #SoccerCity #FooFightersSA

A photo posted by Christo Baas de Beer (@baasdebeer) on

Christelle Duvenhage - Kaiser Chiefs 01

BLK JKS ignored, I went into the stadium, found a few friends, a few beers and -much to my surprise- a new respect for Kaiser Chiefs. Seriously, and take this as my official apology to Rick Wilson and friends, they were brilliant! As tight as my month-end budget and entertaining in a way that can only be described as truckloads full of fun, I loved their show a LOT. There was a moment in their set where things took a bit of a dip, but I blame this purely on me not knowing the songs, seeing as I have been a bit dismissive towards the band. The show was made even better by the random hot blonde next to me gyrating her way through every song like she owned it. Thank you random blonde, you were sexy.

Then, before I knew it, The Big Moment was upon us. Much quicker than I expected (big bands have this tendency to take 3 days to set-up before taking to the stage after the band before them. Not the Foo. The Foo is awesome).

What #DaveGrohl says the @foofighters will do, they do. So they did, and it was awesome.

A video posted by Christo Baas de Beer (@baasdebeer) on

Now, here I have to interrupt myself with a bit of a disclaimer. If you expect to read here which songs they did when, and some intelligent critique on the set-list or such, go read elsewhere. I don’t understand how anyone could even manage to keep track of that while whole-heartedly being IN the spirit of the moment. Which is where I was. The music took me, and it took me hard.

Christelle Duvenhage - Foo Fighters 02Everything about the show was brilliant. Sure, here and there I would have loved to have the vocals a bit up in the mix, but hey, they crowd-choir made up for that. The visuals were cool, the sound was good, props on the stage were non-existent. *GASP* A band with no fire works and confetti cannons and rotating stages and hula dancers or whatever?? This, ladies and gentlemen, is the pure musical essence of the Foo Fighters. Sure, theatrics are nice, but if your music encapsulates an audience in the way the Foo Fighters’ music does, who needs all that shit? It is rock and roll, stripped to the bone and rocking you from the inside out.

Christelle Duvenhage - Foo Fighters 03Now, I know some people have stated that it is the Dave Grohl and Backing Band show. Those people are wrong.
Sure, Pat SmearNate Mendel and Chris Shiflett are not really all over the scene doing crazy stunts, but they are a good, solid and integral part of what matters most in the band: The Music.
This is where I get to say that I have a new Foo-HeroTaylor Hawkins.
Is he the best drummer in the world? Nope. Is he the most talented backing vocalist in the music industry? Quite probably not… Is he the perfect package to compliment Dave Grohl’s ecstatic stage presence? Hell yes! Even more than that, it’s like he brings a certain depth to the performance that would not have been there had he been missing.
So, in the words of Dave Grohl:
I think you’re pretty good Taylor Hawkins, plus you’re fucking cute.

Christelle Duvenhage - Foo Fighters 05

Speaking of Dave, as one has to when discussing the Foo Fighters, this man is every bit as awesome as I imagined, and more. The way he ran up and down the stage, you would not for a moment say that he is 45 years old. But as energetic and witty as his performance might have been, it all faded to darkness when compared to the sheer brilliance of his musical performance. It’s been 20 years, and he still sounds excited to do the songs we like, and do it well.

One moment, the Foo Fighters took to the stage, the next a brief glance to my phone told me it was already an hour into the set. 10 minutes later they finished their close to 3 hour long show. I lost track of time, reality and myself. I fear that I don’t know what to look forward to in life any more. Sure, I may see the Foo Fighters again, but never again for the first time. I am experiencing severe post-Foo depression. What else can I highly anticipate now to make my life a better place? Nothing much, I tell you… So that’s how the Foo Fighters ruined my life, and I am thankful for it in every possible way.

——

All the show-pictures in this piece was used with the permission of the gloriously talented Christelle Duvenhage. Check out her photos, you will love it, guaranteed. Just click on any of the pics, it will take you where you need to be ;)

Christelle Duvenhage - Kaiser Chiefs 02

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