Rain, Drizzle, and Hurricane

I’ve got a terrible habit, which is that I get interested by pretty much anything and always try to do fifteen things at once. This sometimes lead to forgetfulness, post-it madness, and lists of bands I should check out but never do. One of those, highly recommended by little lion girl at least a million times, played at flex last night. I came completely unprepared, having not even clicked on the Diver myspace link more than once and hence, being slightly blown away by the british-sounding, guitar-strumming vocalist. Most songs were about love, it isn’t that surprising. However, there were also songs about wine. About self-reflection. Songs mentioning the theory of relativity, lyrics that didn’t try hard to be sophisticated and went straight to the point – and to the heart. With their folk melodies, structured and faultless playing, their particularly friendly approach to the public and concentrated performance, Diver were overall one of my favorite opening bands of 2010. Way too often, bands that share a stage have none or little in common. This is one of the few cases where both performing acts completed each other: what better approach than an Austrian stranded in England (at least figuratively) versus an Englishman stranded in Vienna? And so we come to Trouble Over Tokyo. The fabulous and hilarious Toph Taylor, who I am proud to count in my list of more-than-acquaintances, who I bumped into on my way to the venue, a slightly shaky, nervous Toph, wearing a terrible tie and a somewhat-bitter smile, welcoming my pre-stage hug and running off backstage. Toph, with his nonsense blabbering to keep steady on stage among blinding spotlights, with his wonderful music which earned him a more-than-deserved, adoring public. The stage choreography was close to perfect, as he came on in almost-darkness, a bright light in the back outlining his silhouette and making everything else invisible; as he executed well-rehearsed, perfectly-synced Timberlake-dance-steps among the rumbling electronic beats and Diva-like, Björk-ish hand moves with, in-between, a close-to-perfect ear-shattering drum session with the bassist Marlene. On stage, Toph Taylor becomes Trouble Over Tokyo, a maniacal alter-ego afraid of nothing, with a heartbreaking sensitivity and a voice as versatile as that of Antony Hegarty and Thom Yorke put together, a mastermind of pop music bringing together the best of two worlds, a boy who won’t settle for anything less than his fans being swept away by him and his Hurricane.


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