Maximilian Hecker was already in Vienna two months ago for a radio session at RadioKulturHaus. We got there too late though – so no chance, we didn’t get let in.
He came on stage wearing a mask; when it came off, I admittedly liked his new bearded look. It gave off this seventies aura. I’ve always thought he was a weird character – a bit shy, a bit not shy enough, blunt and quiet, sometimes a little drunk. He was the same this time, he was exploding in speech, whispering about his music not being good enough, being a bit of an actor up on that stage, where he played his keyboard like a piano virtuoso, lost in a monologue with himself leading the audience to laughter.
As for the music, well, with the band on stage some songs lost their fragility. Polyester, for example – one of my favorite songs, was played a little too fast and refrained from being dark and heavy as it usually is. Instead of being the awkward dark and heaviness before a storm, it was summer rain.
The highlight for me was when he played Heroin – I recognised it the moment he started hitting the keys. He was imitating Lou Reed so well and at the same time, there he was – Maximilian Hecker, with his piano and his insecurity hidden being a teenage arrogance, so far from being anything like the Velvet Underground and yet so close.
Here’s the setlist:
Summer Days in Bloom
Messed-Up Girl (I think?)
This Poison Called Love (Home In A Town That Has Sunk)
This House Called Love
Cold Wind Blowing
Heroin (The Velvet Underground cover)
I’ll Be a Virgin, I’ll Be a Mountain