Even after so many times, seeing dEUS live remains something special to me. The final gigs of the first leg of the Keep You Close-tour brought dEUS back to Belgium. And it were the first regular gigs from this your for me. Party!

First stop: Antwerp. dEUS in their hometown. Very special indeed. They haven’t played a lot there since 1995, but we all remember 0110 and the Music For Life-gig last year. But the gig at the Lotto Arena must have been their first indoor-gig since a long period.

The Lotto Arena was sold out since a couple of weeks. Since Belgian comedian Urbanus was playing the Sportpaleis next door as well, and since it was snowing heavily, it was a bit hectic to get to the Lotto Arena in time. When we arrived Balthazar had almost finished their set. Once again, they did a great job. I keep loving ‘Blood Like Wine’ and I can’t wait till they release ‘Girl’. Definitely a band you should check out, if you haven’t done it already.

dEUS started a couple of minutes after nine. The setlist was very similar to the last couple of gigs theyS played. They kicked of with The Final Blast, followed by Second Nature and The Architect.
During Constant Now two trumpet-players joined the band for the first time that night. A nice surprise. I was impressed by the evolution Oh Your God has made. During the Vantage Point-tour they messed it up a couple of times, but it sounded great now. First suprise of the evening was Easy. Very nice they had the guts to play that kind of song in this kind of venue.

Instant Street was as usual one of the highlights with its great outro. If You Don’t Get What You Want was followed by the Dulli-duo Dark Sets In and Twice (We Survive). No Greg Dulli on stage however, just the horns during Twice. The final part of the gig brought some ‘calmer’ songs like Keep You Close, Sister Dew and Little Arithmetics, but the Lotto Arena went crazy during Bad Timing.

A vibe that remained during the encores. A beautiful version of The End Of Romance, followed by the raw energy of Sun Ra, Fell Off The Floor, Man and Suds & Soda. End of encore 1. Knock out for the Lotto Arena. Nothing Really Ends was the opener of the second nature. But the highlight was Hotellounge (Be The Death Of Me). It must have been years ago that I’ve seen them play it live.  A great ending of one the very best dEUS-showd I’ve seen the last couple of years.

Some newspapers were complaining about the sound and the poor visual aspect of the gig. I must say that I really liked the visuals by Shoot The Artist. I saw some parts during the try out in Diksmuide, but this was the first time I saw them all together. Some pretty cool stuff, especially during Constant Now and Bad Timing. And yes, Tom was standing in the half dark a lot, but it didn’t really bother me. Before Instant Street Tom asked Yves, the lightman, to give them some light so they could see they audience. It took some time for him, so Mauro screamed that he should use the small switch next to the door ;-).

I was standing near the PA and didn’t had the impression that there was something wrong with the sound. On the contrary: Tom’s voice was sounding better than ever to me. And yes, most people seemed to have been there to hear them play the classic songs. And ofcourse the songs of Keep You Close are not yet on the same level as Instant Street or Little Arithmetics, but please don’t shoot the band for playing their new album. During the spring tour, the press was complaining that they were playing the same best of-gigs for years now. So be happy that they didn’t play on safe and had the guts to build their setlist around Keep You close.

Doing better for in Vorst would have been almost impossible. I was surprised that Vorst was not sold out. Part of the upper balcony was closed with black curtains, which meant a couple of hundred tickets were not sold. A litte disappointment. I also noticed that dEUS is more and more getting an older audience. It looks like the people who discovered them in the nineties are still following them, but they’re not getting enough contact with a younger fanbase. Or was it because highschool student were in their exams?

The setlist on both nights was more or less the same. They skipped Second Nature in Vorst (because of a couple of bad reviews?), but that was the only change in the first part. During the encores they dropped Nothing Really Ends and replaced it by Theme From Turnpike (with the horns).

The music was the same, but Tom clearly had some difficulties with his voice. Nevertheless, a good gig. But Antwerp was better for me. I know it’s always difficult to compare two gigs. And it gets even more difficult when you experience them differently. I was standing in the Lotto Arena, while I watched the Vorst-show seated in the back of Vorst Nationaal. Totally different impressions, believe me. I would be nice to have some big screens next time they play bigger venues so you can see the faces of the band.

At the end of the Vorst-gig Tom said that they would be back in february/ march and ‘some other months’ too.

Setlist, pictures and videos are available on the gig-pages:

If you have stuff you want to share with us, please drop me a line. If your pics are on Flickr tag them with dEUS161211 or dEUS171211 and add them to the dEUS Flickr Pool.

A small review of the warm up show in Les Ateliers Claus in Brussels yesterday evening. Les Ateliers Claus is really small club near the North Station. With a capacity of 250 people, it must have been one of the most intimate dEUS-gigs I’ve seen so far. As it happened to be my 50th dEUS-gig, it was a perfect night.

With 100 tickets sold and some people on the guestlist, the place was full but not packed. Since the backstage was pretty small Klaas, Mauro and Tom were already in the crowd before the gig.

They started around nine o’ clock and played more or less the regular setlist they are playing since a couple of weeks. Almost all songs from Keep You Close and a couple of older songs like Instant Street, Little Arithmetics, Slow and The Architect.  Since it was only my second gig of the Keep You Close-tour, after the try out in Diksmuide, I was really impressed by the first part of the gig. Almost one hour of perfectly balanced rocking, leaving the audience almost K.O.

Very nice to see how Oh Your God has grown since the last time I saw them play it live, during the Vantage Point tour.   Instant Street was (as usual) the highlight, but I was followed by a fantastic heavenly combination of If You Don’t Get What You Want, Dark Sets In, Twice (We Survive) and Ghost.

The band didn’t get off the stage after the last song before the encore. Tom said  they wouldl probably break their ankles on the small stair. He just said the regular gig was over and he said that we did have to give an applause. They played 3 more songs afterwards.  They replaced Fell Off The Floor, Man (which was on the setlist), by Morticiachair.

Let’s hope they can bring the energy of this gig to the bigger halls as Lotto Arena and Vorst Nationaal. And let’s hope they also play Magdalena and Hotellounge…

The setlist, some videos and some pics of the gig can be found here.