Tour Review: The Blossom Tour with Milky Chance & Saint Chameleon

Following the release of their latest album Blossom in March last year, Milky Chance set off on a world tour, making a stop at the Schlossbergbühne Kasematten in Graz, Austria this week. Just 24 hours prior to this rather small event the German band played in front of thousands of people at the Sziget Festival in Hungary. Of course it's quite hard to keep up with a venue this huge, but the location on top of the Castle Hill is definitely something they won't forget that easily.

The stage was located inside the ruins of the Schlosshauptmannshaus (house of the captain of the castle), which was formerly used for stockpile and later on as a prison. In 1809 the ruins began conversion into an open air stage and were inaugurated in 1937 with a performance of Beethoven's "Fidelio". As someone who lives in a rather large city (Vienna, to be specific) it was definitely something else to be watching a concert in the midst of old ruins on top of a hill. It obviously took quite a hike to reach the venue, but even if the beautiful greenery and flowers all around hadn't made this sweaty climb worth it, the breathtaking view from the top definitely did.

Opening the evening were Saint Chameleon, a local rock band. As someone who loves to check out the supporting acts before a concert, I was somewhat disappointed when the supporting band was announced only a few hours before the show. This ultimately meant that I didn't really know what I was getting myself into as the four members of the band eventually took to the stage. With a band name that sounds just like it came straight out of an indie band name generator I was was expecting just that - generic indie-pop. But what I actually got was funky rock mixed with the tiniest bit of jazz and I certainly was not disappointed. Austrians are known for not being able to break out of their shells easily but some people were even nodding their heads to the music, tapping their feet, and holding up lighters during slower songs, which says a lot. Half an hour of stage time was certainly not enough - I'm sure that Saint Chameleon have a lot more to offer than what they had time to show us. 

The overall energy during the 30 minute break was very laid-back and peaceful. In my experience a lot of people tend to treat concerts like some sort of competition, i.e. "who has been waiting in line the longest", "who can get the closest to the stage", etc. With that in mind, I was prepared for a very tense atmosphere during the breaks, but I was surprised to find that it wasn't as I expected at all. Everyone in the audience was aware of their surroundings and made an effort to make sure others could see the stage and everyone had room to move around.

At exactly 10 p.m. the moment we all had been waiting for finally arrived. The lights went out, leaving only a few stars twinkling in the sky above us. Then the first chords of Milky Chance's usual opening song "Clouds" filled the old ruin. Although they chose to play the most energetic song off of their recent album first, almost no one moved an inch or started dancing to the music. Just some people swayed along the songs, nodding their heads. But by the third or fourth song the energy completely changed. The crowd started to get more into it, jumping up and down and clapping to the beat of recent and also older, nostalgic songs such as "Ego", "Stolen Dance", and "Cold Blue Rain" which got a number of people (including me) screaming the lyrics at the top of their lungs.

Milky Chance are definitely not men of many words and long speeches. The only story they shared with the audience was about coming to Graz back in 2014 and playing at the Orpheum, which is a small event location down the hill from Kasematten.  

If I had to sum up the evening with just one word, it would be "unexpected". Although this my third time seeing Milky Chance live, the last concert being just last December, they never fail to amaze me with the energy they bring onto the stage and transfer to the crowd. I don't think that that it will ever get boring to watch them perform, as it is a completely new and different experience every time.

All photos by Karoline & Viktoria Wechselberger


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