Stick Men

October 16, 2015
Cultuurpodium Boerderij, Zoetermeer (NL)

Stick Men started as a solo project for Tony Levin on Chapman Stick and over the years he formed a stable (touring) band with Pat Mastelotto on drums and Markus Reuter on Touch Guitar. Tony and Pat are also playing in King Crimson who recently toured as well.
Tony Levin
First thing I noticed when I was in the venue that not many people attended the gig, the room was half-full, which made me a bit glum because this band is worth watching live. I saw the band perform in De Boerderij back in 2012 and there were more people back then. I think not many people know what to expect from this band. Well, expect one of the greatest live gigs, because these guys are amazing! They are talented and experienced musicians and that is worth a watch! The band not only plays songs from Stick Men albums, but also King Crimson covers and songs from other artists.

Markus was the first one who came on stage. He gave away some very nice ambient like sounds on his Touch Guitar. A few minutes later Pat and Tony entered the stage and they started with the beautiful track Hide The Trees, followed by Smudge. After Smudge Tony introduced the band to the audience. Pat told the audience that he and Tony played together for more than 20 years, mostly together in the band King Crimson. After the short speech they played the King Crimson track VROOOM VROOOM. After playing the powerful track Horatio Markus
Markus Reuter
spoke to the audience and told them that De Boerderij is the best European venue he ever played. He continued to speak and talked about his personal hero Mike Oldfield. He went to see a concert of Mike Oldfield back in 1982 when he was still a child and since then he has been a big fan. As a tribute to Mike Oldfield they played Oldfield's song Mirage. They played it fantastically, it shows that they are a wonderful band. After playing Mirage Markus spoke to the audience again. He told the audience they had two interviews with two 'lovely' ladies (one of them was me) and he was surprised by one of the questions I asked during my interview. The question "What is the most difficult song to play live?", and told the audience that the answer was Concussion, which they started to play. I thanked Markus with a loud "Thank you" while I was in the middle of the audience, busy taking pictures of the band. Concussion is indeed a very tough track but the audience loved it. I noticed that there were at least two guys going berserk (dancing and even head banging) during most of the tracks that were played. I wish I had the time to join them, but I was too busy taking pictures, listening to the awesome music and afraid I would lose my camera if I would let myself go with dancing on the music. When the band finished the track Concussion Pat spoke to the audience. He told he was asked by Tony to play on his solo album called Stick Man, which was released back in 2007. They played the track Slow Glide. Halfway through the song Tony grabbed a bow and played with the bow on his Chapman Stick. When they finished the song Tony told the audience that they were going to play another King Crimson track called Sartori In Tangier, because it's in the same key as Slow Glide.
Pat Mastelotto
Markus announced that they were going to play an improvisational track called Open Part III. When they improvise it is magic. Especially Markus enjoys it when he has room to improvise and give beautiful solos on his Touch Guitar.

Tony told the audience jokingly that he tries to sing the song Crack In The Sky in different languages, but this time he sang it in English. The last song before they were supposed to leave the stage was Breathless. Tony told the audience that Breathless isn't a King Crimson song but a song from Robert Fripp's solo album Exposure. The band didn't leave the stage after they played Breathless. They did take a bow and thanked the audience, but Tony told the audience that they have to 'pretend' they left the stage and came back. When the audience calmed down they played the track Soup, which is my favourite track from the band. It's a very funny and catchy song and they played it fantastically. They didn't play King Crimson's Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part II even though it was supposed to be the last song on the playlist. When they finished the track Soup Markus gestured to the band to stop playing, so they did. The band thanked the audience again and told that there would be signing and photo sessions at the merchandise stand. They made a joke about the fact that too many bands immediately leave the venue when the show is over. The audience really enjoyed the performance and gave away an extra cheer.

If you like experimental music and artists that can both perform songs and improvise, then you should see this band! I'm sure they will tour again soon, so be there!

Iris Hidding (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

Setlist Stick Men:

Hide The Trees
       (King Crimson Cover)
Mirage (Mike Oldfield Cover)
Slow Glide (Tony Levin Song)
Sartori In Tangier (King Crimson Cover)
Open Part III
Nude Ascending Staircase
Industry (King Crimson Cover)
Crack The Sky
Breathless (Robert Fripp Cover)

Pictures Stick Men by Iris Hidding

>>> Click here to view all pics on one page.

Click on the picture to enlarge.


Line up Stick Men:

(left to right)
Markus Reuter:
Touch Guitar
Pat Mastelotto:
drums and percussion
Tony Levin:
Chapman Stick

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