On Wednesday, September 25th, I went to Odyssey Records in London, Ontario to see Aestrid perform. I was so glad to have a chance to see them again before my big move out west. The paradox was that while I was happy to see them, I was also very displeased to still be in town for their late September show. I should have been gone in the beginning of the month.
They put on an amazing performance again. You know that feeling when you have seen a band before and it was outstanding, and then you wonder whether it will be as good the second time around? You want to share the experience with your friends, but you’re afraid that the night won’t turn out like you promised. The thought crossed my mind, but it had no chance to stick around. I saw my friends physically drawn in from front row seats, really digging the performance. Isaac was sweating in excitement. That felt like a stamp of approval.
The members in Aestrid are dedicated to their music and providing the best experience for their fans… and for themselves. It really speaks to their attention for quality when ten seconds through a song, Bo stops the set to retune his guitar. He would be torturing himself if he had let it be.
The band warms up the show with slower, atmospheric songs. They start to take you for a ride. Just as you’ve gotten a taste for their sound, they ask the audience if they want something faster. We all begged “yes!” They went faster. They started to make the crowd dance, tap their feet, and grow into the energy field that is Aestrid. It was a small room for a concert, so you could feel the vibrations.
The drummer, Ray, keeping everything together, alive. Jurriaan switching between keyboard and bass carries the atmospheric collisions of sound around the soaring guitar. The room is shaking. Bo’s vocals become increasingly wavering, haunting, and yet tempered. Now you’re amazed… but wait. Bo puts his guitar on the ground and sings into the strings. The muffled vocals that come through the amplifier is some kind of organic, monstrous robot. At the same time, the sound is somehow soothing. I can see that it comes from a man being so creative, adding his personal touch to the performance.
During the concert, I thought of my podcast interview with them from last year as a form of capturing a moment in time. A moment, maybe an era of existence. I went through a very hard time in my life while I slowly worked through the editing process. This work grounded me. The music is able to catch me in a bubble and take me away, while also motivating me to work hard and get through everything. I almost wanted to cry while watching them. The feelings of warmth, the atmospheric trance-like music that makes me close my eyes and float away in the sound, and knowing that this is a group that I’ve made a connection with, who cares about me too. I gave Bo a couple of Opening The Box buttons at the end of the set, and he said that he would put it on his guitar strap. Now THAT was a warm glow.