On December 8th, 2016, Meshuggah arrived in Hamburg, Germany to delight fans in the venue Markthalle with their own, fascinating style of music. The venue was filled from the beginning, a solid sign that fans had waited for this kind of evening for a long time.
Support on the night came from High on Fire who opened the evening. Raw, manly singing, powerful riffs, heavy bass lines and fast, merciless drum patterns filled the Markthalle. The sound on the night was not up to scratch though, as an overbearing wall of sound made it difficult to distinguish between different members parts. Despite being a fan of the bands sound generally, the quality on this night was quite bad. On top of this, the audience weren’t all that into it. Because of the sound? Maybe. Though, it was more than likely due to their eagerness to see this evening’s headliners. Nevertheless, some crowd had fun with High on Fire and they did a good job on stage.
Once the Meshuggah crew finished building an interesting looking set up, everything was ready to go. Lights went black black and the crowd went crazy. Meshuggah hit the stage and began to play and already the sound issues had been fixed. The first song was “Clockworks” from their new album ‘The Violent Sleep of Reason’. From the beginning, my mind was punched by their light show which seemed to be programmed to the music synchronously. It was a blast of lights, colors and fog on stage, an amazing combination. Another new one, “Born in Dissonance” thumped the audience with the power of a machine gun. Headbangers and moshers appeared at the opening riff and the middle of the venue became a war zone with powerful energy. Older songs were played like “Sane” from 1998’s ‘Chaoshere’ record as well as ”Stengah” and “The Hurt that Finds You First” from the ‘Nothing’ album, too.
Bass player Dick Lövgren had some problems with his monitor earphones and the show was paused for a while. But front-man Jens Kidman did a good job and entertained us while fixing the problem. He made some classic bassist jokes and made some fun with the light master. The lights almost reacted to his speech and we laughed about the little comedy show. Very professional and likable. Suddenly, a laser show appeared to guitar solo, both unlike any I’d seen or heard before. It was indescribable what we were seeing at this moment. The whole venue was full of lasers in different colors. After the last song “Bleed”, the guys of Meshuggah came back on stage to play two more songs as an encore. “Demiurge” and the old but very nice “Future Breed Machine” were the last songs of the evening. The set-list was an ama
The show came to an end and I looked at the faces of the people in attendance who seemed like most of them just saw a ghost. I have no appropriate words to express the show of Meshuggah, because you have to experience it yourself. It was just crazy and messed up in the most positive way. If you like Meshuggah and have never seen them before, do it. You will never have quite the experience you will at a Meshuggah show!