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Axelle @ Arenbergschouwberg Antwerpen, January 13th 2010 [try-out concert]

Axelle Red
Yesterday evening was a special evening... Axelle was trying out her new show for a select audience in the small room of the Arenbergschouwberg in downtown Antwerp. How select ? Well, there were about 80 seats and only 70 people. The show was a mix of English, Spanish, French and even one Dutch song - and most of the songs had received a serious make-over.

For sure, there is work left to be done before the show gets on the road - this evening in Roeselare (!). But Axelle and her band of three (including only the bass player from her full American band) were in good spirits as they worked through the re-engineered set and songs. Highlights ? "Le Monde Tourne Mal" was even in this new version with some nice piano snipplets one of Axelle's best songs. And just as in many other songs, I had the feeling that the electric guitar player was sneaking in some riffs from other songs ('Sweet Home Alabama' someone ?).

Ok, perhaps the reference to 'Sweet Home Alabama' is a bridge to far. But for sure no one can deny that "Sensualité" started with the riffs of "Kiss Me" - in fact, I thought for a few moments that she would actually cover the song. But the only cover in the set was "Amsterdam". Low point ? The version of my favorite "Rester Femme" - in Spanish yesterday. Also this song was heavily retooled, but I've heard many other and many better versions during Axelle's live acts.

So... if you want to see and hear Axelle in a smaller setting than usual and with plenty of re-engineered songs out of her recent and less recent work (even "Kennedy Boulevard" made the setlist, and sounded fresh !) don't hesitate and get tickets for one of her "coming Home" shows over the next three months. I doubt it will be as much fun as the try-out concert yesterday (there were even drinks and snacks following the 2 hour show !), but it should still be a great evening.

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