Hot Water Music / Muff Potter / Walter Schreifels / Pepstalkers
10.05.08 Skater's Palace, MünsterCan you expect too much from an evening? Yes, you can. Gainesville legends Hot Water Music returned to Europe for four shows only, one of them taking place in Münster to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Green Hell record store.
It's been eight years ago since I first saw them live. I was blown away by their energy and passion. They played a small basement club in Bochum, support came from a German band called Muff Potter who also won my heart that night.
Both bands also starred in Green Hell's 10th anniversary festival at the Skater's Palace five years ago, one of the sweatiest shows I've ever been to. Could this even be surpassed this time?
First band of the night were the Pepstalkers, a Münster rock outfit playing more or less traditional garage rock and who were boring.
But then Walter Schreifels came on to play an acoustic set spanning his whole career. He played songs from Gorilla Biscuits, Rival Schools and Walking Concert plus an homage to the Sauerland and the worst Austrian song ever, Life Is Life and got the people to sing along to it.
After showing a strange home video Muff Potter played their 15th anniversary show and I wasn't too impressed. Best song was a new one with Chuck Ragan on vocals and too many old faves were missing (no Placebo Domingo, no 100 Kilo) and the sound was crap, too.
I guess many people will have loved the Hot Water Music show, but I thought there was something missing. Their energy on stage seemed to have faded away, you could feel that Chuck Ragan had separated from the rest, especially when you had the chance to see The Draft, the other HWM spin off apart from Chuck's solo work, live when they supported Samiam two years ago.
They played loads of hits like Turnstile, Free Radio Gainesville, It's Hard To Know, Paper Thin, Remedy and, especially, Our Own Way and Rooftops, but I felt the difference, the lack of spirit compared to eight years ago, when No Division touched my soul.
So, I guess, it would have been a good show if the band meant less to me and I didn't have seen so many fantastic gigs of theirs to compare it to.