“Ladies And Gentlemen Make My Nipples Hard!” announced Arno Carstens during the encore, and this phrase basically sums up the night! Blood Brothers made nipples hard in the Free State I’m sure – such was the raging power of this show!
Arriving at Carnival City one could hear rock music blasting out of car windows, spot plenty a band tee and smell the faint sweet whiff of MJ in the air. These weren’t your usual gambling-addicted patrons…These were MY people. 🙂
The evening’s affair was in aid of the Vrede Foundation, whose events have grown bigger and better with each passing year. This year however has truly set new standards for excellence, and it is genuinely heart-warming to know that the victory of the night was this worthy cause.
We had the cream of the South African Rock crop on one stage, chosen for who they are and what they can produce…and what they produced was life-affirming! An event organised for a good cause, the cause on the night seemed to be pure unbridled Rock n Roll! From the minute they blasted onto stage the crowd was in awe and you could sense the chemistry of those on stage and tangibly feel the energy that was bouncing between them and the crowd – it was electrifying.
What a delight to hear a mix of musicians collaborating on each other’s songs – be it playing guitar, tambourine, or harmonising – adding new facets and depth to these much loved songs. Like a little Albert Frost guitar on a Taxi song, or Arno/George/Kobus’s voices on a Fokofpolisiekar song – exquisite.
The last time I saw two drummers on one stage was at a Godsmack gig in 2004! Now here was the Saffa version to equally blow my mind. It was great to watch Isaac Klawansky and Jason Hinch playing off each other’s energy. At times they played completely different grooves, at other times the same one. It was quite hypnotising trying to keep an eye on both at once and keep up! We had Jason on our side of the stage, always enchanting to watch the rhythmic dance of his flying hair and limbs.
The guys teased Arno about being the oldest. But we know that they all grew up listening to The Nudies and it must have been quite an honour for them to be sharing the stage with someone whose band has inspired so many. Seeing him perform Blue Eyes and Bubblegum totally transported me back to my youth.
The Brothers did a few covers, adding such a new take on some that it took a moment to realise what song it was. This range of songs were perfectly chosen to evoke nostalgia, euphoria and pure giddy glee.
Francois Van Coke’s cover of Nirvana got the crowd well riled up behind us and the moshing began in full force! He enthusiastically waved around a Nirvana shirt that a friend had thrown at him from the crowd.
including the crowd in the show
After all this craziness, Albert Frost – looked dapper in his three piece suit – calmed the masses down again with his virtuoso guitar skills. You could see how revered he is by all his Brothers on stage, and rightly so! He accompanied Arno’s Take Me to Church cover by playing his guitar with a violin bow.
All of the Brother’s interaction with the crowd was fabulous. Like Kobus’ sharing – then showering the crowd with some tequila. Tequila in the eye…I don’t recommend it – burns like a bitch!
Other delightful antics included George stage diving (three times), Francois filming some of the proceedings with a fan’s phone, and Arno’s obsession with his tambourine and shaker. Such fun!
When Catherine Grenfell came back on stage to introduce the encore she said “I don’t usually swear on stage but….” which is spot on, because expletives really had to be used to try and verbalise the sheer magnitude of the glorious spectacle we had just been a part of.
The encore was very emotional – with a big banging build up, only to slow down and escort in the sheer beauty that is Ek Skyn. I actually shed a few tears, it was just too much – I thought my chest would explode.