Concert Review: RED (Luxor / Cologne, GER – 11/21/13)

Last Thursday, I was one of about 500 lucky people who saw Nashville-based Christian Rock band RED perform at the small club “Luxor” in Cologne – to say I was blown away is an understatement!

I’ve only been listening to RED for about 3 months, and I still can`t believe that those guys aren’t super famous, since all of their four albums are extremely good. Their melodic rock songs are very catchy and they offer a wide variety in pace – from slow ballads like “Pieces” to hard rock songs like “Release the Panic”.
Fortunately, a friend asked on Facebook if anyone wanted to join him for a RED concert, otherwise, I wouldn’t even have known that their “Release the Panic” European Tour would make a stop in my city.

So after weeks of anticipation, the day had finally come, and after a good meal at our favorite Sushi place, we were standing right in front of the stage at the Luxor. After about an hour, we were still standing there. Out of some reason, the advertised “Special Guest” never appeared and we had to watch the stage crew test the lights and mics for an eternity – or that’s what it felt like.

Right at 9pm, the music finally started and RED (singer Michael Barnes, bassist Randy Armstrong, guitarist Anthony Armstrong and drummer Joe Rickard) kicked off their show with “Death of Me”, which was a great opener. The band’s energy was immediately transported to the crowd and a mosh pit formed just seconds after the show had started. Since I’m a fragile lady, I elegantly stepped aside and let the guys do their thing.

Note that the setlist has some funny mistakes, such as "Feed the Pony" instead of "Feed the Machine" | Photo: Kai vom Stein

Note that the setlist has some funny mistakes, such as “Feed the Pony” instead of “Feed the Machine” | Photo: Kai vom Stein

The setlist consisted mostly of RED’s harder songs, which is an interesting fact, because their setlist for the US Tour during this summer had many of their ballads. When I had read about this change, I was a bit disappointed, but in retrospective, I really enjoyed the fast paced set. They played songs from all four albums and while “Perfect Life”, “Damage”, “Let Go”, “Feed the Machine”, “Lost” and “Die for You” are amongst my highlights, they had three songs, that were outstanding: 1. “Release the Panic” which got me so pumped, it made me regain my energy for the rest of the show. After the song, a photo of the band in front of the crowd was taken – a “ritual” they’ve been doing at every show. The photos are uploaded to their social networking sites, which is just one nice example of how the band uses social media to connect with their fans, 2. “Pieces” – a beautiful ballad, played acoustically and sung by each and everyone in the club that night, 3. “Breathe into me” which is their big debut hit and closed the show.

After their set, the band said their goodbyes, threw some memorabilia into the crowd (props to my friend Kai for catching the setlist) and poured water right into my face (which was awesome).

Photo: Annemarie Gawlik

Photo: Annemarie Gawlik

In conclusion, RED could easily play big arena shows. They have this great energy that infects the crowd and gets them fired up like crazy. The small club was burning during their show! I had expected them to be good, but not on that level.
If you like Alternative Rock, you should check them out! If they play closeby, see them!

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