Brutus – Unison Life Fall Tour 2023, @Grabenhalle St. Gallen (Switzerland)

Bands:Brutus, Lichter Wald (Support)
Date:19th  of Ocotber, 2023
Location:Grabenhalle St. Gallen (CH)

I’ve been dying to see Brutus live for a while now, as they are a constant part of my most listened to playlists and a permanent guest on my top albums of the year as soon as a new record comes out. Since the band has been keeping up an immense tour schedule for quite some time now, I’ve always hoped that the three Belgians would come to my area. In fact, I only found out relatively late, about 3 weeks before the gig, that the band was playing a show within reach. Credit card out, Google Maps on, off to St. Gallen in Switzerland!

After an hour’s drive, I managed to get hold of one of the last rare parking spaces at the Grabenhalle in St. Gallen, I still had a good lead time until the band’s support came on stage. So first I got a Rivella, a well-known soft drink from Switzerland, and stood in front of the merch, because Brutus gives out a small number of single vinyls of their new release “Love Won’t Hide The Ugliness” for every gig played, personally signed by the band at which show it was given out.

The evening started with the band Lichter Wald from Winterthur, a two-person band that I had never heard of before and that I would roughly classify as Post-Black Metal and Post-Emo. As a little gimmick for the tour, Brutus decided not to offer support in general, but to provide a stage for even more unknown bands from the immediate vicinity of the venue. The lyrics, sung by Jayna on drums, deal with criticism of society, such as LGBTQI issues, refugees and the general negative attitude towards each other. Tobi on guitar played around Jayna with atmospheric riffs. Even if the whole package wasn’t quite my musical cup of tea, I can’t deny how immensely sympathetic the two brought their performance to the stage.

After another Rivella and a short leg stretching, Brutus came on stage. This was the musically most intense 60 minutes in recent years and as a fan of the band I got my money’s worth. The not very big Grabenhalle created a very close experience with the band due to its relatively wide stage, but narrow length to the bar. The technical set-up of music and lighting were almost perfect and played to Brutus‘ strengths in live performances.

The start with the song “Liar pulled me directly into the typical light trance I always get when I hear the band. If I’m not mistaken, all songs from last year’s album were played in this hour except for two, filled up with Horde II“, “War“, “Justice De Julia II“, “Space and the fabulous Sugar Dragon that didn’t disappoint me at all this time either. I wouldn’t have thought that some of the songs would have a completely different pull live, with Stefanie beating the drums a few metres away and belting out her vocals into the microphone. I especially liked the accusatory What Have We Done, the energetic Dust and the playful, sad Victoria. In between, guitarist Stijn Vanhoegaerden played a wonderful atmospheric solo that I will certainly remember for a long time.

In the end, I was completely satisfied that I had made the journey to St. Gallen. I can only recommend everyone to see the band live. It’s worth warming up even halfway with post-rock, math-rock or post-hardcore.

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