Concert Review with PHOTOS - Samsara Blues Experiment

By Mark Derricutt

Artist: Samsara Blues Experiment

Date / Venue: Monday September 10th, 2018 - Whammy Bar, Auckland

It was a chilled and wet Monday night here in Auckland, though being a "school night" that didn't stop the Whammy Bar from being filled up with eager listeners to Berlin based Samsara Blues Experiment. Like many bands in this genre, I'm not sure how I first encountered them - more than likely a recommendation via a Facebook group or one of Bandcamp's many blog posts introducing new and obscure bands. However it may have happened - Samsara has been a frequent player on the iPod over many years - balancing a fine line between psychedelic and stoner rock with just the right touch of heaviness to just hit you in the gut and keep you pinned to a wall of sound.

Up first tonight - Auckland's Bloodnut… It's always a joy to to partake in orangutan worship with a group of ginger primates - and tonight was no exception. After seeing the band many times over the years I know what to expect, which often gives me pause when writing any form of review. But tonight something was different, the sound and vibe of the new song ‘Clean Green, Yeah Right’ caught me off guard and gave me a new genre —- ‘Stoner Funk’. Catchy as heck and different… topping this off was the special addition of Jessica Paton of Slumbug joining for Burning Bush - a now "mandatory" set piece, and a welcome freshness to the set.

Hamilton's Arc of Ascent are up next. Doomy gloom bliss full of Craig Black's monotonic vocals echoing a bleak dissonance to match his oppressive bass and Matt Cole-Baker's guitar tones… Where the night started with a reasonably lit stage, the lights and mood have grown darker stage which lead to darker, and bleak photos, combined with an ominous ache in my bones I retrenched myself to the rear of Whammy and soak it in.

And now… let the Experiment begin...

….the psychedelic groove twists, ebbs and flows like eddies at the river edge - as fluids sway gently rocking, hiding their real power lying just beneath the surface until your caught… the overindulgent analogies flow through my mind just like the acid trip I feel I should be enjoying to match the show… or shadows. The continued journey into darkness reaches further so that all we're left with are sonic arpeggios from guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist, and founder Christian Peters - with little to no fanfare Samsara Blues Experiment took the stage and….

…I'm sorry - my mind drifted onto a journey of sound - even now, the show is a fog of bliss - songs blending from one to another in my mind, riffs and leads shifting from psychedelic moods to heavy, thunderous breakdowns just made to head bang to, shifting back to floating back spacious sonic leads that take you on a musical journey.

Set List:

For the lost souls
Into the Black
New Song
End of Forever
Hanging on the wire
Center of the sun
One with the Universe
Army of Ignorance