This was the first gig in Europe for the American band 3RDegree, so it was a special day for the band. I’ve never been to ‘t Blok, so it was also a very special day for me as well. The ambience in the venue was great. A lot of people looking forward to this band, and I was pretty excited as well.
When the band came on stage the first thing that caught my eye was that all the band members wore a shirt with the same logo on it, which is pretty cool. Robert James Pashman, the bassist, has a very awesome Steinberger bass guitar. He was also in control of the sound effects and had some very interesting tiny keyboards at his side.
The band started pretty good with the track The Socio Economic Petri Dish, but I had the feeling they were a bit nervous and preserved. The singer/keyboarist George Dobbs made a joke that he had to put more effort in knowing what is going on here politically in The Netherlands. The band needed some time to settle down and get used to the venue and the audience but during the track Apophenia the band became more ‘loose’. Bryan Zeigler, the guitarist, was pulling funny faces during the last minutes of the first set. The first set sounded great, the keyboard solos could have been louder.
During the break between the sets I talked with Robert. He told me that playing the old tracks went pretty well but playing the new ones was pretty tricky. It was fun to meet him finally in real life, I know him for quite a while but only through Facebook.
Before the second set began Bryan had a little speech about the hospitality here, something you don’t get everywhere in the United States. They started the second set with the track Gravity, which is my favourite track from their latest album. George told after the track This Is The Future that they are going to play tracks from their upcoming album Ones And Zeros, Volume 0 (or 2, they haven’t decided yet which number it would get). That was a great surprise for the whole audience. During the performance one of the staff members of the venue shared some snacks for the audience. Bryan saw that and wanted to try a snack as well, while he was still playing guitar. He took a snack and put it right in his mouth and continued to play. He spit half of the snack out because he couldn’t eat all of it because he was still playing.
Two members of the band weren’t there during the tour (Pat Kliesch and Eric Pseja). Robert made a silly joke about them being not welcome in The Netherlands. The rhythm guitar sound could be a little bit harder in the second set, but the guitar solos sounded great. While the band was a bit static in the beginning of the first set the second set was loose and comfy. Bryan really felt comfy during his guitar solos and even made some jumps and gave away a solo while standing on the drum stage. The end of the gig was really hilarious. George told the audience that they were going to play the last track, and someone from the audience demanded they should play Ace Of Spades (from Motorhead). They didn’t play Ace Of Spades of course, but ended with It Works. George also gave away a ‘drumsolo’ on the heads of Robert and Bryan.
3RDegree is a great live band, not in the visual way, but when it comes to their music. Don’t expect flashy suits and extraordinary movements… Which makes me think, how would it look like if they would do that? 😉 I really enjoyed their performance, and I think they did too! Their music is fantastic and refreshing, and it’s even greater to hear them live!
After the gig I interviewed the band. You can hear the interview here:
The Socio-Economic Petri Dish
You’re Fooling Yourselves
Life At Any Cost
What It Means To Be Human
The Best & Brightest
This Is The Future
Robert James Pashman: Bass, bass pedals, additional keyboards and backing vocals
George Dobbs: Keyboards, lead and backing vocals
Aaron Nobel: Drums
Bryan Zeigler: Electric guitars and backing vocals
You can also read my concert review (and watch the awesome videos and photos my dear colleagues made) on Background Magazine:
All photos by Remy Stroomer.