NEGATIVE. Ritmo y Compás (Madrid). 01/23/2011

In the corridor of the venue fans gathered already since the early afternoon, and, even if most of them were teenage girls, we could also find some boys or more mature people.

It was clear from the very first moment that the lack of a supporting band wouldn't be a problem. The band should feel soon warmed by a good group of fans coming from everywhere: not only Madrid, but also Valencia, Switzerland, Germany or the band's own homeland Finland, among other places. Who wouldn't feel comfortable?

A miscellaneous and colourful set on the small stage (graffittis, skeletons, feathers, strip lighting, illuminated skulls...), and ready to start. Rather dead than plain. 

Finally, around 10 pm, the show started with enthusiastic applause from the fans crowded in the front rows to welcome the band members, specially the eagerly awaited Jonne Aaron, singer and frontman.

They chose "No One Can Save Me Tonight" to start the concert, the track that opens their latest album, and it was followed by "The Moment Of Our Love" (one of the band's classics), "Givin' Up", "Blood On Blood", "My My/Hey Hey" (cover to the original Neil Young's song) and "After All", always with the audience involvement and participation.

We came back to Negative classics with "In My Heaven", almost half way to go, and one could realize such a complicity between the band and the crowd that jokes came up both ways. Those on stage felt really good and Jonne stated it... in Black Eyed Peas' words: "I got a feeling that tonight's gonna be a good night..."

The show continued when the singer encouraged everyone to sing along to "End Of The Line", single from their latest album, in which Jonne had some little voice problem in the final chorus. And we arrived to the special moment of the concert. We were left with only Larry and Mr. Snack to enjoy the instrumental version of "Neverending Parade", whose sound made clear that one of the biggest influences and idols of the band is Guns'n'Roses.

After this short break, the vocalist came back on stage, armed with an acoustic guitar to relieve his mates. Fans chanted their names as they left the stage and more jokes came up. Before going on with the music, Jonne wanted to introduce the whole crew touring with them and also greet and thank all the fans, coming from everywhere, for their presence at the show.

Then, "since it's the last show on the tour", Jonne wanted it to be something special, so he let the public choose the next songs. His fans put him in a bit tight situation asking for a song whose lyrics, as he admitted, had forgotten in some past occasion. But we were among friends (more for the good vibes than for the number of people in the crowd), and he went on with "Lust'n'Needs", "Still Alive" and "Jaleous Sky", along with the audience's voices and clapping.

We were getting to the end, and confessing they would like to stay, the rest of the band joined on stage again to win crowd with the rhythm of "Frozen To Lose It All", another track that couldn't be left out of the setlist and that was added a short drum solo at the end. One by one, Jonne presented Negative members and then we listened to the rockiest chords of the night with "Since You've Been Gone". Considering the place where the guys come from (and half of the crowd, who came from "cooler" places too) they had to make the comment: "In this lovely country, this song makes sense". The song couldn't be any other but "Planet Of The Sun".

And by singing "oé, oé" (or was it "olé, olé"?) along with the audience, the left the stage... to come back with "Love That I Lost" and "Won't Let Go", songs that pleased everyone in the crowd. With the applause and "Neon Rain" being played  in the background, the band greeted the audience again and the show ended.

 One concert way a bit short, and Jonne's voice playing some tricks on him; although most people didn't give it any importance, since the last days of the tour had been quite intense, playing one every two days. As for the rest, I can say my first Negative concert surprised me for the better: the sound was good during the whole performance, musicians made the stage theirs (for all the atrezzo as well as for all the action and motion on stage despite its small size), and specially, for the good vibes in general, the feeling of being like home and the complicity between the band and their fans.

Text: J
Pics: J, with Rubén Castilla collaboration