Live report THERAPY? & THE SORE LOSERS, Gruenspan, Hamburg – May 6th, 2022

Therapy? are real veterans when it’s about alternative rock coming from Northern Island. It was Andy Cairns and Fyfe Ewing who founded the band in 1989. Michael McKeegan joined the band the same year and a first demo has been recorded. The first tour happened in 1990 and all this indicates that the 30th anniversary was on the list for 2020. To celebrate such a milestone, Therapy? had plans to embark on a tour, to present the best out of 30 years of great rock music. Now, I don’t think I need to mention that this didn’t happen. Postponing the tour more than once was what band and fans had to face and therefor the tour became the ’32nd anniversary tour’.

Therapy? is currently on the road and one stop is in Hamburg, Germany. The city at the Elbe River is known for the rich history when it’s about music and venues. This time it is Gruenspan being the venue for a great rock’n’roll night in the middle of Hamburg.

It is 20:00 when tonight’s opener enters the stage. Belgium power rock outfit The Sore Losers has the task to warm-up folks at Gruenspan and they did a good job. Their high-octane hard rock is exactly what is needed to get the temperature up in the room. Although the band released already five longplayers, I haven’t heard of them earlier and it might be the same for some of music fans tonight. The quartet though doesn’t their best to change this and checking out the band’s latest album ‘Ultra Electric’ is for sure a good thing. What a good start into the night.

After a very efficiently done stage rebuild everything is prepared for Therapy?. Fans welcome the trio from Northern Island with a warm applause and the guys start with ‘Nausea’ right into away into their 90 minutes set. The opener is also a clear statement that the setlist will cover all three decades of the band. With ‘Potato Junkie’ and ‘Prison Breaker’ even two songs from the very first EP are performed tonight with full force. These are the songs from the earlier days while ‘Callow’ and ‘Kakistocracy’ reflect the more recent sound of Therapy?.

No doubt that the classics can’t be missed either. ‘Teethgrinder’, closing the regular set and ‘Screamager’ are a must and ‘Nowhere’ is another well-received highlight of tonight’s show. While these songs are played in the bottom part of the setlist it is ‘Die Laughing’, dedicated to Taylor Hawkins, that helps to get some extra energy into the room. And the moment folks in front of the stage take a deep breath it’s Cairns’ “Hamburg, are you out there” that brings back the focus on why everybody is at Gruenspan tonight. It is the pure joy of live music and that one of the songs is named ‘Joy’ just adds to the message.

Next to the own songs, the trio also included three covers in their set. ‘Diane’ (Hüsker Dü), ‘Isolation ‘(Joy Division) and ‘Breaking the Law’ (Judas Priest), those songs represent bands that made an impact for musicians and band. In this context the cover versions for sure belong to such a show and fans love to listen to it.

At the age of 32, the band finally could celebrate three decades of Therapy? and a night like this helps to heal the wounds of ‘no concerts’ during the pandemic. Joy is back in live, at least during these 90 minutes. It was the big party everybody expected and talking about anniversary; drummer Neil Cooper celebrates his birthday tonight and everyone can assume the band having some aftershow fun too at Reeperbahn.

Setlist Therapy?:

  1. Nausea
  2. Stories
  3. Kaistocracy
  4. Die Laughing
  5. Opal Mantra
  6. Prison Breaker
  7. Turn
  8. Callow
  9. Trigger Inside
  10. Church of Noise
  11. Joy
  12. Still Hurts
  13. Disgracelands
  14. Loose
  15. Diane (Hüsker Dü cover)
  16. Theethgrinder
  17. Knives (encore)
  18. Potato Junkie (encore)
  19. Isolation (Joy Division cover) (encore)
  20. Breaking the Law (Judas Priest cover) (encore)
  21. Nowehere (encore)
  22. Screamager (encore)

Location: Gruenspan, Hamburg, Germany

Date: May 6th, 2022

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