Sarah Neufeld (of Arcade Fire) (opening for Lubomyr Melnyk)

The Netherlands

23rd May 2013 (2013-05-23)


Type: Audience master, recorded from seat in centre of 3rd row, 6 metres from
the PA.

Source: Factory-matched pair of Schoeps CCM 41V microphones (DINa mounted) ->
Marantz PMD661 recorder with Oade Concert Mod
(-18 dB gain/44.1 kHz/24 bit WAV)

Lineage: Audacity 2.0.3
* Amplified by 4 dB.
* Applied variable amplification across recording for consistent
listening experience.
* Attenuated audience.
* Added fades.
* Split tracks.
* Converted to 16 bit.
-> FLAC (compression level 8) [libFLAC 1.2.1 20070917]

Taper: Ian Macdonald (ianmacd)


01. [00:37] [preamble]
02. [00:35] [banter]
03. [05:35] You Are The Field
04. [03:59] Wrong Thought
05. [00:37] [banter]
06. [04:57] Right Thought
07. [02:57] Sprinter Fire
08. [01:22] [banter]
09. [03:48] Dirt
10. [06:07] Hero Brother
11. [01:00] [banter]
12. [07:20] Requiem For Douglas
13. [03:19] Muscle Till Death
14. [00:15] [banter]
15. [02:18] They Live On
16. [00:44] [banter]
17. [06:34] [untitled] (with Lubomyr Melnyk)

Total running time: 52:13


The Vondelkerk: why aren't more concerts held here? It seems as if it's only
ever used for the late-booked overflow from Indiestad, a loosely organised
festival of sorts, held every year in May.

That's a pity, because it's a fabulous little church with great acoustics and
a lovely ambience. The early bird is rewarded with a seat mere metres away
from the musicians, which is not only pleasant in and of itself, but no
luxury at this location, given the lack of a stage. The performers simply
stand at the front of the church, with no elevation, and play.

Of course, not every artist is suited to a church as a venue, but tonight's
roster most certainly are.

First up is Sarah Neufeld, embarking now on a solo career, but hitherto best
known as the violinist with fellow Canadians, the hugely successful Arcade

She's playing songs from her debut album, the Nils Frahm-produced 'Hero
Brother', that will come out in August. Her material is therefore unfamiliar
to almost everyone in the room, although the title track of her forthcoming
album can be downloaded for free from her web site.

Her music is perfect for the setting. For more than 50 minutes, she beguiles
us with her atmospheric solo violin, which weaves elements of Scottish reel,
minmalism and classical violin into a rich tapestry of sound.

She stands atop a wooden palette, which she occasionally stamps with her foot,
adding a percussive element to the faster pieces.

She's not afraid to talk to us, either, and has a natural charm that sees the
audience immediately warm to her. Happily, no-one else feels the need to say
anything. The audience sit in hushed reverence, causing Sarah to remark at one
point that we are all "ridiculously quiet".

Would that I could attend more "ridiculously quiet" gigs. See many of my other
torrent descriptions for further details. This is one of those concerts that
restores my faith in the ability of human-beings to enjoy live music without
indulging in behaviour that has a negative impact on other people's ability to
do the same.

If Ms. Neufeld were the only artist I got to hear this evening, my ticket, at
€12,50, would still represent astonishing value for money, but there is more
to come in the form of Lubomyr Melnyk.

A unique taste of that is given before the break, when Lubomyr joins Sarah for
a duet, performing a piece they composed just for this occasion, presumably
earlier the same day. What a treat to close the set with.

It's worth mentioning that Sarah's set also included some other material that
will not be on her forthcoming album.

I really couldn't be happier with this recording. It's about as close to
perfect a document as I can imagine ever being able to make from the audience.
Listening to it now over headphones, the sound is as pure as it was on the
night. Absolutely nothing has been coloured or lost.

Samples are provided, should you need further convincing.

In order to attend this concert, I had to sell my ticket for the sold-out
Allah-Las gig taking place up the road at the Melkweg. I hesitated until the
afternoon of the shows to make my final decision of which one to attend, but
I am very happy with the choice I made.