Joseph Parsons Band / Stefan Honig

13. February 2014, Subrosa, Dortmund, Germany

After this concert I left the Subrosa with a big smile on my face, wondering why such an amazing band does not play much bigger venues. For well over two hours they had played their hearts out, catering to their fans as well as to the casual listeners, playing current songs and old, fast and slow, known and unknown. It was entertaining, at times breathtaking and a whole lot of fun.

The Subrosa is one of those typical small venues, a bar rather than a club, with a small stage and too many red stage lights. Yet the sound is good and the staff friendly. Last time I’d been there it was rather empty, so I didn’t expect the crowd I encountered this time around. The place was packed with hardly any room left to move. These conditions may not have been ideal for taking pictures, but they were perfect for a concert.

To my surprise, someone was already playing when I arrived. It turned out to be Stefan Honig, a support act not previously announced, who had started at 19:30. He played for about 30 minutes. I liked his songs; they fit well with the main band. Nice acoustic stuff, very listenable. He told us how he had met Joseph a few days ago and was asked to support him for this concert. He was good choice to get everyone in the mood for the main band.

When the Joseph Parsons Band walked on stage, the crowd cheered loudly and they got louder during the course oft he evening. The venue may not hold a huge number of people, but those who came made a lot of noise and rightfully so.

This band deserves a much bigger audience. Not only do they sing and play extremely well, they also do it with passion and feeling. These people don’t need a big show or a huge stage; they just stand there and play, drawing everyone in. From the first moment of the concert to the last they held me captivated and many others with me. It was not a night for listening quietly though, even if they did play some slower and softer songs. The music was rocking, groovy, bluesy, even funky at times – a perfect mixture, inviting people to move along with it.

The band played well, honest music without frills, but with style. They all know how to play, working together skillfully as a band and showing some amazing solos. Apart from songs from the current album, we heard many from older albums and even from other bands Parsons is a member of like US Rails. During a short solo set he took requests – some he had gathered from people before this concert and one even on the spot. He dedicated each song to the person who had requested it, receiving greatful smiles in return. When the band returned to the stage they turned things up a notch with even more energy and enthusiasm than before.

After two hours they said goodbye to a happy crowd, clapping and shouting for more. Of course they came back for encores and left everyone satisfied. At the end of the concert I learned that the band had been coming to the Subrosa for 15 years and I’m sure many of the people in the audience have been doing the same. In fact, I can hardly imagine not wanting to see them again. I certainly will, if I get the chance.

Author/Photographer: Stefanie Oepen

GastmitarbeiterInnen / guest contributions

Regular guest contributors e.g. Melanie Kircher, Tatjana Tattis Murschel, Grit Kabiersch, Marina Minkler, Jasmine Frey, Maria Levin, Elvira Visser, Nina Ratavaara, John Wisniewski