November 30, 2021 at House of Blues
The only word that can truly encapsulate the music, vibe, and dance moves of Milky Chance, the German band that describes themselves as “two high school friends making music,” is groovy. The music they make is mellow yet electric and has a unique, almost cinematic character. Some even venture to categorize their songs as “stoner music,” remarks which appeared to ring true at Milky Chance’s show at Boston’s House of Blues on November 30.
The first thing one typically notices at a concert is the band’s merch selection. Milky Chance did not disappoint, offering brightly colored designs which read “High Like Colorado,” the tagline of their latest single. Also at the table were packages of branded rolling papers that were printed with the same design, which they were handing out for free. This was an uncommon feature at a concert, and it set the stage for more pleasant surprises throughout the night.
Those who know Milky Chance’s music know that they don’t make the type of songs that one typically jumps around and screams to. However, this did not stop the young girls in the front row, who yelled the lyrics to every song from the moment the performers stepped on stage. As they did this, Milky Chance’s set vibrantly illuminated the stage in a wall of colorful LEDs which flashed to the beat of the music, creating a dramatic, almost psychedelic set of visuals. The third song on the setlist was concluded with an equally dramatic instrumental breakdown, with lead singer Clemens Rehbein playing a synthy piano and guitarist Anthonio Greger joining Sebastian Schmidt on the drums. They performed a lively, bongo-filled interlude as the energy drew to a climax, then an abrupt stop, and wild cheers from the crowd.
In close alignment with the artistic vibe of the venue in which they played, the members of Milky Chance had a unique sense of fashion that was relaxed, indie, and atypical to a pop or rock group. Rehbein in particular was wearing an ‘80s style, button-down shirt with a pattern just as funky as the dance moves he pulled out in between singing for the crowd. He was also a very casual performer, talking with the crowd in transition, riffing on his guitar as he told stories of the band’s tour travels. He mentioned that Boston’s House of Blues was the venue they had played most at in the US, a remark that was met with thundering screams from a proud audience of Bostonians. To introduce their next song, he told a recurring story that inspired their aforementioned single, “Colorado,” explaining how one must make use of “certain substances” that cannot cross the Canadian Border in travel. The crowd seemed to find this story humorous, and this was again met with screams of relatability or perhaps respect.
However, the most remarkable thing about Milky Chance’s show was how appreciative and humble a world-touring band can be. Toward the end of the show, Rehbein took a long pause in between songs to sincerely thank the crowd for their support. He was especially warmed by the fact that the audience was singing the lyrics along with him to a song they had released just three weeks prior. Then, in yet another surprising moment, the band stop their performance to tell of their earlier visit to a food bank in Boston, which collected food waste from grocery stores and redistributed it to the needy. They promoted the organization and its cause of helping those in need, which was incredibly endearing and telling of the character of the men on stage.
Overall, Milky Chance proved to be an even better band than previously imaginable, both on a performance and personal level. Their show was truly a high that no one would want to come down from.