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Open Hand - With These Arms are Snakes and Green Lizard in Utrecht
Last Sunday it was time for me to visit one of the most promising bands of 2005. Open Hand was playing in the Tivoli, Utrecht. This night they were supported by Dutch rock formation Green Lizard and These Arms Are Snakes. The last one was playing their first support show of this tour and when we arrived Green Lizard was playing their set and second show of the day.
Overall I am not a big fan of Green Lizard, I can’t tell you why but there are only a couple of songs I like. One of these songs is the single 'Autumn' of a couple of years back, this song was refreshing and good but when they started playing some new songs I just heard the same rock songs thousands of other bands play nowadays. And that is just a bummer. Besides this, the band didn’t seem interested and they were just playing their set and fooling around with the audience in an irritating way. Only the die hard fans up front were appreciated and I guess the first show of the day was more crowded and they were just finishing up. Too bad because this band sure has potential to get bigger, just stay yourself and be original guys!
The second band of the night was These Arms Are Snakes and it was the first show of them supporting Open Hand. Nobody knew what to expect and every single person in the crowd was surprised I guess. The best description of this band has to be Math Rock. It is as funky, changing and crazy as The Dillinger Escape Plan only it is in a more rock kind of way. The stage performance of these guys just keep attracting your attention and the effects used in the music using a lot of pedals and other electronic equipment just gives the music a new vibe. The front man of this band is one of the strangest persons on stage I have ever seen, at the end of the set he even disappeared beneath the drum stage. Too bad sometimes his actions look like acting but that doesn’t change the fact this band is explosive and sure know how to rock the stage. I hope they can set this effect on an album as well!
After a short change and sound check it was time for the last band of the night. I just loved their album and was looking forward to their live performance. But it was magic, overwhelming and amazing. These guys know how to rock. The band is kind of shy on stage but there was just nothing wrong with the show, they are getting close to the audience with their music and are funny with their clumsy remarks between the songs. On this tour the band has invited a female for the keyboard and some backup and lead vocals. This one has got an amazing voice which you can hear on their latest album and this is used in a great way in the live performance of the band. Besides that I could hear amazing drum parts on the album but this dude is super on stage, he was hitting every single part he had to hit and amazed everybody in the venue. When the band stopped playing after 40 minutes the audience shouted for more, it felt like they played almost every song of their latest album and they band reacted with: ‘We haven’t got many more songs to play’ and started packing their gear. But one person in the audience walked up front and shouted ‘Play The Dream’ and so the band did. This was the only older song and this one sounded awesome. The line up of the band changed but they know what to do with the older material.
Open Hand deserved a bigger audience this night but they sure gave the audience present a great night. With an awesome live show and great music they sure have added some people to their fan base.