Jun 5, 2019

A Cosmic Journey with Feel Freeze

A Cosmic Journey with Feel Freeze

Jana Udovenko

Jana Udovenko

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Danish electro-pop duo Feel Freeze recently took us for a ride on their love spaceship when they played an intimate concert in a cozy living room in Copenhagen’s neighbourhood of Østerbro.

Feel Freeze describe their live shows as taking a ride on a love spaceship, and usually there’s more than enough glitter to make you feel as if shimmering galaxies are passing by. This concert was a little different, on top of their usual show the duo decided to give the audience an extra treat by exploring the more mellow side of things and re-interpreting a few of their songs with just an acoustic guitar and piano. As Feel Freeze admitted themselves, that turned out to be a bigger challenge than they expected, but let me rewind to the very beginning.

From socks to revelations

As I walk up to Jordan Jackson’s home (yes, this is the ultimate Low-Fi universe where an artist also becomes a host), I notice a small note by the door instructing the guests which bell to ring. With just a few minutes to spare before the concert, my face lights up that I’ve made it just in time and I’m being buzzed in.

After three flights of stairs I enter the spaceship and make my way to the control room. Waiting for me is another treat of the evening - DJ duo Rewind is already shifting gears into position by serving some nice beats. As soon as I sit down, I realize that I have failed to meet one of the most important aspects of the living room concert dress code: my socks are not matching! So I tuck my feet underneath the chair and try not to stare at everyone else’s perfectly selected socks.

Socks aside, the show is ready to start, and Ray and Mathias make their way to the living room floor. They start off with We Travel Light and it quickly becomes apparent that it’s not only the music that is going to be stripped-down tonight. Feel Freeze’s usually glittery attire is replaced by simple t-shirts (even one of Ray’s friends admits later that it is odd to see him in plain white) and both of them are sharing intimate stories from their lives throughout the set. For example, we learn about a disastrous yet hilarious trip to Germany that almost ends in the duo losing all of their gear, and Ray opens up about writing the very first song about his transition that is followed by an absolutely beautiful and heartfelt performance of the track.

With only about twenty people in the living room and a minimal instrumental arrangement, the atmosphere is very quiet. So quiet, that you can’t help but notice little everyday sounds making their way into the performance. Like the constantly squeaking chair underneath Mathias, or the spinning cycles that the washing machine is making down the hall in the bathroom, or even the crazy Brondby/FC Midtjylland football fans that are yelling outside on the street. All of these everyday noises aren't a nuances but on the contrary, they remind everyone that we are all sitting in someone's home, 2 meters away from an artist, listening to them poor their hearts out and share something very personal. The space around literally takes over and shapes the performance (Read about the Low-Fi philosphy of physical spaces changing the way we experience music).

With the last song of this special acoustic set over, Feel Freeze reach out for the MIDI controller and admit that it was actually way more difficult to turn their electronic-heavy songs into acoustic pieces than they had expected. With the first set done it is time to switch gears and launch into the second half that was prepared to take us on a ride on the spaceship that we all know and love.

Launching the rocket

After a short break, the love spaceship is re-calibrated, and Ray and Mathias have switched their shirts for all around glitter-wear. Also the acoustic guitars are replaced by a table full of controllers, wires, and computers with glowing purple unicorn heads in-between. We are ready for takeoff.

You can sense straight away that the duo feels way more in their element. No more sitting still. Ray spreads his feathers like a peacock and starts walking around the room with the words I'm your glitter trans boy rode in on a unicorn roaring out of his mouth during Bend the Night. While Mathias straight up drops on his knees and performs a little solo for one of the concert goers. A few notes later he is already lying on the floor and strumming his guitar while striking one pose after another.

The guys are so excited they also decide to do a premiere of a new song that they, for a change, wrote in Danish. A track in Danish is a first for the band and the audience is excited to hear it. Let’s keep our eyes peeled for new releases to see whether it actually comes out.

The show is now slowly coming to an end and the guys start pulling out all the stops. Quite literally. Mathias pulls out the famous purple wings/cape from underneath the table and spreads them as wide as he can. I perceive these wings as a very powerful symbol of bravery and standing strong as your authentic self. They’re also the wings of love and protection as soon Mathias wraps them around Ray and holds him in his arms for a moment.

Now the only thing left is to make everyone else feel safe and united as well, and what better way to do so than to participate in a sing-along. Good thing that Feel Feeze have just the song for that! Launch the rocket flight, On mission equal rights, We are satellites, You & I - recites Ray and we all start singing together while the sun slowly sets outside the window. It’s been quite a ride, but it doesn’t mean that it has to end there. If I’ve learned anything from this concert, it’s that each of us carry a small love spaceship inside. So whenever we feel like launching it up to the stars, we just need to look within.

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