Review: Justin Nozuka – Live @ Bitterzoet (18 July 2011)

On Monday night I went to see Justin Nozuka. I’m not a rookie when it comes to his shows: this was my third. I knew what to expect: a high energy show, with pretty songs, great musicians and sheer dedication.

I went with Pauline, who had never seen him live yet. I had warned her that Justin can be a bit spacey and is a bit of a treehugger. But that doesn’t affect the amazing energy he very clearly puts in his music. He’s a bit of an idealist but that only shows when he has his little talks in between songs, which are few. He is really focused on his music and ever single time I’ve seen him, I’ve been amazed at the amount of pleasure, joy and dedication he shows through his music. He’s a musician in the true sense of the word.

His set was a mix of songs from both albums, opening with the mysterious Down in a Cold Dirty Well, followed by two other tracks from his first album: Be Back Soon and Mr. Therapy Man. Both of which I caught on video for all your enjoyment:

He then continued with a few tracks from his second album: Gray, Love and In Peace. The crowd responded only slightly less enthusiastically to these song, but it was clear that the audience liked the older songs better. There were a few sniggers and laughs at Justin’s frantic gyrating movements during Gray, but you cannot contest that he was definitely into the music, as you can see in the video below:

The final part of the set was comprise by Woman, Golden Train and After Tonight. During the latter two the audience finally seemed to have warmed up and sang along in full force for the first time. This was no surprise as both songs are on Justin’s first album Holly and all songs from that album were crowd favorites.

After a short break, the band came back for the lead single from the second album You and I Wind Land and Sea: Heartless. After a final thank you and some more jamming the band left the stage of the small yet sweet venue Bitterzoet (lit. translated Bittersweet). After a bit of a wait, the fans were treated to the band coming out, taking pictures and signing autographs. Not much later Justin himself came out and fans were asked to line up to have their pictures taken. Since I count myself as a bit of a fan, I got in line, had my ticket signed and a picture:

All in all, it was another great concert and next time he’s in Holland I will sure be going again. If you haven’t heard his music yet, make sure you do. His songs are amazing. Watching the vids in this blog would be a good start!

Q: Have you heard of Justin Nozuka before? If so, what’s your favorite song?

Mine: Golden Train, Save Me and the demo version of Swan in the Water!

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