Concert Review – Posten, Odense – 2017
A true gourmet of rock:
Spirits were high and the atmosphere relaxed, and the table was set for a cozy night at “Posten” in Odense last night.
You all know the feeling. We are about to begin. Gear was stacked high by the small, intimate stage. A slightly excessive amount of gear for such a small stage. With time left to grab a beer, people chatted in small clusters, unprepared for what was to come…
And there he was: Steffen Schackinger, wearing a grey and slightly anonymous-looking suit and with a look about him like a master chef torn from the kitchen to introduce his menu.
“I’m sorry if we aren’t the most animated orchestra, but our music requires our concentration.” All is forgiven!!!
I am no expert in the gastronomical arts, but I imagine this is what a person looks for:
A laid-back atmosphere in which to sink into a peaceful state before the first plate hits the table.
Schackinger is an uncompromising gourmet of rock. I will not go into details about the composition, sound, and technical prowess of almost biblical proportions. For one, it would probably bore you, and secondly, it seems pointless to attempt to describe the out-of-body experience that this select group of gluttonous music-lovers was treated to on a brisk Friday night in Odense.
Nothing was left to chance, and everything was served with knife-like precision. Yet it all felt completely natural, and the presentation was almost reverent – not a reverence towards us, but an artist’s reverence of his art form.
In my more than 30 years as a concert-goer, only a handful of shows even begin to compare with what Schackinger served up.
True sensory overload
There was an unspoken pact between the artist and his audience: if we promised to listen closely, he would reveal to us new heights in the human endeavor toward transcendence.
But this review is going nowhere.
DKK 150 for a truly unforgettable experience.
Steffen Schackinger offers a fantastic night to be remembered. But do bring your friends, because this is one experience that should be shared. And I was in the best of company.
I give him an unheard-of six stars, which is much less than he deserves, but unfortunately all I have at my disposal.
From atop the stage that he shared with his brilliant fellow artists, the humble genius thanked us all for coming.
The pleasure was ours.
And with peace of mind and peculiarly misty eyes, the crowd parted ways to return to everyday life. Now knowing that the human drive for creation still breeds great art.
Concert Review – Jazzhus Dexter
He has been named the 15th-best guitarist in the world, and he hails from Fuhnen. *****
There is no disputing that Odense has produced a world-class musician. Even held up against some of the greatest guitarists, he puts the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Satriani, and Steve Vai to shame for the simple reason that his command of his instrument is more complete.
It is therefore strange that he has not yet received more exposure. Had he been an American, he would already have been declared a guitar-god, and we would be seeing his name splattered across billboards. But Tall Poppy Syndrome has its charm, and it is strangely contradictory to be standing in Dexter on a sold- out night, watching one of the world’s greatest guitarists fluently expressing himself on his instrument – and casually chatting in the melodious tones of the Fuhnen dialect between songs.
Perhaps the venue was sold out exactly because the world is catching on to our versatile guitarist. Steffen Schackinger has become famous by virtue of his 15th spot on a British list of the best guitarists of all time. When you check him out on Youtube, you will see that his most famous and probably most inspired track, “City Lights”, has no less than 1.2 million hits. However, the question of the night was whether his voice would be able to live up to the astronomical heights of his playing.
The audience was a motley crew with a shared love of guitar, and we got our money’s worth. Schackinger is off to an effective start with plenty of delay and some laid-back 80’s background chords. He continues with the customary hybrid picking, on to arpeggios, and an addition of some pinch harmonics – in a playful display of skill that quite literally leaves you open-mouthed.
It is simply shocking how the man can play. And to top it off, he has a fantastic instinct for melody. This is reflected in the many extended riffs that carry the songs, and not least of all in his solos, which expertly touch on assorted church modes, while still being alarmingly well-composed. Epic!
Shackinger plays old and new alike with a brazen playfulness. He is flanked by the renowned Henrik Bjørn on bass, who plays with a sure hand in the style of Bentzen Brotherhood, and Lars Daugaard, who is extremely tight on drums and has a voice on him to boot. It is light and fragile, but completely magnetic in “I Don’t Know a Thing” – a song reminiscent of Tim Christensen, with an edgy layer of added distortion. Steffen Schackinger is a big, big deal. Don’t miss him!
Fyns Stifttidende anmeldelse af Live Koncert på Dexter (Odense)
Han er verdens 15. bedste guitarist, og han er fynsk. * * * * *
Det står hævet over enhver tvivl, at Odense har avlet en musisk verdensstjerne. Selv når man sammenligner ham med nogle af de største guitarhelte, giver han folk som Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Satriani og Steve Vai baghjul, fordi han simpelthen håndterer sit instrument mere komplet.
Det er derfor mærkeligt, han endnu ikke er mere eksponeret, for havde han været amerikaner, var han allerede blevet udkåret til guitargud og sømmet fast på diverse billboards.
Men janteloven har også sin charme, og der er en mærkelig kontrast i at kunne gå ind på Dexter, der – trods alt – var udsolgt, og se én af verdens bedste guitarister folde sig ud på sit instrument – og så mellem numrene tale hygli’ syngende fynsk.
Måske var der netop udsolgt i kraft af, at den store verden har fået øjnene op for vores komplette guitarist. Steffen Schackinger er blevet kendt i kraft af sin placering som nummer 15 på en britisk liste over de bedste guitarister i historien, og smutter man forbi youtube, kan man se, at hans mest kendte, og nok også mest gudbenådede nummer, ”City Lights”, er set ikke mindre end 1,2 millioner gange.
Det interessante til aften var dog især, hvordan hans stemme så var, om den bare tilnærmelsesvist nåede de astronomiske højder, hans guitarspil er på.
Det var en broget forsamling, der var mødt frem – men alle må de være glade for guitaren, og den fik vi også for fuld skrue.
Schackinger giver en effektfuld start med masser af delay og noget lidt sløv 80’er baggrunds-chords. Og forstætter så i den vante hybrid picking, over i arpeggios, tilsat lidt flashioletter – det er et rent show off i løb og diverse flabetheder, og man er gravalvorligt hensat i en måbende tilstand. Det er simpelthen chokerende, hvad den mand kan på en guitar.
Og så har han en fantastisk melodisk fornemmelse, der afspejler sig i de mange udbyggede riffs, der bærer numrene, og ikke mindst i hans soli, der i overlegen stil berører
diverse kirketonearter, men samtidig er uhyggeligt velkomponerede. Episk!
Schackinger spiller både nyt og gammelt med det til fælles, at der en top gear lignende flabethed over det meste, flankeret er han af den navnkundige Henrik Bjørn på bas, der spiller en sikker Bentzon Brotherhood-lignende bas, og Lars Daugaard, der er overmåde tight på trommerne. Og gudhjælpemig om han ikke også synger godt. Lyst og skrøbeligt, men hamrende lækkert på ”I Dont Know a Thing”. En Tim Christensen-lignende sag, men selvfølgelig med et ekstra lag ætsende distortion.
Steffen Schackinger er stor, stor, stor. Oplev ham før din nabo!
Reviews – Fire Dance
Danish guitarist Steffen Schackinger’s debut recording ElectriGuitartistry was close to a decade ago thus to consider Schackinger a new artist would be misleading. However considering the limited press to date to assess him a plausible Undiscovered Artist would be more in line. But judging by the music on his unconventional follow up Fire Dance may change all that.
Why unconventional? Well Schackinger is not an all out shredder, riffer or twiddler but more so a very intelligent guitarist that is simply very hard to categorize. This is both his strength and weakness. His strength being that Fire Dance is not your typical instrumental guitar album as Steffen adds violin and cello to his barrage of instrumentation bringing in some classical flavors on four of the ten tracks. He even closes out the album with a vocal track. The weakness of the album is its eccentric musical wanderings that may test the patience of those looking for instant gratification.
Probably the most distinctive track would be the title track which includes several time changes and is progressive in nature. The rhythm section of drummer Lars Daugaard and bass player Henrik Bjoern are in complete sync with Schackinger’s impressive playing. Equally outstanding musicianship can be found on the slow builder “The Ladder of Transmigration” or for that matter the playful “A & V”.
In our world of instant gratification the complexity of Fire Dance may result in many musical pleasure seekers skimming through this album and passing up on a very compelling guitarist. Hang around and let Fire Dance sink in and gratify your ears. Your patience will be fully rewarded. http://undiscoveredartists.weebly.com/
Reviews – ElectriGuitartistry
He doesn’t just stand out because he concentrates on playing the guitar…but for the plain and simple fact that this guy is amazingly talented.
Schackinger seems intent on reinventing the guitar and extending the boundaries of what a lead guitarist is capable of producing.
Steffen’s playing is precise and intricate…and the sounds that come from his guitar are inspiring and impressive.
Babysue.com * * * * *
…how refreshing it was to get acquainted with a guitarists music that was so sincere and inviting to listen to.
… Steffen is a well rounded player, as well as a writer, creating music that really tickles the ears, especially the ears of a person like myself, who really has heard just about everything a guitarist can do at this point.
… No question, he comes into this recording with a maturity rare for young guitarists.
… Just when I thought the future of solo guitar was in jeopardy, this cd comes along with a refreshing breath of air
… the cd never suffers from the same issues many solo happy guitarists do. Steffen proves that writing paired with great playing always makes the best combination, it is music after all, and when the music comes first, the playing plays a much more complimentary role in making the end results so satisfying.
… Congrats to Steffan for such a mature and satisfying collection of songs, I hope you had as much enjoyment making this cd as I do listen to it. I hope to hear more from this musician soon.
It’s not often listeners get technical talent commensurate with songwriting ability, but Schackinger offers both in spades. Along with his calm expertise on the guitar comes an understanding of many different types of music – Indian to Irish to rock to reggae – which he combines wonderfully on every track.
Kevin Liedel, Musicreviews.