Wanda live in Vienna: triumphal procession between Oida, Baby and Schatzi

© Kurier / Gerhard Deutsch

The band around singer Marco Wanda took part in the acclaimed home game in the Stadthalle with enthusiasm and a further developed sound.

from Brigitte Schokarth

“Five, four, three, two . . .” The audience in the Wiener Stadthalle roared their way into Wanda’s concert with the countdown played on the video walls. And it actually feels like a lift-off when the curtain falls at zero and singer Marco Wanda and his band kick off with a frenzied version of “Luzia”.

The concerts were postponed twice because of the pandemic, and the band and fans are rejoicing at the end of the live withdrawal at this minute. But not only there. Wanda can actually keep the mood at a similar level of euphoria for almost the whole two hours.

© Image: Kurier / Gerhard Deutsch

It’s wonderful to experience, but not surprising: Wanda sounds better and more edgy live anyway than on the sometimes clinically clean CDs. But the band has now also adapted fabulously to a mass audience without having to make any compromises.

There is almost no show, only colorful lights and two large video screens. That’s enough, puts the focus on the music that carries it effortlessly. Because it has become more varied, encompasses far more here in the Stadthalle than the previous spectrum of rock songs pushing forward and melancholic Viennese song indie fusions.

© Image: Kurier / Gerhard Deutsch

Wanda have three string players and a saxophonist with them on this tour. They provide an experimental intro before “Gerda Rogers” and a wonderfully psychedelic Pink Floyd flair with “0043”, which has an effect: After that there is applause for several minutes and Marco notices that he is actually a constant chatterer, but right now speechless.

There are also more solos than before. And many more improvisations, to which Marco plays extensively with the audience and obviously enjoys that the Viennese immediately follow every little sign of his fingertips. Also with “I want Schnaps” before the encore there is improvisation again. This time with undertones between blues and jazz, before the song spirals into a furious finale and the band into a frenzy.

© Image: Kurier / Gerhard Deutsch

But after that come the biggest hits – “Bologna”, “Columbo” and “1 2 3 4”. Wanda also improvise extensively with this traditional closing song. You almost have the feeling that they keep getting back into the song so as not to have to stop now that it’s so irresistibly beautiful for everyone involved.

And indeed: “No, we can’t go yet,” says Marco after he smashed his guitar and gave it to the audience, and intoned “Luzia” again. In the end it was an evening that only now really made you aware of the elation you missed with such good live music during the pandemic.

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