Altın Gün Rocks Pittsburgh: Sold-Out Show!

Posted by Jonathan Napier on

July 12th, 2023 marked the beginning of Altın Gün's highly anticipated US tour. The venue of choice to start the tour was Thunderbird's Café in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and to everyone's surprise, the show was completely sold out! Strangely enough, it was my first time attending an event at this venue, and I was thoroughly impressed. The space was fantastic, the staff was top-notch, and I found myself eagerly looking forward to returning in the future. Thunderbird's consistently hosts amazing artists, so make sure to catch a show there ASAP.  

Altın Gün "Aşk" Album Release Show Schedule

With roots in Amsterdam, Altın Gün brings together a unique mix of talents from Turkish, Dutch, and other backgrounds, making their lineup a true reflection of cultural diversity. Infused with the enchanting essence of Anatolian and Turkish folk music, Altın Gün creates an irresistible tapestry of genres, combining psychedelic rock, deep funk, synthpop, cosmic reggae, and more in their captivating compositions. The band consists of talented individuals such as Merve Dasdemir (vocals and keyboards), Erdinc Ecevit (vocals, bağlama, keyboards), Thijs Elzinga (guitar), Jasper Verhulst (bass), Daniel Smienk (drums), and Chris Bruining (percussion).

My partner at the record store Molly and I have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to witness one of Altın Gün's live performances, so we were thrilled when the chance finally arrived. Thanks to our friends at ATO Records, we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to chat with the band, sit in on their sound check, and even get our stack of records signed.

Thunderbird Café is located in the Lawrenceville Neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

Arriving at the venue ahead of time, we found a quiet spot to tuck away our records and supplies. To make the most of our time, we decided to grab a quick coffee at a nearby café. Upon our return, we were met with a backstage area buzzing with activity. Juan, the tour manager (who also happened to be an impressive melodica soloist, stagehand, and sound guy), was our point of contact. He directed us towards Jasper Verhulst, who was busy setting up the merchandise table.

As we made our way across the room, we discovered that Jasper and Erdinc Ecevit had stumbled upon our box of records and had already begun signing them efficiently. The band had a lot on their plate, and yet, they graciously made time for us. With sound check looming, the merchandise needed to be unpacked, labeled, and priced. We swiftly unwrapped the records, while Erdinc and Jasper continued signing and stacking them, preparing them for the arrival of the rest of the band members, who would trickle in one by one before sound check. During this busy period, I volunteered to assist with folding, labeling, and organizing the T-shirts for the merchandise stand. Being stationed at the same table where the records were being signed, I found myself in a unique position to ask the band members questions as they cycled through to sign the records. 

(Left to right) Jon Napier, Merve Dasdemir, Chris Bruining at the merch table

The atmosphere buzzed with vibrant excitement as the band meticulously prepared for their upcoming performance. Melodic tunes filled the air as instruments were set up and unmistakable notes echoed from the keyboards. Amidst the bustling activity, I briefly chatted with each member as they arrived at the table to sign records. We discussed their trip so far and the upcoming tour. Pittsburgh had left a strong impression on them, with mentions of the charming neighborhood they stayed in, the captivating architecture of the buildings, and the engaging experiences some had at the Andy Warhol Museum. Chris Bruining (percussion) even discovered a suitable barbershop to get a fresh haircut for the tour.

As we folded shirts for the merch table, I inquired with Jasper Verhulst about the primary fanbase of Altın Gün. He mentioned that their largest following resides in the Netherlands, Germany, France, and the Republic of Türkiye (Turkey). Curious about their fan base in the US, I asked about their experience performing for American audiences. Jasper responded, "While we have performed in the US before, this will be our first time in Pittsburgh. We've heard that the show is sold out and we are excited to play this room. However, we are unsure of what to expect..."

Altin Gün - Aşk Thunderbird Cafe 2023 Nail City Record
The stage was prepped and ready to go after sound check

In no time, we had the merch table all set up and the signed records safely packed. We made sure to express our heartfelt thanks to the band for taking the time to autograph the records and chat with us. With about an hour left until the show started, we decided to take a breather and grab a drink, savoring the anticipation of what was to come. And speaking of which, the amazing Rogê, a Brazilian artist, would be igniting the stage as the opening act, setting the perfect mood for the night's festivities.

Rogê is a Brazilian singer songwriter who plays Bossa Nova and Samba

We returned to the venue and found our spots at the front center of the stage. Following a series of mesmerizing bossa nova and samba melodies by Rogê, the moment had finally arrived for Altın Gün to take the stage. The crowd had swelled in numbers, and an electric energy permeated the air. As the band emerged, they launched into an exhilarating performance, starting the tour with a scorching rendition of "Rakıya Su Katamam." From the very beginning, it was evident that the room was brimming with an incredible vibe. A diverse array of people from around the globe had gathered, and to everyone's surprise, they passionately sang along to every Turkish lyric.

   Altın Gün Aşk thunderbirds Nail City Record 2023   Altın Gün Aşk thunderbirds Nail City Record 2023 
Erdinc Ecevit plays electric bağlamas and runs them through a series of pedals, while Merve Dasdemir sings through a tiny megaphone

The show was an absolute blast. Each song that was performed ignited the crowd, turning them into a frenzy of excitement. The energy between the band and the audience was palpable throughout the entire night. What truly set the music apart was its unique and distinct sound, unlike anything typically heard in Western music. The electrified bağlama, accompanied by a plethora of effects pedals, produced mesmerizing microtones that captured everyone's attention. It seamlessly melded with irresistibly funky bass lines, while the guitar solos, played with glass slides, cast a hypnotic spell. The fusion continued as the music was enriched by the infectious beats of fuzzed-out disco synth leads, star-shaped tambourines, an unusually small megaphone, darbouka, conga drums, and a bass drum pedal that struck a cowbell. The outcome was an extraordinary auditory voyage that left the entire audience awestruck and spellbound.

Altın Gün Aşk thunderbirds Nail City Record 2023
Altın Gün played Rakıya Su Katamam from their new album Aşk to kick off the tour

Altın Gün Live at Thunderbird's café Pittsburgh 2023 Nail City Record
The sold-out Thunderbirds' crowd sings along to Altın Gün songs in Turkish

Altın Gün Aşk thunderbirds Nail City Record 2023 Altın Gün brings their tour manager out for a melodica solo

The setlist was brimming with unforgettable moments, such as the seamless transition from "Leylim Ley" to "Yüce Dağ Başında." Other highlights included the captivating performances of "Badi Sabah Olmadan," "Doktor Civanım," and an encore that left a lasting impression with their rendition of "Goca Dünya."

    Altın Gün Aşk thunderbirds Nail City Record 2023 Setlist setlist1 Altın Gün Aşk thunderbirds Nail City Record 2023

Altın Gün is currently embarked on their Aşk album release tour in the US, with 15 stops scheduled before August 5th when they return to Europe. But fear not! They will be back in the United States from October 26th to November 16th, adding another 10 shows before wrapping up the Aşk album release tour. If you're seeking an extraordinary and enjoyable experience, don't miss your chance to witness these talented musicians live in action.

Find the signed albums here:

Altin Gün - On (AUTOGRAPHED Turquoise/White Swirl LP Vinyl)  Altin Gün - Gece (AUTOGRAPHED Summer Sky Wave Blue LP Vinyl)

Altin Gün - Yol (AUTOGRAPHAED, Gold LP vinyl)  Altin Gün - Aşk (AUTOGRAPHED Indie Exclusive, Ghostly Orange Vinyl)

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