January 11, 2020
Photos by Raymond Ahner
Supporting their most recent album Futha, the experimental folk band Heilung kicked off their highly anticipated US tour earlier this month, and recently stopped off at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco for an evening of ritualistic sounds.
The hype surrounding this show was started long before the members of Heilung even stepped on to the stage. Fans started to line up in front of the venue hours before the doors opened, and once in most bypassed the bar, and instead got into their second line of the evening to purchase merchandise, many in costume.
Almost a half an hour after the lights dimmed, Native American dancers walked onto the stage, and together with Heilung they gathered in a prayer circle, signaling the start of the performance. As the dancers left, members Maria Franz and Kai Uwe Faust, dressed in elaborate but traditional bronze age costumes, took center stage and started the performance with “In Maidjan.”
Over the course of the next ninety minutes, Heilung performed what could almost be as much of a ritual as it was performance. With ancient instruments made of bones and animal skins, the members of the group recreated sounds of the Iron Age, and left the beyond sold-out crowd in awe of what they had just witnessed.
Here’s a slideshow with more photos of Heilung’s performance by Raymond Ahner: