When the Turkish/Dutch ensemble Altin Gün reemerged for an encore on opening night of the band’s big, 19-date North American tour, the sold out crowd at Thunderbird Music Hall absolutely lost their shit.

People literally had to cover their ears to deafen the roar brought on by the promise of a few more tasty licks of Anatolian delight – not bad for a Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

A rich vein of 70s Turkish rock is the source from which this psychedelic six-piece mine their sound. Male and female lead singers, Erdinç Ecevit Yıldız and Merve Daşdemir, sing in Turkish, but they all hail from Netherlands, including bassist/founder Jasper Verhulst; another guitarist; and a pair of mustachioed percussionists, one of whom is from Indonesia. 

Altin Gün ripped from the start. The singer, Yıldız, plays an electric bağlama, which looks like a lute–-picture him there, white turtleneck tucked into navy blue pants, Gucci belt and all, strumming away on a big fat goose, its slender neck ramrod straight.

The band’s newest album, Aśk, is a return to form in many ways, not that there have been any missteps to correct, but the synth-heavy, electro-pop sound from Grammy-nominated album, Gece, yields to the driving Anatolian rock first established on their debut album, 2018’s On.

One of the night's early climaxes came with “Badi Sabah Olmadan,” lead track off the new album. The song is built around the bağlama, which swirls like a tornado, sweeping up the hand drums, driving bass, electric guitar and everything else around it, while Yıldız’s lilting voice quavers like a muezzin’s call, beckoning the faithful to dance, dammit, dance! 

Daşdemir, the female lead, wore a strawberry print dress to match her waves of strawberry-blonde hair. On chic new single, “Doktor Civanim," she speak/sings the refrain into a tiny white megaphone over swirling 808s, balancing scorching hot electric guitar with cool, disco funk.

Sometimes, when she isn’t singing, she plays synths or shakes a white tambourine shaped like a star. And when she sang, it seemed as if she was conveying timeless, unknowable truths, or it may have sounded that way to those for whom her words were inscrutable.

At one point, near the end of the evening, Daşdemir, recognizing the audience’s enthusiasm, pulled back from the refrain on early single "Goca Dünya" so that dozens of voices, more loudly than hers had been, could rush in and sing it back at her, at which she could no longer contain her smile, the obvious joy that spilled forth from band and their most adoring fans washed over everyone, no matter what language they spoke, or where they were from, both young and old alike reveled in a band whose music doesn't so much spark joy, as ignite it.