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It’s amazing how outside events can taint your evening. I enjoyed myself, but I had some information I received via text weighing on my mind. Kinda sucked, but you soldier on.
Combichrist – The only term that came to mind as I watched them was “a sonic assault”. The current lineup of the band consists of a drummer, electric drummer, keyboardist and a singer. The drums have their bass lines turned so high that my chest actually ached after the hour they spent on stage. I enjoyed them, but they need to refine certain aspects of their performance and song list. Too many songs followed the same basic drum line and they became difficult to distinguish between them. The lead singer needs to desperately work on his stage presence. I am all for a singer wandering around the stage, but his aimless wandering came across more as an annoyed, caged animal. It wasn’t dynamic, it was distracting. Add in the fact they all looked like extras from a post-apolyaptic b-film, they still seem too much like a garage band made good.
I enjoyed them, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see them.
KMFDM – Sadly there was MAYBE 300 people at the show, and it’s hard to pump up much energy in a group that size, but KMFDM sure did their best to make it happen. The music was amazing, and considering how long Sascha Konietzko has been in the music scene, you would expect him to have it nailed down, and he does, but the surprise was his co-singer/wife, Lucia Cifarelli.
Lucia alternates between slithering all over her Midi rack to prowling the stage like a huntress. She switches back and forth between looking like she is disgusted by the audience to dancing with a glee like she is a puppet master and she feeds off the audience’s energy. Her expression changes from an impish dark pixie to that of a mad scientist as she works her midi controller, exploring and delighting in new ways of torturing her willing victims. In short, she’s mesmerizing and hard to pull your eyes away from.
The music, as I expected, was a good mixture of old and new songs. A Drug Against War, DIY, Hau Ruck, WWIII to name but a few. As opposed to Combichrist’s never ending assault that made for a wall of sonic torture, KMFDM keeps their levels where you can hear the separate musicians, tell the separate vocal channels, and get an over-all sharp and crisp production. If only the crowd had been bigger to give this iconic group the kudos they deserve.
Long story short? If they come to your area (tour dates here), feel free to show up late, but do show up for KMFDM.