I decided to re-post this because we are coming up on the 1 year anniversary of when I traveled to Denver Colorado from Austin Texas to see my favorite band Kraftwerk perform. If ou don’t know about Kraftwerk then go to www.kraftwerk.com and check it out. To say they are influential to all forms of modern pop music is an understatement, as bits and pieces of their sonic output created over almost 40 years are interwoven ubiquitously throughout our modern sonic landscapes. Anyway, I wrote this early morning after the concert, I was stone cold sober at the show but we definitely took it to the streets after and that may account for the dramatic writing style that follows.
Below you will find my thoughts in retrospect on the review. So here you go, my Kraftwerk live in Denver review:
Stefan rules. Florian live is a thing of the past. If I realized anything tonight at the Kraftwerk Konzert in Denver Colorado, the Mile High City, it’s that poor old Flo has become too much of the goofyguy in Kraftwerk and had to go. I made a joke about that in a recent post, but subconsciously it might have been reality based humor. After the show tonight I am more in agreement with my dumb joke. Tonight Kraftwerk were in very serious shape and I detected a new exiting nervous edge to the situation. Someone recently wrote that they thought the “new guy” was having some “Holy Shit, I’m in Kraftwerk” moments and at tonight’s show it seemed at times he was in the throws of an unselfconscious ecstatic death. I hate to say it, but after tonight’s performance I almost can’t wait for them to replace Ralf. Tonight KW looked and sounded more vital than ever. Sorry, old schoolers, I’m just being honest about what I saw and listened to tonight. The show was riddled with glitches. Really, really huge and embarrassing glitches that involved jarring and abrupt timing of song breakdown and ending/edits and I was so happy to see how live a Kraftwerk show is. As a long time fan and student of their work I could sense at more than a few moments just how close they came to musical disaster, and then coming back to a solution. Some songs resolved with CD accuracy and some, not so much. It was awesome to watch them squirm and correctly “twiddle the knobs” like you can’t see on the Min Max DVD. Their stupid curtain is the pink elephant in the room, and it’s covered in holes repaired with duct tape. Sorry to blow the mystic but these guys are just a bit rag tag these days, and you know what? It’s awesome. For all the fuck ups and awkwardness there were some amazing saves and intense interactive live action on stage, involving both band and crew. Worst things about the show: Weird and uncomfortable ending to “Music Non Stop” with minimal solos because “you know who” is gone and it’s a different thing now. Best thing about the show: All the fuck ups and the temperamental curtain. The amazing sound, and the fun new video and audio elements. It’s pretty obvious that like in the late 90′s we witnessed an end of a certain era of live KW performance. I have a feeling it wont be long before we see a “new wave” of KW music, style, and performance.
Darren Ryan April 08.
I pretty much called it on Florian not coming back, in fact not only did he stop being part of the live show, he quit the band all together. pretty cool thing to do after 40 years in Kraftwerk, go solo.
I now think the curtain may be rented city to city, and this is why it’s problematic. before I imagined it as part of their traveling “set”.
I was so wrong about “Music Non Stop”. Upon inspection of the rather amazing video that was shot that night at the Fillmore it becomes clear that the songs ends with uncanny precision just as Ralf’s foot hits his mark on the other side of the stage for his bow. Precision.
Kraftwerk are still on tour and are heading back to Europe from Latin America for more dates and festivals. As far as a new look/style, some things have changed slightly in the concerts such as mixes and sonics, some video elements, but it’s still the same Kraftwerk show that you can see on the Minimum Maximum DVD they put out a few years ago. I’m totally cool with it, I’d rather get good old Kraftwerk than some crazy new wacky concept, let Florian do that.
Also, I was going to change the last sentence because it it’s nonsensical and I’m really not sure what I was getting at. I left it in for drunken posterity.