Sunday, June 05, 2005
It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of electronic music. Still, I knew that the arrival of Kraftwerk was a big deal. They don't tour much at all and who knows when I'll get the opportunity to see them again. With a bit of trepidation, I plunked down the $40 (ouch) and bought my ticket.
In preparing for the show, I picked up a copy of Computer World, something I haven't heard since hanging out with my old high school friends. I also dug out my old vinyl copy of Man Machine and my Tour De France 12" - neither of which has seen much (any?) play over the last 10 years or so. Listening to all of these from a new perspective, I'm blown away by all of them. I always thought Kraftwerk was kind of interesting, but I didn't really "get it". Listening now, I can hear bits and pieces of nearly every dance track I've ever heard. Their influence is unmistakable. They were doing things 20 years ago that are still prevalent in music today. Damn. That's pretty impressive. I started getting very excited for the show, although I still wasn't sure how much I'd like sitting through a whole show's worth of it. Kraftwerk isn't exactly known for their stage presence.
We got to the club and instantly found a few friends, including an old friend from high school I haven't seen in a few years. We found a spot in the back of the sold-out crowd and planted ourselves for the evening. Kraftwerk did not disappoint. They took their classic songs, updated them so they'd fit in perfectly on any modern dance floor, and still managed to make them just twisted enough that they're still ahead of the curve. The films and light show did a fantastic job of keeping things visually interesting, while their music seemed to keep everyone in a sort of techno-trance. Lots of hits. "Neon Lights", "The Model", "Tour de France", "Trans-Europe Express", "Numbers", "Computer World" and a bunch more. They pulled out the robots. Neon-striped suits. Everyone ate it up. Before I knew it, over 2 hours had gone by. The longest show of the year felt like one of the shortest. Even the BF thought they were really good. And he HATES electronic music. He had no idea what to expect. Halfway through the first song he shot me this look that said "I can't believe you dragged me here." By the end of the night he was bopping along with everyone else, totally impressed and very glad he went. Now, whenever he hears anything remotely electronic, he just starts singing "Autobahn!" haha. He's so cute.
I won't quite give this "gig of the year" status, but I will say it's been the most impressive so far.