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Kraftwerk in Concert

Kraftwerk in Concert
April 25, 2014, 06:49:42 AM
Kraftwerk is in town this week, playing 3 sets at a local festival.  I had the privilege to catch them from what were, frankly the best seats I've ever had at any event of any sort I've ever attended.  I didn't even get seats this good at my grandmother's funeral.  The short version is this; if you get a chance to see them at anything less than federally obscene prices, do yourself a favor and pull the trigger.

The neatest thing about watching Kraftwerk live is how they have arranged for the artist to disappear into the art.  Their costuming is designed to render the band into props for the stage set, allowing them to simply recede into the background.  Their presence is felt, but not thrust upon the audience, a sense enhanced by a stage demeanor that is more akin to a string quartet than a rock or pop act.  It's very different—and entirely refreshing—to see a (non-classical) concert where personalities don't intervene in the experience of the music (please god, make Bruce Dickinson shut up). 

Still, there were some human (all too human) moments as well.  About 30 minutes into the set and halfway through "Computer Love," the soundboard crapped out.  After about half an hour and the collective efforts of the band, several roadies, and an army of sound guy neckbeards, full function was restored and the band was able to return to the stage.  Just after resuming his position, Ralf Hütter looked up at the audience and said, "Hopefully, the machines will do as we have composed for them to do."  He said it without even the tiniest hint of archness, but for once, I was close enough to see the laughter in his eyes.


Re: Kraftwerk in Concert
April 25, 2014, 11:58:20 AM
I might actually be able to make one of the Tokyo dates this August. This sounds incredible. I've never seen Kraftwerk but my dad saw them back in the early 70s and never forgot it.

Re: Kraftwerk in Concert
May 08, 2014, 01:24:53 AM
I will definitely be one to second this recommendation and enthusiasm.

I love the way they've been able to develop their art beyond the finite realms of expectation without resorting to too much sonic trickery or in letting the musical process become overly abstracted. For example, their 'songs' are still their songs, pleasantly familiar, and yet the subtle array of variations that run beneath it all are innumerable. At other times the audio-visual crossover is so compelling and immersive that one could completely forget themselves, as if some code that unlocks the psyche where accessed before flooding it with ecstatic transfers of data.