Noir at Arkham in Brooklyn

Filed under: Events,Goth Stuff,Live Music,Uncategorized — doktorjohn January 7, 2016 @ 5:08 pm

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Britain vs. The Bowery at The Saint in Asbury Park, NJ

Filed under: Events,Live Music,Reviews,Uncategorized — doktorjohn November 17, 2015 @ 3:05 am

Straight To Hell
Rockaway Bitches

disorder at Saint


Three really accomplished cover bands, representing three famous icons of the late 70s and early 80s, converged on this venerable music venue in Asbury to recreate an evening of music of an era dear to the hearts of many. Both those old enough to recall the inception days of punk, as well as those young fans who know enough to revere the epoch gathered to honor the three groups of performers who had joyfully revived the sounds and sights associated with three giants of the time, Joy Division, The Clash and the Ramones, but each performed with a unique, artistic spin of their own.

Placing an exact date on the origin of punk will always be arbitrary and controversial, but one fact will not. The U.K. and New York share equal status in birthing this cultural and musical movement. Here in the States, it was primarily the Ramones who gave it primal form and gained it widespread recognition with their performances at now-defunct CBGB’s on New York’s Bowery. Opening the show and representing these originals at the Asbury event was an all girls quartet from New York calling itself Rockaway Bitch.

Rockaway at saint

Rockaway Bitches

The show opened at around 8:30. The physically imposing lead vocalist bore an uncanny, if feminized resemblance to Joey Ramone, which she enhanced by wearing a pair of eyeglasses similar to his and sporting the same disheveled hair-do and of course motorcycle jacket. They performed 20 songs in all, from the unmistakable “Blitzkrieg Bop” through “KKK” to “Sedated” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School.” And, of course, “Rockaway Beach” from which the band takes its double-entendre name. At the beginning of every song, the bass player, in imitation of Dee-Dee Ramone, screamed “1-2-3-4!” imparting the trademark “do-it-yourself” feel of the original band, which never sought to impress with their mastery of the instruments. With their black motorcycle jackets and denim outfits, not surprisingly, Rockaway Bitch proved to be the most photogenic group of the night.

Straight to Saint

Straight To Hell

Contemporaneous with the Ramones, across the pond in the U.K, one of the defining originals was the Clash whose leftist politics and eclectic style helped define the culture of the punk movement. So, up next, and after an interlude of live broadcast from a college radio station, came Straight To Hell, finely tuned cover band for The Clash, performing 18 songs, each one more masterfully than the next, starting with “Clampdown,” off the “London Calling” album (1979) and ending with “Police On My Back” from the “Sandinista” collection (1980). Along the way they performed beloved and recognizable entries including reggae-flavored and country & western-styled numbers from the Clash’s large and influential repertoire, rotating vocalists as necessary and as each song demanded. High points came during “I Fought the Law,” “Should I Stay” and “Death or Glory.”

The largest following of fans was there for the third and final band, Disorder, masters of the British post-punk band Joy Division’s oeuvre. In a stroke of unforeseen luck Joy Division came into existence in 1976 when its members made a blundering attempt to emulate the Sex Pistols, but instead hit upon an unexpectedly imaginative and disquieting musical style that has transcended all genres. Disorder caters to the cult of Joy Division devotees who have survived and grown more avid in the 35 years since the untimely death of frontman Ian Curtis and the disbanding of the band.

Disorder began their fourteen song regular set with an obscurity, “Warsaw” from Joy Division’s debut EP “An Ideal For Living” (1978). Moving through the dark and brooding body of work, they performed meticulous recreations of all the favorites: “Day of the Lords,” “She’s Lost Control,” “Isolation,” “Dead Souls” and more. True to Joy Division’s tradition, they performed with more power and energy, more emotional abandon, than the studio recordings would suggest. Exhausted, the band tried to end with the heart-breaking and melodious “Ceremony,” but were called back by a persuasive and enthusiastic audience, whom they succeeded in satisfying with the pitch-dark, lamenting “Twenty-four Hours.”

In the battle of Britain vs. the Bowery, both sides can claim victory as well as the formation of a gratifying alliance that bears witness to the battle-cry, “Punk Never Dies!”

IAMX – Metanoia Tour

Filed under: Events,Goth Stuff,Live Music,Uncategorized — doktorjohn November 3, 2015 @ 2:43 pm

Webster Hall

October 30, 2015

by Doktor John

New York, NY

IAMX Stage

Berlin-based electro-pop combo IAMX ended their North American tour, termed “Metanoia” after their new album of the same name, on Friday, the day before Halloween, on the big stage at the East Village’s Webster Hall, which was filled to capacity for the event.

Opening band, Mr. Kitty did a spectacular job of warming the crowd with an over-the-top level of energy and a voluminous, hook-laden wall of sound, while frontman Forrest Avery Carney gyrated frenetically on stage in an all-white outfit like a jittery male nurse in a lab coat and mini-shorts that revealed his lengthy, gazelle-like legs sheathed in white stockings. As satisfying as Mr. Kitty was, its effect was to charge up the crowd for an even higher level of enthusiasm for the headliner to come.

IAMX in the form of a quartet roared on stage on schedule at 8:30, opening with “I Come With Knives,” off “The Unified Field (2013), which starts low key then gradually develops into a crescendo. Vocalist Chris Corner was joined on stage by a drummer and two gorgeously and scantily clad keyboardist/guitarist females who also contributed backup vocals. For better or worse, the stage lighting was kept low and monochromatic in reds, blues and purples, in keeping with the dark nature of the music, but I sure would have liked a better look at the whole quartet, Corner, himself as well as the accompanists. The packed hall responded with appreciation and physical agitation that lasted the rest of the night.

Strongly cadenced “The Alternative,” title track off the album of the same name, continued to intensify the mood and was followed by “Happiness,” ironically named from the latest album, “Metanoia.” Also off that album, which Corner represents to be an expression of his release from mental anguish associated with recent depression and insomnia, were “No Maker Made Me,” “Oh Cruel Darkness Embrace Me” and “Aphrodisiac.”

At one point Chris Corner exchanged his kerchief-like hood for a wide-brimmed hat, but maintained an all-black wardrobe throughout the performance.hatkeyboards

The other 12 songs (17 in all) were off the various albums that constitute IAMX’s broad repertoire. The syncopated rhythm of “Tear Garden” off the album “Kingdom of Welcome Addiction,” contrasted with slow paced “Bernadette” off “Volatile Times.” Club favorite “Spit It Out” had the effect of increasing the rhythmic pulsation of the spectators who were too tightly packed to break into actual dance.

“Your Joy Is My Low” ended the regular set, but this audience screamed for more, so after a momentary break, IAMX regrouped on stage for an encore consisting of three more songs which of necessity included “Kiss and Swallow,” then ending with the slow and melodious “I Am Terrified.”

From the opening act, Mr. Kitty, to the last beat and final note from IAMX, the packed-house audience remained totally rapt and kept in constant motion by the compelling and unique rhythms.

NOIR at Arkham at Don Pedro’s

Filed under: Goth Stuff,Live Music,Reviews,Uncategorized — doktorjohn October 5, 2015 @ 12:19 am

Arkham at Don Pedro’s

September 26, 2015
By Doktor John
Brooklyn, NY
Noir Arkham

Synthpop trio Noir made a late night appearance at the Brooklyn dive bar Don Pedro’s the last Saturday of September. Don Pedro’s is a suitable venue: long and narrow, with a bar in the entry area and a performance space occupying the back half, featuring a small, raised stage. Bare brick walls, one un-lockable toilet and another “out-of-order,” give it just the kind of broken-utilitarian atmosphere that suits the punk/Gothrock experience. Before, during and after the live music performance, a movie screen served as the backdrop to the stage. A continuous video loop was projected on the back wall of the stage and ran a grainy, black-&-white, silent flick from 1922 showing medieval peasants and sexually depraved monks engaged in witch-hunting, accompanied by subtitles in English and Danish. All the stuff that sets the proper mood.

Such was the milieu for Noir, fronted by vocalist Athan Maroulis, formerly of Spahn Ranch and Black Tape for a Blue Girl. He was accompanied by two keyboardists/back-up vocalists, Demetra Songs and Kai Irina Hahn, the latter a noted singer, song writer and performance artist in her own right, whose project, The Sedona Effect has taken NYC underground scene by storm of late.

Noir’s set consisted of nine songs, six of which were drawn from Noir’s 2013 album “Darkly Near.” The opening number, “The Bells” captures Noir’s style of catchy hooks and undulating melodies, sung over driving electronic rhythms. The next song, “My Dear” delved into even more serpentine, atonal progressions, rendered — like the entire set — hypnotic by the galloping, cadenced rhythms provided by the two synthesizers. The third piece provided an opportunity to introduce a decidedly industrial mood with the resurrection of the Spahn Ranch anthem “Breath and Taxes.” The crowd of thirty to fifty spectators responded with pleasure and recognition to this bit of musical nastiness.

The next several pieces “Time Phase,” “A Forest” and “When the Rains Came” were drawn from “Darkly Near,” and each again highlighted Maroulis’ unusual and undulant, sometimes discordantly melodious vocals. Before closing, there was a return to Spahn Ranch’s industrial-strength repertoire with “Vortex” and the concluding number, “Heretic’s Fork.”

The combination of originality in composition, vocal expertise and mastery of electronic musicianship held the crowd in thrall, and made it well worth it for us to have traveled out into the land of scarce parking spaces, the Brooklyn demimonde, for this highly enjoyable late night entertainment.

Social Distortion in Asbury

Filed under: Live Music,Reviews,Uncategorized — doktorjohn August 25, 2015 @ 7:44 pm

Social Distortion
Stone Pony Summer Stage
Aug 22, 2015

By Doktor John
Asbury Park, NJ

In the pantheon of alternative music, there has to be a celestial throne for Social Distortion because no other group draws such over-the-top, frenzied love and passion from the crowds as they do. By now, and in the conclusive pinnacle of their career and after seven albums stretching from the early 80s to the second decade of this millennium, Social Distortion stands as the definitive and successful apotheosis of punk rock. With their third album, titled Social Distortion (1990), their music began to blend punk with rockabilly. During the 90s their style took on more elements of country and western, developing into a genre that has been termed “cowpunk.”

The open air summer stage of the Stone Pony is an ideal venue for feeling the super charged atmosphere that Social D generates, in no small part due to the zeal and ardent enthusiasm of front man Mike Ness and to his sincere effort to reach out with appreciation and affection to the audience.

Nikki Lane’s fine country-alternative band from Tennessee served as a great opener and was warmly received by the crowd.Nikki Lane

Nikki Lane’s group

The sun was heading down toward the end of their set and a perfect half moon shone brightly to the southwest around 8:45 when Social D roared on stage with “So Far Away” then “Let It Be Me,” “Story of My Life,” “Sick Boys” and “Ball and Chain,” all five in order off the self-titled album. The crowd responded by forming a joyous, but ferocious mosh pit, diligently moderated by attentive and sympathetic security staff.close purple

Ness stopped to address the crowd and announce that this tour was in celebration of the 25th anniversary of their eponymous album, their third, and the first one with a major label (Epic). By the time that self-named album was released, Mike Ness and Social D had been knocking around for 12 years, starting in 1978, with the first single in 1981, and had endured a period of band member turnovers, an early tour with Youth Brigade, eventual entanglement of Ness in heroin addiction, breakups of the band, rehabilitation and eventual stability. He reminded us that he was now and forever clean of drugs and alcohol. close blue

They returned to the celebratory album with “It Coulda Been Me” and “She’s a Knockout.” Mike stopped again to caution the fans about misdirected “resistance to change,” then just about completed the selections from that album with “A Place in My Heart” and “Drug Train.”red stage

Once more, during an instrumental interlude Mike spoke to the crowd before turning to a selection from their fourth album, “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell” namely “Cold Feelings.” As had been demonstrated repeatedly during the concert, and again at this time, Ness performed with remarkable virtuosity on the guitar. purple stage

The mosh pit never quit during the show. Inevitably there was one fool who thought to turn the situation into one involving fisticuffs, but the security staff hustled him off the premises in a highly professional manner and before anything serious could occur.

Never one to neglect his roots and never failing to express his deep sense of admiration and appreciation for the greats who inspired him, Mike Ness led the band in a heartfelt, yet uniquely Social Distortion-flavored version of the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses.” This was followed by yet another tribute, this time a cover of Hank Williams’ “Alone and Forsaken.”
An authentic country feel was brought out by “This Time Darlin” with its waltz-beat. He introduced “Far Behind” by way of telling how he felt it was better to leave people who antagonize you far behind rather than get into fights with them. There was no real intermission, although lights went down onstage once. “Don’t Drag Me Down” was played just before the finale, the June Carter Cash/Mel Kilgore classic, “Ring of Fire” which was performed in two segments.

Taking a pause from singing, while the instrumentals kept going low in the background, Mike spoke to the crowd, drew a half dozen kids ages 9 – 12 on stage and encouraged them to apply themselves in school for their future benefit. There was an exuberant resurgence of “Ring of Fire” and a jubilant conclusion to the show.

Disorder – A Tribute to Joy Division

Filed under: Events,Goth Stuff,Live Music,Reviews,Uncategorized — doktorjohn June 18, 2015 @ 2:59 pm

Layout 1Disorder 2photo by E. Palazzo


June 12, 2015

By Doktor John
Newark NJ

Joy Division tribute band Disorder pulled a late night performance before an adoring crowd of about 100 guests this Friday night at a famous Goth/Industrial dance club in the heart of Newark. QXT’s looks to have once been a Spanish restaurant near the border of the ethnic-Iberian section of town termed “The Ironbound.” (Hint: Read “QXT” as a compression of “Quixote.”) At some point it transformed into NJ’s premier club for the new generation as well as veterans of the darkwave/goth/punk/industrial crowd, and heir to the legendary, long gone Pipeline.

Disorder represents the joint project of , vocalist and Ian Curtis-sound-alike, Mike Strollo and of drummer Chris Mele. They are joined by guitarists and a keyboardist. Meticulous and highly professional, they recreate the most popular works of the iconic and star-crossed U.K. band, Joy Division with astonishing musicianship and jaw-dropping authenticity.

Joy Division is credited by many authorities on the subject as having been one of the two essential, post-punk bands to have spawned the genre of Goth Rock, the other being Bauhaus. Characterized by sparse, baritonal vocals, gloomy lyrics and a melodious bass line, Joy Division, is distinguished from the punk style by their use of electronics and by their emphasis on mood and expression rather than anger and energy. These, among many other particulars, are what Disorder excels in emulating. While Joy Division’s recorded music is cold and dark, their live performances were typically loud and aggressive. Disorder is true to that.

The band’s performance began around 12:30 AM, after a couple of hours of dance to the masterful spinning of famous DJ Erik Aengel, who by then had nearly exhausted the dancers, unleashing an irresistible cache of new, old and crossover tracks from the alternative repertoire. A particular treat he served up was a tightly crafted mash up of MGMT’s “Kids” with Echo and the Bunnymen’s “Killing Moon.” The opening number, “Shadow Play,” with its drum and bass repetitiveness, captures all the ominous, frantic exasperation that epitomizes the deranged soul of Joy Division. Here it was reproduced with fanatical attention to detail.

Next, the upbeat but by no means cheerful “Disorder,” from which this band take its name. The adoring crowd seemed to recognize each song that followed, from the despairing “She’s Lost Control” and “Isolation” through “New Dawn Fades,” “Transmission” and the beloved “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Twelve songs in all.

Peter Ulrich, famous percussionist from those giants of world music, Dead Can Dance, sat in with Disorder on “Atmosphere” and “Dead Souls.” and performed enthusiastically on hand drums, a truly memorable enhancement.

It was unfortunate for a contingent of fans from New York and
Brooklyn who arrived just as Disorder launched its final, closing piece, a faithful version of “Ceremony.” It was not surprising, however to see a significant number of out-of-towners, because the music and memory of Joy Division tends to evoke devotion—enough to motivate fans to travel over inconvenient distances to hear a pain-stakingly precise tribute set performed by accomplished music professionals.

Velvet Acid Christ at Santo’s Party House

Filed under: Events,Live Music,Reviews,Uncategorized — doktorjohn February 3, 2015 @ 10:41 pm

VAC for blog

Cybertron at Santo’s Party House

Jan 31, 2015

By Doktor John

New York NY
Cybertron at Santo’s Party House
Jan 31, 2015

By Doktor John
New York NY
I’ve been to countless Goth-industrial music and social events in the past 25 years or so, and many hosted by Vampire Freaks, the online community and seller of Goth clothing and paraphernalia. I have hit all the events in the NY, NJ and Philadelphia area along these lines. I travel regularly to Germany and Poland for world-wide, like-themed events. I’ve also long admired the sound of Colorado-based electro-industrialists VAC. Nothing in my prior experience all these many and varied events could have prepared me or my similarly-experienced friends for the rude, crude and inexcusably inane experience this miserable Saturday in this incredibly uncomfortable lower Manhattan venue.

It was the coldest night on the coldest date in 2015. Vampire Freaks, the supposed hosts, as they are of many such club nights, announced that the starting time was — on short notice —postponed to 11 pm. All well and good. Pity those who came when doors officially opened at that time. The line of soon-to-be maltreated event-goers stood in freezing wind for up to an hour, while unsympathetic bouncers served as gate-keepers, letting in the slowest trickle of ticket-holders at an agonizingly glacial, and inexplicably slow rate. I was frozen, and I was wearing a full-length leather coat over a series of layers that even included a leather vest and heavy-duty cargo pants. Woe for the scantily-clad goth-chicks, whose fishnet tights and bikini bottoms offered considerably less in the way of protection. They stood in that line, most of them, for over an hour, adjacent to frigid buildings and on icy sidewalks while the 19ºF and 30 mph wind whipped us all until well past midnight.

Wait! That’s not the worst of it. Our bouncer, whom we all know wasn’t responsible for the incompetence of the management or the decree about to be announced —while stopping to check the I.D.s of everyone on line (including gray-bearded oldsters)— informed each of the outrageous and purely gratuitous policy of “Mandatory Coat Check!” What in the world was that about? Just to squeeze another $4 out of each patron?! The effect it had was to then create another tedious and obnoxious line inside the venue where we were commanded to remove our outerwear (for many, this was part of their Vampire Freaks-acquired fashion-statement) for no good reason, made to pay $4 per item, under signs that warned that gloves, hats and scarves would not be allowed in pockets or sleeves, but had to be checked, each a separate item, by a single, overwhelmed and overworked coat check girl!

Wait! That’s still not the worst of it! This night we were forced not into the club, but into the downstairs basement, the low-ceiling, painfully cramped and overcrowded cellar where there was neither room to move, to reach the bar nor to get a decent view of the performers, who after all, had started playing long before the throngs of spectators had even gotten into the building and certainly before they had cleared the coat-check regimen. It’s well that the bar was hard to reach. Straight drinks went for upwards of $12 and $13.

Openers Mindless Faith played their version of industrial. DJ Sean Templar spun some dance tracks, but there was no room at all to dance. VAC, who sounded a lot better on disc and at better venues, blasted their set, some of which was with the accompaniment of a gorgeous, platinum blond female vocalist. Fans knew her as Donna from Ego Likeness.

If I hadn’t paid for the tickets in advance, I would have left the outdoor line after an hour in the cold. As it was, cramped into a dark hovel, unable to see each other or converse with fellow-victims, we pulled out in the middle of VAC’s second or third set, and after frontman Erickson’s angry, if stereotypical tirade which included, laughably, a denunciation of “Bush.” It came across as smug, politically-correct and way out of date.

Santo’s Party House basically screwed all three victims: VAC, Vampire Freaks and the audience!


Filed under: Events,Goth Stuff,Live Music,Uncategorized — doktorjohn October 22, 2014 @ 2:02 am

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Sedona Effect Debut Performance

Filed under: Goth Stuff,Live Music,Reviews — doktorjohn August 30, 2014 @ 6:51 pm

The Sedona Effect

Kai Loki

The Knitting Factory
Aug 23, 2014
By Doktor john
Brooklyn, NY

Inspired by the gritty extremes of her new digs in New York, singer/actress Kai Irina Hahn brought her EBM band to the Knitting Factory for its debut performance.

First up band Thorazine Unicorn, a very attractive and talented group consists of a vocalist, guitar, bass and drums, but sounds like a lot more, with an industrial Sci-Fi sound, that comes across better on its studio-produced CD than the Knitting Factory’s speaker system. But they looked so good, I think I prefer the live performance.

Opening for Sedona was a very respectable classic-rock-meets-Goth group calling itself The Flies Are Out for Blood, that re-animated the spirit of the Doors with dark, poetic vocals, accompanied by crunching riffs and acid-laced melodies. I would compare them with Gene Loves Jezebel, but without implying anything imitative or lacking in originality.
Around 1:00 am, matching the rhythm of the new hit single, “Cross the Line,” (the video release of which was reviewed in the April 16 2014 issue of The Aq) Kai strutted on stage in the embrace of her full-grown male boa constrictor, Loki. A positively hypnotic, complex, EBM groove made the entire room of spectators sway rhythmically while Kai’s imperative to “Cross this line” was delivered in a distorted, sinister hiss. This was followed by their new single “Evolve Devolve,” featuring a spacey, soundtrack and epic drums. For this, second song, Kai dropped all distortion effects and sang in full, melodious voice. Unfortunately, this track hasn’t made it to the recording studio yet. On the next number, Kai began in full voice, but returned to distorted, breathy vocals, totally apt for the lyrics of the rapidly paced “I Burn.”

After another, this time, bass-driven song, Kai broke for a modest costume change. Wait. Did I say “modest?” Dressed in a red bikini top, corset, tutu and knee-high, multi-buckle, patent leather, giant platform, high-heel, boots, Kai’s costume change consisted of replacing Loki the snake, snuggled like a shawl around Kai’s neck and shoulders, for a tall, fan-like (or perhaps batwing-like) collar rising up behind her neck.Kai Keyboard

She now manned the keyboard —set on strings — and sang another new song, full-throated, “Between Now and Tomorrow” ending violently, high-pitched and seemingly out of control. The set ended with the notorious Billie Holiday standard “Gloomy Sunday,” performed in anything but standard style. Slowed to a crawl, and with ultra deep droning and deranged-piano arpeggios, Kai growled out the suicidal lyrics in the dramatic style reminiscent of Marlene Dietrich. The crowd screamed for more and forced an encore to be repeated from the preceding set and off their EP, “Cross the Line,” before lining up to buy a copy.

Recently transplanted from London where she honed her vocal skills on German art songs, classically trained lyric soprano Kai has pulled together a small group of musicians to found an Electro Dark Wave band with a very appealing, hybrid sound. The Sedona Effect —every bit a performance art project as it is an EBM band —made a spectacular debut, which should contribute to their rapidly growing fame in the metropolitan area, and allow multitalented, front Kai to establish herself as a kind of Nina Hagen meets Billie Holiday.


Filed under: Live Music,Uncategorized — doktorjohn April 30, 2014 @ 10:39 pm

April 5 2014
Theater of the Living Arts

By Doktor John
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Philadelphia PA

Atlanta-based aggrotech band, Combichrist performed at the Theater of the Living Arts on Philadelphia’s famous South Street, the third stop on a 28 city U.S. tour that will cross the country and end up back in the deep Southeast in May.

The opening act, William Control, did an admirable job of warming the crowd. Exhilarating and bizarre, William has an eccentric presence, dressed and groomed like a Jersey Boy at the height of the Four Seasons reign in the 1960s, wearing a snug shirt-and-tie, vest and sporting a perfect pompadour, totally discordant with his satanic persona and demagogic style. The image was subverted by the glimpse of tattoos sneaking up his neck above his starched collar and beyond the French cuffs of his sleeves. His take on music was totally weird but entertaining. His on-stage antics were casually mind-boggling, as he violently swung the microphone cable, vehemently chain-smoking and exhorting the adoring, predominantly female, crowd of fans to chant vulgar and evil slogans along with him. The beautiful blond Ash Costello in a black vinyl miniskirt joined him for a couple of songs. William Control’s performance and many of his songs like “Only Human Sometimes,” “Strangers” and “Razor’s Edge” were disturbingly unforgettable.

At around 9:30 pm and after a considerable pause, the theater went dark, the video screen lifted and an orchestral fanfare with a heavy martial groove filled the air. Toward the end, the band members took their places. The ominous, British-accented and robotic voice that is the introduction to “We Were Made To Love You” commented in flat, emotionless tones,” We love you…now die.” Terrifying in a hideous, red-illuminated, full-face mask, Norwegian native and frontman Andy LaPlega burst on stage, his harsh and raspy voice screaming the main theme of that track from the new 2014 album, “We Love You.” The crowd, who, at that point, remained stationary, took up its venomous mantra of “Hate, disorder, love, destroy”.

The relentlessly driving “Today I Woke to the Rain of Blood” and “Blut Royale” charged the audience up, and soon a violent, but comradely mosh pit broke out in the center of the horde. The venue staff was exceptionally accommodating, allowing the dancers free reign as long as no one was being seriously injured. A “girl pit” spun off with one statuesque brunette who discarded all inhibitions as she led a small crowd of punkish beauties who made up a significant subset of the spectators.
girl pit
The set list in general went back and forth between entries from the new “We Love You” albums and their classic favorites such as “Throat Full of Glass.” One exception was “No Redemption” a classic guitar metal piece that is the soundtrack from a video game.
The melodious “Denial” offered a slight respite from the relentlessly driving, punishing style of most of the other songs. The track “What the F… Is Wrong With?” eloquently posed that perennial question — that all of us have asked — in the form of a rousing anthem that is from an album of a similar name. Sixteen songs made up the main body of this breath-taking show.

The final song, “Love is a Razorblade” ended the set, but the enthusiastic crowd demanded more, so the band returned to the stage to perform “F… That S…” and “Sent to Destroy,” which together captured the quintessence of Combichrist’s “Techno Body Music.” Lovers of this kind of hard-edge, mean-spirited style of music couldn’t possibly have asked for more.

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