Sunday, June 2, 2013

Kraftwerk



The moment I had discovered Kraftwerk were headlining the 2013 Sydney vivid LIVE festival, I was instantly transported back to a time where I had my first taste of Kraftwerk. It was the early 80's. David Bowie had taken up most of the space in my record collection and then I heard The Robots. Something went off.

Fast forward 30+ years and I had secured tickets to Kraftwerks 3D 12345678 Man Machine at the Opera House. Nothing would prepare me for the event of a lifetime. Kraftwerk in 3D was too hard to grasp. What did in '3D' mean? How can a bands presence be 'improved' on? Will it be a 3D backdrop? Reviews and videos attested to the mindblowing brilliance [although I tried to avoid them as much as possible as I didnt want too much given away] but I was about to find out how much.

Come Saturday evening, it seemed everyone in Sydney was out to see the 'lights on' vividLIVE spectacle. I had reached Town Hall at crawling pace then George Street became gridlocked. NOTHING was moving in the direction of Circular Quay. Dilemma! Panic! AAARRGGGH! How do I get to Circular Quay in less than 15 mins? The only solution seemed to be the train. If there really was a God, then He was definitely a Kraftwerk fan and was on my side that night. It proved it definitely was the way to go. I arrived just in time to grab my 3D glasses, get seated, before the lights dimmed and Kraftwerk emerged. The Man Machine had kicked off with me uttering a very loud OH WOW upon experiencing the first taste of 3D. OMFG this was unbelievable. Kraftwerk took me to another dimension, somewhere off in space, floating, soaked in their synth laden electronic masterpieces, with objects being hurdled into the crowd amongst very audible gasps and backward head motions. During Spacelab, I swear I felt the antennas tip touch my nose.

Kraftwerk performed all the Man Machine and we also revelled in the prodigious Autobahn in all its 22 mins glory, Radioactivity, Trans EE, Tour De France, Computer Love and exceptional remixes of Numbers/Computerworld/Its More Fun To Compute/Home Computer and Boing Boom Tschek/Techno Pop/Musique Non Stop. The visual element was quite spectacular. Extensive use of Bauhaus aesthetics in colours and architecture, German cars lacking drivers, trains, spacecraft, computer graphics, radiowaves, man-robots, signage and classic archived film sequences. One was left in astonishment if they really were at a music concert.

During Musique Non Stop fadeout, the Kraftwerk members one by one, walked to the far right of the stage, bowed, then disappeared down the stairs. The crowd relentless in cheering surely would prompt a spectacular encore. Sure enough, Kraftwerk were back, firing up the decks with Ralf Hutter stating they were "restarting the computers for an encore" preceding a green lit 'Kraftwerk' animated screen and an awesome mix of Expo 2000 and Planet of Visions. It seemed all eternity ended when they finally, in single file, bowed once again and disappeared to LOUD applause and a highly enthused crowd. WOW just WOW!!

Upon leaving, I decided to treat myself to an amazing 3D Kraftwerk picture book and an authentic, Klingklang Man Machine tee.

I truly was left gobsmacked! You know that jaw dropping, speechless, dumbstricken, everything frozen look you get when you are totally blown away? I was left dazed and utterly bemused at what I just witnessed. It made me think every concert ive ever been to was nothing compared to this and how it may take me a while to go to another concert again. Finally getting to write this review proved difficult and somehow, it still doesnt do the Kraftwerk experience any justice either. It felt as if my brain was left scattered somewhere behind seat A10. Do let me know if you find it. ◔◡◉

Below is The Man Machine Setlist, slideshow and playlist of 8 videos. ENJOY!

Kraftwerk Setlist Opera House, Sydney, Australia 2013, The Catalogue 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8