Photos by David Rubene
I’ve seen more industrial music the past two days than I have in weeks. That is in no way, shape, or form a complaint. Industrial music has a sense of energy that other genres just can’t touch. That was the perfect energy for a night with good friends and great drinks.
The sold out show was supposed to be opened up by Lord of the Lost from Germany. Unfortunately, due to visa issues, they never got into the United States. I was honestly bummed out. I love their dark music and have always wanted to see them live but apparently it wasn’t in the cards. Ocelot took the place of opening act and, as much as I wanted to see Lord of the Lost, Ocelot instantly stole my heart in the best way possible. This German-born American citizen had a style of hip-hop that seems to have gotten lost over the years. You could hear the heavy influence of The Beastie Boys and A Tribe Called Quest yet the music also had elements of acts like Frank Zappa and The Dead Milkmen.
The unique blend of genres left the quickly growing crowd with an opening act that didn’t quite fit the industrial music that was to come but also wasn’t completely out of left field. Ocelot’s energy matched the extreme energy that keeps me coming back to industrial shows. Although it was just him and a computer on stage, he commanded the crowd with ease making majority of the conversations in the audience stop with the start of a beat. As I mentioned, I was bummed that I didn’t get to see Lord of the Lost but being introduced to an act as great as Ocelot made up for it.
When you go to literally hundreds of a shows a year, things get a little old when you are stuck listening to music that you have heard before. Thankfully, nothing about last night was something I had heard before and the next act, ohGr, was a great example of that. Formed by Nivek Ogre and Mark Walk of Skinny Puppy, ohGr was the perfect act to bridge the gap between the hip-hop set of Ocelot and the classic industrial sound of KMFDM. ohGr has a sound that at times can feel just as deep and heavy as any great industrial band but at other times felt like a great electro-hip-hop set. The uniqueness of this band (and the other two bands of the night) was definitely the icing on the cake for my night.
Closing out the night was the one and only KMFDM. I’ve seen this group live multiple times not and it never gets old. Their influential industrial sound is something that gives me a sense of comfort. I went through a huge phase in my life where they were all I listened to and, although I fell out of that phase rather quickly, being able to go back to those days with just seeing front-man Sascha Konietzko step on stage has always amazed me. Although KMFDM hails from Germany, they seem to constantly be touring which has given me multiple chances to see them. Last night’s show was easily the most intimate venue I’ve ever seen them in giving their intense live show a completely different feeling than I had felt before.
Throughout the nearly twenty song set, KMFDM played songs that did a great job of covering their extensive twenty album career. Even though last night’s show was part of the tour to promote their newest album “Hell Yeah”, the band didn’t ignore the older songs that the crowd had grown up on. No matter if they were playing an old song or new song, there was a sense of power and energy that radiated off the stage. The bright lights flashed along with the music and, although it became a bit over powering at times, it made this intimate show feel even more special than it already was. Amsterdam Bar & Hall was one of the smallest clubs that KMFDM played on this tour but I loved the fact that they didn’t let that hold them back from anything. They gave the crowd everything they had.
Last night was yet another night of watching a legendary band that had a huge impact on my life at an extremely intimate show. It never really gets old.