Walking in to Skyway Theatre on a cold Sunday night I was eager to see VNV Nation’s performance. A couple of hours prior I had sat down with Ronan Harris, the brains behind the group, to pick his brain about the new album Noire, inspirations and how the tour was going. I felt like I had a deeper understanding of what Ronan was trying to capture after our discussion. Excitement from my curiosity kept me on my toes.
I hurried into Skyway to get my photo pass. The first act, The Rain Within, just started their set. This one man band, Andy Deane offered pop vocals with a synth twist. And his stage performance wasn’t lacking either. Deane had the moves to back it up! To add to the performance his hands were accessorized with green laser gloves. The Rain was high energy synthwave dressed up in black. I enjoyed the 30 minute trip back to the 80’s.
When the 5 piece group, Holy Gram stepped on stage the vibe mellowed. Instantly, I felt nodes of The Cure in their music. The heavy basslines and synthy keyboard riffs filled the room. Fans in the crowd caught the groove by dancing and jumping around. The German group backed their Cure-like music with a mysterious stage presence. Blue lights and black silhouettes dominated their entire performance. Not going to lie, this made for a fun little photo challenge!
Soon after, headliner, VNV Nation took the stage. The balcony at Skyway Theatre was closed that night so everyone piled onto the main floor. Ronan Harris started the performance off dramatic. He stepped on stage and began with a song off of Noire. The light let the crowd only have a peek of Harris. Eventually, he exploded into song lights and all. Commanding vocals rang throughout Skyway Theatre. Fans ate it up.
VNV’s lighting was beautiful and poetic which paired flawlessly with Harris’ lyrics. As he interacted with the crowd throughout the night I could really tell he puts his heart and soul into his performances. It’s not just music he is creating but performance art. Okay maybe that sounds a little cliché. But seriously Ronan puts a lot of thought and effort into the music, lights, branding, lyrics. I could go on. As an artist I can respect his vision.
Overall, I am Glad I braved the cold Sunday night. I got to see an entire different side of electronic music and meet some pretty cool people. I would call that successful Sunday evening.