The past few Funker Vogt albums may have failed to elicit the excitement among fans that their earlier work did, and, yes, a lot of their songs are pretty darn formulaic and repetitive. However, they have an awesome live show, and you should definately see it if you can.
Having missed this band in the early 2000's due to an inconvenient minor medical emergency, I was very excited about this show, and also a bit unsure of what to expect. Trax is a pretty huge, futuristic looking club, and it definately made sense as a place to host this kind of night. Going to Vendetta Records' "Deathwish" night (which hosted this show) for the first time I immediately had this weird nostolagic moment where I felt like I just walked through a time warp to DC's "Alchemy" circa 2003. Pretty much the same club, crowd, dance music, and big name touring act. The crowd size was pretty large, there were many friendly people in it, and drinks were cheap ($2 drafts & wells). There wasn't an opener, so let's go straight to the performance.
At first I was a bit disappointed to see only a laptop with a midi controller on stage... However there was also a guitarist, who complemented the music well, not drowning things out, or being mixed down too low. The real focal point of this band live, of course, is lead singer Jens Kästel. He's everything a German EBM singer should be: super intense, energetic, and a bit deranged looking at times. Is Funker Vogt old? Maybe, older than they were 10 years ago... but they can still definately rock, move around, and get the crowd riled up. Interestingly this guy seemed to drop the militarist garb for this show, wearing a rather inoffensive short sleeve button down shirt instead. But it hardly seemed to matter... Jens Kästel can definately rock the short sleeve button down shirt.
FV didn't even go on until 11:45. This turned out to be a good idea, as the extra hour of alcohol consumption definately contributed to a better and "more intense" experiance for all involved.
It only took about three-ish songs for the moshing to commence, which then lasted throughout the rest of the show, including the encore. The mood in the pit was certainly positive and jovial. The only complaint I have about it would be the people who like to stand behind a mosh pit and throw moshers back into it. If you are throwing a mosher back into a mosh pit, you do not need to dig your finger nails into the skin on their back in order to get a sufficient grip to propel them forward. Unfortunately this point was lost on some people.
There were a few songs I didn't quite recognize of newer material but several old favorites, such as Killing Fields, 2nd Unit, and an unfamiliar but good version of Take Care seemed to pump the adrenaline up a few more notches. To their credit I think the security at this club and the promoters of this night did a very good job of making sure things were safe while allowing the moshing to continue more or less at its own rhythum throughout the whole set.
One criticism I do have is that the sound at this place was pretty muddy. I have no idea who is responsible for that. But at any rate you could at least hear the singer, the beat, and some synth or bit of guitar that helped you figure out what song was playing at any given time. I guess that's really all you need to dance. It worked for me!
Wounds of the Earth has not historically been silent or forgiving on the topic of "industrial music" disintegration into fashion obsessed dance clubs of terrible, repetitive, techno music over the past decade. But what this show proves is that despite whatever you may have to put up with should you go to those clubs on any given DJ night, there still exists few enough bands in that scene who know how to put on a kick ass live set. There are 12 American dates left on this tour. Make sure you are there to support them.
Dark and obscure music blog/zine since 2006 [ Post-Industrial / Ambient / IDM ]