In town to promote last year’s full-length Our Time Will Come and remix EP “Salvation” released earlier this month, veteran industrial technopunk unit KMFDM’s show last Sunday at The Imperial was the second concert in as many months to draw out Vancouver’s stalwart industrial scene (for those who missed it, follow this link to check out our photo gallery of Ministry’s show at the Vogue last month.)
It takes a few songs from Texan openers CHANT before the earlybird crowd warms to the three-piece industrial rock act comprised of two drummer/keyboardists and a guitarist. As one can see in Ministry’s classic concert video In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up, the tribal energy conjured by multiple drummers is compelling, particularly in the context of industrial music; however, despite an inventive customized lighting rig to maximize the band’s visibility behind their multiple kits and racks, the visual obstacles between audience and performers remained a challenge, at least until the crowd re-tuned its focus back towards the music (that said, the use of either mirrors or cameras and video monitors might have helped to compensate.) Fortunately, led by CHANT’s principal percussionist/vocalist and founder Bradley Bills, the band played a focused set with minimal delay or banter that moved smoothly from song to song and ultimately cranked up the audience for the headliners to follow.
Few bands have KMFDM founder Sascha Konietzko’s gift for making provocative yet entirely danceable aggressive music. With a discography of 19 full-length albums spanning more than 30 years, when the band takes the stage every song of the evening’s 100-minute set is a proven crowd-pleaser, beginning with “Money” and ending with “Godlike”. Konietzko’s generally stoic expression onstage is offset by vocalist/keyboardist Lucia Cifarelli’s feline prowl, and while guitarists Jules Hodgson and Steve White remain in their accustomed positions at opposite ends of the stage throughout most of the show, the modular lighting apparatus onstage makes for a dynamic spectacle in its own right, alternately drenching the band and the near-capacity crowd in blinding washes of light. An eagerly anticipated performance for many, and undoubtedly an unforgettable experience for all in attendance.