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introPulp, Duisburg, Germany
27th March 2014
The Birthday Massacre & Atomic Neon

It happens not very often that Canadian THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE are visiting Germany. Last year, they could be seen at WGT, but sadly I missed them there. The happier I was now that they were coming back for a few dates. And we were really lucky that they made it to Duisburg since there were strikes and TBM’s flight was the only one leaving Budapest where they were playing the day before…

Atomic Neon

Atomic Neon was founded originally in 2007. The founding members consisted of Rio Black (vocals), Dr. Mole (guitar) and Patrick Blanc (guitar) together. To complete the band, other musicians were sought and found. Since then they’ve released the positively received ‘Darkenia’ LP, preceded by the ‘Life on Earth’ single. Together with the album ‘Change’ they were unleashing ‘A Desperate Dream’ single on vinyl upon their fans as well as contributing to several compilations out there (‘Black Snow vol.2’ and ‘Zwischenfall - A New Decade Vol. 1’). ‘Change’ is the latest released fulltime album so far. In November 2012, ATOMIC NEON released a free online EP, ‘The Other’, which you can download on the band’s website. ATOMIC NEON currently is Rio Black (vocals / lyrics), Sandy (bass), Lars Kappeler (guitar), Fredie Hü (drums) and Dani Dark (keyboards). /


Music & Performance
It was half past seven and the club well-filled already when ATOMIC NEON entered the stage. First one on stage was no human, but a little dog, drawing much attention during the show. And before you wonder what a dog is doing on stage during a show and that this is animal abuse let me tell you that the cutie was deaf and just enjoyed being close to his mistress. But to the show itself… musically, the Cold Wave band probably did not fit very well to the sound of the Canadians. But still I enjoyed the music, especially singer Rio’s voice reminding me a lot of Robert Smith from THE CURE. Also musically you found some similarities to this band. They are combining the melancholy of 80ies Wave music with the feel of being lost in modern society. As the band describes itself, “distorted guitars, atmospheric keyboards, dark bass lines and haunting drums accentuate lamenting vocals”. In fact this is a good description of the band’s sound. I really liked it, even though they did not really fit to TBM.

01. Darkenia
02. Empty
03. Weep
04. Mein Kleid
05. Cold Room
06. I Want To Believe
07. She
08. End Of Love

Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 7.3 / 10


The Birthday Massacre

The Canadian electronic-rock band THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE was formed back in 1999. After two self-released albums the band caught attention first of Kai Schmidt (ex-FUNKER VOGT), who signed the band to his label in Germany, and the year later - of the label Metropolis Records in 2005. Is it needed to be mentioned, that the popularity and success of the band has been growing by leaps and bounds. 2007 saw the release of acclaimed and wildly popular ‘Walking With Strangers’ album. Extensive touring followed before the next album, ‘Pins and Needles’, was out in September 2010. The latest album is ‘Hide and Seek’ that was released in October 2012 via Out of Line in Germany. According to the official announcement the band's working on the next one, which is going to be out at the end of this year. THE BRITHDAY MASSACRE (TBM) consists of Chibi (lead vocals, lyricist), Rainbow (rhythm guitar, audio engineer, mixer, producer, drum programming, live backing vocals, lyricist), Falcore (lead guitar, audio engineer, mixer, producer, film director, lyricist), Rhim (live drums, sound designer), Owen (live keyboards/keytar, web designer, comic book artist) and Nate Manor (live bass). /


Music & Performance
It was already 20:45 when the intro was announcing the appearance of the six Canadians on stage. The band was welcomed with huge applause. Seemed anyone in the hall was happy to see the band on stage again. From the first second, TBM spread a lot of power and joy. Chibi was constantly smiling, making faces and having close contact to the fans. The lady and the five guys showed no mercy and fired a wall of sound against the audience. It was loud, energetic and powerful. It’s indeed always a pleasure seeing this band performing live. All musicians played as tight as you could wish for. Additionally, Chibi was constantly beckoning attention and in contact with the audience, with her eyes, smiling and whatever means she can use – and everything while singing, jumping around and dancing in her own very special style. A few songs into the set, TBM of course thanks their support act and dedicating a song to them… a love song, as Chibi said. You could see the happy smile in ATOMIC NEON’s faces since some band members were watching the show.


Speaking about the set, TBM brought twenty songs for their fans, put into ninety minutes of energy. The setlist of course presented some songs from the new album, like ‘Alibis’ or ‘Leaving Tonight’. But the main focus was on older stuff and you felt that the audience exactly wanted to hear pieces like ‘Always’, ‘Happy Birthday’ or ‘Pins and Needles’. ‘Kill the Lights’ was the perfect final songs. Well… there was a little more for the fans. Loud applause brought the band back and Chibi asked if the people wanted to hear a few more songs. It was three more songs the band had in stock, starting with ‘In the Dark’, also one of the fans’ favourites. Finally, TBM left with the TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLS cover of ‘I Think We're Alone Now’. Excited applause dismissed the band and there was no chance to call them back since right after they had left, the party music in the hall and the weekly Goth party started. Once more, THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE presented a really cool show and I hope it won’t take years until I see them again.


01. Intro
02. Red Stars
03. Sleepwalking
04. Always
05. Holiday
06. Pins And Needles
07. Happy Birthday
08. Video Kid
09. Goodnight
10. Lovers End
11. Alibis
12. Blue
13. Control
14. To Die For
15. Leaving Tonight
16. Down
17. Kill the Lights
18. In the Dark
19. Midnight
20. I Think We're Alone Now (Tommy James & the Shondells cover)

Music: 8
Performance: 9
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 8 / 10


All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( /

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