2nd May 2015
The Crüxshadows & Monica Jeffries
THE CRÜXSHADOWS are one of the most popular American bands among the members of the German gothic subculture. And now they are back on German stages to enchant their audience, this day at K 17 in Berlin.
MONICA JEFFRIES is a Synth Pop / Synth Rock project from Hamburg, Germany and consist of Monica Jeffries (vocals, keyboards, guitars, programming, production & pre-mixing) and Daniele (mixing D0M). They were already support act for PROJECT PITCHFORK and THE CRÜXSHADOWS, among others. They started to play at 21:00 at the K17 and didn’t manage to catch the audience’s attention. Monica still has to work a little bit on her stage personality, but the band also had a difficult standing because the hall was nearly empty. Their songs are a little bit too similar for my personal taste, but I’m sure they still can improve a lot. Monica has a powerful voice and some of the songs even reminded me of THE CRÜXSHADOWS themselves. https://www.facebook.com/MONICAJEFFRIESOFFICIAL
Total: 7.5 / 10
THE CRÜXSHADOWS are one of the most successful American Synth Pop / Darkwave bands in Europe. They were founded in 1992 in Tallahassee, United States, but from the first members, only the singer, Rogue, is still a member of the band. The others have changed frequently. Visitors of the Wave Gotik Treffen or of the M’era Luna, two of the most successful locations for THE CRÜXSHADOWS, may have seen Rogue’s legendary climbing over the stage and the beautiful performances of the background violinists. The band currently consists of Rogue (vocals), Jen “Pyromantic“ Jawidzik (keyboard), Mike Perez (guitar), David Wood and Johanna Moresco (violins), Jessica Lackey (drums), and two dancers: Suzie Specter and Britney Newsom. The band has published a total of eight albums, their latest in 2012. The concert in Berlin is part of the “Beautiful Truth” Tour. http://www.cruxshadows.com / https://www.facebook.com/cruxshadows
Music & Performance
There was a cold, but beautiful spring evening in Berlin. I have seen THE CRÜXSHADOWS many times at festivals, playing in halls so crowded that it was nearly impossible to get closer to the stage. Due to these experiences and knowing that THE CRÜXSHADOWS and above all Rogue always give a great show, I was really astonished to see that the K 17 wasn’t full at all, not even half full. Maybe, it was due to the long weekend, because many people choose to take holidays, but it was real strange. There was a little bit of delay, and THE CRÜXSHADOWS appeared at ten o’clock. Rogue walked through the audience to the stage, with his usual powerful walk, opening the show with ‘And I Believe’. I was caught at the instance he appeared because I know few Gothic bands who manage it in this way to generate such a strong stage presence. And I know few singers who are so sporty like Rogue, who was climbing up and down the stage all the time, although he was really ill this evening in Berlin.
He suffered from Laryngitis – nothing is worse for a singer, and sometimes I wondered if he would have to stop the show, but not only he continued with bravery, but also managed to sing really good. But not only Rogue, all the members gave their best. That’s even more remarkable because I know bands that lack motivation if the hall isn’t full. But not THE CRÜXSHADOWS – they danced, played and sung with the same power like in a full Agra-Halle (the biggest location of the Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig). The audience was a little bit shy at the beginning, but woke up after the first two songs. Rogue sung walking through the public most of the time, and he even took one’s spectators arm and danced with him. Surely one of the highlights was the song ‘Deception’, which was opened with a virtuosic violin solo and in which Monica Jeffries sung the background vocals. After this song, Rogue spoke to the audience, and, also a lovely gesture, he spoke German to them. “Wir lieben Dich” (We love you), cried someone, and Rogue answered: “Ich Euch auch” (“Me too”).
Then he said, also in German, that they had two problems: The first, that “Mein Hals ist krank, sehr krank“ (“My throat is very ill“), but that he would do his best, and the second problem that “In den USA, Leute sprechen kein Deutsch, und das ist ein Problem”(“In the USA, people don’t speak German, and that’s a problem”). Then, he continued presenting the band members in German and joking with the public. “Our merchandise is over there” he said in German, pointing to the back of the hall, and when some people near to the stage shouted “We’ve already bought a lot” he smiled and said: “Well, there isn’t yet any stuff back there, it’s all over here”. Then, he asked a visitor for the translation of “voice” into German and shook a lot of hands, before continuing with the last songs. They gave a total of two additional songs, ending with ‘Marilyn, my bitterness’, one of their biggest hits.
During the last notes of the song, Rogue jumped into the audience once again and took the people by the hand, pulling them to the stage. The stage was full of people dancing, singing and enjoying the good atmosphere. If you have the chance to, don’t miss THE CRÜXSHADOWS in your hometown!
Total: 9.8 / 10
All pictures by Steffi Blaue (http://neya-fotografie.de)