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introKulttempel, Oberhausen, Germany
2nd April 2017
Assemblage 23

As I had the pleasure to review the latest, and in my eyes excellent, album I was very much looking forward to see ASSEMBLAGE 23 at the Kulttempel and find out how the new songs are working live. Tom Shear founded this Seattle, US, based project in 1988 after he experienced the Industrial Dance music by an opening DJ for DEPECHE MODE. This kind of sound inspired him deeply so that he wanted to create such music himself in the future. Starting formerly as more of a hobby his music finally attracted attention of record labels in 1998. Only in 1999 he signed to a Canadian label but signed two years later to the US Metropolis Records label where his first albums have been re- released. In the beginning the music of ASSEMBLAGE 23 was instrumental as Tom Shear didn’t dare to sing but eventually he started to add vocals to his songs. Eighth studio album, six singles, an EP, and two compilations have been launched. /


Music & Performance
Unlike the shows in the UK there was no supporting act on this evening. Also the concert started half an hour later than expected. On this evening he was accompanied by Mike Jenney but this time on the keyboard and not on the drums. Unfortunately the show was not sold out. Nevertheless Tom expressed his appreciation that at least so many people showed up on a Sunday evening after performing the first song. But the lack of a bigger crowd was easily compensated by the enthusiastic fans who danced and sang along right from the beginning. The new songs like ‘Bravery’ worked great, too, because right from the first tunes of this song people were cheering and clapping their hands. However the audience was happy to listen to the older songs as well. With the mood being excellent on both sides it was no big surprise that the interaction between Tom and his fans worked very well whenever he asked them to clap their hands or sing along.


After a good mixture of old and new songs the main part of the show ended and actually Tom and Mike would have left the stage and return for an encore. But he decided differently asking the people if they want an encore which was affirmed with clapping and cheering. Thus he agreed on just staying on stage and starting to play the four songs that were planned for the encore. In the end he even played some more than four songs and before he and Mike left the stage he told his audience that he will soon be at the merchandise stand and would love to meet some people for a chat and photo.

Music: 9
Performance: 9
Sound: 8.5
Light: 7
Total: 8.5/10


More on ASSEMBLAGE 23:

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( /

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