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Colos-Saal, Aschaffenburg, Germany
26th February 2009
Apoptygma Berzerk, The Anix

The Electro Rock heroes from Norway have just released the latest album ‘Rocket Science’. From February to April, they are on their tour of the same name. On 26th February 2009, they came to the Aschaffenburg Colos-Saal, supported by the US-American support-act THE ANIX and with the new album as well as a lot of hits up to their sleeves.

The Anix

I hadn’t known THE ANIX before. Hence, I haven’t seen a concert of them up to now. Of course, I was curious about them and if they acquitted themselves well in the position of the support-act for APOPTYGMA BERZERK. And there was no doubt about it: They did a great job!

Music & Performance
On stage, the Californians mentioned many times how much fun it would be to go on tour with their host and that they enjoyed the concerts a lot. That was obvious, as Brandon (lead vocals, guitar), Logan (drums), Greg (keyboard) and Chris (guitar) showed an energetic performance with their guitar-driven Rock that features Electro sounds as well as Pop melodies. It resulted in an interesting potpourri which should have deserved more attention. When THE ANIX entered the stage, the hall was not packed and many guests stayed at the bar to have a drink. Thus, they missed some absorbing songs such as the hypnotic ‘Bullets without a Gun’ or ‘Don’t save your Breath’ which impressed me by an anthemic chorus and varied sound effects.

‘Hey Man, Nice Shot’, a great cover of the band FILTER, fitted well concerning the setlist. I also liked ‘Resident One’ in particular which sounded like a catchy homage to the decade of the 1980s. After the performance, the likeable quartet autographed records and shirts at the merchandise stand and talked to everyone who went there. I hope that THE ANIX will be able to convince many people while being on tour through Europe, as the band has got a lot of potential that is just waiting to be noticed.

01. Long Way Out
02. Bullets without a Gun
03. This Game
04. Half the World Away
05. Hey Man, Nice Shot
06. Don't Save Your Breath
07. Resident One
08. Take My Future

Music: 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 6
Total: 8.1 / 10

Apoptygma Berzerk

The Norwegian hit-machine with the tongue-twisting name has been responsible for many outstanding Electro anthems that are able to fill up the European clubs’ dance-floors. Causing many controversies concerning the changing musical style, APOPTYGMA BERZERK has been developing constantly and broadened its horizon. The opinions are divided: On the one hand, many fans prefer the Electro sound APOPTYGMA BERZERK are originally associated with, on the other hand, the band has gained new interested parties by an orientation towards guitar-driven Rock over the past years.

Certainly, it is a matter of taste. I became acquainted with APOPTYGMA BERZERK due to the release of songs such as ‘Love never dies’ and ‘Mourn’ which also represented the style I like best. In accordance with the release of the recent album ‘Rocket Science’, I was anxious about the live quality of the new songs and furthermore, I hoped for a setlist containing some of the greatest hits. To come to the point: I should not have been disappointed.

Music & Performance
Shortly after 9 pm, the packed Colos-Saal’s lights went off and the crowd gave the band a rapturous welcome. The audience came to dance and left no doubt about that. Stephan Groth, Geir Bratland, Fredrik Brarud and Angel performed in front of twinkling lights, as they used screens with lots of little LED-lights that displayed some lettering - a nice idea and a perfect match to the band’s appearance. Besides, there was a saturated light show, so it was a pleasure to take photos. The guys opened up the show with a friendly “Good evening Aschaffenburg” and the song ‘Weight of the World’ taken from the recent album. As far as I was able to assess it, the audience (especially the first ten rows) mainly consisted of long term fans, as many guests were dressed with tour shirts and seemed to be able to sing each and every line.

As much as I was pleased by watching the band performing many of the greatest hits, I was a bit astonished at the fact that the setlist contained only four songs from ‘Rocket Science’. Perhaps it was an indication for the band’s knowledge that especially the older stuff is still in great demand and that the musicians know the crowd’s expectations. The classics ‘Deep Red’, ‘Love never dies’, ‘Non-Stop Violence’ and ‘Mourn’ made the audience go wild, as well as the catchy ‘Shine on’ and the dance-floor anthem ‘Until the End of the World’. The setlist’s forceful midsection was alternated by the ballads ‘Butterfly Defect’ (which seemed to me a bit too trivial), ‘Love Bizarre Triangle’ (a stunning cover of the New Order-hit) and the melancholic ‘Kathy’s Song’ (in a beautiful and calm version). Accompanied by Geir’s keyboard playing, Stephan sang in a very emotive way contrary to his usual vocals.

All band members were in a good temper and interacted with the audience in an energetic and likeable way. I noticed that especially about Geir Bratland who often communicated with the fans in the first rows and - though he could not move that freely behind his keyboard - animated the audience to chant and to jump. In his capacity as the experienced front man and lead singer, Stephan exactly knew how to get the crowd’s attention and to heat it up. Always jumping and moving, it was easy for him to captivate his audience. The encore songs ‘Starsign’, ‘Non-Stop Violence’ and ‘Mourn’ invited to dance again, before the APOPTYGMA BERZERK said good-bye for good. The Norwegians left me perfectly satisfied: It was a great evening with an outstanding live show containing all my favourite songs - what more do I need?

01. Weight of the World
02. Apollo
03. Eclipse
04. Unicorn
05. Mercy Kill
06. Lost in Translation
07. In this together
08. Shadow
09. Deep Red
10. You keep me from breaking apart
11. Love never dies
12. Until the End of the World
13. Butterfly Defect
14. Love Bizarre Triangle
15. Kathy’s Song
16. Shine on
17. Starsign
18. Non-Stop Violence
19. Mourn Mesh

Music: 8
Performance: 10
Sound: 8
Light: 9
Total: 8.8 / 10

All pictures by Katrin Renner (

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