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Matrix, Bochum, Germany
7th December 2009
Combichrist, SAM

Currently the band around Andy LaPlegua can also be seen in bigger arenas supporting RAMMSTEIN. But of course a club show offers much more direct way to transport the energy lying in the music - and that a club really is the best environment for COMBICHRIST was proven at Bochum’s Matrix.


After their demo ‘Demo Lition’ took the dance floors by storm, SAM was born. They swiftly found a label with Pro Noize, who released their self-titled debut in November 2006, comprising ‘24 Stunden’ (24 Hours) which became a club hit and cracked into several charts like the German Alternative Charts. In June 2008, the follow-up ‘Destruction Unit’ sees the light of day. SAM is Daniel & Joe.

Music & Performance
On a couple of FADERHEAD shows, Daniel & Joe have already come to my attention as being the hyperactive stage support on synths but I’ve never seen them performing with their own project this far. Both taking place behind their synth desk facing each other, their performance mainly consisted of twiddling the device’s knobs and dancing around wildly to the hard industrial club beats on a stage bathed in frantic light flashes. People danced from the very first minutes to the tracks which only used occasional samples or shouts as vocal delivery. The music, combined with the energetic performance surely satisfied most people in the room, especially the cyber Goth crowd I suppose, and got them into the right mood for the main act.

Music: 6
Performance: 6
Sound: 7
Light: 6
Total: 6.2 / 10


COMBICHRIST is one of the other faces of well-known singer and ICON OF COIL mastermind Andy LaPlegua who’s presenting a much more hard-edged side of industrial with this project. The two first releases, the album ‘The Joy of Gunz’ and the limited Halloween special ‘Kiss the Blade’ both being released in 2003, conquered the clubs and dance floors in a storm. Only a year later Andy unleashed the next assault entitled ‘Sex, Drogen und Industrial’ which marks a change in the sound of COMBICHRIST to more electro and less distortion dominated sounds, yet the tracks remained as energetic as ever. In Spring 2005 it was finally time for the new album ‘Everybody Hates You’ whose description can be summed up as follows “A journey through hell and high water, through the eyes of a serial killer, sex, violence and plenty of Jack Daniels on ice.”

2006 saw the release of a new EP that even took the project to the Hot Dance Billboard Charts and as Andy is a workaholic, he released the next album ‘What The F*&$ Is Wrong With You People?’ in March 2007. Right in time for the summer, Andy released the ‘Frost EP’ at the end of June 2008 with new tracks as well as remixes. The most recent album is called ‘Today we are all Demons’ and came out in 2009. COMBICHRIST is Andy LaPlegua (vocals, lyrics, production), Joe Letz (live drums), Trevor Friedrich (live percussions) and z_marr (live keys, synths). /

Music & Performance
This evening in Bochum started with ‘All Pain is Gone’, and with the appearance of Andy as the centre of attention most of the time it took hardly a minute to turn the club into a madhouse. He ran back and forth and screamed out the words with all his power which only riled up the audience more. Next up was ‘Scarred’ forcing its will on you with the urgent marching rhythms. The lines “Only Destruction Remains” would become an allusion to something happening a while later. ‘Today I Woke to the Rain of Blood’ burnt down all hesitations in front of the stage and pogo pits started emerging in the midst of the crowd. The adrenaline had literally taken the upper hand now. The “Power Ballad” ‘Today We Are All Demons’ when announced as such without naming the title just received catcalls, but as soon as the vibrant drumming emerged everything was forgotten and spotting moving people now wasn’t a tough thing to do anymore.

Both the drummers creating the taut groundwork once again were a sensation of their own, banging incessantly on their instruments like maniacs in a rush, and especially Joe kept the stage hand quite busy throwing away the drum sticks all the time or pushing over parts of the drum kit. Well, the set lasted about an hour ending with ‘Fuck that Shit’. That couldn’t be the end of it already and the people made pretty clear they wanted more. COMBICHRIST wouldn’t let their fans beg for too long and came back for ‘This Shit Will Fuck You Up’, loudly sung along by the way, and ‘What The Fuck Is Wrong With You People’ closing with them creating a chaos on stage with equipment lying around everywhere afterwards. “Only Destruction Remains” and a very satisfied crowd of course.

01. All Pain is Gone
02. Scarred
03. Today I Woke to the Rain of Blood
04. This Is My Rifle
05. Without Emotions
06. Today We Are All Demons
07. Get Your Body Beat
08. I’d like to Thank my Buddies
09. Electrohead
10. Blut Royale
11. Fuck That Shit
12. This Shit Will Fuck You Up
13. What the Fuck Is Wrong With You People

Music: 8
Performance: 10
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 8.5 / 10

All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / /

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