Zentrum Altenberg, Oberhausen, Germany
18th August 2013
Front Line Assembly, Haujobb & Ivardensphere
Around their appearances at the M'era Luna Festival, FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY and HAUJOBB had a few mutual German dates as part of the European leg of the “Echogenetic Tour”, which started in Moscow with a sold-out gig. 'Echogenetic' is the title of the latest FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY album, by the way the first one which charted in Germany's Top 100! Promising a more “old school” show that is less guitars and more electronics in FLA's case, it was a must-see show for any EBM/ Industrial fan. We already had the pleasure to see FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY's performance at the M'era Luna festival, and as this one exceeded all expectations the best thing to do was doing it all over again exactly one week later at the Zentrum Altenberg in Oberhausen, Germany.
It was a surprise for us to see a third act performing this night as IVARDENSPHERE were not announced by the local promoters. Right on 8pm IVARDENSPHERE from Edmonton, Canada, placed himself behind a rack of effect devices to present half an hour of Power Noise and Techno after a rather orchestral intro. However, most people were still queuing at the only (and badly organized) bar of the Zentrum Altenburg at that moment. Just like so many clubs and cultural locations in the Ruhr area the, Zentrum Altenberg is a former factory plant now used for other assignments after the industrial demise of this metropolitan area, which was once the heart of coal mining and steel production in Germany. A quite apt and somewhat ironic place for an Industrial concert night like this!
IVARDENSPHERE used to tour with bands like COMBICHRIST and AESTHETIC PERFECTION as a four-piece, this time it was the head of the band, Scott, Fox all on his own. The reaction was a bit mixed to his set, some loved it, and some thought it wasn't “old school” enough. But everyone who loves the darker and meaner side of Techno might feel inclined to check out IVARDENSPHERE. http://www.ivardensphere.com / http://www.facebook.com/ivardensphere
Total: 6.8 / 10
HAUJOBB was truly much more than just a support act for the fans in Oberhausen. With open eyes and ears it was pretty obvious that the main reason for many people to come here was to see Daniel Myer, Dejan Samardzic, and Manuel G. Richter performing live on stage. And HAUJOBB did not disappoint with their 45-minute set with half of the set off their last album 'New World March' and the other half full of classic songs as 'Renegades Of Noise' or 'The Noise Institute'. The energy HAUJOBB developed on stage was enormous, and especially front man Daniel Myer was feeding off the buzz he got from the enthusiastic crowd. The climax and finale of the show was, as usual, their hit 'Dead Market' but the rare 'Dream Aid' from the 1995 album 'Freeze Frame Reality' got an extra-loud welcome from the fans, a clear sign that the early HAUJOBB stuff is still popular and far from being forgotten.
The only complaint you could hear after the gig was that everybody would have loved it if the show was a bit longer than just eight songs. But after all there was still a headlining act to come on this Sunday night! http://www.haujobb-music.com / https://www.facebook.com/haujobbmusic
02. Let's Drop Bombs
03. Renegades Of Noize
06. Dream Aid
07. The Noise Institute
08. Dead Market
Total: 8.8 / 10
Front Line Assembly
The Canadian act FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY is arguably one of the most influential acts of the EBM & Industrial scene with albums like ‘Caustic Grip’ (1990) or ‘Tactical Neural Implant’ (1992) being still worshipped classics of the genre. Bill Leeb's brain child pushed the envelope always a little further, most significantly with the 1994 'Millennium' with which helped to prepare the ground of the Industrial Metal wave of the late 1990s. On their most recent release 'Echogenetic', FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY introduced Dub Step elements to their music, which makes the album a bit of a love it or hate it case but the critical acclaim and No. 75 in the German sales chart make clear that the album is indeed a complete success! http://www.mindphaser.com / http://www.facebook.com/frontlineassembly
Music & Performance
And their gig at the M'era Luna seven days before the Oberhausen show was a complete success, too, so we were curious how the show comes across at a small club instead of a huge festival stage. A look at the audience told that most fans must have been already around when FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY embarked on their legendary 'Hard Wired' tour, some perhaps even before that. So many people in their late 30s or early 40s on a Sunday night, probably not the best circumstances for a raw Industrial performance. But the crowd was well heated up by the formidable HAUJOBB gig before so that FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY could kick-start the show with the classic 'Final Impact' after a short intro. The penetrating bass and the pumping beats made people move, of course it was nowhere near the violent mosh-pits you would see at FLA concerts 15 or 20 years ago but hey, it was a lot of fun anyway!
Bill Leeb is not exactly known for hamming it up on the stage but in Oberhausen he clearly loved to be on stage and to play with the crowd. The sonic attacks of old tracks as 'Pasticity' or 'Surface Pattern' were as electrifying as new songs like 'Killing Grounds' or 'Exhale', which really benefit from being performed live. Jeremy Inkel and Jared Slingerland, also members of the band LEFT SPINE DOWN, and live drummer Jason Bazinet give the FLA sound a much rougher and more organic sound, even though the guitars are given a rest for most of the show on this tour. Even though at his mid-50s, Bill Leeb seems to be more active and energetic as some years ago, pushing the crowd more and more until the last beat of 'Mindphaser', last song of the encore and without a doubt one of the band's biggest hits to date. A very tight, energetic and impressive performance!
02. Final Impact
03. Neologic Spasm
04. Killing Grounds
06. Surface Patterns
11. Shifting Through The Lens
12. Mental Distortion
Total: 8.8 / 10
All pictures by Dajana Winkel (http://www.calani.de/)