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IAMXClub Kwadrat, Cracow, Poland
7th February 2019
IAMX - “Mile Deep Hollow” Tour 2019

I once read the saying: “when words fail, music speaks”. I have always thought that words, despite all their beauty and the meaning they carry, fall into the trap of logic, structure and ambiguity when it comes to describing the subtle, ephemeral and expressive matter such as music. Words stand for mind whereas music is more into feeling; its very way of communicating operates on blinding the mind, turning its analytic and getting straight to a listener’s heart. It has the power to evoke joy, sadness, love, euphoria, enthusiasm; it may add to one’s courage, take despair and fear away. It’s a powerful tool that cannot be defined by such a trivial tool as words.

The reason why I’m mentioning it in IAMX concert review is that I feel it’s particularly worth stressing out that the talent of transforming one’s own experience and vision of life into the form of art that carries the listeners away to such an extent they forget about the harsh here-and-now reality, about thinking, analysing and let themselves feel, become one with sound and melody, is a rare gift. It’s magic that becomes harder and harder to find these days and I think it’s worth spreading the word so that the others may actually participate in the antidote for reality Chris Corner serves. IAMX have performed in Poland numerous times, for example at club shows in Stettin (the very first show in Poland, in 2004), Warsaw, Cracow, Wroclaw, or at Castle Party. Every time it was a magnificent show that combined the power of original, heart-touching music, complex and yet purifying lyrics and spectacular show that made use of costumes, lights, visuals and extremely energetic, vivid theatrical scenic performance. It was no different this time in Cracow.

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Chris Corner has always explored difficult topics in his lyrics - be it rejection, illness, battling one’s own demons, additions, obsessions, sexuality, death, complicated relationships or feelings - they always create an image as beautiful as complex, dark and multidimensional. They provoke and lure, stimulate and offer a kind of a healing at the same time, especially when combined with emotional, melodious and rhythmical melodies IAMX present. The variety and complexity might also be reflected in a rich history of the project, its changing band members and discography that was created by Chris Corner but also the artists that at some point contributed to the band once he left SNEAKER PIMPS in 2004 and created IAMX (for example Imogen Heap at ‘Kingdom of Welcome Addiction’, or Kat von D at ‘Alive in the new Light’).

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Music & Performance
Their music, as Corner himself said once, is “a circus”. Well, for sure what we could see in Cracow during the second Polish show for the band promoting their newest releases ‘Mile Deep Hollow’ and ‘Alive in New Light’ was a magnificent faerie of changing colours, tones, temperatures, lights, moods and energy. It was a blend of visuals, erotic, dance, scenic costumes (“feathery” hat included) and extremely expressive scenic manner - all these elements constitute an extremely colourful, diverse kaleidoscope that ravishes and brings you to your knees. The artists prefer back lights that to some point distracts attention from their faces and directs it to the general scenic movement, body language, lights and imagery which perfectly chosen build up the relevant atmosphere.

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From the very first moment while we were waiting for the show to begin I could sense the energy, anticipation and enthusiasm grow gradually to outburst uncontrollably the moment the first song ‘Alive in New Light’ started. The stage was flooded with red roses brought by the fans and Chris Corner greeted his fans in an appropriately warm manner. At some point he dived into the crowd and after being carried on the audience’s hands back to the stage he finished up the song with a strong, triumphant finale. The pace changed during the show several times - from energetic, strong pieces like ‘No Maker Made Me’, through heart-touching ‘I Am Terrified’ and the cult party-goers hymn ‘After Every Party I Die’ and the most incredible ‘North Star’ - the soundscape was as fascinating as diversified.

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Traditionally, after the first set the audience demanded encores and surely we were given two of them that made the entire show for IAMX last for over 1.5 an hour. Amazing, most emotional and beautiful piece ‘Mercy’ that made almost all heart crack was a perfect, strong final for this breath-taking, incredible concert. The club was packed to its limits and from I could see and hear - the people were totally carried away by IAMX magic and talent. The only minus for the show was the sound quality - unfortunately this time I have to say the club did not stand up for the vocalic and sonic scale and perfection the artists represent. That’s the only thing I may stick to - all the rest was pure perfection and beauty display, a real unforgettable event; one wants to quote ‘Mile Deep Hollow’ to sum it up:

“So thank you
You need to know
That you dragged me out
Of a mile deep hollow
And I love you
You brought me home”

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Chris Corner’s music indeed drags one from the hollow of dullness and brings one back to the whole spectrum of colours, impressions and euphoria. Thank you!

01. Alive in New Light
02. No Maker Made Me
03. Bring Me Back a Dog
04. Happiness
05. I Come With Knives
06. Exit
07. I Am Terrified
08. Sorrow
09. North Star
10. After Every Party I Die
11. Spit It Out
12. Mile Deep Hollow
13. The Alternative
14. Your Joy Is My Low
15. The Power and the Glory
16. Mercy

Music: 10
Performance: 10
Light: 9
Sound: 7
Total: 8.7 / 10

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All Pictures by Karo Kratochwil

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