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IAMX Cologne 2023 10 von 43Columbia Theater, Berlin, Germany
21st October 2023
IAMX - “Fault Lines1 - Europe Tour” 2023

IAMX was founded more than 20 years ago, in 2002, by Chris Corner and has since then been an institution in the Dark music community with its singular style, which is influenced by Synth Pop, Industrial, and Electronic Body Music. But although IAMX is iconic in some parts of Goth subculture, its outstanding live performances and electronic sounds also attract people outside the dark spectrum, which was very visible at the concert in Berlin, where the audience was a mix of younger and middle-aged people, people belonging to the dark subculture, but also persons not being members of any subculture - at least not visibly.

IAMX explores many different topics in its music, from identity struggles to love, hate and mental health issues. The concert in Berlin is somehow a comeback for IAMX, since the project was Berlin-based for several years. IAMX, which has a history of more than ten studio albums released so far, is touring around the world to present the newest album, ‘Fault lines’, whose first single was released in May of 2023.

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Music & Performance
The concert was sold-out and the audience in an excellent mood when IAMX entered the stage around 20:30. Chris Corner was wearing one of his outstanding outfits: A crown made of thorns of metal, which reminded me of paintings of Jesus wearing his crown of thorns walking to the crucifixion. His drummer Jon Siren was wearing a black rabbit mask which for me looked like a bull, with long horns or ears. Something noteworthy is that IAMX seem to play always the same setlist during this tour, and Berlin was not an exception. Which was also noteworthy was the perfect match between music, light effects and images displayed on two giant screens in the background, which created a hypnotical atmosphere.

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The lights changed from song to song and also, sometimes, in the middle of the song. Whereas, e.g., they were purple during ‘The X ID’, they changed first to blue, then to yellow and then to a combination of both colours during the third one, ‘Sailor’. I wondered if it was a symbolical support of the Ukraine or just a mere coincidence, but who knows. Not only his energy on the stage, but also Chris Corner’s voice is really remarkable. He both masters a very deep and a quite high-pitch and all the sounds in-between. But he also knows how to win his spectators. Chris was constantly addressing the audience, sometimes in German, sometimes in English. From the quality of his German, it could be noted that he once lived in Berlin.

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The crowd was highly excited and in a really, really good mood, which improved only with every interaction with Chris Corner, who cried out before the fourth song: “My Berlin, you are insane! You feel good? You feel free? You are free!” The rest I could understand no more due to the roaring of the audience. In my impression, ‘I Come With Knives’ was one of the crowd’s highlights; people went absolutely mad and also Chris Corner increased his already high level of performing energy. The screens displayed, very fittingly, splashes of red blood. Chris Corner announced before ‘President’ in German: “Das Lied geht tiefer und tiefer” (That song goes deeper and deeper). ‘President’ was my personal highlight - I like the melody of the song, its rhythm, but also Chris Corner’s voice creates a singular atmosphere.

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The audience was clapping, crying and singing all the time. I have seldom witnessed such a joyful, enthusiastic crowd, at least not at “Gothic” concerts, and that, in combination with the outstanding energy of Chris Corner and his band mates Janine and Jon, and the quality of the sound and lights, created a truly magical atmosphere. If you have the opportunity to see IAMX live, do not miss it!

01. Disciple
02. The X ID
03. Sailor
04. After Every Party I Die
05. Fault Lines
06. Screams
07. I Come With Knives
08. Exit
09. President
10. Happiness
11. No Maker Made Me
12. Bernadette
13. The Alternative

Music: 10
Performance: 9
Sound: 10
Light: 9
Total: 9.5 / 10

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All Pictures from Cologne by Andreas Klüppelberg

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