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laibach byDagmarUrlbauer28Huxleys Neue Welt, Berlin, Germany
16th May 2024
Laibach - “OPUS DEI Concert Tour 2024”

On Thursday evening, May 16, 2024, the Slovenian band LAIBACH graced the stage of Huxleys Neue Welt in Berlin. The group, founded in 1980 in Trbovlje, presented a reissue of their groundbreaking 1987 album ‘Opus Dei’, showcasing once again why they are considered pioneers of Industrial Rock. Named after the historical German version of Ljubljana, LAIBACH has established itself as a comprehensive artwork, blending music, visual art, theater, and performance since its inception.

Music & Performance
From the start, LAIBACH bombarded the audience with a flood of images on the video screen: destroyed cities, war, military, political “icons” like Stalin and Trump - mostly in black and white, adding to the disturbing yet artistically valuable effect. This visual onslaught, combined with their distinctive sound, created an intense atmosphere that immediately captivated the audience.  The attendees, mainly older fans of the dark scene, were not treated to a full performance of ‘Opus Dei’ only. Instead, the band offered selected pieces from the album mixed with more complex numbers from their career.

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‘Opus Dei’ is central to their current tour and is considered LAIBACH’s most important work. With this album, they created a provocative art form rooted in postmodernism. The band’s hallmark is the recontextualization of language, symbols, and music. Their militaristic self-stylization and propagandistic manifestos have sparked many debates about their true artistic and political stance. LAIBACH is much more than a band; they are a multidisciplinary collective active in all areas of popular culture and art since the '80s. Their art provokes and questions, dismantling individual authorship and working as an anonymous quartet in uniforms. The group practices collective work and establishes the principle of hyper-identification.

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This impressive performance, despite its demanding nature, captivated the audience. The reissued ‘Opus Dei’ (Remastered) as an LP or double CD with alternative and live versions powerfully demonstrated once more how LAIBACH brings their radical art to the stage. Their distinctive humor and complex art remain compelling and relevant.

00. Intro: 8 bars of ‘Leben Heiẞt Leben’ intro drum loop
01. Vier Personen
02. Država
03. Boji
04. Mi kujemo bodočnost
05. Smrt in pogin
06. Anti-Semitism
07. Ballad of a Thin Man (Bob Dylan cover)
08. Brat moj
09. Alle gegen Alle (Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft cover)
---15-minute Intermezzo (4 bars of ‘Leben Heiẞt Leben’ intro loop)
---Opus Dei---
10. Leben heißt Leben (Opus cover)
11. Leben - Tod
12. Trans-National
13. F.I.A.T.
14. How the West Was Won
15. The Great Seal
16. Geburt einer Nation (Queen cover)
17. Opus Dei / Leben heißt Leben (Opus cover)
18. The Engine of Survival
19. Each Man Kills the Thing He Loves (Jeanne Moreau cover)
20. I Want to Know What Love Is (Foreigner cover)
21. Strange Fruit (Billie Holiday cover)
22. Outro: a version of Kraftbach’s ‘Geburt einer Nation’

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

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All Pictures by Dagmar Urlbauer

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