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pitchfork by aileenritter05Stadthalle, Gotha, Germany
26th November 2022
Project Pitchfork & Support: Chemical Sweet Kid

PROJECT PITCHFORK and their music have been with me for many years and helped me through some of the darkest hours of my teenage years. But the band also gave me some of the happiest memories and most wonderful moments of my life. Writing about them, therefore is not only a special honour for me, but always something very personal.

In the years before the pandemic, I rarely had the opportunity to go to concerts due to personal circumstances. But when PROJECT PITCHFORK was on tour, at least one show was always a must. I’ve had the pleasure to joining them five times this year. And I have to say, unfortunately today is my last show for now with wonderful CHEMICAL SWEET KID and my beloved PROJECT PITCHFORK. But I’m sure, there is new music to come from the both of them and more shows to be, maybe next year. But first things first... In addition to a large parking lot right in front of the door, the Stadthalle Gotha offers a very chic ambience inside. Shortly after six, the first small group of fans is already in front of the door. They singing themself warm while the sound check goes on inside and are dancing to PROJECT PITCHFORK from their mobile. And why not, after all, it’s cold here out.

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When the door opens shortly after seven, the little group has grown into a good bunch. At the entrance everything goes quickly and the hall is gradually filling up. I spot a few familiar faces in the audience. You always meet twice in life and at PROJECT PITCHFORK usually more often. It’s supposed to start at 20:30. Shortly after eight, the first are getting impatient. Whistles, clapping and then the first chants are intoned. The mood promises to be extraordinarily good tonight. But at the beginning, I have to break a lance for the security team today too. The staff on this evening is friendly but determined and very attentive. The crew has an overview throughout the show and is always ready to make a move. I have seldom seen anything like this before. Respect for doing such a great job.

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Chemical Sweet Kid

The French Electro Industrial Metal band CHEMICAL SWEET KID debuted in 2011 with their album ‘Tears of Pain’. They made themselves known to a wider public especially in 2019 while touring with AESTHETIC PERFECTION. In 2019 they also released their 5th and recent album ‘Fear never dies’ and afterwards a line of singles including the collaborations ‘Lockdown’ (with AESTETIC PERFECTION) and ‘I Hate Myself The Most’ feat. Chris Harms (LORD OF THE LOST). During the tour with PROJECT PITCHFORK the three very sympathetic musicians were able to significantly expand their fan base and played their way into the hearts and minds of many PROJECT PITCHFORK fans. Master mind Julien Kidam is working on new material for the next album, what is planned to be released sometime next year. On their Face Book page, the band announced a surprise for the last three shows of the tour. And so, tonight, we get a little preview, that makes me definitely curious about what comes next. But to that later. www.chemicalsweetkid.com / www.facebook.com/chemicalsweetkid

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Music & Performance
At 20:30 Gautier enters the stage and starts the intro. Elia follows shortly after and off we go with full throttle and ‘Lost Paradise’. Singer Julien heats us up right away. At least in the first rows, the audience goes along well from the start and also sings quite loudly to ‘Pass auf’. With ‘A New Day’, CHEMICAL SWEET KID also manages to convince those who are further back and not only Julien jumps up and down. The floor of the hall vibrates and the request „show me your hands” is happily answered also further back. With ‘Under The Spell’ it gets darker and at the beginning of the song a CO2 gun is used. There were occasional problems with this during the tour. Not today. But in the middle of ‘Never Again’ the sound suddenly turns off. For a few seconds there is dead silence but some in the audience directly starting to sing ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’.

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While the crew is looking for the error, Elia smiling encourages us to continue singing. Then Julien’s request „can we have the sound back” is heard and we have noise from the speakers. Elia briefly tests the guitar and then „we do it again”. The party can go on. When Julien demands our hands for one more time, the hall claps loudly in time until the last „never again” fades away. ‘Dance with the shadows’ brings Gautier’s laser gloves into play, which already fascinated me at my first show in April. Julien spreads his arms and a slight hand movement is enough. Everyone jumps up and down to the beat. With ‘Forgiven’ it gets a little quieter and darker again. This buys us time to catch our breath for ‘Lights out’. Now it’s back to business in front of the stage until the last roaring „Lights oooooooout” fades and the stage is darkened. Now it’s time to change clothes for the last song. But wait, there was promised a surprise. But again, first things first.

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Gautier changes into the pink flamingo vest, Julien bares the upper part of the body and puts on the sunglasses for ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’. Gotha celebrates and Gautier produces transparent beach balls from behind the stage, which fly back and forth across the room and are catapulted back onto the stage by the audience. What a party. But today this is not enough. With ‘A Beautiful Madness’ the band presents a brand-new song. The answer to Julien’s question „You wanna hear it?” should be obvious. Of course, we do. As Gautier told me after the show, the musicians were quite nervous about how the new track would be taken by the audience. I think, the concern was completely unfounded. The new title is well received and makes you anxious of the new album. A release date has not yet been set, but the album is expected to be released in the course of next year.

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Maybe there will be a reunion in Germany with the three extremely likeable musicians. I would be glad about some more shows with them. After a last photo together, Gotha is now ready for PROJECT PITCHFORK.

Setlist
01. Intro / Lost Paradise
02. Pass Auf
03. A New Day
04. Under The Spell
05. Never Again
06. Dance With The Shadows
07. Forgiven
08. Lights Out
09. We’re Not Gonna Take It (TWISTED SISTER cover)
10. A Beautiful Madness

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

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Project Pitchfork

Founded in Hamburg back in 1990, PROJECT PITCHFORK are legends in the Dark Electro genres for more than 30 years. They are one of the most important Electro / EBM / Industrial formations and have gained a huge fan community all over the world. Peter Spilles, who is responsible for vocals as well as for all lyrics and compositions, is joined nowadays by Jürgen Jansen at the synthesizer and Christian Leonhard (Lèo) and Achim Färber on drums. Over all those years and almost countless releases and live shows, the band managed to develop persistently, always remaining true to themselves and never become disappointing, trivial or even boring. And even tonight they surprised me more than once. www.project-pitchfork.eu / www.facebook.com/ProjectPitchfork

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Music & Performance
The changeover is quickly done. A last short sound check before we continue at 21:31. It has become “cuddlier” in front of the stage. To the intro Jürgen is the first to enter, followed by Achim and Léo. Peter follows them with ‘Pitch Black’ and the pressure on the front rows increases a bit. No wonder, mosh pit right from the start and the first one already has his shirt off. You’re used to mosh pits from previous PROJECT PITCHFORK shows, but it surprises me that it’s happening right from the start. Chapeau... Nonetheless, there is still room to dance, which is also used extensively. ‘Alpha Omega’ is then sung along loudly. Peter uses the fantastic drum part of the long version to introduce the two live drummers. Both have been “part of the inventory” for years and are perfectly adjusted to each other. PROJECT PITCHFORK come up with a true firework of hits and with ‘Titans’ they just top it off, which is rewarded with loud cheers.

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A fan prefers to give his glasses to the security staff so that they don’t fall victim to the mosh pit. As I mentioned before the security team is extremely attentive and watches the hustle and bustle in front of the stage very closely. With ‘Conjure’ we are served another classic that puts the fans in ecstasy. In the mosh pit, a fan appears to have injured the back of his head and is bleeding slightly. One security takes a look at it. The guy apparently didn’t notice anything and it’s not that bad. All right, the party goes on. “Nice to be here again, it’s been a long time,” remarks Peter. “17 years and it’s not up to us,” is responded from the audience. That explains why the fans are psyched so over the top. They’re famished and just really happy to have the band here again after such a long time. As I look around, I notice that more guys have now got rid of their shirts. I haven’t seen that for a long time, most recently before the pandemic. I get a bit of hope that things might return to normal, even if I could have done without naked upper bodies in the crowd in former times too.

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With ‘An End’ we are finally given a little breather and the crowd gently swings with ‘And The Sun Was Blue’ on a wave of contentment. But Achim seems to have a technical problem. A crew member rushes across the stage and fumbles on the drums while Achim continues to play. It takes a while, but then the problem seems to be dealt with. ‘Rain’ elicits a collective cheer and the audience intones the chorus so loudly that Peter can barely be heard. Simply amazing. I’ve almost lost my voice already. Next is ‘Volcano’ and Su comes on stage for the final chorus. Peter’s partner greets us with a little curtsy and a friendly wink. Always a pleasure to see the respect for each other and the harmony the couple sends out. Just a beautiful thing to see.

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For the L’ÂME IMORTELLE cover ‘Hinter dem Horizont’, Peter leaves the field to his partner until the two finish the song “Hand in Hand”. Peter says goodbye to his Su with a little kiss and we cheer her goodbye. The following ‘Dividing Line’ takes us into rapture. Peter’s pun “Thank you GOTHa” and the great and fantastic ‘IO’ puts a satisfied smile to Peter’s face and send us into ecstasy again. ‘The Queen Of Time In Space’ lets us sing along loudly in front of the stage and Peter dances in a good mood. With ‘Timekiller’ and ‘Carnival’, two more classics follow, in which the audience jumps up and down in front of the stage and makes the hall vibrate. In the mosh pit, two fans briefly fall to the ground, putting the security staff on alert. However, the two are immediately helped up again so that we can continue celebrating together.

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‘KNKA’ brings us another drum duo. Also today, the playing of the two drummers inspires me enormously, who act synchronously not only musically, but also in their movements. Just great. With the last song of the main set, PROJECT PITCHFORK gives me the first big surprise in the set tonight: ‘What have you done’ was probably the last time I heard it live in 2016. While the musicians are leaving, I have time for drinking a bit, before the next round starts with ‘Beholder’. Peter jumps around the stage full of energy, same here. Then ‘Acid Ocean’ gives a lot of happy faces we’re singing along again as loud as we can. With ‘Existence’ the band is stepping on the gas again before they leave the stage for another short breather.

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The first sounds of the second encore trigger cheering, especially among the older fans. With ‘Sin’, PROJECT PITCHFORK manages the second big surprise of the evening. And when Léo and Achim start playing the drums, GOTHa is upside down. In the meantime, Su is back. This time not on but in front of the stage, celebrating with us in the audience. Before it goes on with ‘Onyx’, Achim is given a beer and he lifts it on the “waiter”. When ‘Souls’ is started, the music can hardly be heard from the cheers and screeches and GOTHa sings and dances in ecstasy again. Then Peter announces the last song of the evening. The idea came from a fan’s music request after the concert in Hamburg. ‘The Island’ from 1994 provides the third big surprise of the evening. After almost 30 years, the song still develops an enormous energy and is still up to date as ever.

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After two-hour fireworks display of hits, happy-looking artists wave to us again, Peter lifts his tumbler to goodbye and Léo hands out his sticks to the audience. What a terrific evening that leaves us satisfied, exhausted and blissfully into the night.

Setlist
01. Intro / Pitch Black
02. Alpha Omega (lang)
03. Titanes
04. Conjure
05. An End
06. And The Sun Was Blue
07. Rain
08. Volcano
09. Hinter dem Horizont
10. Dividing Line
11. IO
12. The Queen Of Time And Space
13. Timekiller
14. Carnival
15. KNKA (long)
16. What Have We Done (RMX)
---
17. Beholder
18. Acid Ocean (RMX)
19. Existence (long)
---
20. Sin
21. Onyx
22. Souls
23. Island

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

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All Pictures by Aileen Ritter

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