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VNV01Kesselhaus, Munich, Germany
26th February 2016
VNV Nation

While the show they’ve played in Kleve the night before was an “Automatic Empires” show consisting of only songs taken from the records ‘Automatic’ and ‘Empires’, VNV NATION came to Munich to play a “Compendium” set with songs of every record they’ve done. When coming to the venue one already saw that there were a lot of people in Munich who wanted to see the band: The queue at the entrance was even longer than a hundred meters. Due to the fact that there was no support act people were wondering if they’ll get in on time to really see the full show of the band. Luckily singer Ronan Harris decided to start the show 15 minutes later to give everybody the chance to see the show from its beginning.

VNV NATION were founded in the early 1990ies by Ronan Harris and Mark Jackson. They are based in England and Ireland. Ronan Harris is now living in Hamburg, Germany. During the years, they became an important base in the electronic alternative music and what some magazine named of Future Pop. Until now they have released ten studio albums. The latest album ‘Transnational’ came out in October 2013 was then followed by their project ‘Resonance: Music For Orchestra Vol. 1’. Recently they are celebrating their 20th anniversary. http://www.anachronsounds.de / https://www.facebook.com/VNVNation 

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Music & Performance
While there was no support act this night also VNV NATION did not give the chance for something like a warm up – they already started their show at full power. The only chance to catch a little breath was to use the technical problems while ‘Space & Time’, already played as the second song. In ‘Space & Time’ Ronan had some sense of humour and noticed ironically that “this is a good start”. When technical problems appeared later he was a little angry but at the same time apologized that he was angry because he just wanted to offer the audience “the best VNV show they could get”. And yes: Besides the technical problems they really offered a good show. It was quite fascinating how many ‘hits’ the band could offer after their already pretty long career. It’s not just the number of “hits”, it is also their age sometimes. Already as the fourth song they’ve played ‘Darkangel’ and it was remarkable to think about the fact that it is more than 15 years old while you won’t notice it while listening. There was no problem with playing ‘Nemesis’ – released about 18 years later – after ‘Darkangel’. And also the following songs from ‘Futureperfect’ sounded very homogenous within the live set. Especially ‘Epicentre’ earned a lot of jubilance. And it was just the seventh song of the set that had a total of 31 songs this evening in Munich. VNV NATION really did a marathon through their whole career and the audience was excited.

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When artists release new records there are always mourns that the previous records were way better, but also the biggest amount of songs of this ‘Compendium’ show was taken from the records starting with ‘Judgement’ (released 2007) most of the people had a good time with old and new songs. For example when the band played ‘If I Was’ from ‘Transnational’ in 2013 followed by the classic ‘Standing’ (released 1999) there was no real break in-between that one could feel. So the band played their real comprehensive set until ‘Farthest Star’ before they left the stage for the first time. There were still a lot of songs missing, so it was no surprise that the band came back for an encore. More surprisingly was the way they did their two encores. With the first song of the first encore they went back to the first record ‘Advance and Follow’ and a lot of people were really excited about seeing the band playing ‘Frika’ live. Other songs for example were ‘Chrome‘ and ‘Solitary’ as well as ‘Beloved’ and ‘Perpetual’ in the second encore. The most surprising thing about the second encore was the fact that ‘Perpetual’ wasn’t the last song this time. A lot of people already left the Kesselhaus, but those who’ve stood inside had the chance to see ‘Radio’, ‘Resolution’ and ‘Electronaut’ live.

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At this moment the show lasted for about three and a half hours. One left the show a little tired after this long show, but most of all really satisfied with what one had seen!

Setlist
01. Firstlight
02. Space & Time
03. Tomorrow Never Comes
04. Darkangel
05. Nemesis
06. Carbon
07. Epicentre
08. Legion
09. The Great Divide
10. Control
11. Illusion
12. Sentinel
13. Carry You
14. Gratitude
15. Primary
16. Testament
17. If I Was
18. Standing
19. Homeward
20. Everything
21. Farthest Star
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22. Frika
23. Retaliate
24. Chrome
25. Solitary
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26. Nova
27. Beloved
28. Perpetual
29. Radio
30. Resolution
31. Electronaut

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 8 / 10

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All pictures by Erika Knepper (www.facebook.com/erikaknepper

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