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Article Index

Effenaar, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
May 19, 2007
VNV Nation, Imperative Reaction, Modulate

Yesterday, VNV Nation has played their last show in Germany for the Judgement tour. Tonight the last show of second part of the tour was played in Eindhoven. We really were not the only ones knowing this. The Effenaar was packed with people by the time VNV nation started. The crowd was as varied as could be. Half of the Eindhoven metal scene was there, as well as Belgium dance freaks. Sometimes I would see some cyber Goth dolls pas by. Before this, there were a few support acts to get the audience warmed up. 

 
Modulate

Based in Manchester, DJ Echo (Geoff Lee), started Modulate in 2002. in only a few years the project has grown, from local plans to touring with bands like Suicide commando and XPQ 21. This time, the chance to tour with VNV nation was taken. Also Modulate are busy working on the new album. Skullfuck, the debut EP was released in March 2007.

Music
Modulate blends trance beats with industrial noise. The beats are very catchy and really make you want to move, whilst the vicious and aggressive melodies and samples used give the entire atmosphere a darker sense. Without to much extra stuff added to the tracks, they remain quite simple and easygoing. The first few tracks features a lot of German, and further on in this performance the title track ‘Skullfuck’ was played. Also the remix of the Prodigy’s ‘No good’ was bases in this 30 minutes on stage.

Performance
On Modulates website is stated that Martin Fay (Manikin/Monosect), was going to join DJ Echo on stage during the second leg of the VNV Nation tour. On stage I didn’t see anybody extra, only Echo himself. Behind the keyboard, the gig looked more like a DJ set of a really big stage then a performance. He remained there for the entire performance, only during ‘Skullfuck’ he dressed up a bit with a skull mask and a cowboy hat. Besides this it was really all about the music tonight. After 30 minutes the set was finished and I could see some people in the audience already a bit sweaty and happy. With only one or two colours of lights from the ceiling, the strobes on stage were the ones that were creating the atmosphere.

Setlist
01. Das Bunker
02. Kommune 1
03. Skullfuck
04. No Good (PRODIGY cover)
05. Electronic Battle Weapon
06. Revolution

Rating
Music: 7
Sound: 8
Performance: 6
Lights: 7
Total: 7 (7.3)




Imperative Reaction

Also Imperative reaction was here to support VNV nation during the judgement tour. In November 2006 they have released their 4th album ‘As we Fall’.  It took the band quite some time to finish this album. By having a lot of loyal fans the album was doing very well, and this led to yet another success of the band around Ted Phelps.

Music
After the raw beats of Modulate, IR has taken the interest of many people by using more melody in the music, because of the raw vocals it was clear they don’t get their inspiration only from electronic music. Using all their different influences combined into one set, the music varies a lot and the band was ready. With a drummer and a keyboard player on both sides of the stage, Ted could use the rest of the stage to his best.



Performance

This band really uses their experience with music to get the audience going. The Eindhoven crowd is usually a very difficult crowd, but because this was the only performance in Holland, people came from all over the country to celebrate tonight. Ted urges the audience to dance and cheer all along during his performance, and is singing from the top of his lungs. IR got its keyboard player to do some backing vocals, but I don’t think that will be necessary. His voice doesn’t match to the main vocals and this will not make the sounds any better. Because of the flickering lights halfway during the gig I walked to the back of the venue, they made me a bit dizzy.



Setlist
01. Arrogance
02. Something I Left Behind
03. Collapse
04. Severed
05. As we fall
06. Giving Into the Change

Rating
Music: 7
Sound: 8
Performance: 8
Lights: 7
Total: 8 (7.5)






VNV Nation

The Judgement tour, to celebrate the release of the 7th album of VNV Nation was coming to an end already. Tonight, the Effenaar was very crowded. They were waiting, talking, drinking something, and every now and again taking a peak at the stage, hoping that the band would start soon. Being known as one of the best bands live, and they variation in their music, it  really is not that weird VNV Nation has such a huge fan base. The new merchandise was out as well, there wasn’t much more then a t-shirt and a vest though. After taking about 30-45 mins to get ready, the DJ slowly turned down its volume. VNV Nation are Ronan Harris and Mark Jackson. On stage they were supported by André Winter (producer of several songs on ‘Matter+Form’) and Marco Visconti (XP8) on keyboards. The venue was totally dark when one by one the members walked on stage…

Music
The melodic sounds of VNV came across quite well during their first few tracks. With a mix off old and new the music varies a lot. From the happy and energetic tunes from ‘Darkangel’, and ‘Legion’ for example, to the darker and slower tunes of ‘Decent’ the band created a great atmosphere in the venue, the main ingredients being, the lovely sound. The sounds was very good I might add, very bright, and luckily the Effenaar is build in a way that you get a good view of the stage everywhere you stand. From my point off view the entire venue was dancing and cheering. The easy and danceable beats made this possible. The last main ingredient was the energy on stage, which was pouring out of every live member.



Performance

One of the most frequently asked questions is what the letters VNV stand for. They stand for "Victory not Vengeance". The meaning behind this stylised motto is that one should strive to achieve, not sit in bitter regret. Just for your information. This motto suited the band especially tonight, in a special way, as they had just heard that their former live keyboarder has passed away. Frank Miller fought his brain cancer for as long as he could. On stage it wasn’t noticeable this was going on in their heads, for this the band has my respect. As Queen said, ‘The show must go on’.  And it did! The crowd was incredibly happy and dancing and cheering for the band. Ronan was, as always very talkative and making jokes with people that were standing in the front. ‘You, have such nice goggles, they blink! Can they do anything else besides blinking? Ooohh you can also turn them off!’ which really broke the ice and got the audience laughing. Even though the band asked the audience what they wanted to hear, VNV still followed their own path.



The stage was filled with the keyboards and electronic drums in the back. The front was reserved for Ronan, who used as this space to run around and jump up and down the entire gig. In the back the huge screens were used to highlight some parts of tracks or to set an extra tone with an background show of nature, or smoke. The lights that are in Effenaar were used to fill up the rest of the stage. With different spots from the ceiling and also on the stage itself complete shows and fantasies were displayed in a way ‘Cirque de Soleil’ would be jealous at.
After the first part of the show VNV came back for some more encores. The breaks in between the different encores to me took a bit too long. The crowd demanded the band back on stage with loud cheers and yells, a lot of people probably had no voice left the next day. The end of the show was marked by ‘Beloved’ with only mark and Ronan on stage this moment kept the audience silent, listening to the beautiful track. Ronan was surrounded in yellow spots shining fro the back so only his silhouette was clear and with a few warm colours on the rest of the stage this evening ended in an bliss.



Setlist
01. The Farthest Star
02. Darkangel
03. Testament
04. Descent
05. Legion
06. Chrome
07. Nemesis
08. Illusion
09. Standing
10. Honour 2003
11. Perpetual
---
12. Further
13. Fearless (incl. cowgirl)
---
14. Arena
15. Solitary
---
16. Beloved

Rating
Music 10
Performance 9
Sound 9
Light 10
Total 9.5







More photos on page 2

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