Batschkapp, Frankfurt am Main, Germany22nd September 2009
VNV Nation, Rotersand
What a triumphal procession! Within the scope of the recent “Faith, Power and Glory Tour”, VNV NATION and the support acts FROZEN PLASMA and ROTERSAND are capturing the European clubs right now. Resulting in a totally sold out concert, the Frankfurt fans´ buying behaviour made the band announce an additional show taking place on 22nd September. A wonderful result for the live line-up consisting of Ronan Harris (vocals, lyrics), Mark Jackson (keyboards, e-drums), Vasi Vallis (keyboards) and Gabriel Shaw (keyboards) - and a further moment of success seamlessly continuing the storms of applause regarding the recent long-player `Of Faith, Power and Glory´.
When I arrived at the Batschkapp, I noticed a sheet of paper providing the information that FROZEN PLASMA singer Felix Marc was ill. Therefore, the gig of the first warm-up band had to be cancelled and the admission had to be postponed to 8 pm. Finally being inside the club, I experienced the other side of the coin labelled with “sold out”: The small hall was filled to capacity and it was extremely hot. Heat and thirst were soon forgotten when the lights went off at 9 pm and it was time for the performance of the Gelsenkirchen based trio ROTERSAND.
After the release of the EP `War on Error´ in this year’s August, Rasc, Gun and Krischan will present their upcoming long-player `Random is Resistance´ on 23rd October. Since they have been working together as ROTERSAND, the three-piece took a lot of credit for its rousing mixture of Electro, Pop, Industrial and Techno and gained an enthused following due to releases such as `Truth is fanatic´, `Welcome to Goodbye´ and `1023´. Moreover, ROTERSAND is known for outstanding live performances taking the listeners to their limits. http://rotersand.net/ / http://www.myspace.com/rotersand
Music & Performance
Gun’s cracking e-guitar riffs introduced the explosive appearance of ROTERSAND. Already warming up the audience with their first song `Almost Violent´, the guys made an excellent job right from the start. Moving his arms like the vanes of a windmill, the lively front man Rasc ran to his microphone and prepared the audience for a sweaty show. He soon jumped off the stage and appeared among the audience that euphorically welcomed him. After several attendees had been supplied with band stickers, Rasc climbed the stage again and offered the kick-ass performance, he and his band mates are famous for. The way too short setlist contained some anthems such as the classic `Merging Oceans´, the bombshell `Exterminate, Annihilate, Destroy´ and the recent `Bastard Screaming´ which is my favourite track from `War on Error´. The latter came incredibly catchy and made the folks jumping, shouting and clapping. The appearance was rounded off by the atmospheric `Undone´. Finally, the band members revealed that the crowd had been a great one making them looking forward to the upcoming show in Frankfurt the next day. The guys left the stage receiving thunderous applause from a exhausted and soaked with sweat audience thanking them for such a splendid opening.
01. Almost Violent
03. Dare to Live
04. Bastard Screaming
05. Merging Oceans
06. Electronic World Transmission
07. Exterminate, Annihilate, Destroy
Total: 8 / 10
For about nine years, the Irish-American project has been one of the Electro scene’s favourites. Due to a magnificent fusion of intelligent lyrics, catchy electronic beats and striking vocals, Ronan Harris and Mark Jackson simply hit their listeners´ nerves. Since the band’s founding in 1990, a lot of things have happened: By releasing the third long-player `Empire´, VNV NATION made its breakthrough and could be found on top of the German Alternative Charts for seven weeks. Furthermore, the guys won the German Alternative Music Award for `Standing´ which had been the most successful single release of that year. The commercially very successful album `Futureperfect´ led to divided opinions amongst the following. By releasing the recent long-player `Of Faith, Power and Glory´, the band proved its position as significant representative of Electro / Future Pop again. Besides the project’s supremacy in the European alternative music scene, VNV NATION is also well-established in the USA. http://www.vnvnation.com/ / http://myspace.com/vnvnation
Music & Performance
Hot, hotter, the hottest - that would be an appropriate description of the cosy club shortly before VNV NATION should enter the stage. While I was recollecting some strength after the exhausting gig of ROTERSAND, I took a look around the hall and noticed a lot of smiling faces obviously looking forward to what would follow. Finally, the lights went off and a LED screen displayed the glimmering words “faith”, “power”, “glory” and “VNV”; a nice effect that perfectly accompanied the impressive and pompous intro `Pro Victoria´ which marked the band members´ march-in. When front man Ronan Harris appeared on stage and moved from one side to the other one, the crowd was going wild and frenetically celebrated the second piece `Tomorrow never comes´. The fans sang along the powerful anthem which was followed up by a warm welcome to the audience.
Ronan asked whether there were some people who had bought tickets for both shows and he seemed to be overwhelmed because of a lot of listeners who raised their arms. When he noticed two guys dressed in “Oktoberfest 2009”-shirts, he told some little anecdotes about his experiences at this year’s Oktoberfest and raised some laughs. The setlist totally matched with my personal preferences: For example, they played the smooth ballad `Illusion´ as well as forceful up-tempo stuff such as `Sentinel´, `Testament´, `Nemesis´ and ` Perpetual ´. Each and every song was a mosaic piece resulting in a remarkable concert evening that climaxed when they played the eagerly awaited `Standing´. After all in all five additional songs, the absolutely delighted crowd offered a tumultuous applause that nearly raised the Batschkapp’s roof. Frankfurt loves VNV NATION, that’s for sure! I really enjoyed that concert and can’t wait to see them live on stage again. Finally, I would like to thank the friendly and helpful neuWerk-team for the terrific support.
01. Pro Victoria
02. Tomorrow never comes
08. The Great Divide (planned but not played)
11. The Farthest Star
Total: 8.9 / 10
All pictures by Katrin Renner (http://www.creavision-webdesign.de/)