Atlanta, GA, The Shelter, 06/04/2013
Project Pitchfork has returned to the United States. The nearly 25-year-old project teamed up yet again with the 10-year-running synthpop project Ayria along for the ride, who – like Pitchfork – is also riding on a new album release this year. The dynamic duo last toured the U.S. in 2010 and sought to expand its reach in this year’s tour, and had been going nonstop since the tour’s inception, which came to Atlanta’s industrial music center: The Shelter.
The night opened with local act Die Sektor taking the stage in an electro/industrial storm. Front man Edwin Alter’s banshee-esque vocals tore through the venue backed by the hard-hitting dark electro of Denman, Smith, and Gant. Die Sektor assaulted the crowd with classics such as “Mother Hunger” and “Accelerant,” newer songs such as “The Final Electro Delusion,” and the as-of-yet unreleased track “Comatose” from the upcoming album (-)existence
After a brief interlude, Ayria stepped into the spotlight to the delight of the crowd, launching immediately into the hit song “Six Seconds.” Ayria creator Jennifer Parkin appears to have abandoned the typical pink bubblegum goth/pop look for a sleeker and more classic black dress; possibly a reflection of the maturity of the band and its sound. Ayria has definitely grown up. The band dominated the stage from start to finish, sending the audience into a dancing frenzy from “Horrible Dream” to “Hunger,” “Girl on the Floor” to “Plastic Makes Perfect” to “My Revenge on the World.” Even the sound guys were moving to the music. One can’t discount the supporting live band of Ayria, who performed excellently – most notably Eric Gottesman, who worked his keyboard so hard it nearly fell over. Undoubtedly, Ayria stole the show in Atlanta with a nonstop high energy performance. And a special thank you to Jennifer Parkin, who asked that the front lights be turned up for a few songs. This photographer thanks you from the bottom of his heart.
The stage filled with smoke and the headlining Project Pitchfork ascended the stage to the audible delight of the crowd. The band started a bit slow and staggering, with Peter Spilles and company hardly moving as they performed – probably exhausted from the continuous touring, and understandably so – but the crowd was excited regardless, cheering and dancing to “Lament,” “Conjure,” “Endless Infinity,” and “Timekiller,” which the band brought out early in the set rather than prolonging the wait. Project Pitchfork performed “Carnivale” in the middle of the set, and the song seemed to revitalize the band, with Spilles stomping and swishing about the stage in his classic showmanship. The band continued to perform a good sampling of newer works like “Darkness,” “Pitch Black,” and “Beholder,” while still producing slightly more classic works for the crowd such as “Steelrose,” “Requiem,” and a slightly modified version of “Existence.” After a brief reprieve, the quartet stepped to stage again for an encore of two songs: “Fire and Ice” and “Enchanted Dots of Light,” connecting the dots from one of the earliest Project Pitchfork albums to the most recent in one encore. 25 years and counting, even strung out on an extended tour, Project Pitchfork can still put on a crowd pleasing show.
Zak Vaudo (Chaostar)