Atlanta, GA, Variety Playhouse, 03/17/2013
St. Patrick’s Day: a holiday typically associated with drunken debauchery. This Paddy’s Day in Atlanta would be no different, except the debauchery would be at the hands of Germans instead of Irish as KMFDM brought the party to the Variety Playhouse, supported by Seattle darkwave act Legion Within and Austin tribal/industrial drum project CHANT. Fans filled the Little Five Points area of Atlanta, decked out in leather, patches, spikes, and a Soviet military helmet to see the show.
As the sun began to set and the venue began to slowly fill, CHANT emerged to a stage lined with drums and pulsing with lights, laying into the crowd immediately with a barrage of bangs, slams, and heavy hits in the band’s newest song “Universal,” taking the audience by force. From “Revolt” to “Point and Click,” “Need” to “Crash Me,” moving and jumping around the stage to hit every kick drum, snare, cymbal, tom, and garbage can in his path, Bradley Bills’ performance in CHANT was positively show-stopping, bringing the crowd to cheers throughout the hour. The band closed out with “Blood+Peace” to the approving roar of the crowd, making for an intense opening to the night.
A quick setup change and the darkwave five-piece Legion Within strutted to the front. With a stage presence that would make even the most formidable of ’80s and ’90s goth rock stars jealous, Legion Within serenaded the crowd with sweet melodies and a wistful nature. The tempo was a definite step slower than the previous performance, and Legion Within seemed a bit out of place sandwiched between two heavy industrial acts, but the band held its own and kept the energy up through sheer charisma and force of character, with songs like “Fascisti” to “Rise” to “Try to See Me” garnering the most positive responses from the audience.
With the venue now full and the crowd being lulled by waltzing classical music, KMFDM stormed the stage to break up the tranquility, launching into the tried, trued, and beloved “D.I.Y.” The Ultra-Heavy Beat roused the crowd with classics like “Hau Ruck,” “Free Your Hate,” “Son of a Gun,” and “Tohuvabohu,” though the show tended more toward current music with songs like “KUNST” and “Animal Out” from the latest KUNST
album, and “Lynchmob,” “Amnesia,” “Rebels in Kontrol,” and “Krank” from WTF?!
. Sascha Konietzko riled the audience up and Lucia – hair flared in a mane – roared hard into the microphone as Jules, Steve, and Andy drove the night forward. To the chants of “KMFDM SUCKS,” KMFDM returned and obliged, starting of the encore with a rendition of “Sucks” and moving into “Anarchy” (performed by William Wilson) and “WWIII.” The crowd begged for more, so Sascha and company returned with a second encore of the classic “Megalomaniac” and “A Drug Against War” before finally calling it a night, rounding out an incredible evening and a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day for the Atlanta audience.
Zak Vaudo (Chaostar)