Thursday, March 27, 2014

Kraftwerk: The Man-Machine at the Walt Disney Concert Hall

Los Angeles City Hall from the lobby at the Walt Disney Concert Hall
Lumia 925- View of LA City Hall from the lobby at the Walt Disney Concert Hall

It's been so long since my last concert, I forgot to take any pictures.  There was a rule not to take pictures anyway, so there's not much I can post.

Nokia 808 -Kraftwerk goodies

So anyway, my first concert of the year was seeing the German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk. Late last year, they announced they would be playing each of their albums in their entirety.  I signed up for a mailing list in order to get tickets.  On a whim, I picked The Man-Machine.  I had forgotten to check my calendar and got lucky as a friend got me tickets for The Book of Mormon the next night.

This was my first visit to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.  It is conveniently located off the Hollywood Freeway.  If the show hadn't run so late, I would have taken the subway.  I bought a shirt and received my 3D glasses as I found my way to my seat.  Kraftwerk started at roughly 10:35.  I was surprised by all the late comers.  I think too many people in LA were used to bands starting late. 

The show was amazing.  Kraftwerk were stationed behind 4 platforms.  They were wearing black unitards and helmets with white grids like something out of Tron.  They stood there playing music on their knobs and keyboards without much motion.  The real show was up on the screen.  Kraftwerk's simplistic beats were often matched with simplistic video.  Some songs looked like animation from the early 80s, others from the early 90s.  What made the videos awesome was the 3D.  A few songs had lyrics on screen that looked great in 3D.  The second song, Spacelab, featured flybys of a space station before a UFO descended on Los Angeles and onto the Walt Disney Concert Hall itself. At the end of the show, each member did a solo, took a bow and left the stage. 

Normally, I would shoot video or take pictures, but I followed the rules since I didn't want to be disturbed by an usher.  Turns out I would be distracted anyway.  A girl in front of me recorded a lot of the show on her iPhone.  I kept wondering why.  The show was in 3D and it the video only filled up half the screen.  So futile.