Tag: Combichrist

Combichrist at Club Red Mesa, 4/9/2019

Celebrating the upcoming launch of their ninth full-length album One Fire, aggrotech EBM magnates Combichrist brought the body beats to Club Red Mesa on Tuesday, April 9. Playing a full set to a packed house, veteran members Andy LaPlegua and guitar icon Eric13 not only debuted several tracks from the up-and-coming album, but also introduced fans to their new meat behind the beat Will Spodnick (@willspod for your Twitter & IG) from New York and Dane White from the House of Mouse…Orlando, FL (@dane_white).

The April 9 show was the first time Arizona fans would experience the band without the iconic dragged ‘n’ dentured appearance and stage tricks of long-time drummer Joe Letz. Letz is known throughout the music world for his outlandish appearances dressed as a skinny buxom school girl with a mouthful of apparatus and headgear, which contorted his face into a monstrosity that was only exacerbated by a messy wig, tattoos, and eyelashes on his cheeks. Joe will not only be missed for his neander-Thelma presence and behavior but also his skills in showmanship and his precision talent. But regardless of all the artistic accolades one can bestow, what I’m going to miss about him the most is standing around in the crowd and leaning up on the barricades eavesdropping on the newer male fans whispering, “Man, that chick is so hot,” to each other while they sip their beers and hope for eye contact.

Perhaps a little apprehensive about what was waiting after Letz’s departure, the Tuesday show line-up featured Will Spod and Dane White in the driver seats. Letz may be a tough act to follow, but Spod and White are new blood, and new blood always brings a sense of rejuvenation when a band has been around as long as Andy’s has. Having a flair for the dramatic must be a requirement on a resume to be a Cc member as both men rose to and met the precedent set by their predecessor. The amount of flash and flair that these gentlemen bring to the stage in their own rites carries on the Combichrist multi-sensational excitement. Between White and Spod there was certainly no lack of talent or entertainment from them, nor was there any love lost from the fans, who packed the club the same as they always do when Combichrist comes to town. Fans were so energized by the band’s performance that an encore was demanded (and they were not disappointed!)

While LaPlegua’s policy is to engage the audience with songs they know and love, there were several debut performances from their up-and-coming album, One Fire. In the past, Combichrist music has been made up of mostly motivational beat metal. However, this latest album showcases the evolution and progress of the band ironically by going back in time and revisiting the sounds of early Cc, yet with a more deft and debonair application. On this album, LaPlegua is like a mad chef (Norwegian, not Swedish) who goes back to his early cooking days and revisits the early recipes of his career, only this time with all the refinery and finesse that only experience can provide; it’s still the same dish, but there is more elegance, style, and substance to it. You hear him perform one of these new songs on stage for the first time, a song like “Hate Like Me”, and it sounds hauntingly familiar. Do I know this one? It sounds like I should know it, but at the same time it sounds new and fresh. It’s reflective and more flavorful, and while it’s a bit bolder than the band’s previous offerings, it fits in perfectly with the evolution of their identity and their progress as musicians. It’s grittier. It’s a bit more personal, but with more wisdom. And there’s more guitar. Sometimes to go forward, you have to go back, and when you hear these new songs that sound like old school, that is the quintessential Combichrist.

One Fire will be available in stores  June 7, 2019.  Album releases “Hate Like Me” and “Guns At Last Dawn” are available on Spotify. The One Fire tour is supported by California aggro guests Silver Snakes. The US tour continues until June 2, 2019 after which the band will begin the European leg of the tour.

**Note:  Nick Rossi, who continues to be part of the Combichrist experience, was not present at the April 9 show in Mesa.

All Photos Copyright ©2019 JAM Vaughan (LivingDedGrrl™). Do not use without permission. Do not remove watermark.

Blood, Lust, Death Tour 2017 feat. Dope, Combichrist, Davey Suicide, and September Mourning 4/8/2017

 

 

 

As if the desert couldn’t get any hotter, Saturday night in Mesa proved everyone wrong when the Blood, Lust, Death Tour 2017 came to town at Club Red Mesa. While it may seem that the venue is small, the walls are only there to protect music lovers from all ages from the soaring temps and searing sun of the Valley of the Sun. There is no shortage of butts in the seats when a tour like this comes to town. For this tour, Club Red opens up the BIG room, and they have to because a line-up like this brings industrial metal fans of all ages who line up outside and down the block even before the doors open. They’re here to rock, and they’ll go home tired…Dope, Combichrist, Davey Suicide, and September Mourning will see to that.

First up for the night was nu metal underground artist Davey Suicide. If there was ever a hero story, this would be it. The music industry has its problems, but it does our hearts (and our ears) good to hear that when bad things happen to good music, that doesn’t have to be the end. Music has always been a vehicle for transforming thought into action, and recent events in the Davey Suicide timeline have added their story to the “Never Give Up, Never Surrender” chapter of Music History. It was heartbreaking to hear him talk about the struggles he’s had to bring the music that people want to hear. You want so badly to be able to help somehow, but then you realize that you’re there. At his show. You ARE helping. The performance he delivered to a full house gave the finger to every suit and tie that ever did him dirty. The setlist for the evening revolved around his latest album Made From Fire, which was his “going to war” album, with a sound like Marilyn Manson meets Motley Crue, inspired by his struggle to survive in the face of adversity, and his performance of the album’s single Resurrection let everyone know that Davey Suicide can take all comers.  He’s been quoted as saying that he’ll never get the last five years of his life back after a long, arduous battle with his record company, but the intensity of his voice and the fire in his eyes says he’s going to at least make up for it…and it kinda felt like he was going to make up for all five years in just 45 minutes.

Next, on a dimly lit stage, the story of unfinished destiny unfolded as Mesa, Arizona became part of one woman’s war between worlds. For the unsuspecting soul, September Mourning is a transmedia creative project that combines story into song of a journey into darkness and purgatory. Beginning as a dark fantasy comic and graphic novel, September Mourning uses song and print to advance concept and character. Portrayed by creator Emily Lazar, herself, September Mourning is a half-human, half-reaper hybrid with no past and a dark present full of voices. Her songs tell the story of a tormented being torn between two worlds, charged with reaping the souls of the broken and escorting them to meet Fate, who has turned against humanity and now secretly plans to gorge himself on the souls of the worthless and destroy the world. Struggling with the balance of dark and right, September is charged with bringing the souls to Mortem, the netherworld where Fate lies in wait in his tower of shadow and stone. Learning of his twist, September tarries the souls in her Hotel Sanctuary, helping them to complete the last unfinished deed from their life which releases them from their impending destruction. This infuriates Fate who sends The Dark Man and his minions to find her. Aided by the voice of her Skullfly tattoo, September stands against Fate to give the world a second chance. On the stage, Emily Lazar appears as the half-reaper September come to life straight from the illustrated page. Flanked by a band of Fate’s reaper minions — Riven, Wraith, Shadou, and Stitch — September Mourning sings through her own struggle between worlds with the songs Skin and Bones and Before the Fall. As she absorbs the energy of the audience, September becomes the embodiment of the stories of her souls in such songs as 20 Below and Eye of the Storm, which are about finding release from cycles of abuse and violence through encouragement and inner strength.

I’m not sure what’s in the water over there in Scandanavia, but whatever it is, those Norwegians can crank out some fantastic metal that rival much of what the 90’s left behind. Combichrist is no exception.  Combichrist is the nominal incarnation of a 90’s punk rock messiah fanzine character created by Andy LaPlegua, and the music very much lives up to the character’s name and attitude. The band is a punk/industrial crossover, blending the heavy industrial techno beat with aggro punk-style guitars and lyrics, fueled by the corrosive beats of not one but TWO drummers on stage. Drummer Joe Letz never disappoints, donning hot pink pigtails complete with bikini top and tutu while tossing sticks back and forth and with co-drummer Nick Rossi. While the two bang away at your heartbeat, frontman LaPlegua raises the room to mosh pit riot status with his searing vocals and menacing stares. “Can’t wait to get back on the road in the US and actually play a full show for all of you again. Hope you’re all ready to party, because shit’s getting serious. We are packing the set full of old classics as well as our new favorite tracks”, said Andy LaPlegua, prior to the tour’s start. This is definitely not a show to bring your breakables to, and maybe not your best leather, either. Even if you don’t participate in any of the rougher expressions, Combichirst will still turn the air into cottage cheese and raise the temperature with their smiles and energy by about 15 degrees. You will sing. You will sweat. You will go home happy. On the Blood, Lust, Death 2017 tour, Combichrist is co-headlining with Dope and will play a full set.

Wrapping up the evening was long running nu metal band, Dope. Edsel & co never fail to bring a certain realness to the stage. He likes to talk between songs, and when he talks, you hear how much he genuinely loves his fans. Fans are family. The more times you see Dope, the more you feel like you know them even if you’ve never met them. Dope is a balanced blend of hip hop and old skool metal that you can listen to even if you don’t particularly like or the other. On the set list was Debonaire, which was featured in first The Fast And the Furious movie along with selections from their latest album Blood Money. Going to a Dope show is like being inside a music video. When the music starts, there’s a lot of supporting imagery playing out behind the band on large LED screen. So, you see the graphics and hear the music just like you would if you were sitting on your couch at home, and then he talks to you like you’re old friends. And then you all sing a rousing chorus of long-time fan favorite Die Motherf*r Die.

The Blood, Lust, Death 2017 tour wrapped up its public performances for the season at Club Red in Mesa, AZ and completed the tour with a private viewing at the Regent Theater in West Hollywood, CA.

 

All photos Copyright ©2017 LivingDedGrrl™. Do not use without written permission. Do not remove watermark.

 

Davey Suicide

 

 

September Mourning

 

 

Combichrist

 

 

Dope

 

Rammstein 5/4/12 Allstate Arena, Rosemont IL

Rammstein 05/04/12

Allstate Arena -Rosemont, IL

Words/Photos by concertchk

Seeing Rammstein for the first time literally made me feel like a giddy school girl going to her very first prom, and I never went to prom. I would like to give a huge thanks to my friend Cortney Meyer who by one single retweet on Twitter, won via Live Nation and could have picked any show she wanted. She ended up picking the Rammstein show, which produced a meet and greet and free tickets. I will mention that I begged and cried until her boyfriend asked me to go in his place.. I would have gladly dealt with the defeat and not went if he wanted to go, but bless his heart.. he asked, I accepted.

Going into this I knew what Rammstein shows consisted of, lots of fire, props, theatrical moments and crude lyrics sung in German of course. As nervous as I was by the time we had figured out where we were suppose to be a rep escorted us down to the groups dressing room and the nerves began to go away. A lady came out and said we are doing the meet and greet in their dressing room feel free to take pictures, meet the ones you want to meet and mingle for a bit. If you don’t know what to expect, you do get a little flustered. Till Lindemann, the lead singer was decked out in his stage gear ready to go, hair slicked back with fire retardant and very intimidating, he didn’t speak at all, I don’t think I was to overwhelmed to realize it if he did, he didn’t say much just nodded after meeting you.

There was roughly twelve people doing this meet and greet within a small dressing room, so the band was just standing there waiting for us to come up to them, after meeting Till, I moved over to Christian “Flake” Lorenz, the keyboardist he was really nice, didn’t speak English, but was also in his concert gear of a gold sparkle jumpsuit and white face paint, he actually glows in the photo, and I did manage to get a glimpse of him before the show, as he was escorted into the building wearing jeans, jacket and a shirt, along with his glasses.

I came to realize all these guys are extremely tall, they towered well over me. Christoph “Doom” Schneider the drummer was the most inviting, he was going from person to person at least a couple of times, telling them thank you, and talking, he even smiled in the photo. He was one of the more personable band members, they did have several meet and greets that night. Even though the photo with Doom is blurry, he was the one the member that stood out, very friendly and just overall happy to meet fans.

Last on the meet and greet line was Oliver “Ollie” Riedel the bassists, he was probably 6’9 seriously he had to squat to get into the photo he was extremely tall and skinny and was very nice as well, he was standing toward the back of the dressing room.

Paul Landers and Richard Kruspe weren’t taking photos that evening, I did however get one of their autographs, just not exactly sure which one, but one of them was in the room as we entered, and then when we got around for photos, he wasn’t there.. which is fine.. no worries, they were ready to go on stage after we finished. It was a bit unorganized as we all walked in there, no line was formed, but overall an amazing experience in the Rammstein’s dressing room at the All State Arena in Chicago, Illinois.

As we left, Combichrist drummer Joe Letz was gearing up the crowd with a brief DJ set. No soomer did we find out seats and the lights went down and the over the pit a walk way started lowering. Rammstein has a huge stage set up, they have a center stage, the main stage, and a walk way that goes over the PIT to each stage, it’s a massive site to behold. They appeared two entrances over from our section, marching with flags, a torch, and headed to the center stage.

After making there way to the stage, and lighting fire pots at the end of the stage, they started out by powering through “Sonne” with pounding bass and guitar riffs the crowd instantly started the head banging process, I was amazed to see so many different cultures, Spanish speaking folks that didn’t speak any English, but were belting out German lyrics to every song.  The display of fire, and stage presence Rammstein commands, they literally make you not take your eyes off of anything they do, you are awe struck as the performance before you.

I will admit I haven’t heard many Rammstein songs, I’ve heard about them, and the one song that got played over in the US years ago, “Du Hast” so immediately I knew what that one was, but found myself liking the music to some of the other songs, regardless of what the lyrics say Rammstein can play some wicked tunes. There was theatrics during there performance, Till setting Flake on fire in a pot, Doom walking four members across the walk way as dogs, Flake constantly walking on a treadmill during the majority of the show, and lots of fire props.

They had two encores, one that consisted of Till coming out in the metal wings, and lighting them on fire at the end, and closing the show with Pussy all while riding around on a penis canon shooting foam into the first five rows of the PIT. I’m glad I wasn’t in the pit as I would have been dripping wet from sweating so much, and then I would have been foamed as well.

Overall Rammstein did not disappoint, the All State Arena in Rosemont Illinois proved to be the perfect backdrop for them, the crowd was standing through the entire time, singing every word in German, my friend wondered if some of them actually knew what they were singing, did they, or did it matter, it was an epic night to behold.

The set list consisted of:

Sonne
Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen
Keine Lust
Sehnsucht
Asche zu Asche
Feuer Frei!
Mutter
Mein Teil
Du Riechst So Gut
Links 2-3-4
Du Hast
Haifisch
————–
Buck Dich
Mann Gegen Mann
Ohne Dich
————–
Mein Herz Brennt
Amerika
Ich Will
Engel
Pussy

Gallery of photos below:

 

 

Rammstein 05/20/11: The Forum – Inglewood, CA

Rammstein 05/20/11

The Forum – Inglewood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

I suppose you could say I am one of the lucky ones. I managed to experience Rammstein live three times in the late 90’s/early 00’s. A teenager at the time, Rammstein was my KISS;  the ones who blew shit up in arenas much to my delight. If Rammstein was playing anywhere near my home, no doubt I would be there. Sadly about a decade ago Rammstein stopped playing near my home. Hell, Rammstein stopped playing my continent. It broke my heart to miss the bands one-off show at Madison Square Garden late last year, so when a brief North American arena tour was announced for May 2011 I made sure to get my ass into the show.

With traffic worse than usual on the 405 and multiple security check points to get into the once Great Western Forum, I found myself in line for an overpriced cocktail when Combichrist took the stage. To be honest, Combichrist was nothing to write home about, yet the perfect opener for Rammstein. I found their take on 90’s industrial rock to be rather generic and unoriginal, yet it worked considering who the headliners were. With the arena ½ full, I found myself sitting down in the middle of the mosh pit for a game of Patty Cake with a mid-sized Latino youth for entertainment during the set. While I doubt I will remember this band in six months, I can tell you that they closed their 30 minute set by welcoming Richard Z. Krupse and Paul Landers of Rammstein onto the stage for a song called “What The Fuck Is Wrong With You?”

With my only Rammstein headline show at the now defunct 1800 capacity Maritime Hall in San Francisco back in 1999, While I knew MSG sold well, I was shocked that the band booked arenas from coast to coast. Would that many folks pay that much in this economy to see the band? As it turns out they sure as hell would.

The band kicked the night off with “Rammlied.” It was hard to see what was going on with so many fans in front of me holding their cameras high eager to capture the moment they were first penetrated by the Rammstein experience. Then again it didn’t really matter what the band played for most in the crowd. They were excited to see fire shoot from every corner of the stage, a large gas pump go out of control setting someone on fire and of course lead singer Till Lindemann attempting to burn keyboardist Christian “Flake” Lorenz from high above the stage. The fact is most inside the Forum knew nothing more of Rammstein than “Du Hast” and that didn’t matter because when it comes down to it everyone loves to watch shit blow up. Hell I will admit that I was once hardcore enough to once ask and receive the Original Single Kollektion box set from Santa yet didn’t know most of the material the band performed.

Even if fire isn’t your thing Rammstein had you covered. Flake set sail into the mosh pit in a large inflatable rubber raft during “Haifisch” and bassist Oliver “Ollie” Riedel finger picked a Spanish guitar during “Frühling in París.”  While “Bück Dich” didn’t make it into the set, the band managed to bukkake the crowd as Lindemann shot his cock cannon off at the crowd during the set closing “Pussy.”

Much like current Forum resident Prince, Rammstein performed multiple encores. The first encore featured fired up versions of “Sonne,” “Haifisch” and “Ich Will.” The second encore consisted of “Engel” which featured Lindemann with a huge pair of wings that shot fire before burning to a crisp. As the band thanked California, the house lights came up and many struggled with the fact that the show was over. While many gushed over the fact that they finally were able to see Rammstein I struggled with the fact that I was a bit let down. Don’t get me wrong, it was an incredible experience that I would have not missed for the world. Perhaps it was the fact I didn’t fear for my life like I did at Maritime Hall? Perhaps it’s the fact that they performed for nearly two hours instead of packing all the action into 45 minutes? For me it felt as if the band has cut back a lot of the insane stunts that made me fall in love as a teenager.  Despite these feelings I am truly grateful I was able to experience these guys live one more time. Let’s hope it doesn’t take them another ten years to return to North America.

 

 

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