Thursday, 30 August 2012

Live review: The Crüxshadows w/ AlterRed, Kommand+Kontrol @ O2 Academy Islington 28.07.12

 I missed the first support act ‘Global Citizen’ so the first support act I saw was second on the line-up ‘Kommand+Kontrol’, an electronic industrial band from England. The trio came out wearing smart white shirts and bowler hats; they proceeded to play songs from their latest EP ‘watched by machines’. Their music was aggressive and brutal, with enormous amounts of elan, however in places their music lacked tunefulness and in my mind relied too heavily on samples. A good performance though, the audience were enlivened and ready for the rest of the night by the end of their set.

‘AlterRed’ were next on the line-up a self-proclaimed electronic cabaret band whose sound resembled a darker, seedier ‘Depeche mode’ crossed with ‘Nine Inch Nails’. This was far more to my taste because the vocals were more prominent with the use of keyboards, guitars and synths to complete the mix. They put on a good show; the keyboardist and guitarist stood stock still Coppelia style while they weren’t playing giving front man Mikey centre stage, I felt this really emphasised his vocal talent. They also had the unusual addition of two static dolls, who accompanied them on stage. They were quite unsettling (which fitted in well with the bands style of music) I think I’d like to have seen them dance in between though.

The Florida based main act, 'The Crüxshadows’ gothic inspired electro music had an army of cyber-lock-flying - new-rock-stomping fans fired up by the end of their first song. Front man Rogue’s charisma and willingness to interact with the crowd coupled with the infectious synthetic hooks and driving energy from the band was great to see. They are a fairly large band featuring vocals, guitars, keyboards, two violinists, synths and not forgetting the two attractive female dancers/backing vocalists! This meant there was plenty happening on stage to grab the audience’s attention.

Two stand-out songs for me were ‘Valkyrie’ and ‘Deception’ because of the skill and production involved. One of the things I really like about this band is that they don’t conform to a stereotype; they’re doing things their way and encouraging their audience to do the same. This genre of music is not normally my first choice and I don’t really ‘look the part’ but I didn’t feel at all out of place and I really enjoyed the show. When they tour in England again I will definitely buy tickets.

Eleanor Knight