I went to see Kraftwerk this week at A-land’s beautiful Town Hall. Not being a major fan of the group from Dusseldorf, known as the pioneers of electronic music – as in, I don’t recall anything specific that they ever released – my expectations were medium to low, but my mind and ears were open. (FYI – the ears bit is tres important when gig-going, thank me later.)
Like any right minded soul does these days, I asked Uncy Google for some pre-gig lovin’ – I wanted to make sure I could drop a few totally irrelevant, but completely correct facts about the funkmeisters to my musically-trendii companions, but instead, I came across this amusing clip.
British comedian Bill Bailey created a tribute band, Augenblick, who rather amusingly performs ‘Das Hokey Kokey’.
It’s always interesting to read the reviews from our mainstream news folk after attending the actual gig, especially when they are distinctly mixed. Who to believe? Stuff didn’t really care for it, considering the break to be the highlight. NZ Herald says it was “all killer, no filler”. Lucky I was there for myself, or it would all be so tricky.
Here is mostly what went through Lita’s head before, during and after the Kraftwerk gig on Wednesday:
- If My Ride mentions “German efficiency” or “timely precision” and checks his watch one more time, I’m gonna demand I be dropped off here.
- Jeez, Aotea Square looks weird without those dated sculptures and fountains. And what have they done with all the homeless?
- What a varied bunch of gig-goers; punks, geeks, goths, rockers, suits, grandpas, teenagers, robots, Germans, librarians, moustaches, nzlebs (some model from some reality show), bike riders, grandmas, strange-hat-lovers.
- Much debate amongst companions about the age of attendees and whether the gig was purposefully held during daylight hours (due to start promptly at 8pm – German precision failed on this occasion, and it kicked off nearly 30 minutes later) to allow us old folk an early night.
- How entirely quaint is the olde worlde bell hung and rung from the top level of the foyer by the enthusiastic events staffer? I correctly guessed she grew up on a farm. Outside Hamilton. High five Lita.
- Seriously cool and cheery crowd, with an average age of 43*.
- Ok, hang on a sec, give me a sheet, a few reading lamps and time to create a cool PowerPoint presentation, I’m almost there. I could play a Kraftwerk CD in the background, con 3 friends into standing equal distances apart from me, and I swear, you wouldn’t know the diff.
- Oh, they aren’t going to just show shadows behind a sheet for the whole night, phew. I may try and stop rolling eyes at My Ride over the $90 ticket charge. Nein.
- The crowd is lapping these guys up. Ja.
- Kraftwerk are obsessed with moving vehicles, computers and machinery. Totally obsessed. Like, should-see-a-psychiatrist obsessed. Ja.
- Oo, the one on the left just moved. I swear, I just saw him move, his leg kinda flicked out for 1/53258th of a second. High action, my neck is sore from trying to peer over tall old people to watch four men attempt to not move.
- Is that Michael Laws 2nd from the right? WTF is the Mayor of Wanganui doing moonlighting in a German electronica band? Not much. Emailing? Jeesh, now I can’t stop craning my poor neck to triple check that really is Laws. It’s blimmin Michael Laws, I kid you not.
- The fans with the robot heads made out of tin foil covered cardboard boxes look great, kapai effort – but man, how much would it suck to be stood right behind them?
- Wow. Somehow I have heard samples, if not the originals, of every tune Kraftwerk is playing. I keep expecting Madonna or Coldplay or Depeche Mode songs to kick in. They really are the pioneers of this shiz. Awes.
- Ok, this heat is ridiculous. Don’t let me ever attend a function at the Town Hall during Summer.
- Ok, now my feet are achy. What is this floor made of? How are the poor aging German gentlemen onstage handling standing in one spot for so long? Why are my feet so old and knackered?
- Big mirror in the ladies loo, but bad lighting.
- Ok, are they MSNing? Guy on right is totally giving it away. They are passing on viral joke emails, minimum.
- How embarrassing would it be if the technology packed up now, and Error 404 appeared on the big background screen? I think visual aids is guy on right’s role. Uhoh. Guy on right looks tres nervous.
- Oo, robots. Oo, movement. Robot on right has limp arm, turns out to be the only neg thing My Ride has to say about the gig.
- Guy on right is a lot younger than the rest, apparently he’s new, replacing one of the original members (Klaus Dinger) after his death earlier this year.
- Guy on right needs to work on the serious, static look – that was definitely a smiley smirk.
- The bar at the Town Hall has 35% less humidity than inside the great hall.
- Outside the Town Hall has 85% argy bargy factor, security is doing a strict ole job, although they are tremendously friendly to those of us who got there on time. However, why can’t a paid-up ticketholder, albeit late, enter 20 minutes before the end? Who gets hurt?
- Oo, finale. Crowd is rocking, literally swaying, even up in the stalls.
- One of them talked. Guy on left. Ralf Hutter. Crowd is ecstatic.
- Ok, crowd has gone back to being extremely Auckland and are stampeding at an alarming rate toward exits and the sparse and costly car parks.
- On our way to the sparse and costly car park, I share an on-the-spot song creatively composed by my fair self using all the lyrics sung at Kraftwerk’s gig: Driving on ze autobahn, le tour de france le tour de france, operator of ze pocket calculator, stop radioactivity, le tour de france le tour de france, operator of ze pocket calculator, computer love, ze bicycle is dancing, driving on ze autobahn. Musically-trendii companions did not appreciate, whatsoever.
- Waved at the four geeks congregated in the sparse and costly car park (it was $5 till 6am, so there was no rush) after the gig, they were blogging on their trendy wendy blueberries, and we overheard them gushing how great the gig was “even if they are German”.
- Debate in the car about the continued bagging of Germans, even though WWII was ages ago and all the Germans we know are laidback, funny, cool folk.
- My companions, staunch fans, concurred with the all killer, no filler review from the Herald. And without realising I even knew Kraftwerk’s werk (see what I did there?), I have to agree, ’twas a strange but enjoyable gig, the tunes were slammin’ and the crowd was totally up for it. And it was the bestest PowerPoint presentation I’ve ever witnessed at a gig.
* Yes. I held a survey, then did some clever formula stuff to get the average. I did so.