Kraftwerk, MOMA, New York

4.00

 

Day 7 of the Kraftwerk retrospective at MOMA in New York saw the band play The Mix, their greatest hits album of sorts. 

When it debuted in 1991 the album was oft criticised for rendering some of their classic catalogue less enjoyable by adding melodic components whilst forgoing some of the more harsh electronic sounds that made them the granddaddies of techno music.  Yet the flip side is that it’s the perfect Kraftwerk album to see live, gigabytes of hit tunes downloading one after the other. The sounds used to revamp the songs on The Mix made it the album that most sounded like hearing the band play life.

The unique retrospective series of concerts at MOMA positions the Dusseldorf band as a work of modern art. Each night a different one of eight albums has been played in chronological order.  An amazing feat for a foursome who spend concerts standing behind a desk that looks like it’s been liberated from a school classroom, while pre-recorded cinematic images and animation provide the visual stimulation on a screen behind them.  The new innovation is to conduct the whole show in 3D.

Tickets to the concert that took place in the museum’s Marron Atrium are like gold dust, a hilarious Downfall mash-up that has been doing the rounds on Youtube gave voice to the dissatisfaction felt by many at the difficulty of getting hands onto one of the 450 pairs of tickets available each night. A copycat concert ‘Krautwerk’ featuring a range of artists including Kim Gordon played an alternative tribute concert in Brooklyn and was just as hard to get tickets for. The buzz from the opening week about the 3D visuals has been almost entirely positive despite the flimsy branded cardboard 3D glasses that the audience is obliged to wear. With such a level of anticipation it’s surprising that the show just about lives up to the stratospheric expectation.  

The band entered the stage to the sound of the album’s opening song ‘Robots’. The wow factor comes fast when an animated robot literally seems to pop out of the screen and envelopes Ralf Hutter, the only original member of the band still in the band. Whilst the 3D is very now, the actual figures in the animation hark back to the birth of computer modelling and look like they were created in the 80s, especially the linear lines of the trains that serve to supplement Trans Europe Express.

The songs were mainly played in album order, with a few ‘best of’ tracks such as Tour de France sneaking in from time to time, mostly in the back stretch of the concert.

Yet the most impressive element of the concert may just be the framing of the band on stage. The musicians look like works of art standing together in jumpsuits on stage lost in a present where the previously imagined sounds and visions of the future already look like debris from the past.  Yet with a new album in the offing and an almost timeless sound, it’s still probably too early to put Kraftwerk in the museum, no matter how great the experience.

SETLIST

The Robots

Computer Love

Pocket Calculator

Dentaku

Autobahn

Radioactivity

Trans Europe Express

Man Machine

Antenna

Azbug

Metal on Metal?

Neon Lights

Computer World

Home Computer

Tour De France 1983

Tour De France

Encore

Boing boom Tschack

Techno Pop

Musique Non Stop

Arts & Entertainment
TV

Arts & Entertainment
Customers browse through Vinyl Junkies record shop in Berwick Street, Soho, London
music

Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
ComedyCollier was once told there were "too many women" on bill
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
music

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
Don (John Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) Draper are going their separate ways in the final series of ‘Mad Men’
tvReview: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Arts & Entertainment
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd in Of Mice and Men on Broadway
theatre

Review: Of Mice and Men

Arts & Entertainment
art

By opportunistic local hoping to exhibit the work

Arts & Entertainment
Leonardo DiCaprio will star in an adaptation of Michael Punke's thriller 'The Revenant'
film

Fans will be hoping the role finally wins him an Oscar

Arts & Entertainment
Cody and Paul Walker pictured in 2003.
film

Arts & Entertainment
Down to earth: Fern Britton presents 'The Big Allotment Challenge'
TV

Arts & Entertainment
The London Mozart Players is the longest-running chamber orchestra in the UK
musicThreatened orchestra plays on, managed by its own members
Arts & Entertainment
Seeing red: James Dean with Sal Mineo in 'Rebel without a Cause'
film

Arts & Entertainment
TV
Arts & Entertainment
Heads up: Andy Scott's The Kelpies in Falkirk
art

What do gigantic horse heads tell us about Falkirk?

Arts & Entertainment
artGraffiti legend posts picture of work – but no one knows where it is
Arts & Entertainment
A close-up of Tom of Finland's new Finnish stamp
art

Finnish Postal Service praises the 'self irony and humour' of the drawings

Arts & Entertainment
Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in 2002's Die Another Day
film

The actor has confessed to his own insecurities

Life & Style
Green fingers: a plot in East London
TV

Allotments are the focus of a new reality show

Arts & Entertainment
Myleene Klass attends the Olivier awards 2014

Oliviers 2014Theatre stars arrive at Britain's most prestigious theatre awards
Arts & Entertainment
Stars of The Book of Mormon by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park

Oliviers 2014Blockbuster picked up Best Musical and Best Actor in a Musical
Arts & Entertainment
Lesley Manville with her Olivier for Best Actress for her role in 'Ghosts'

Oliviers 2014Actress thanked director Richard Eyre for a stunning production
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

    Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
    Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

    British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

    The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
    Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

    Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

    Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

    A History of the First World War in 100 moments

    A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
    Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
    Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

    Cannes Film Festival

    Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
    The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

    The concept album makes surprise top ten return

    Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
    Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

    Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

    Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
    10 best baking books

    10 best baking books

    Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
    Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

    Jury still out on Pellegrini

    Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

    As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
    Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

    Mad Men returns for a final fling

    The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

    Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit