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 and Entertainment
Tate Modern chief Chris Dercon, who will be leaving to run a Berlin theatre company
arts
Arts and Entertainment
Tasos: 'I rarely refuse an offer to be photographed'
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Girls on the verge of a nervous breakdown: Florence Pugh and Maisie Williams star in 'The Falling'
Film
Arts and Entertainment
Legendary charm: Clive Owen and Keira Knightley in 2004’s ‘King Arthur’
FilmGuy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle the legend
Arts and Entertainment
Corporate affair: The sitcom has become a satire of corporate culture in general

TV review

Broadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: There are some impressive performances by Claire Skinner and Lorraine Ashbourne in Inside No. 9, Nana's Party spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Glastonbury's pyramid stage

Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair

Arts and Entertainment
Ewan McGregor looks set to play Lumiere in the Beauty and the Beast live action remake

Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere

Arts and Entertainment
Charlie feels the lack of food on The Island with Bear Grylls

TV

The Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Arts and Entertainment
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver and Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, in a scene from Avengers: Age Of Ultron
filmReview: A great cast with truly spectacular special effects - but is Ultron a worthy adversaries for our superheroes? spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Ince performing in 2006
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Beth (played by Jo Joyner) in BBC1's Ordinary Lies
tvReview: There’s bound to be a second series, but it needs to be braver spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, the presenters of The Great Comic Relief Bake Off 2015

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Harold Ramis' original Groundhog Day film, released in 1993

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Christopher Eccleston (centre) plays an ex-policeman in this cliché-riddled thriller

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey looks very serious as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

TV This TV review contains spoilers
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Wiz Khalifa performs on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park in Birmingham

music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury

music

Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars creator George Lucas

film

Arts and Entertainment

music

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence