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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

film
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

film
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

film
Arts and Entertainment

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

books
Arts and Entertainment
Panic! In The Disco's Brendon Urie performs on stage

music
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

music
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

music
Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

art
Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Arts and Entertainment
Into the woods: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Petersfield
theatreOpen-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
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
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.

    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform