"Refuse is our inspiration
terrorism our trade"
The day began. The bright 10 A.M. sunshine pouring in through the living room windows. My sister, running around, gibbering her 4-year-old bits of knowledge. The aura of anticipation hanging in the air like a dead fog.
"KMFDM," I said to myself.
It was kindof weird, really. I didn't realize what I was going to see. It had not settled into my mind that I was going to attend a concert with a band I was familiar with, with music I knew the words to, and people I recognized playing said music.
After a quick game of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War with my younger brother and a hot shower, I decided it was time for me to suit up. I reached into my closet and withdrew a pair of black jeans and a plain, black shirt. Slipping on my Doc Martens felt almost like a donning of armor. I knew where I was going, then. But that was the extent of it. "I am going to a concert."
Yes, Anthony, you are going to a concert. You just wait.
"Sabotage and piracy
chaos our mental state"
My dearest comrade and brother-at-arms Ryan, in his magnificent chariot, came driving up my gravel driveway at approximately six minutes after 3:00 P.M. I ran and obtained my camera from my room, and we set off to his house, to get directions and attend to a few last things before setting on our journey.
"I've never heard of these people, dude. KFDMF? MDKKF?"
Ryan, your grasp of acronyms makes me cringe.
"KMFDM" I said with a slow and maurading voice. "It's an acronym. Something in German."
Before we continue, I guess it should be known that my friend Ryan does not enjoy some of the music I listen to. And I was worried that KMFDM would be among that sort of music, to him. So it was with a stomach full of bumblebees, I tried to spell it out for him.
"It's called techno-industrial," I started. "It's like techno, but a bit... more abrasive."
"In the age of super boredom
hype and mediocrity"
Finally, we were on the road. Some gas station rations and some introspective talk kept us occupied on our journey through the ugliest two hours worth of landscape I've ever seen. Flat. Flat for miles. So amazingly flat and bland. It got better as he approached our destination, however. Lawrence is an aesthetically pleasing place. The Granada (the actual theatre where the concert was to take place) was not hard to find.
It was 6:40 P.M. when we arrived in Lawrence. Still a good hour and a half until tickets went on sale. So we decided to get something to eat. I don't know about you, but me, I'm a bundle of flayed nerves. That bumblebee feeling in my stomach was now rioting through my body. Nervous laughing, shaky hands, chattering teeth, that sort of thing. Concerts do that to me. I could not down a bit of food.
At 7:35 or so, we decided to go and get in line, only to find that the length of which had increased tenfold. Casual talk with others in the queue followed. It was a strange thing, to see the "casual-to-goth ratio" had been inverted. I'll be damned if goth clothing is among the most impractical creations of humankind. Doesn't mean it looked bad, though.
The line started moving at 8:10. We got our tickets, and made our way inside. The Granada is akin to an old sort of theatre, made sometime back in the 30's or 40's, maybe. (I'm no architectural buff. I could be wrong.) All the pretty creatures of the night wandered about, some clustering at the merch booth, a few standing in the "pit" area, others just doin' their own thing. Ryan is obviously terrified. "Is there something you forgot to tell me about this band, Anthony?" A banner bearing the cover art to their newest CD "Hau Ruck" met our eyes.
menace to society"
The first act, God Project, was a local band. They were kindof a synth-rock group, and were generally pleasing to the ear. The second band to play was something called Acumen Nation. Y'see, when I hear the word "nation" in a band name, I immediately think of VNV Nation. Acumen Nation is NOT VNV Nation. A wall of grinding, sandpaper-ish guitars stripped and flayed away at my brain, while me and Ryan were moshing amongst our fellow concertgoers to the sounds of Squarepusher-esque beats. A good band, yes, but not anything I was totally rabid about.
A brief intermission gave us both time to recover from our battle wounds. Ryan expressed that he was having a "good time" and the whole experience was "totally rad" so far. Relieving news. But not quite as exciting when we saw the Acumen Nation banner be disassembled and carried off.
"You tired, Ryan?" I asked, panting like a dog.
"Kindof," he said with a big smile.
"Boy, you ain't tired. Not yet," I replied, wiping the sweat from my brow.
"This is counterculture
from the underground"
At this point, every occupant in the room (save for the soundboard operator and maybe the bartenders) flocked to the front. We cheered anxiously as the roadies hooked up the guitars and fine-tuned the drums. Sascha Konietzko's trademark stand, synth, and megaphone stood stoutly but proudly. We were in for some righteous shit.
One by one, they marched onstage from the left. Steve White, Sascha Konietzko, Lucia Cifarelli, Jules Hodgson, and Andy Selway. It was at this point we knew that we were about to be destroyed in every sense of the word, and even some senses that are essentially impossible!
The band launched the set off with the song "Hau Ruck." Me and Ryan found ourselves pumping our fists in the air,chanting "HAU RUCK! RUCK ZUCK!" along with the two hundered or so other attendants. The energy was simply amazing. Lucia moved like a snake, gyrating and twisting in ways that populate every 13 year old boy's wet dreams. Sascha, with his trademark aviator shades and perfect mohawk stalked the stage, ranting at us in his native tongue. Another mosh pit ensued, with a 3:1 ratio of sober people to piss drunk people. Being 17 and generally non-drinkers, the both of us were a part of the former group.
this is our sound"
Round after round, they pummeled us with songs from their new album (which I was mostly unfamiliar with), turning our brains into paste with the thumping bass, razor-sharp clicks, and screeching guitars. Then, it was Lucia's time to shine. "Last Things" was the next song to follow, and Lucia pranced about the stage like some raunchy antelope, melting us with her burning gaze. Her voice was slightly off, however (which was later revealed to be a chest infection.) After her stint on the mic, the band came back again, playing "Mini Mini Mini," which drove the crowd into a frenzy. By this point, my unimpressive frame is stil reeling from the massive pummelings I've been dealt (all in good will, I assure you!) We see the band set down their instruments, and leave the stage. "What?! They barely played anything!" I thought.
Then, the crowd began chanting. "KMFDM SUCKS! KMFDM SUCKS! KMFDM SUCKS!" over and over and over. I joined in, lending my voice to the summoning ritual.
A minute passed. The band came out again, with huge smiles on their faces. They picked up their instruments, and the recognizeable intro of Megalomaniac began. The thundering bass possessed my legs, and I found myself dancing, giving myself completely to the music. By the end of the song, I could feel my stomach uclers acting up again, the familiar burning, tearing pain in my stomach. "Screw this." I said aloud. I will dance, pain or no pain! And oh, how I danced. I danced and convulsed and threw myself around until I could not stand for a second more.
The song came to a close. Ryan was at this point at the front of the stage, directly in front of Lucia. The boy does me proud.
"WWIII" started. "Baby Jesus Christ." By this point, I am in a lot of pain. But I couldn't just stand there like a shmuck, when one of my favorite bands was playing RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME! So I sacrificed my wellbeing and waded into the fray once more.
better than the best"
The last song was a blur. I can only remember the violent strobe lights. The commanding presence of Mr. Konietzko shouting through a megaphone into his microphone. The blistering drums. Tattoos. Tinnitus. A static blur. Of screaming. Thrashing. Headbanging.
They left the stage, and a wimpy voice came through the intercom. "The band will be waiting at the merch stand to sign autographs and converse with fans!" Or some such... thing. My mind was kindof liquified at that time, so I can't really remember the exact words... or if my legs were still attatched to my body. We looked at the time on my cellphone. 1:00 A.M. "We are going to meet someone from that band," Ryan stated. "We aren't leaving until then."
And lo and behold, dearest Lucia Cifarelli! A most gorgeous creature, with her (now) crackly voice and a cardboard sign duct-taped onto her chest. Ryan touches her hand while she's onstage and now he thinks he's in love lol!
A few pictures of us and Ms. Cifarelli, and we exited.
We travelled to his car, which was a block away down the street. We lazily climbed in, and sat back in our seats.
"If they come to Kansas again, we are going."
Oh Ryan. I knew you'd be a believer, soon enough.
and harder than the rest!"