KMFDM & ohGr Captivate Denver, CO 10-25-17

KMFDM & ohGr Captivate Denver, CO 10-25-17

Being a band that is the complete package for their fans is a venture that is easier said than done. Some bands deliver albums that shape and alter the listener’s reality, while delivering a live show that is close to but not as hard-hitting. On the other hand, there are projects who while their album material is not their forte, from a live attempt they transport their audience to a whole new planet. When the masters of the Ultra Heavy beat, KMFDM, announced their 2017 Hell Yeah Tour with the mind-altering ohGr, fans were assured two bands who bring together both with perfection ensuring a religious awakening.

Hard to believe it has been 33 years since the founding of KMFDM, to this day, fans are still getting quality releases and bone crunching live shows. With the release of their 1986 debut album, What Do You Know, Deautschland? KMFDM laid the groundwork for such a massive sound, it was clear that music would not be the same. Fueled with reflective and empowering lyrics, founder Sascha “Kapt’n K” Konietzko challenged his listeners to question the world around them while empowering them with the mindset of always improving upon themselves.

Furthermore, KMFDM became a very important foundation stone for a label that revolutionized Industrial called Wax Trax! Records. Establishing themselves as household names with albums such as 1990’s Naïve, 1993’s Angst, and 1995’s Nihil, they blazed across the world, bringing audiences to their heels with a sound that bludgeoned the senses. On the other half of the tour is an equally respected name, yet a vastly different approach with the one and only ohGr.

Officially formed in 2000 by the artistic genius Nivek Ogre of Skinny Puppy, ohGr blends a hypnotic experimental sound with a theatrical delivery. Ogre is not a stranger to this approach though, being a founding member of the godfathers to industrial strangeness Skinny Puppy and, like KMFDM, was a cornerstone contributor to the movement of Wax Trax! Following the breakup of Skinny Puppy, and wanting to forge a new path, Ogre and Mark Walk carefully crafted 2001’s Welt, delivering a whole new vision which gutted any preconceived notions on what Industrial music should sound like. Though with a new twist, ohGr and company always delivered musical genius with a visually haunting experience.

A tour that initially was scheduled to include Germany’s Lord of the Lost, who unfortunately were denied entrance into the US,  it came down to KMFDM and ohGr. That in mind, the tour initially kicked off on October 1st and, as it descended on Denver, Colorado at the Summit Music Hall the evening of Wednesday October 25th, fans began to clamor in anticipation for ohGr to kick off the celebration. With an album entitled Tricks still yet to be released, this arrival was vastly different than before when they followed a formal album release.

Ready to go, ohGr hit the stage with a classic, “maJiK,” instantly fixating the audience and indulging every sense. As the band coasted through the second track, “kettLE,” Ogre shed his mask he had worn so far, and breaking from tradition, moving forward, the band did not return to theatrics. When the band delved into more classic material like their classic from their debut album, old school fans were delighted to hear a new approach live with much more stripped down vocals and more raw approach, the experiment worked perfectly. Ogre and company proved with every passing song that they are still at the top of their game and second to none, keeping fans on pins and needles for their anticipated new album release.

Next up was none other than the godfathers to the Ultra Heavy Beat, KMFDM. The only way to kick off a wild time is to pay tribute to how you survived for 33 years, and KMFDM had just such an anthem with “D.I.Y.” Up front and center, Sascha K and Lucia Cifarelli kept the audience in check with their top notch vocals while adding a new fixture with Andee Blacksugar on guitars and bringing back Andy Selway on drums.

While many bands who enjoy longevity at some point stop delivering strong album releases, KMFDM is not one. In fact, this year the band released one of their strongest albums, Hell Yeah, but now was the time to see how the material works in a live set. Following up with their new anthem for the downtrodden, “Freak Flag,” Lucia’s vocal delivery and hold on the audience was undeniable. Mixing new tracks with old hits such as “Virus” and “Drug Against War” proved that KMFDM is still a force to be reckoned with and their fans loyalty and determination are not to be underestimated.

Hailed as the Industrial tour of the year, ohGr and KMFDM delivered on the hype. While both bands are well respected and loved for their musical releases and live shows alike, their delivery has always been very different. Fans who witnessed this tour get to see that while different from each other, the combination of the two delivered one of the most memorable live shows to date. Now complete, if you missed it, hopefully rumors of a Skinny Puppy/KMFDM tour come to fruition, but words cannot express how this particular package was a perfect delivery to old and new fans everywhere.

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Rafi Shlosman
rshlosman@yahoo.com
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