April 16, 2014 Combichrist Return to NYC with Vengeance 4-6-14 featuring New Years Day and William Control
Combining an interesting mix of bands, Combichrist has teamed up with William Control and New Years Day for the ‘We Love You Tour’. Marking their first touring appearance in North America since the groundbreaking opening slot for Rammstein in 2011, the aggro-rockers are back with a vengeance. Having released their seventh studio album, We Love You, a week before the tour kicked off in Charlotte, NC on April 3rd, Combichrist took to New York City on Sunday April 6th. Originally slated to be held at Gramercy Theater, a positive ticket sale response ignited the tour to be moved to Irving Plaza where fans of all ages gathered in masses for the evening of music.
Starting the party off in style was Southern Californians New Years Day. A lot has happened for this talented band in the past year with a transformation in sound and style to more gothic/horror rock influence on their sophomore album Victim to Villain (2013), and their eye opening appearance on last summer’s Van’s Warped Tour. Fronted by the charismatic Ashley Costello, the rest of the band’s line-up is filled out by Anthony Barro (bass), Nick Rossi (drums), Nikki Misery (guitar), and Jake Jones (guitar).
Taking the stage with a backdrop of dark and ambient lighting of reds and yellows, Costello came out with force as she jumped onto her platform and began with “I’m No Good”. Belting out a deep raspy rock voice effortlessly, Costello has a presence on stage you cannot take your eyes off. While some of the audience may not have been familiar with the band in the beginning, they quickly caught on with great songs like “Angel Eyes”, “Murder”, and “Any Last Words”. Costello knew how to ignite a fire and persuaded the audience to move around and have a good time. New Years Day is a band on the rise and it is well-worth arriving early to see their powerful performance.
Keeping the dark theme going, Seattle’s William Control was next to grace the stage. Begun back in 2008 by William Francis of Aiden, the side project has taken on a life all its own; blossoming into a successful venture. Now four albums deep, including the most recent The Neuromancer, William Control has a buzz flowing larger than ever before.
Coming out in a theatrical manner, Control was all dressed up as a priest with dim mood lighting as the audience screamed in excitement. Opening with “New World Order (A New Kind Of Faith)”, the set moved along at an accelerated pace bouncing between a nice mix of tunes from all of Control’s albums. Control spoke enthusiastically about being back in New York City and playing in front of this energetic crowd. With contagious synth, keyboards, and heavy guitars drenching the room, Irving Plaza was rocking. New songs such as “Price We Pay” and “Illuminator” really shined among more aggressive tunes like “Beautiful Loser”. Adding flare to the performance, Costello of New Years Day came out for a duet on “Dorian Gray” and “Tranquilize”.
The cheers kept coming all the way through as Control had this crowd in the palm of his hands. Control has managed to pay homage to the best of 80’s darkwave with a modern rock edge which proved triumphant in this performance. Neuromancer is out now and it is highly recommended that darkwave fans pick it up immediately.
Having rocked hard with the two opening acts, it was time for the party to climax with Combichrist. Led by Norwegian Andy LaPlegua, this aggrotech force is complimented by Joe Letz (Drums), Z Marr (electronics), Abbey Nex (guitar), and Tiffany Lowe (electronics). Known for their electrifying live shows, this room was packed with fans of all ages and ready to explode.
Storming out with energy, Combichrist began with “We Were Made to Love You”. LaPlegua, wearing an illuminated mask, belted out an impressive balance of screams and cleaner vocals. Having the audience in a frenzy, the beats harsh, the band mixed more guitar driven songs seamlessly with heavier aggrotech pieces like “Today I Woke to the Rain of Blood”, “Blut Royale”, and “What the Fuck Is Wrong With You?”. The emotion on stage bled onto the floor with dancing and moshing entwining into one, creating a club like atmosphere. The drumming of Letz was so intense at times that part of his kit kept falling over, giving the stage hands an extra workout each time to place it back together.
Highlighting We Love You, new songs like the thick bass sound of “Denial” and somber feel of “The Evil in Me” provided for diversity in the set, matching nicely with more danceable Combichrist fan-favorites like “Shut Up and Swallow” and “Get Your Body Beat”. LaPlegua exhibited all the attributes of an elite frontman with presence and a mystique about him fans cannot help but adore.
The set closed out with an imposing encore of “Fuck That Shit” and “Sent to Destroy” to roaring cheers, proving New York City missed Combichrist. The ‘We Love You Tour’ is clearly a massive return for this powerhouse band. It was far too long since Combichrist has graced the shores of North America, and as the thirty-two date tour rolls on, there is no question this is not an event to be missed.