KMFDM @ Cabaret La Tulipe

By Johnny Suck - Turn Down the Suck - 10/06/2005

Disclaimer: I’m not a KMFDM fan. While I appreciate them, I’ve never really got into them. I only have one album and had never seen them before this show.

Since I’m too cool to be punctual, I missed opener The Birthday Massacre. I guess that La Tulipe is one of those good venues where shows actually start on time. A quick search tells me that TBM is a “new wave post-retro band”. I don’t know what that means, but I would have liked to have found out. Oh well.

I was a little apprehensive about how much I would enjoy KMFDM, not being a fan and all, but they had me sold about 30 seconds into the first song. This is going to be good - I thought, and it was. The intensity of the music was what really did it for me. It wasn’t just fast, it wasn’t just heavy; there was something else to it that gave an extra edge that so many bands are missing. I don’t know what exactly it was that gave them that extra edge - sorry, I’m not that good of a reviewer - but man it was great. Maybe it was twenty years of experience, maybe it was the confidence from having such a strong album behind them, maybe it was just that fact they are KMFDM and not just some shitty local band playing a $5 bar show. Regardless of what it was, it explained their popularity and made me second-guess my existence as a non-KMFDM-fan.

I regret not taking the opportunity to listen to their new album Hau Ruk before seeing the show (I’ve listened to it since) because their set drew heavily from it. About six or seven songs, including “Free Your Hate”, “Hau Ruk”, “Mini Mini Mini” and “New American Century” were played from it. Also notable were my favourites “A Drug Against A War”, “WWWIII” and “Megalomaniac”, which were all saved until the end unsurprisingly, and “DIY” which was played for the second encore.

The sound, while slightly dull, was as good as it can ever be expeted to be. Effects were limited to lights and smoke, which is fine, except that strobes were used way too much and went from cool to annoying by the third song. Stage banter was kept to the absolute minimum, but boy did the crowd pop for the “Bonsoir, comment ça va?” that came after the first song. All the extras weren’t missed though, since KMFDM had it where it counts. When it was all over, I was pretty happy, the crowd generally seemed happy, and even KMFDM looked happy. All in all, it was a damn fine show.

[Turn Down The Suck, Mondays, 1:30-3:00pm]