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KMFDM, Chant, 10-24-2013, Omaha, Nebraska

KMFDM
Chant
We Are KMFDM Tour
The Waiting Room Lounge
Omaha, Nebraska
October 24th, 2013

Tonight’s show in Omaha would mark the 7th time I’ve been fortunate enough to see KMFDM live and I wasn’t the only one excited for the band’s return to Omaha. People started lining up outside the Waiting Room an hour before doors opened, even though the tempurature had only risen to the mid-fifties.

But KMFDM didn’t come back to Omaha alone. The band always brings brilliant
bands on tour with them. Whether it be PIG, KIDNEYTHIEVES, Army of the Universe or, in this case, Chant, the opening band has always been as entertaining live as KMFDM are.

Chant, a tribal-industrial band from Austin, Texas, supported KMFDM on their
last tour and Omaha was fortunate enough to see the band pass through on the
current We Are KMFDM Tour. Though only a handfull of fans at tonight’s show had
heard of Chant, founding member Bradley Bills and live touring member
Kristopher Robin put on a show worthy of playing to a sold out arena. Chant’s
apocalyptic brand of industrial metal had the crowd bouncing. Having only two
members on stage, and spending the majority of the set behind either their
drumkits or keyboard, Bills and Robin worked the stage like veteran performers.
The band’s intense light show enhanced the dark mood of the music and put the
crowd in an industrial state of mind. Normally during such shows, fans hang out
in the back of the venue. Not so with Chant. From the moment the band took the
stage, the main floor was packed full of bouncing people. Without a doubt Chant
made more than a few new friends during their all to short set but the crowd
was ready for KMFDM.

Even after nearly 30 years of touring, the past ten of which with a current
line-up including drummer Andy Selway, guitarists Jules Hodgson and Steve White
and co-vocalist Lucia Cifarelli, Sascha Konietzko still has ten times the on
stage energy of most musicians half his age. Typically the bands takes the
stage to the crowding chanting “KMFDM SUCKS” but on this tour the
SUCKS Intro was played just as loud as the fans’ screams of excitement. It’s been
a long time since I’ve seen a crowd this excited to see a band play.

KMFDM has such loyal fans and have for so many years. I spoke with a few people
that were following the band for several shows. Being the fifth stop on this
tour, one fan had seen every show thus far and had traveled from New Mexico.
Another planned accordingly and had made the nine hour drive from Chicago and
planned on seeing the next three shows of the tour.

KMFDM also brought another amazing light show with them. Konietzko and
Cifarelli’s podeums were adorned with halogen lights that flashed in tandum
with Selway’s drumming. The band was bathed in shades of purple and blue for
most of the show, enhancing the aggressive nature of the band’s music. But that
aggression was controlled and focused. While fist pumping and bouncing was
heavy during the band’s nearly two hour long set, moshing was kept to a
minimum. People were at the show to enjoy the band, not beat each other in
anger with Potz Blitz as the background music.

Koneitzko and the band chose the perfect mixture of tracks from the band’s
extensive catalogue for the setlist. Fans more familiar with the band’s music
were thrilled to hear Son of a Gun and suprised to hear Don’t Blow Your Top
mixed into I <3 Not. But KMFDM’s setlist was more focused on playing tracks
released after the band’s reformation after 2002 and the set was heavy with
tracks off of the past two releases, Kunst and WTF?!. It’s fantastic hearing
Lucia Cifarelli’s performing the vocals on tracks originally recorded by past female
vocalists or former founding member En Esch. Cifarelli can scream like a
banshee during Free Your Hate, WWIII and Tohuvabohu, and purrs like a kitten
during Ave Maria and Amnesia. Cifarelli commanded the stage and paced around
like a caged animal during her solo tracks and thrashed like a pro during
Konietzko’s solos. I’m a fan of the band’s heavier tracks, so hearing Potz
Blitz, Hau Ruck, Free Your Hate and Megalomaniac made the show perfect for me.
Chant’s Bradley Bills joined the band on stage for a blistering rendition of
Anarchy, taking over for Time Skold’s vocals. To think that next year marks the
band’s 3oth anniversary and Konietzko is showing no signs of slowing down
anytime soon. m

I’ve seen hundreds of concerts in my days and it’s always a treat to see a band
perform that you can tell actually loves being on stage. I can only name a few
bands that enjoy their job as much as KMFDM do. So many artists take the stage
and play for a paycheck, not for the fans, and so many industrial bands are rather
boring to see live. That happens when you rely too much on the electronic
samples or pre-recorded audio tracks. Not so with KMFDM. Konietzko and
Cifarelli are performers and love their job. Sellway, Hodgson and White are
professionals. The band puts on an amazing live show and often include the
crowd into their music. Numerous times Konietzko or Cifarelli would thrust
their microphone into the crowd and let the fans scream the words and so many
of the crowd actually knew the words to every song. KMFDM fans are some of the
most loyal fans I’ve ever come across.

KMFDM are also one of the most easily accessible bands touring today. Each
member spent over an hour after the show talking with fans, taking pictures and
signing autographs. Sascha gave one lucky fan his Symbols Tour lanyard. KMFDM
are a band that knows that without the support of their fans, none of this
would be possible and they make sure we all know how much they love and
appreciate our support of their music.

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