Claw cranes and metal objects
German television did Berlin concert go-ers a huge favour this weekend by putting on four free shows with some legendary line-ups. All of this is happening against the striking backdrop of Kraftwerk Mitte in a surprisingly intimate atmosphere, something you would not expect from a huge factory building.
The weekend kicked off with a stunning performance by Berlin legends Einstuerzende Neubauten (previously) who were later joined by Wire (previously) and Caspar Broetzmann Massaker, a band known for delivering extremely loud and extremely straight rock. Which is what they did on Thursday night, spending 30 minutes of camera time playing only two songs / walls of sound.
Wire were confident on stage – their first song ‘Pink Flag’ naturally got a lot of cheers from the crowd. Regrettably you had to bear a mish mash of sound during the whole set that only the bass guitar could shine it’s way through. Maybe a highlight in the short life of basslines, it really had it’s moments.
According to a life long fan, Neubauten only played their hits (Let’s Do It A Dada, Sabrina), but they did well so, putting the focus on their big collection of metal pieces used for percussion and Blixa Bargeld’s sophisticated stage presence. The latter also helped him through the embarrassing interview with ZDF host Silke who did well with displaying youthful charm in the worst way possible. At least now we know that Blixa Bargeld has lived in 15 flats since the start of the band. That trick with the vinyl, the power drill and the needle attached to a plastic cup was impressive, too.
The night not only showed the height of filming equipment – cameras on strings seemed to move freely above your head giving the feeling you were trapped in a claw machine, it also introduced a possible concept for future concerts targeted at ADD audiences (and wouldn’t most of Berlin indie gig crowds be diagnosed with that anyway?). Switching between the bands seemed enjoyable and further ensured you didn’t go deaf.
Everyone who missed the Berlin Live shows can watch the performances on ZDF Kultur on December 3rd. Plus if you’re lucky and got the password from an attendee you can go to the additional concerts on the weekend and catch Art Brut and dEUS among others.