Europe Is Falling Apart
LAIBACH are… unique. Legendary. Revolutionary. LAIBACH is an interdisciplinary total work of art. Hardly to describe, hardly to conceive (in its entirety). LAIBACH have achieved greatness, in music, philosophy, culture and politics, spanning a 30 years career. 7 years have passed since the last official album release Volk. In 2014 LAIBACH finally present brand new material with Spectre, an album, which sees the Slovenians ‘re-inventing’ themselves once again, in a newly-born, yet polished and solid formation, creating a big, important and almost dangerous step forward. On this album the collective - which has never defined itself politically, but has, nevertheless, constantly analyzed politics through its work - comes across as politically engaged as never before. It all sounds spectacular? It is. And that’s what you can expect from the upcoming shows, every single one of them, an event definitely not to be missed.
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So far I only once got the chance to see :: LAIBACH :: playing live, back in 2009 when they headlined Germany’s Amphi Festival. It was an exceptional event and I expect nothing less for tonight’s show. With my enthusiasm fired and aware of usual weekend traffic I hooked up with our little LAIBACH-party and hit the road towards Cologne. Lucky bastards we were, no traffic stopped us, confusions about the parking garage got solved quickly and so we reached the • Stollwerck • super early… and had to wait. Doors were already open but the show was pushed back to 10pm (instead of 9pm - only Buddha knows why). Chats, fun, beer and a new shirt (putting on immediately) later… lights went out.
There was no support band and as it was to hear the show would be separated in two parts with a 10 minutes break in between. Sounds like a long 2 hrs+ concert evening (and less sleep) :) Introduced by the Eurovision hymn LAIBACH finally entered the stage and kicked off the first chapter with songs from Spectre only, playing the entire record during the evening with the exception of Just Say No! and The Parade. Sound was phenomenally awesome, crystal clear, well-balanced and powerful. It was truly an excellent listening experience, adding an extra of drive and punch especially to the new songs. Really, really amazing! Front lady Mina Špiler did not only convince with her voice and outstanding vocal performance, much more she drove male fans crazy with her cool aloofness. She never ever smiled, not even once but every now and then burst out energetically and rocked the stage. Front man Milan Fras however acted quite restrained but for sure had the same impact on female fans. His voice, his charisma charmed the pants off the girls. Drummer Janez Gabrič and key wizards Luka Jamnik and Sašo Vollmaier, who flanked Milan and Mina to the right and to the left, remained unobtrusive but not unseen ;)
The 10 minutes intermezzo makes half of the well-packed Stollwerck rushing outside for a cig, while the other half started discussions about the show, its greatness, the new songs and Mina ;) The second part of the evening featured a mix of the remaining songs of Spectre, classics and one track from The Iron Sky soundtrack. The lightshow is likewise great as the sound, just not that easy to catch for photographers. One and a half hour later the “official” part of tonight’s concert is over. Way too short if you ask me. LAIBACH come back for one encore only. When Das Spiel ist aus fades away lights went on. No screams, shouts and applause, no clapping can bring the band back on stage. Too bad :(
Setlist Part 1: Eurovision, Walk With Me, Americana, Eat Liver!, Bosanova, Koran, We Are Millions And Millions Are One, Whistleblowers, No History, Resistance Is Futile
Setlist Part 2: Brat Moj, Ti, Ki Izzivaš, B Mashina (Siddharta cover), Under The Iron Sky, Leben-Tod, Warme Lederhaut (The Normal cover), Ballad Of A Thin Man (Bob Dylan cover), See That My Grave Is Kept Clean // Love On The Beat, Serge Tanz mit Laibach, Das Spiel ist aus
What’s left to say? It was definitely an evening of awesomeness! I have to speak in superlatives. An extraordinary show from an extraordinary band. Many fans are totally stoked, have smiles all over the faces. Even doubters got convinced. Fully. What a great band! On our way back home we listen to Spectre again, whereas The Whistleblowers got so downright stuck, making us try to whistle along, badly *laughs*. Excellent evening. Indeed!