Kraftwerk at Tate Modern: Techno Pop

I went to one of the best gigs I’ve ever had the luck of seeing last night: Kraftwerk at the Tate Modern. It was the sixth night in their eight date run of concerts, which you probably heard about with regards to the fans’ desperation to get tickets.

Tate’s website had crashed, the phone lines were jammed and mixed messages were being sent out to those trying to buy their way into one of the most anticipated concerts of recent times. I was on the phone on-and-off for eight hours. Not because I am a die-hard fan but because the bf is and I wanted Kraftwerk at the Tate Modern to be one of his Christmas presents. In the end, I called up the members’ line and was fast-tracked to the booking line, wishing that I had been informed that this was possible in the first place because of course I would have saved a lot of time.

Kraftwerk at Tate Modern

Still, I cannot complain anymore because that day of pressing redial was so very worth it. The bf loved his pressie and a couple of friends who we invited along had an amazing time: the night being described as legendary.

But my write-up of last night’s gig isn’t going to attempt to riff on the geekery of Kraftwerk’s music. I’m not that much of a muso and I’ll probably risk offending die-hard Kraftwerk fans with my limited music knowledge.

So instead I’ll write this post from the perspective of an electro music fan. I love Daft Punk and have done so for years. When I watched Kraftwerk on stage, it was clear that this seminal German group are the Godfathers of electro. You could say that their appearance was reminiscent of Daft Punk’s style in Tron but then again, you would have to remember which came first.

Yet Kraftwerk wasn’t restricted to electro bleeps. There were also deep club beats that were very old school house and there was also a nod to the Detroit electronic music scene. We were almost at the front: not too close so we could enjoy the 3D visuals, but close enough to feel the bass pumping itself into the Turbine Hall.

The sounds had substance, the visuals were a true spectacle that were off-the-scale, and probably to the annoyance of those who couldn’t get tickets, the space was blissfully not crammed. It was an experience to soak up and every single minute was a true wonder.

Kraftwerk have two more nights to go: tonight and tomorrow. And whilst they are officially sold out, I’ve heard that ‘returns’ are being sold on the night. My friend’s cousin managed to buy a return on Saturday night at cost price (£60), having just waited from 8.30pm. The gig starts promptly at 9pm. We also bumped into someone who had bought a returned ticket last night. He had been waiting for two hours because he didn’t want to miss out: Techno Pop is his favourite Kraftwerk album. So, if you are desperate to buy a ticket, it isn’t too late to try – and you may not have to pay £500 or whatever is supposed to be the going price on ebay. Good luck!

To end my post, here are a few pics I took from last night. I took a lot more but sadly, they were too blurry to post.

Kraftwerk at Tate Modern

Kraftwerk at Tate Modern

Kraftwerk at Tate Modern

Kraftwerk at Tate Modern

Tate 7

Kraftwerk at Tate Modern

I also recorded a video of their poptastic track, The Model:

And I uploaded a couple more clips onto my new Vine account: King’s Road Rocks.

Aero Dynamik was one of my favourite tracks of the night. Listening to it on You Tube doesn’t really do it justice but at 1.05 when the bass kicks in, and imagine it pumping hard through the Turbine Hall, Kraftwerk smashed it. (I didn’t record this video.)

If you managed to see Kraftwerk play at Tate Modern, which was your favourite moment (if you could choose one)? Or did you think it was all brilliant?

1 Comment

  1. February 13, 2013 / 1:10 pm

    Such a great gig! They say brevity is the soul of wit, and Kraftwerk’s spartan production design is shot through with dry humour. First time I’ve seen 3D that was truly mind blowing too, I could go on… in short – thanks so much for my Christmas present! x

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