MORBID MUSIC: KMFDM LIVE IN TORONTO
Personnel: Sascha Konietzko (vocals, keys), Lucia Cifarelli (vocals, keys), Jules Hodgson (guitar), Andy Selway (drums), Steve White (guitar)
Venue: Phoenix Concert Theatre
Place: Toronto ON
Date: Sept. 29, 2009
It’s comforting to know that Toronto audiences are no longer, in the words of KMFDM mastermind Sascha Konietzko, “castrated monkeys.”
Konietzo – a.k.a. Captain K – was referring to the band’s last Toronto appearance, which, apparently, did not live up to the their expectations. That’s understandable. Like other large cities, Toronto tends to breed concert audiences that have been there and done that, given that most touring bands come through. Combine that demeanour with natural Canadian shyness and you end up with audiences with retarded abilities to clap, cheer and otherwise demonstrate their enthusiasm.
But not this night. The Phoenix Club was packed with multiple generations of fans of the German-bred industrial juggernaut – from university-age kids to grizzled late-40s vets – and those disciples had no trouble communicating their fervour. The Dark Lord Bunnykins started out in the pit, in a futile attempt to take advantage of his photo pass, but the ensuing mayhem meant I was out and safe within three songs. That’s too bad because the combination of KMFDM’s efficient stagecraft with the crowd’s undeniable enthusiasm meant that seeing them up close would have been ideal.
That said, just being within the vicinity of Konietzko and crew’s ultra heavy beats was enough. Their hour-plus set spanned their entire career, with recent songs like Blitz’s ‘Potz Blitz’ and Tohuvabohu’s ‘Looking For Strange’ contrasted against classics like ‘A Drug Against War’ (from 1993’s Angst) and the encore, ‘Godlike’ (from 1990’s Angst).
At this point in their career, KMFDM is a well-oiled machine, dispensing their particular brand of industrial dance rock with an efficiency that could be described as Teutonic but which could simply be described as professional. Indeed, Konietzko is happy to share the spotlight with his wife, the electrifying Lucia Cifarelli, who took the lead on several tracks, including ‘Attak/Reload’ and ‘Looking For Strange’.
“Chicago would be hard-pressed to beat you fuckers” With that benediction, KMFDM commenced their encore of ‘Adios’ and ‘Godlike’, leaving Toronto with a definitive reason why they’ve spent two and a half decades worshipping the band’s ultra heavy beat.