VNV Nation, Imperative Reaction, Modulate - The last show of the European Judgement tour
EBM/synthpop/industrial kings VNV Nation recently released their sixth full length album, called Judgement. On May the 19th they did the last show of their European tour, where they did their very best to prove that they’re worthy of the throne, but not before two meaningless acts tried to shake things up!
While the Effenaar was slowly filling up with Goths and actually quite diverse people, Modulate from the UK tried to get things going. Geoff Lee, who acted solo today, did his very best with his heavy industrial beats, but the audience seemed more interested in socializing with each other. Even when he put up a big mask it couldn’t really move the audience, Modulate was just a nice reception.
Imperative Reaction, all the way from the US, got a lot more attention. They functioned as a threesome with electronic live drums and one guy handling just the mic, and what a miserable singer he was! Way too many false notes, he couldn’t control his mic so there was a volume difference many times and he was constantly doing the same singing line-trick! Also the backing vocals were awful, while the alternative industrial wasn’t spectacular at all. So this show was a combination of boredom and very low singing capabilities, did nobody ever tell them they really can’t sing?!
After two not really worthy warming up shows, it was a relief when the set of VNV Nation was built up. The characteristic synthesizer, a standing electronic drum kit and three big ass beamers aimed at the background. They opened with ‘The Farthest Star’, the first track of their just released record Judgement. Because of the beautiful singing lines, which reminded me so much of Depeche Mode, this was one of my favourites songs from Judgement. But what a disillusion it was to also hear Ronan Harris hit too many false notes and not being capable of singing the entire length of the notes. Luckily this seemed particular a problem in this opening song, while in the other songs he sung much better, but what a shame that he was busier with entertaining the audience with his active performance and jokes. It must be said that the man would be a good cabaret performer with his well brought jokes, but since the audience wasn’t always that active he had the urge to get them moving by his overdone stimulations like shouting “Sing along!” or “Come on, get moving!” too many times. This sometimes ruined part of songs, which were besides these incidents brought very well! The set had a duration of over two hours and afterwards everybody seemed totally satisfied with the professional set, but Ronan should really let the music do the talking more often, and don’t try to squeeze out what isn’t there.