Audience are equipped with 3D glasses for the audio-visual spectacular
Kraftwerk continued their eight-night concert series at London’s Tate Modern yesterday (February 7) by returning to their 1975 album ‘Radio-Activity’.
For their second performance in the cavernous Turbine Hall, the German synth artists played the whole album in order, before completing a two-hour set with a more varied selection of tunes from the group’s celebrated career.
An expectant audience sat on cushions in the gallery space but at 9pm rose as one when a disembodied, robotic voice intoned “Meine damen und herren… ladies and gentlemen…” to introduce the group. A curtain shot up to reveal its four members stood in their trademark neoprene suits.
As on the first night, Kraftwerk opened with ‘The Robots’ before performing ‘Radio-Activity’ in full, featuring a retooled version of ‘Radioactivity’ that now came with a firm anti-nuclear message. It included a reference to Fukushima, site of the 2011 Japanese reactor meltdown. Remaining tracks were delivered more faithfully, including short interludes such as ‘News’ and ‘The Voice Of Energy’.
Again, 3D graphics displayed on a screen behind the group were a huge success, drawing gasps of delight as words and images appeared to float towards the audience. Cardboard 3D glasses distributed to the crowd are already appearing on eBay.
Afterwards, the remainder of the set followed closely the pattern laid down on the opening night, with the inclusion of a 12-minute take on the title track from their 1974 album ‘Autobahn’ (played in full on Wednesday) in place of ‘Vitamin’ and ‘Neon Lights’.
At the close, each member of the group bowed as they departed in turn, the last being the only remaining founder member of Kraftwerk, Ralf Hütter, who left with a curt “Good night. Auf wiedersehen”.
Sam Enright described the £60 ticket price as money well spent. “Hearing Radio-activity was sublime; every track sounded perfect and the visuals just brought it all to life. Then it just felt like an extra set, hearing ‘Autobahn’ and ‘The Model’. They’re one of the best live bands around.”
‘The Voice Of Energy’
‘Ohm Sweet Ohm’
‘Trans Europe Express’
‘Tour De France 1983’
‘Tour De France 2003’
‘Planet Of Visions’
‘Music Non Stop’
Kraftwerk’s sold-out concert series The Catalogue 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 continues tonight, Friday, with 1977’s ‘Trans-Europe Express’, followed by sets dedicated to successive albums up to ‘Tour De France Soundtracks’. Scroll down to see clips of recent live performances.