May 30th, 2001
Showbox - Seattle WA
~reviewed by Jyri
Glynn (of 3SKS)
(photos courtesy the
official website: http://www.ohgr.net/)
When one ventures out to see a performance
by a musical icon, expectations tend to be higher than normal. May
30th in Seattle, WA was one of these nights and my expectations were certainly
elevated. Though I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Ogre share the stage
with KMFDM a few years back, it had been close to a decade since I had
see the man solely front his own act. I certainly hadn’t forgotten
the early shocking performances from Skinny Puppy with Ogre orchestrating
the central focus of a spectacle. Televisions wrapped in barbwire
and strewn across the stage. Ogre convulsing like a mad man soaked
in stage blood. This was the launch of the post-punk electronic movement
now known as Industrial Music and Ogre is at it again, pioneering the future
of the underground music scene.
With the familiar hint of SP-like instrumental
keyboards and hard-hitting drums, the band, Ohgr stormed the stage.
Much to my delight Ogre was once again accompanied by his old Skinny Puppy
band mate, cEvin Key, who sat behind a drum kit so large you, could barely
see him. Another proverbial face was Tim Skold from KMFDM backing cEvin
rhythmically on what appeared to be some type of MIDI bass.
The instrumental intro came to a climatic
end followed immediately by the 80’s sounding track, Suhleap. Hair
in face, outfitted in camouflage attire with the lighting just dim enough
to keep his face unrecognizable, Ogre proceeded to stagger around the stage
with a wooden voodoo mask taunting his audience. As the
set carried on with songs Devil and Earthworm, I observed the dancing wave
of the crowd erupt in movement. Though this was a bit varied from
the mosh pit dancing days of early puppy performances, the crowd was cosmetically
similar. Yes, this was certainly the same Ogre who’s experimental
theatrics paved the way for the early industrial scene.
The set continued with Solow and was followed
by a track I had not yet heard. This unidentified track was also
very danceable with
just the right amount of 80’s dance flare. Ogre continued to recite
the lyrics “Feeling like a god…” throughout the song with a slightly different
variation of vocal effects than previously utilized. Xmas lights
appeared on the drum set and William Morrison’s keyboards during this song.
I wasn’t sure if there was some hidden message behind this; however,
when Ogre adopts the stage there usually is some significant correlation…or
maybe I had just drank way too much by this point and was interpreting
way too much into it all! I suppose this is more likely.
None the less, it was an interesting effect.
To the back of the stage, I took notice
of a video wall of televisions stacked three high and three across.
Ogre certainly has a fondness for video presentation in his shows,
so I anticipated a great deal of eye candy. Unfortunately Ogre later
explained that due to “technical difficulties” they were unable to get
the video wall to work. This was certainly disappointing, as I later
learned that the video display is quite amazing.
continued their set with the first track off their album, WELT, which is,
titled Water. Hearing this track played live was slightly heavier
than heard on the CD, which I must, confessed I enjoyed immensely.
With the conclusion of Water, Ohgr yelled, “What the fuck is the name of
this song?” and immediately the band broke into a second song I had never
heard. With this questioned fired into the audience, I half expected
the band to break into some old SP tune. I was unable to find out
if this new track was something we will hear on the second Ohgr album;
however, I have been told that this album is already in the making for
a next year release. Based on hearing additional new material, I
believe this certainly will be a highly anticipated album.
Pore was the next song and I must say
I was a little disappointed with it. On the CD itself, Ohgr raps
this long series of lyrics and does it at a speed that is frightfully amazing.
This was not repeated in the live performance, however which leaves, me
to believe that possibly Ohgr’s vocals are alter on the recording.
The set continued with the track Kettle
followed by Minus which certainly has a serious Nine Inch Nail texture
to it. Loki DerQualeled provided skillful guitar riffs dressed
in a dark green Forest Ranger uniform complete with badge and black tie.
Preceding their encore, Chaos concluded
the band’s set while Ogre danced and swung his microphone above his head in
the air. cEvin pounding his drums in a thunderous tempo replicating
a style inherited exclusively from the lair of Skinny Puppy.
For the encore Ohgr played two additional
songs, one of which was unknown to me; however, Ogre revealed the second
as a new song written by cEvin and added that it would be appearing on
cEvin’s next album. This song was titled “Frozen Sky” and was my
favorite of the night. The execution was exceptional, beginning
with an atmospheric feel and developing into a surreal, dance melody.
With this climatic finale the band vanished the stage leaving the audience
aspiring for the next show and release of this celebrated musical project.