VNV Nation
Icon of Coil
@ The CatWalk, Seattle, WA. 12/8
~reviewed by BlackOrpheus
(photos by Jessica Dana)

The night started out like so many others in Seattle.  There was a light drizzle, but it didn't seem to dampen the spirits of early ticket buyers and their tardy, but hopeful peers.

Doors opened at 9pm, and I was swept in on the black clad crest of eager show goers. I mixed and mingled for an hour, availing myself of the bars ample offerings. It must have been a poor club night elsewhere as this seemed to be the citys largest draw on this night.

Local band Glis opened, and played a capable, though not particularly inspiring set. Glis possesses technical skill undoubtedly, but it lacks what VNV, and Icon had in spades: a stage "show." I'd like to see this promising band, make more of an effort to develop rapport with the audience. This could be accomplished a few different ways, the most immediate thing I thought of was to move around the stage more. They were more stationary by comparison with the acts that followed them. A very few bands can connect with the audience by virtue of the music alone. The passion and excitement generated on stage, is directly proportional to the audience response. Glis has a real asset in An'drea, whose vocals and presence hold the promise of better shows to come.

Icon of Coil. I own "Serenity Is The Devil." I'm chagrined to reveal that it was an album that I hadn't really connected with and I'm at a loss to explain why.  That is...until they took the stage. Andy LaPlegua is a gifted and charismatic showman, and his enthusiasm was communicated successfully to a crowd that grew ever more responsive with each successive song. They ran through most of the track listing on "Serenity Is The  Devil" with standouts like Shallow Nation and Floorkiller. I might add that I was fortunate enough to meet LaPlegua and Sebastian Komor and found them to be very friendly and down to earth. As I listen to "Serenity Is The Devil" now, I have one final piece to add: if you like well crafted, infectious industrial dance tunes, go and buy this. It's excellent.

I had the pleasure of seeing VNV Nation about a year or so ago for the first time. That show was a benchmark for me at the time. This latest show was no exception. The set was by turns energetic and thought-emotion provoking. VNV Nation is fortunate in its ability to trek through the shadows that blanket the psyche, and return again to report on them. More than that, they can still find heart enough to fiddle while Rome burns and inspire the audience to listen AND dance with them. There are few bands in the genre that can tackle the subjects they do, while maintaining audience rapport. My favorite song of the evening was "Carbon," a song I've been as yet unable to place. It was as sobering as it was stirring. The lights came down, and there was  the music and the voice. But what a voice! It was as though it expressed in proxy the very lament, the pain of this very planet we call home. The verses were punctuated with the projection of facts and statistics on air quality, etc. behind Ronan. My attention was held on a mental and emotional level, and the connection between artist and listener was complete. It was one of the most striking moments I've ever  xperienced at a show. The show was not sparing with the dance singles everyone expected, but this moment did it for me. If you aren't familiar with VNV Nation, they come with my strong recommendation. 

VNV Nation:


Icon of Coil:



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