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icon of coil/and one/covenant in NY
posted on 10-Apr-2001 by anton
this show was a nice addition to silk saw/vromb/orphx concert that initially got me out to NY.
I guess it was a tribute to good ol' days when the words "covenant" and "and one" used to mean a lot more to me than they do now. so I guess my expectations for the concert were nothing more than simply go out and have fun (on the other hand, isn't what the shows are supposed to be about anyway as opposed to overly "intellectual", nitpicking approach?). my expectations for the show gradually increased as I was standing outside under the freezing downpour rain for over an hour, talking to people about klinik and cat rapes dog (I never even suspected people like that still existed in the states).
 
but finally the wait was over, and we were allowed inside. soon enough we were treated to icon of coil, the band that I have never ranked too highly for their striking similarity to apoptygma berzerk. surprisingly enough (and this might have been the result of my overall mindset) I enjoyed it a lot, since they have delivered a very energetic show with all the catchy hits the public seemed to know. as I said before, they know their crowd, and since I was a part of it for that night (back to the good ol' days!), I was able to enjoy their show immensely, especially considering the fact that they were an opening band for such monsters as and one and covenant. the whole band was very energetic on stage, and they were able to get the crowd absolutely ecstatic in a matter of minutes. I did particularly enjoy some of the people around me chanting "covenant, covenant" only to find out a few minutes later that it wasn't really covenant they were cheering for. so much for the knowledgeable crowd. but overall I was impressed with icon of coil - they seemed to have a right balance of catchiness and trancy approach as well as some good "ol'-school" industrial vigor, something that the crowd seemed to enjoy immensely.
 
I could only wonder to what extent and one would get the crowd going, since I have always perceived and one as the pioneers of synth pop. unfortunately, and one delivered the weakest, most bland performance of the night, pretty much confirming the comments I made about their last album. the moment that they decided to become serious and shed their image of drunk, barely speaking english goofballs that bounce around the stage playing backstreet boys instead of their regular set; this very moment the band's image I enjoyed so much ceased to exist for me. and although the legends did deliver a few impressive (and magnificently cheesy) hip movements on stage, the crowd has never fully warmed up to them. and I can only speculate whether it was the lack of knowledge of their material, or they were indeed overly self-conscious and rigid. the fact is that even I found them very, very old-school sounding without all the goofy splendor I expected (which makes me wonder how spock will look on stage these days). it was funny to see how the crowd went crazy for and one's version of "headhunter," and I can only wonder if they thought it really was the and one's song.
 
after and one's set I was not all that excited (although still curious) to finally see covenant. and seeing the whole crowd (of what seemed to be well over a thousand people) starting to move with the first moments of covenant performance, I was reassured that it indeed would be an impressive show. for the most part of the main set covenant played the material from the last album, and the crowd seemed to respond to every track. of course, two encores with all the hits that I am sure everyone was expecting were a welcome addition.
 
I guess for years I have always been dying to hear and see "theremin", "figurehead" and "stalker" played live. and while over the years this craving has faded away somewhat, the whole atmosphere of this evening has revived that feeling, enhanced by the responsibility I felt to be present at this show while so many friends of mine, being a big fans of the band, were not able to witness it. and all the speculations of how much of the material was actually played live (it kind of makes you wonder when the whole band is dancing at the front of the stage leaving all the gear unattended with the music still going on).
 
also the light show deserves a separate mention; it really did match the image of the band - all those abstract gradients, blurred images - something so simple, but together with the music and other dramatic lightning providing a striking effect. I am sure that in retrospect all those industrial heads would have identified somewhat "glamorously poppy" and overly slick and "professional" aspect of it (at least I did), but at the time it was a very welcomed addition adding to overall image of the band (I guess the word "industrial" and even "dark electro" is not supposed to be used in order to describe covenant these days).
 
it was interesting to meet at this show a few people I saw during "achtung amerika!" as well as some other US noise shows. despite all their "hardcore" attitude I suspected, they still warmed up to covenant and happily danced the night away.
 
I am not sure if I would be as excited about seeing these bands perform again, but as a first live experience it was nice to finally pay tribute to all these years when they used to be an example and a source for many. I would suggest this show to any fan of electro or those bands, see these bands play, at least once.

related links
icon of coil "one nation under beat" review
and one "virgin superstar" review
and one "wasted" review
covenant "united states of mind" review

 
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