KMDFM celebrates 40 years of kickin’ ass in Atlanta with start of LET GO tour 03/06/24

By Ellen Eldridge

The last time I saw KMFDM live was during the late 1990s. I remember having a Nihil sticker on the back of my car. That’s about all I remember about that time of my life.

Of course I’m joking.

My formative years were influenced by so-called industrial music including Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Type O Negative, PIG, and KMFDM.

The ultra heavy beat wasn’t all the entertainment I identified with, danced to, and sang along with, but I never forgot the energy.

The songs don’t take themselves too seriously. They are fun reminders to PUSH ahead, LET GO, and let your FREAK FLAG fly.

And the kids just love it.

Hands thrown in the air, fist-slapping the sky.

Fans of all ages bobbed along, banging heads to the “ultra heavy beat” at the Masquerade in Atlanta March 6, 2024.

KMFDM opened its 40-year anniversary tour for Let Go, the band’s 23 studio album, with the first track off the 2022 release, Hyëna.

Led by Sascha Konietzko, also known as Käpt’n K, and Lucia Cifarelli, the current lineup includes Andee Blacksugar on guitar and Andy Selway on drums.

In addition to “All 4 1,” the band played the only other songs on Hyëna that the foursome share writing credit: “Blindface” and “Liquor Fish & Cigarettes.”

“We are the masters of our destiny / Architects of history” lyrics remind us that we do have choices and can make our own way through political division.

We can also dance to it.

Shake your fist, bang your head, get your body beat

This is counterculture, repeat

German engineering

Astounding ingenuity

38 years of conceptual continuity

KMFDM songs have taken a hard look at the leaders of the free world and how our rights are stripped from us for 40 years now. If you haven’t yet, take a listen.

Yes. KMFDM is “Doin’ it again” like they did when I saw them in the ‘90s playing songs off Angst, Nihil, Xtort, and Symbols. With 23 albums, choosing a setlist must be tough, but the 22 songs played in Atlanta showcased a great mix of the KMFDM sound.

The light show fit the flow of the performance.

As fans moved and, occasionally moshed, in the crowd, a color wheel of T-shirts showed off the art of the inimitable Aidan Hughes, also known as BRUTE.

As energetic as the lights were, the band didn’t hide behind backlighting, though I wasn’t sure I ever saw the drummer onstage.

Again, I’m joking.

Industrial is punk’s grittier cousin. I think, for me, part of the reason KMFDM I love the ultra heavy beat is the heavy guitar riffs that are mixed with enough ‘80s pop synth to keep me nostalgic. There wasn’t much I liked about that decade. Hot pink windbreakers and stiff bang expectations didn’t suit me as well as long black skirts and chains.

The group made minimal effort to pretend the set was over after “A Drug Against War,” which I thought was cute.

Modern times mean easy access to things like setlists and photos of live shows. Hell, most of the live shows are all over the internet as fan videos and even live streams.

So, I knew the band was coming back.

When they did, Cifarelli performed for the first time live “No God Here” from her forthcoming solo album.

Thank you @kickstarter for your support! I‘m humbled, honored and grateful to be a project you love! #kickstarter #campaign #luciacifarelli #nogodhere #new #pledge

— Lucia Cifarelli (@LuciaKMFDM) March 5, 2024

She told the crowd quietly that she felt vulnerable.

Cifarelli said that No God Here is a collection of songs about perseverance, resilience, and the stories that shape the individual and collective spirit.

Lucia decided to launch her Kickstarter to not only coincide with the KMFDM tour of the U.S. in March, but also to pay homage to Women’s History Month.

“I couldn’t embark on this journey without the hard work of all the female pioneers in music who came before me,” she said in a press release. “When I’m singing and recording these songs, I know that I’m standing on their shoulders. I am forever grateful for the path they have carved in the musical landscape for myself and others.”

The set closed with “Paradise,” and Konietzko blew kisses to the fans he’s been thankful for, for forty years.


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