22 May 2008


Believe it or not, Kraftwerk recently finished a 4 city tour of the United States, and their second show was at the Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee. This is outstanding because the group has only toured the US once since 1981, and that was a decade ago when they played all the major cities you would expect. This year's mini-tour was ostensibly a warm-up for their headlining show at Coachella, and I just think it's tremendously cool that they played Minneapolis, Milwaukee and Denver. Lots of of fellow Germans up this way, you know, though I can't speak for Denver's ethnic make-up. I've been to Denver twice in my life, and all I remember were a ton of very tall and beautiful women.

What's important here, I think, is the simple fact that they played a show in Wisconsin. NOBODY cool ever plays this godforsaken state. This has been a major peeve of mine for at least a decade, and I only half-understand the phenomenon. Sure, the local scenes in every Wisco city suck huge balls, but that shouldn't keep nationally touring acts from stopping within our borders every once in awhile.

More suck - it must be noted that co-founder of the group, Florian Schneider, did not tour. Nobody knows why.

It also sucked that I didn't go to the show. It sold out quickly, and while I would consider it a feather in my musical fanboy cap to have seen at least one Kraftwerk show in my life, I didn't go out of my way to buy overpriced tickets from brokers or scalpers. As it turned out, I got word that scalpers were outside the venue selling tickets at face value, and that sucks hardest of all, in the end.

I found this out because one of my coworkers went to the show with his wife. He's alot like me in age and interests, and he thought the show was outstanding, and that ultimately, because of the kind of show they do, the absence of Florian didn't matter. True enough.

On the other hand, Eric from Mad City Music, also went to the show, which he mentioned when he saw me purchasing a used copy of the group's The Mix album. He said he was bored by about the ten minute mark, but then, Eric is an Indie Rock kinda guy whom I never would have guessed might go to a Kraftwerk show. "I never would have guessed you would have gone to a Kraftwerk show", I said to the scruffy youngish man in his plaid dress shirt and thick-rimmed glasses. Of course, I wear alot of plaid and thick -rimmed glasses as well, so...

This video is from their 2004 world tour, which did not include the US, and certainly not Wisconsin.

Hotcha! Hank

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