The staff handing out 3-D eyeglasses have been a very clear sign that we ended up in for a really different type of concert on Wednesday night (July 6) at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.
Extremely unique, that is, for any band not named Kraftwerk, the pioneering German digital new music troupe that has been embracing 3-D technologies for quite a few years.
The Düsseldorf-born act — which presently consists of founding member Ralf Hütter as effectively as Fritz Hilpert, Henning Schmitz and Falk Grieffenhagen — initially wowed Bay Spot lovers with its 3-D tour for the duration of a few nights at the Fox Theater in Oakland in 2014.
And it would do so again throughout its remarkably expected return trip to the Bay Spot, taking part in additional than two dozen tunes and offering some eye-popping visuals in its two-hour show on Wednesday.
The band customers looked like characters from the film “Tron” as they walked out on to the phase in jumpsuits decorated with glowing LED strips and took their sites at their keyboard stands/podiums, where by they would stay in essence motionless — apart from for shifting their hands and arms to perform to the hello-tech machinery — for most of the night time.
Kraftwerk kicked off the display with 5 straight quantities from “Computer Environment,” the excellent 1981 strategy album that looks very prophetic some 40 yrs down the road in the ways it addresses the soaring worth of engineering in the entire world.
The audio sounded wildly futuristic, even although some of it experienced been originally recorded approximately a fifty percent century previously, underscoring as soon as once again that Kraftwerk has to rank between the most-ahead-imagining functions of all time.
The historic context is necessary to appropriately appraise Kraftwerk’s just about unparalleled influence on the pop audio planet. It’s difficult to consider what synth-pop, techno and club music may seem like currently devoid of these Rock and Roll Corridor of Famers — if, without a doubt, all those genres would even exist.
The band’s impact on dance pop, hip-hop, publish-punk and other designs has also been monumental, as artists and producers keep on to switch to Kraftwerk’s a long time-previous recordings for inspiration and, in some situations, precise grooves.
The latter is the motive why a single can identify Kraftwerk’s songs with out obtaining ever listened to a Kraftwerk tune, as the group has been sampled by so quite a few other artists.
It produced for a pleasurable musical trivia game of kinds — listening to the team accomplish a quantity in live performance and then hoping to remember how that tune had been utilised in recordings by other functions. A person providing that genuinely stood out on Wednesday was “Trans-Europe Categorical,” which Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Power famously borrowed from on the floor-breaking hip-hop reduce “Planet Rock” and, in switch, impressed countless other artists.
The visuals were just as impactful as the songs for the duration of the live performance, with the 3-D outcomes performing fantastic — particularly for those people positioned on the primary flooring in close proximity to the front of the phase — as room-age imagery combined with early ’80s personal computer recreation graphics and waves of coding. There were being sizable gasps to be listened to as a 3-D image — such as a flying saucer or a satellite — seemed to split free of charge from the huge monitor guiding the stage and basically make its way out into the crowd.
The band saved some of its most effective choices for last, jogging by a selection of “Tour de France”-titled cuts and then closing the principal established with “Metal on Steel.” The 4 musicians then remaining the stage, only to be changed by four funky robots who would dance to grooves whilst lovers waited for their human counterparts to return.
They would ultimately do so, of program, bringing the display to a triumphant conclusion with “Pocket Calculator,” “Music Non Stop” and other retro-futuristic blasts.