Added to the tour for the new album “Metanoia” only recently, this concert at Rock Cafe proved to be as not accidental as possible. And as classy, as you should expect from one of the best bands in the popular “independent” music.
As time passes, IAMX`s visual style becomes ever more exquisite, and what seemed to be a little flamboyant several years ago, is now wonderfully, flawlessly subtle. It is a theatre of shadows (with only a pinch of sparkles), but a theatre of shadows implemented into an ultra-modern concert environment. And when the show is over, you know – more than that, you feel – that it undoubtedly rocked.
Rocked a lot thanks to Janine Gezang and Sammi Doll, two female demons, who more than successfully competed with Chris Corner for the attention of the audience.
The current live line-up includes four people, and the gender balance is only the most obvious manifestation of the overall concept of symmetry. This symmetry is reflected in videos shown on four square screens, in a number of screens themselves, in two microphones that Chris Corner uses to transfer his magnificent voice, becoming the axis and starting point himself. And the perfectly weighed androgyny of the band members is far from the end of it.
The concert started with the fail-safe “I Come with Knives” and continued with a mixture of old and new material. “Happiness”, “No Maker Made Me”, “Nightlife”, “Aphrodisiac”… Through the six existing albums IAMX has not changed drastically, and the songs played last Friday formed a homogenous flow with that peculiar, almost synaesthetic feel only their music has.
The precise rhythm makes you dance, but the nerve, the piercing clearness of vocals make it much more. Something quaint, but strangely organic to you. And indeed, two encores followed, before the band was finally gone.
Videos that were being screened, unlike many other concerts, where they are just a somewhat perfunctory background for musicians, seemed incredibly inherent. They are partly official music videos, partly not, and during the best moments you suddenly remember the visual art that made Depeche Mode so dear to everyone, and applaud this similarity internally. A similarity of essence, far from repetition.
The whole “Metanoia” album is said to be forged by insomnia and depression, and maybe this is what made Chris Corner the slender shadow he is in his current image. But there is definitely life in this darkness, and inspiration is the best thing an artist can gain from an experience.
This latter thing is surely what you could perceive, if you were at Rock Cafe last Friday.