November 23, 2010
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Roy Turner
Photos by Lisa Bush
Industrial bands often share similarities, it is reasonable that one could go to an industrial show with little prior knowledge of the main group, and still enjoy themselves, certain of what the evening would be like. With Nitzer Ebb, however, the darkness and somber attitudes are shrugged off, in favor of a minimalist but wildly energetic performance that got even the moodiest Hot Topic employee in the audience up on their feet and gothing this night away.
In support of Industrial Complex, the band's first record of new material in 15 years, Nitzer Ebb have not lost the touch that have gained them acclaim the world over for so long, in fact they have just gotten better. In a very impressive 85 minute set, the trio who looked like three dapper mod Englishmen that just stepped out of Ben Sherman store took the stage at full force.
Opening with Payroll a track off Industrial Complex, Nitzer Ebb looked as confident as ever and was not going to let up through the night. With percussionists Bon Harris and Jason Payne providing the pulse pounding rhythms, all of the synths and guitar work were all provided by their Mac laptops, as singer Douglas McCarthy would strut back and forth on the stage like rabid dog, it was something to admire.
The energy, along with the simple call-and-response formula of many of Nitzer Ebb's lyrics, made the show extremely accessible and entertaining, with even those unfamiliar with the band's new material joining in on some of the more recent pieces.
Being that this is the only time I have seen Nitzer Ebb live before, and also being that I was relatively unfamiliar with their material up until this point in time, The nature of the band's music, as mentioned previously, is such that one is able to jump in and join the excitement after hearing only one verse or chorus of a previously-unknown song.
The opening band, Tense, who are from Houston were a nice surprise as well. The duo of singer and synth expert Robert Lane, along with girlfriend Mariana Saldana on electronic drums, gave an exciting performance, even under the gentle hues of red and blue that only slightly illuminated their set. Frontman Lane, who kept launching himself to the edge of the stage, was equally matched in energy by the writhing and undulations of Saldana under and around her drumkit. Despite a very short set, they were well-received by the crowd.