Sunday, April 6, 2014

Combichrist/ William Control/ New Years Day @ Empire 4/4/2014

I went to see industrial/EDM group Combichrist at Empire ($20). I saw Jason, Jess, Rick, Joanna and her bf, and Milla there.  This is one of 3 industrial/EDM shows that Empire has listed so far this year, and the first time I've seen Combichrist so I was pretty excited. A lot of my metal friends went up to Baltimore to see Y&T, but I picked this as I needed to see Combichrist. Y&T was great when I did see them, so Combi better be amazing!

There were several hundred people there- it was pretty packed, especially on the floor! I was pleasantly surprised, I didn't expect that many people to show up, but I guess people travel far! The bar was packed, so I hit up the Alchemy Room and Ms. Ashley from NYD walked in from the back! 

Merch wise, Combichrist had a bunch of shirts, all their CDs and some other items (see merchpics).  William Control had some shirts, and some interesting looking PVC underwear (!?).  Not sure the prices on those.  New Year's Day had underwhelming shirts, a poster, CDs ($15), some sort of photo book, and I think one other piece of merch.  Not a bad selection at all, except I didn't really think any of the Combichrist shirts were great.

The unfortunately harder to google New Year's Day was up first, and the crowd was pretty amped to see them, it seemed. Ashley was very energetic and a bit foul mouthed. The rest of the band was pretty active too, and the bassist (Anthony Barro) provided the male vocals for the songs. They had 2 guitarists which seemed odd, since their songs didn't seem to have any sort of need for 2. In fact, it seemed that one of them (with facepaint and fake blood capsules) was kind of Paul Stanleying playing.  They had a pretty short set, but they played a ton of songs. I will give them props to their performance and getting the crowd moving, but their songs were doing nothing for me...underwhelming. They remind me of Stitched Up Heart with their energy, band makeup, and style... but SUHeart is way better.  I thought their performance was good, but I don't think I'd see them headline.

The Controversial William Control was up next. The last time we saw him it was opening for The Birthday Massacre, and he got a bit pissed.  William and his bassist and ... his laptop... took the stage in almost complete darkness.  This made it hard to take photos, I needed the flash. A few songs in, his laptop had some technical difficulties and ... just stopped. He shouted at someone to alter the lighting ("Goddammit Hans, shut off that damn strobelight, I'm going to get a seizure!), and a few minutes later I guess they rebooted his laptop and they started again.  William, whose style is like a goth rockabilly (shades of psychobilly even?), was in a 3 piece suit. I don't recall what his bassist had on.  I thought his voice sounded fine, but his songs were kind of too gothy and not heavy/energetic enough for me. I will say that this performance was much better than last time, and he sounded veyr clear- and it actually got pretty decent by the end.  The crowd seemed appreciative tho.  Ashley from New Year's Day also came out to do a couple songs with him for whatever reason. That was cool.

The mighty Combichrist came on to a huge ovation from a crowd thirsty to see these lads!  Frontman Andy LaPlegua had some sort of light up mask and hoodie deployed for the first song. It was pretty cool and entirely appropriate for this type of scene. It did kind of remind me of Tron, tho.  Joe Letz on keys, and the very .. unique looking Abbey Nex (I swear I've seen this guy at some other shows) on guitar, and someone else on bass rounded it out. Let's just say that Combichrist brought the aggressive electronic /industrial/whatever music and the crowd was AMPED. Check out the short video clip below- people were dancing, headbanging, fist pumping, jumping, and even some pits!  For pretty much every song. I think they played a decent amount from their new album (We Love You), so that was pretty cool. I had only heard "Maggots," and that sounded fantastic live and got everyone moving even more. "Body Beat" sounded the best, and then "Maggots."  I don't think I've got any complaints about the sound, I felt the energy course thru me and the rest of the people there- maybe the vox were a bit muffled on a couple songs, but they are harsh to begin with, so I don't think I noticed any difference.

Setlist wise, I think it was fine- I'd never seen them before, so new songs, old songs, whatever was good!  new songs sounded good, old sounded great, so nothing to complain about there.  They played a full headline set (1.5 hr), but it seemed like it flew by!  I think it's safe to say that most of the people were there for Combichrist.

Overall, a great night for EDM/EBM/Aggrotech/goth/electronic/industrial music, even if  I think the VNV Nation and Aesthetic Perfection shows may be similar turnout (hrm tho the weekend def helps too).  I am glad we get these niche acts out here in the DC Metro area (ish)!

next Show: All That Remains at 930

Want another Opinion?

New Year's Day
Me with Ashley Costello from New Year's Day 
William Control
Combichrist II

Combichrist crazy Crowd 


New Years Day (9:00- 9:27)
  • My Dear
  • Death of the Party
  • Angel Eyes
  • I, Machine
  • Do Your Worst
  • Murder
  • Any Last Words?
  • 2 in the chest, 1 in the head

William Control (9:50- 10:33)
  • New World Order (A New Kind Of Faith)
  • We are Lovers
  • Price We Pay
  • (laptop issues) !!!
  • Illuminator
  • Beautiful Loser
  • Strangers
  • Dorian Grey (with Ashley from New Year's Day)
  • Tranquilize  (with Ashley from New Year's Day)
  • Revelator 
  • Razor's Edge
  • I'm only human sometimes

Combichrist (11:04-12:32)  (thank you
  • Intro (Orchestral version of "What the Fuck Is Wrong With You? )
  • We Were Made to Love You 
  • Today I Woke to the Rain of Blood 
  • Blut Royale 
  • Every Day Is War 
  • Can't Control 
  • Throat Full of Glass 
  • Maggots at the Party 
  • Denial 
  • What the Fuck Is Wrong With You? 
  • The Evil in Me 
  • No Redemption 
  • Follow the Trail of Blood 
  • Shut Up and Swallow 
  • Get Your Body Beat 
  • Love Is a Razorblade 

  • Fuck That Shit 
  • Sent to Destroy