Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Review Tuesday: VNV NATION NOIRE TOUR @ Irving Plaza 11/24/2018

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Irving Plaza

I learned about VNV Nation years ago when they participated on a Front 242 Tribute album. On Saturday November 24, VNV performed at NYC's Irving Plaza on a dark and stormy night.
VNV Nation is a European-based alternative electronic project led by Ronan Harris in the roles of singer, songwriter and producer.

VNV Nation's sound blends poetic and thought provoking lyrics with a sound that ranges from melodic dance beats and indie-electronic anthems, to haunting ballads and post-classical soundtrack pieces. The live shows are known for their energy and positive emotion, drawing a devoted fanbase from across the musical spectrum to sold out tours and headline appearances at festivals in Europe and America.

Over the course of the project's career, VNV Nation success has continued to grow, with its last three albums charting top 10 in Germany, with its 2015 album Resonance: Music For Orchestra Vol. 1 achieving top five Billboard chart positions in the US.

Ronan Harris was born in Dublin, Ireland, and lives in Hamburg, Germany.

The "VNV" in the name stands for "Victory Not Vengeance", in keeping with the group's motto, "One should strive to achieve, not sit in bitter regret."

On 16 November 2017, Mark Jackson, who had participated as live drummer at concerts since the mid 1990s, had left VNV Nation.
Personally I enjoy getting to shows when the doors open so I get to experience new acts. You never know when the opening band tonight will be the host of a rockin' tour in the future. This time, however, due to weather and getting older I arrived at the show around 9 PM, right after the second act had left the stage. By 9:20 VNV was performing. 

VNV Nation is technically one guy, Ronan Harris, but he tours with two keyboardists and a drummer. You can see that Ronan is having a great time performing. As for the rest of the band, I am not entirely convinced that they actually played anything and were just going through the motions for the full live show feel. When It comes to many industrial acts, I can never understand why the singer doesn't just come out on stage and perform. Does anyone even care if anyone else performs in that scenario?

Ronan put the crowd in line after the first song. He asked people to please have a good time, but DO NOT obstruct the views of fellow fans with your cell phones. Afterall, aren't all at a show to EXPERIENCE it? How to you experience life through a four inch cell phone screen?

Ronan sang well. He sounded differently from the records so you know he was really singing. He was having a great time while he was at it, which always makes a show more fun. The general sound and levels were perfect. Nothing ended up muddy, everything sounded crystal clear.

"Average Setlist"
  1. A Million
  2. Armour
  3. Space & Time
  4. Sentinel
  5. When is the Future
  6. Honour 2003
  7. Tomorrow Never Comes
  8. The Farthest Star
  9. Illusion
  10. God of All
  11. Epicentre
  12. Chrome
  13. Lights Go Out
  14. Control
  15. Carbon
  16. Homeward
  17. Immersed
  18. Resolution
  1. Nova
  2. Standing
  3. All Our Sins
While I enjoyed the show very much. The only drawback was the crowd. I hope it was just the clutch of people we were surrounded by, but they were terrible human beings. There was an unnecessary amount of pushing and shoving and general rude behavior. This show was a rare occasion that I actually wanted to leave before the show was over just to avoid the horrible crowd while exiting the building. Other than that, I have been wanting to see this band perform for YEARS and finalyl got to do so. I was pleased with the experience!

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