TVD Live Shots: KMFDM at the Belasco, 3/24

KMFDM, the pioneers of a genre known as “Ultra Heavy Beat,” recently set the Belasco theater ablaze with an electrifying show that will undoubtedly go down as one of the best in 2024 (and we are just getting started). On Sunday the 24th, a nearly sold-out venue bore witness to the explosive synergy between band and audience as fans swarmed the frontlines early on to secure a vantage point into the electrifying world that would soon be unchained. It ended up being a show for the ages and solidified KMFDM’s status as one of the most influential and resilient bands on the planet today.

The anticipation for KMFDM’s show on Sunday was tangible as dedicated followers, clad in their industrial uniform of black boots and propaganda tees, lined up hours before door time. Once the music finally kicked in, it was clear that neither the band nor the audience were going to hold anything back in the City of Angels. From the opening chords of “All 4 1” to a killer 5-song encore, the crowd was a sea of unbridled enthusiasm, singing along to every lyric, moshing in the pit, and reciprocating the band’s dynamism with unflagging zeal.

Throughout the evening, monumental tracks like “Hyena,” “A Drug Against War,” and “Megalomaniac” became anthems for the KMFDM faithful with the band delivering them with their hallmark ferocity. Sascha Konietzko’s foundational vocals coupled with his electronic wizardry immediately whipped the crowd into an irreversible frenzy that could not be stopped. Then layer in the powerhouse guitar performance of Andee Blacksugar and Andy Selway’s precision on drums, and a conjured force was unleashed that took immediate command of the theater.

Amidst the chaos on Sunday, lead vocalist Lucia Cifarelli emerged as a figure that was impossible to overlook. Her vocal prowess and killer stage presence enthralled the audience, giving them a performance that many would not only remember but would be a benchmark future concerts. In one unforgettable moment during “No God Here” (off of a soon to be released solo LP), her voice soared over the industrial grind, capturing the hearts of every attendee with a passion and power that highlighted her amazing talent as a singer, songwriter, and best-in-class vocalist. There was no doubt in my mind at the conclusion of the show about how insanely talented Lucia is and how important she is to the innermost fabric of KMFDM.

From a personal standpoint, the night in total was a revelation of multi-sensory delights. Witnessing the fervent joy and carefree release of the crowd was a testament to KMFDM’s impact over a legendary 40+ year career. It was also a reminder that amidst the lights, smoke (and trademark Ultra Heavy Beat), there is a community that finds solace and expression in the raw energy that Lucia and company bring to the stage each and every night. This came out in spades in the final song of the evening, “Paradise.” It’s one of my favorites and such a relevant track in today’s insanely crazy world—a perfect way to end their brilliant 22-song set.

Bottom line, KMFDM’s Los Angeles show wasn’t simply a gig—it was a cathartic pilgrimage for those devoted to the pulsating beats of industrial rock. The band’s tight-knit performance and audience’s fervor served as potent reminders of the live music experience at its most exhilarating. With the echoes of the night still reverberating in the hearts and ears of those who were present, one thing remains clear in my mind—KMFDM remains to this day an unstoppable force in the world of music, delivering out-of-this world performances that capture the hearts and minds of their fanbase worldwide.


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