The Machinists United In Paris

Event: The Machinists United Tour 2018
Written by: Darkside Momo
Published: 27.08.2018


The Machinists United in Paris by Darkside Momo (26)

Not being as watchful as I used to be about shows in Paris, I, at first, missed the announcement of this joined Front Line Assembly / Die Krupps co-headlining tour (some 20-odd years after the last they did together). But when I learned about it, guess what? I HAD to be there, as that is not the kind of line-up you'd want to miss - especially when you've never seen any of them live before!

Alas, this was still too early in August; we were still in summer holidays, and I guess this accounts a lot for the relatively small audience - I'm talking about 200 people at most. Those were a fluid mix of the spectrum linking rivetheads and metalheads; also - and that's maybe not really surprising - the average age was easily 30+ years old. Are indus metal and EBM stuff only for old people?

Tension Control

Minimal lights greeted the two guys that are Tension Control, who started their show in front of a small - but slowly growing - audience.

Theirs was a regular, mid-tempo, stompy EBM. While it came off sometimes as quite monotonous, as all songs shared the same structure and pace, it was nonetheless danceable enough so people in the pit finally warmed to it and started moving ("European Body Music", nice anti-brexit song) - something that genuinely pleased the band.

All in all, this was a pleasant, quite intimistic experience. They were a decent opener I guess!

Here's their Bandcamp for those interested!

After that, we waited. Then waited some more. Jared Slingerland finally came to tell us that one bandmember was late at the venue, and that it was impossible to join him. Given that the venue had to close early, we were to have at best a shortened set... He was clearly embarrased, as he said "it's the first time in thirteen years that something like this happens..." Oh well.

Front Line Assembly

Thankfully, less than ten minutes after that, the show finally started. Videos, then lights, and everything kicked in, with both keyboardists (Jared Slingerland and Rhys Fulber) hidden behind their camouflaged machines playing the instrumental track "Anthropod".

And then, first in the darkness then quickly drenched in lights, came a smiling, happy Bill Leeb, starting a new song, "Eye On You". No other excuses or any word about the delay, which left some people in the audience grumbling. Well, to each their own - but those stayed in the back. Meanwhile, in the pit, everyone was pretty happy, particularly considering how great the sound was. Lots of in-your-face lights and stroboscopes often forced me to close my eyes - when I wasn't trying to take pics anyway - but it was a good move as the hypnotic nature of FLA's music could take hold. Particularly considering that, as I said, that they played two keyboards and no guitars - which gave less impact but pushed the amospherics on the front. Anyway, when they needed impact, Bill Leeb (and Rhys Fulber at least one) hammered a drum with abandon, which was pretty nice! Bill also dedicated "Vanished" to his friend Jeremy Inkel, who passed away earlier this year and co-wrote some of the songs during his stint with the band (like the great "Shifting Through The Lens").

All in all, this was a really great show, with a fantastic sound, but shortened by two songs. For shame, really. This was SO frustrating...

1. "Anthropod"
2. "Eye On You" (new song)
3. "Neologic Spasm"
4. "Killing Grounds"
5. "Vanished"
6. "Shifting Through The Lens"
7. "Gun"
8. "Plasticity"
(Logically, "Deadened" and "Millenium" should have followed, as they did in London the day before)

And then the roadies worked like mad to ready the stage for Die Krupps. And indeed, the wait was shortened to a mere 15 minutes or so!

Die Krupps

My, what a steamroller!

No, really. They're a fucking great live band. As soon as they hit the stage, we were in for more than an hour of pure energy. With a setlist that looked like a best-of (with a few exceptions maybe) and a band really happy to be there, how could it be otherwise?

Thigh-as-a-duck's ass german precision was to be expected, and drummer Hendrik Thiesbrummel delivered, while a serious, almost scowling Ralf Dörper took charge of the electronics (fret not, he sure was happy too, as he showed at the end). On the front row, Marcel Zürcher (who enjoyed playing with the audience) and a younger Nils Finkeisen took charge of the guitars. And then, of course, there was Jürgen Engler.

He's one impressive frontman. Who could believe, after seeing him so active and energetic onstage, that he is close to 60? Smiling all along, he enjoyed the show as much as we did, and he even bent at least one one of the small metal rods he used to hit on his 5-metal-tubes stand... Too much force and violence!

On the audience's side, there was cheering, shouting (particularly on "To The Hilt" and "Machineries Of Joy") and dancing all along, with some good natured moshing at least half of the time ("Black Beauty White Heat", "Fuck You", and especially "Bloodsuckers"). Great times!

1. "The Dawning Of Doom"
2. "Der Amboss"
3. "Schmutzfabric"
4. "Germaniac"
5. "Fly Martyrs Fly"
6. "Black Beauty White Heat"
7. "Fuck You"
8. "To The Hilt"
9. "Metal Machine Music"
10. "Robo Sapiens"
11. "Nazis Auf Speed"
12. "Fatherland"
13. "Machineries Of Joy" (encore)
14. "Bloodsuckers" (encore)


The Front Line Assembly delay and shortened set problem aside (I'm not sure I'll take another 600km ride to see them because of this incident, but heck they were great live and I want to see a full set of theirs!), this was a great evening. The sound was perfect, the shows were great, and I'll catch them both again if I can - and I urge you to do the same !

Once again thanks to Roger Wessier of Base Prod for the press and photo pass!


Written on 27.08.2018 by Once your regular Hellfest reporter, now retired. I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.


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