NITZER EBB BRING THE CHANT!

24.11.09 @ Urban Lounge, Salt Lake City, Utah – USA
review by Brian Jenson

Nitzer Ebb made their return to Salt Lake City on a cold November Tuesday night, over two years since their last visit to this city by a dead lake. Salt Lake, while sometimes regarded as the “synthpop capital of the States”, has many fans of synth and electronic music and
not surprisingly, the small club was packed with eager fans to see the Ebb.

I arrived at the club at 9:00, expecting local deathrock openers Tragic Black to be hitting the stage, but to the surprise of everyone, the instrumental intro “Time Slips By” began unexpectedly blaring from the sound system just before 10. Apparently there was going to be no opening act, so I took my spot in the pit, just a foot away from the barrier free, two foot high stage.

Newly reinstated drummer Jason Payne, and programmer/drummer Bon Harris took to the minimal stage well dressed and looking dapper, while noticeably absent was Hilary Swank doppelgänger, Kourtney Klein, who is no longer with the band. Taking a page from Covenant’s style, lead vocalist Douglas McCarthy sported slicked back hair with silver cop sunglasses, a black suit, white shirt, and a black skinny tie, a welcome change from his previous uniform of bare chest and spandex biker shorts.

The first track of the night was the pulsating “Promises”, the opening track from the new album ‘Industrial Complex’. Throughout the set, other new songs performed were “Once You Say”, “Hit You Back”, “Payroll”, and “Down On Your Knees” and selections from all of their back catalogue except for ‘Bit Hit’. The new material contains elements of all five of their previous albums brilliantly combined into a sleeker, slighlty poppier Ebb. Throughout the show, Jason Payne alternated between sitting at his drum kit and standing, taking on most bass drum and snare parts. Bon tackled the percussive sounds with his trigger pads, cymbals, and MIDI xylophone. McCarthy’s voice sounded strong and better than ever as he stalked back and forth across the stage tackling all the grunts, growls, shouts, and singing.

One of the standout moments of the night was during the bible sermon sample of “Blood Money”, when Douglas twitched and shook as if possessed by spirits. Another high point of the set was during “Control I’m Here”, when McCarthy amps up the crowd to the repeat of “Start It Up, Start It Up!” After the crowd pleasing “Join In The Chant”, the band left the stage, and then returned to play an encore of crowd favorite “Getting Closer”, and then ending the show with “I Give To You” and saying “we’ll see you next time”.

Overall, it was a powerful and energetic show. Most of the thirty-something crowd were dancing, bouncing, and shouting along to the songs. The band were clearly blown away by the response, and delivered a passionate and driving set. The only disappointment of the night was that they didn’t have the Tour Edition CD of ‘Industrial Complex’ available for sale yet. Luckily, it became available on US iTunes three days later, and will be for sale at all the continuing stateside shows. This Industrial Complex tour is a great rehearsal and warmup for the band’s upcoming opening slot on Depeche Mode’s Tour of the Universe. Don’t miss out on the “dream team” lineup!

Get tickets for your europe dates now!

Setlist:
Time Slips By (Intro)
Promises
Let Your Body Learn
Shame
Hearts And Minds
Once You Say
Lightning Man
Hit You Back
Blood Money
Payroll
Godhead
Ascend
Down On Your Knees
Murderous
Control I’m Here
Join In The Chant

Encore:
Getting Closer
I Give To You

YouTube links:
Control Im Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzI1ylbhQyA
Join In The Chant: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXI9gAzLbQ8
Getting Closer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aoj32zlWNMk

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1 Comment

  1. […] One of the standout moments of the night was during the bible sermon sample of “Blood Money”, when Douglas twitched and shook as if possessed by spirits. Another high point of the set was during “Control I’m Here”, when McCarthy amps up the crowd to the repeat of “Start It Up, Start It Up!” After the crowd pleasing “Join In The Chant”, the band left the stage, and then returned to play an encore of crowd favorite “Getting Closer”, and then ending the show with “I Give To You” and saying “we’ll see you next time”. [nitzer ebb] […]


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