Concert Reviews

Hanzel Und Gretyl
May 26th 2010

DNA Lounge, San Francisco, CA, USA

Everyone's favorite Fake-German industrial band was making their way to DNA Lounge, sadly, on a Wednesday night, but despite it being a "school night", I ventured out to see the band anyways. After 2 very forgettable opening acts, the band took the stage in a puff of dry ice.

The group is now a three piece (they've probably been that way for awhile, but I haven't seen them live in a number of years), with Vas Kallas doing all the bass playing, and of course Kaizer Von Loopy doing guitar and some backup vocals. Their new drummer is also really good, while he has the groove of the last guy, he's also very speedy on the doublebass. The band seemed like they started with their latest material, and worked their way backwards through their albums, with the end of the concert very heavily weighted towards Uber Alles era material. They played quite a number of songs, including 'Disko Fire Scheiss Messiah', 'Third Reich From The Sun', 'Ich Bin Uber Alles', 'SS Deathstar Superglactik', 'Mein Kommandant', 'Das Boot', '11:11' and finishing with 'Fukken Uber Death Party'.

Now as for the performance itself, the concert was much more about antics then any real strong instrument playing. The drums were live and fantastic, but Loopy was playing overtop of a recorded guitar/samples track, and his live contribution to the music was more random noise than any actual playing. He also frequently threw the microphone into the crowd, and so didn't really do much singing himself. Vas' vocals thankfully were done mostly by her, and not some person in the crowd, and she did an excellent job from singing to screaming. The antics were the real show for the most part, Loopy handed up probably hundreds of dollars of beer out to the crowd, as well as pouring tons of beer into his own mouth, much of which missed and went all over his costume. He has left behind the leiderhosen, and now wears an old military uniform with a helmet with a giant silver bird sitting ontop. And of course, he retains his aviator goggles. His clothing was super wet after he drank several beers from an audience member's boot during the song 'Das Boot'. Vas did a nice erotic dance during the song 'Mein Kommandant'.

When all the carnage was done, my friend commented that Hanzel Und Gretyl is not the kind of band you want to see live if you don't know their music. They're more about partying with people who already know the songs, and are interested in just seeing the carnage rather than a super tight well played show. And in general I have to agree. The concert was fun, but with a lot of the samples / tracks and vocal snippets prerecorded, not the best thing to go too if you're looking for a concert with a more musical / instrument performance angle to it.

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