I have seen these guys three times now. I can say with a fair degree of certainty that they are the best live band in existence. A VNV Nation show is not a concert; it is a life experience. I ... really. Words escape me. These guys are so amazing.
Tomorrow Never Comes
The Fathest Star
What You Played: Was goddamn incredible. No, really. Look at that setlist. Plus the second encore included a completely impromptu decision to jam out and play "Electronaut," during which Ronan and Mark entered into some pretty intense keyboard dueling.
...But You Didn't Play: Anything from Praise the Fallen. C'mon, guys. You did "Honour" and "Solitary" last July. And I've still yet to hear you play "Joy." Also, I don't think you've ever once played "Where There Is Light," and you should rectify that. Other than that, bravo. REALLY.
The Opening Band: Was System Syn, and they were really really good. And they played a kickass EBM cover of R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion." VNV Nation is really good at the opening band game. Seriously: Imperative Reaction, Ayria, War Tapes, these guys. Not a bad one in the bunch.
The Launchpad: Is by far the best venue in Albuquerque and, despite employing the biggest douchebags on the planet as techies and bouncers, I'm immensely glad VNV played there again.
The Crowd: Was tremendous. Seriously. They told us we were the loudest audience they'd had on this tour.
Ronan Harris: Is the nicest man on the planet. As per usual, he signed posters and shook hands.
The Best Shit of My Life: Was before the first encore. The band had some sound monitor problems, so the tech guys had to run around in the dark and mess with the equipment. This obviously delayed the band from coming back and playing their encore. SO, Ronan explains the situation, tells us to bear with them, and suggests we sing "a Journey song or something." The crowd then proceeds to sing in unision an entire medley of Journey songs. It was beautiful.
Tonight: Was incredible. Thank you, Albuquerque, for reminding me that you really can play host to amazing shows. It's been over a year -- since February of '09 when I saw Streetlight Manifesto at, hey whaddaya know, The Launchpad -- that I've even been to a good one here, much less something like this.
... next for-sure show is Minus the Bear next month sometime. They're playing at the Sunshine (god I hate the Sunshine), but hey. At least they're playing here, right?