When host Werner Höfer asked for an “international morning pint” on television, it wasn’t just the journalists’ heads that were spinning. At that time it was still allowed to puff during the talk. After a quarter of an hour at the latest, the broadcast TV image looked like the weather in the Thames metropolis of London on a foggy, cloudy late afternoon due to the high level of cigarette consumption by the participants. Kraftklub also directly associate fogging with the topic “head”.
The quintet from Chemnitz has been playing the fast-paced song “In meine Kopf” for a good minute at the beginning of their sold-out concert in the Frankfurt Festhalle – and yet remains visually completely invisible. What drives the crowd of visitors crazy, both in the interior separated by several breakwaters and on the two tiers. Hysterical screaming, hooting and cheering like in a boy band à la Backstreet Boys or Take That. Finally, the gigantic rectangular cuboid slowly rises to reveal the view of the stage. In the crazy flickering of several strobe lights, the band acted like they were out of control, surrounded by fog, haze and smoke. Within seconds, the pointer rushes up the open-ended euphoria scale.
So that the evoked high does not drop immediately, singer Felix Brummer, bassist Till Brummer, drummer Max Marschk, rhythm guitarist and second voice Karl Schumann as well as solo guitarist and keyboardist Steffen Israel continue to step on the gas. With a few exceptions, the more than two dozen original compositions rush along at breakneck speed with a sound balance that is quite acceptable for the location. Always equipped with a catchy, melodic chorus with clear cross-references to London punk from the 1970s and a little bit to Britpop from the 1990s.
After a tough ascent, as the talkative Felix Brummer remembers from earlier performances in the Main metropolis, first in the nightlife, then in the Batschkapp and finally in the Centennial Hall, Kraftklub finally made it into the Oberliga with repeated guest appearances in the Festhalle. This means that the East German quintet can not only consider themselves the legitimate heirs of the already stylistically related punk icons Die Ärzte and Die Toten Hosen when it comes to seditious “Randale” – after all, that’s what a song is called. The creative potential of the power club founded in 2010 by the Brummer brothers alias Kummer – both sons of Ina and Jan Kummer, co-founders of the DDR-Avantgarde-Gruppe AG – is far from being exhausted after four number one studio albums.
Show for several generations
The current repertoire includes all the songs from the current LP “Kargo” – as a band you have to have the courage to do that. Each of the new as well as older titles proves to be an enchantingly coherent contribution by a formation significantly calibrated for vehement celebration.
Especially since the supporting act Mia Morgan and Duo Blond (Lotta and Nina Kummer, Felix and Till’s sisters) also integrate guests and a young lady from the audience is allowed to spin the obligatory song wheel of fortune. Such clear messages not only speak directly from the soul of young fans, but also draw several generations to the local arenas. There then, as in the Festhalle, the bear tap-dances. In the interior, especially in the first quadrant directly in front of the stage, intense jostling, pogo hopping, ring dancing and arm swinging are practiced in the narrowest of spaces. Of course, the daring ones don’t want to do without crowdsurfing – the security on duty literally has their hands full.
The stage setting proves to be remarkable: although there would be an enormous amount of space in the area, the band played close together at the front edge of the stage, as if they were still working in a club and were not quite comfortable with the oversized dimensions. For the songs “Kein Liebeslied”, “Bei Dir” and “500 K” Kraftklub even get pretty close. They march down from the stage with their instruments across the crowd into the second quadrant, even playing at eye level in the midst of the fans. By crowd surfing in a roll forwards over the heads of the audience, the Brummer brothers finally return to the stage. Such gestures are greatly appreciated by the audience. The collective euphoria increases to an unimagined extent up to the finale, which is prepared with confetti and streamers.
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