If you're expecting this to be another fanboy review of the Kraftwerk Autobahn concert at the Tate Modern, full of words like "mesmerising", you won't be disappointed.
I'll start with the conclusion. This was the best concert - in fact, the best live event of any kind - I've ever seen. Yes, that's as viewed through rose tinted glasses (well, the greyish tint of the 3D glasses supplied during the concert) of an almost life-long fan, but I'm happy to call them as I see them. I saw U2 at the end of their Zooropa tour. I was a U2 devotee at the time, and the concert was crap.
I'll admit that I'd built up the anticipation of going to see Kraftwerk to such a level that I feared it would be impossible for them to match my expectations. I needn't have worried. They exceeded them to a level I wouldn't have thought possible.
The venue was perfect. The crowd (variously numbered anywhere between 700 and 1250) was how I would imagine it would be if million pound lottery prizes were being dished out. A real feeling of anticipation, awe and of just being damn lucky to be there.
Time for the show and the start of those eye-popping 3D visuals. I'm sure I saw a few people ducking out of the way at various points during the show, especially as the space station made its way into the audience during Spacelab.
The first thing that really hit me was the quality of the audio. This was the best I'd ever heard Kraftwerk. Better than any vinyl, CD or MP3 you've ever heard.
The band really seemed to be enjoying themselves (as much as they'd ever let that be seen!). There were definitely a few smiles and chuckles from the quartet during the show, adding a nice human element to the occasion.
Yes, there's only one original band member left. Yes, we've got no idea what they're all doing behind their pedestals during the shows - if anything. But, oddly enough, that doesn't matter at all. Kraftwerk is an experience, not a band, and they provided an audio and visual experience to end them all.
A word being used by a lot of the press in their reviews of the first night is "mesmerising". I think that sums it up perfectly.
Thanks, Kraftwerk, for a truly magical night. It was worth the 35 year wait. And then some.
Here's the slideshow. Not terrific quality, but I was more interested in watching than filming :)