Kraftwerk Performance Closes Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie

Kraftwerk performing in Kiev in 2008. Photo: Andriy V. Makukha via Wikimedia Commons

Last night, Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie hosted the first of eight consecutive concerts of the legendary German electro-pop band Kraftwerk. The concerts mark the first time in 11 years that the Düsseldorf-based band returned to the German capital. Presented with 3D visual accompaniment, the performances are entitled Der Katalog – 12345678.

The retrospective-style concert series will see Kraftwerk perform one album on each of the eight nights at the iconic Mies van der Rohe structure. Yesterday, the group performed Autobhn (1976), the first of their eight-album catalogue. Following the concert series, the museum will close for extensive renovation, lasting until at least 2019.

The band’s tour has already made a stop in Paris and will head to Amsterdam after the Berlin shows have been completed.

Concerns over the acoustics of the venue raised by Berlin’s State Cultural Secretary Tim Renner in a radio interview ahead of the concerts proved to be unfounded. According to Art Magazin Renner told RBB“From a technical perspective I am skeptical because, thanks to the excellent architecture of Mies van der Rohe, the Neue Nationalgalerie has a lot of glass. And anybody who has a lot of glass in their living room knows that’s bad for acoustics.” Fortunately, sound engineers managed to help Kraftwerk pull off a show with flawless audio quality.

Kraftwerk has been on the forefront of electronic music since it was founded by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider in 1970. The band’s signature minimalistic musical style influenced a generation of artists, including David Bowie, Depeche Mode, Alphaville, and Rammstein.


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