Friday, July 04, 2014

Micro vs Macro

I can't believe it - I'm actually feeling a tiny bit inspired to post.  Why? Well, I'm being driven by the good musical fortune I had this past week - which started with a show by the incomparable Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, and ended with a visit to the ground-breaking sound of Kraftwerk.

And, I didn't film either gig.  Sorry.  I've lost the urge.

But I digress.  Why do I feel like posting? Because sometimes I just feel so lucky it seems I have to write it down to believe it.  And because Nick Cave and Kraftwerk gigs are so far apart on the spectrum, that you almost end up in the same place.  OK, not really - but you have been through a remarkable experience in both instances, but for very different reasons.

Nick Cave and the very personal nightmare:

I can't express how much I love Nick Cave.  He is a giant brain on mantis-like legs; he stalks around the stage in a way that is both theatrical and intimate.  He tells stories - stories about people, stories from his life, and he draws you into those stories.  He finds a face in the crowd, and that face becomes his energy, his muse, his victim.  The whole audience gets sucked into the vortex of that performance-intimacy; :as wild and intense as his performance is, there is something powerfully genuine and vulnerable about it.  You leave your world to be drawn in to the dark, lustful, raw, beautiful, imperfect stories (and you can swap the word "stories" for performance and it is equally true).

An example I filmed at last year's concert...not the best video, but you'll get the point.

Kraftwerk -  delivering the Macro view:

And at the other end of the spectrum, pioneers of electronic music (and inspiration for advertising...), the staid, contained, performance as non-performance that is Kraftwerk.  The messages are simple and broad, the equally weighted love/fear of technology driving most of it.  And the performance is literally pushed out at the audience - the images towering over the performers are thrown out towards the audience in all their 3D glory (and I've gotta say, the floating numbers were pretty darned cool). Storytelling? Sure, but of an entirely different kind, and delivered in a way entirely suited to the story being told.  This is the technological world, the world of trains and bikes and computers and numbers, not the world of the personal, not a world of human connection. Just as valid a story, and in many ways, just as affecting.

And now I'm running out of steam.  Except to say sometimes I have to pinch myself I feel so darned lucky to have a chance to see this stuff.  Really.

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