In January 2020, KMFDM announced they were heading on tour in the U.S. with Ministry and Front Line Assembly. My husband and I planned on attending their performance in Philadelphia scheduled to take place in July and possibly stay with a friend over that weekend. The tour ended up being postponed due to a pandemic where large gatherings were banned for a majority of that year. 2021 would find Ministry rescheduling their anniversary tour to finally take place, but KMFDM and Front Line Assembly were no longer on the bill. In 2022, KMFDM scheduled their return to the United States, instead this time they were the headlining act and selected Austin, TX’s Chant for this journey.
The German industrial metal band came to New York City on Saturday, October 15th for a performance at Irving Plaza (they also scheduled a date in Long Island two nights before this one) in support of their newest album, Hyëna, which was released in September 2022. Their previous record, Paradise, came out in September 2019 so this tour promoted that release too. Since my first KMFDM show was delayed by two years, I found myself very excited to finally see them perform at Irving.
Opening the show was Austin, TX’s Chant, the project of musician Bradley Bills. Bills, and a guitarist who occasionally played percussion with him, had an elaborate stage set up for just two people. Bills seemed to be surrounded by drums with a keyboard stationed behind that. Chant’s first song featured Bills playing keys and then he would move between a standing drum kit setup while a standard one was next to it, on a single song. I was extremely impressed by Bills’ ability to seamlessly switch from the standard kit and move over to the standing one, which had a microphone for him to sing into. Chant’s newest album is called Hydra and came out in late 2020. The band included songs from this record plus older material such as “Revolt” in their set.
Taking the stage about 9:15PM, the four members of KMFDM (guitarist Andee Blacksugar, drummer Andy Selway, Lucia Cifarelli, and founding member Sascha Konietzko) greeted the audience and immediately launched into “D.I.Y.” from their 1999 album Adios. The band’s set list consisted of songs both old and new throughout their nearly four decade run. During one portion of the set, the band brought out Andrew “Ocelot” Lindsley to perform his verses on “Rock ‘N’ Roll Monster” off Hyëna and “K.M.F.” from Paradise. Their most well-known song, “A Drug Against War,” from their 1993 record, Angst, came half-way in the set with newer material such as “Bumaye,” “Liquor Fish & Cigarettes,” and “Blindface” helping bring their energetic performance to an end. The band returned to the stage for an encore, prompting Lucia asking the audience if we wanted some more. When we quickly responded affirmatively, KMFDM began a three song encore of “Megalomaniac,” “Godlike,” and “Paradise,” returning us to the streets of New York City before 11PM.
Scroll down for setlist, fan shot videos and pics of the show (photos by Edwina Hay)
Setlist: D.I.Y., All 4 1, Light, Rebels In Kontrol, Hyëna, Amnesia, Rock’n’Roll Monster, K.M.F., Black Hole, A Drug Against War, Bumaye, Son of a Gun, Oh My Goth, Liquor Fish & Cigarettes, Blindface, Hay Rock Encore: Megalomaniac, Godlike, Paradise