liv: methane on Mars, labelled "squeeee!!!" (squee)
[personal profile] liv
When I first started expressing vague thoughts about coming to New York this summer, [personal profile] redbird bought a ticket for me for the VNV Nation concert. I've been looking forward to it for ages and it totally lived up to my expectations!

Since I ended up with all my clothes and accessories packed, I was fretting that I wasn't going to be able to find anything suitable for this kind of concert. But [personal profile] hatam_soferet came to my rescue and we improvised a pretty good gothy outfit from her clothes and art supplies! I put my hair in dramatic bunches, and tied them with bits of black lace. I turned my perfectly respectable Shabbat blouse into a romantic goth top, tying off the ends so my tummy was a little bit exposed. [personal profile] hatam_soferet lent me a black skirt which is respectable on her but quite a bit above the knee on me, and some fantastic black lace leggings to go with it. And there was sparkly blue nail varnish left over from an art project, and a sub-fusc black velvet ribbon to tie around my neck as a choker, and there I was, indubitably goth.

[personal profile] redbird did a gratifying double-take when she saw me, as she's only met me in everyday clothes before now. And we went out for supper at a nice little Chinese restaurant, and then headed to Times Square for the actual concert. I am so glad that I had an excuse to hang out in Times Square of a Saturday night, that's quite a cultural experience! The Nokia Theater there is a really nice venue, spacious and comfortable with classic decor and the space set up so it's easy for a large crowd to mill about and reach the various bars without any crush. And the toilets are seriously space-aged!

There were two supporting acts, and we heard enough to discover they weren't very exciting, so decided to sit and conserve our energy for bouncing at the main act. We managed to find a comfy corner seat from which to ogle admire the pretty goths. There were some really striking costumes, but also plenty of people who'd just come in ordinary clothes, and people who were dressed up but in more of a metal, punk or club style than gothy. Also the New York goth scene is much much less disturbingly all-white than the European one! Ever so much fun to have a companion to people watch with.

We moved to the concert hall with impeccable timing, early enough to get a place as far forward as we really wanted to be, but without leaving any excess time to hang around. For such a huge theatre, the actual concert space is relatively small, the fire safety notices said a capacity of 2000. It certainly was full to capacity, we had about as many people as could fit in while leaving air gaps between us. The concert started out a bit ragged; Harris was not in good voice, and even with his amazing stage skills was having a hard time getting the audience going. I was pretty much going to buy the new album anyway, but if it sounds this good live, when it's too loud to hear the detail or lyrics properly, and with the lead singer singing / growling through a sore throat, and when I have no familiarity to make up for these defects, I really absolutely definitely want it.

The thing is, in spite of this shaky start, they just kept going for 2 hours solid, getting the audience more on their side and more hyped up with every song. Harris made up for his "cookie monster singing", as he put it, with his marvellous showmanship. The material from the truly excellent Judgement worked best, (at one point they did Chrome, Illusion and Farthest Star in close succession, making me very happy) but they mixed in some newer material and some older nostalgia tracks, including some of the very early material [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel first introduced me to. They did Beloved as an encore, which I adore but which is also a breakup song for me, so that was a bit bittersweet. But then they came back and did Nemesis and Perpetual, with a guest drummer, and with the crowd absolutely behind them, and it was so glorious that I'm afraid I've forgotten most of the rest of the concert. But wow, what a transcendent experience to hear those encores.

[personal profile] hatam_soferet just happened to have woken up briefly when I got home all hyper but completely exhausted at 1 am. So she put the kettle on, found me some bubble bath to soak in, and listened to me squee incoherently for a few minutes before going back to bed, because she is the most wonderful housemate ever!

Yeah, I know I have 2 weeks' worth of reviews and blog posts backed up, but I needed to write about this while the memory of that emotional intensity is still fresh.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-20 08:05 am (UTC)
sunflowerinrain: Singing at the National Railway Museum (Default)
From: [personal profile] sunflowerinrain
Brilliant! Both the experience and the report :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-20 09:42 pm (UTC)
emma: (Default)
From: [personal profile] emma
I can't wait until they come to London. I've got into them since your post about seeing them in Sweden that time, and now I love them :) I had a really really good time seeing Apoptygma Berzerk (who you might like if you like VNV), as well as Rotersand, and a slightly less good time at Covenant (venue was massive and very cold, they were taking themselves too seriously and I wasn't feeling the vibe, whereas the previous two had been at Dingwalls in Camden, this nice compact sort of place that made it really intimate and awesome), so I can't wait to add VNV to my list in October. Need to buy tickets!

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