Denver Music

Kraftwerk in 3D at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO on 06/30/22

Robot music took over Red Rocks Ampitheatre on June 30th. Kraftwerk’s Ralf Hütter (founding member), Fritz Hilpert, Henning Schmitz, and Frank Gieffenhagen mechanically walked over to the keyboard podiums aligned on stage. Their matching suits with light receptors made them appear like they were from the future. The musicians proceeded to produce a 3D spectacular highlighting Kraftwerk’s fifty-two-year career.

A video screen behind the musicians projected images from their songs requiring the audience to wear 3D glasses to fully embrace the experience. The crowd ran the gamut from original fans of the band (now in their sixties) to teenage girls in full goth makeup.

Kraftwerk

If you have never heard of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, Kraftwerk (translated in English to Power Plant) are extremely influential in popular music. Founded in the early 1970s, the German band was one of the first to place industrial technology into pop music. Electronic drums, the vocoder (the machine that recreates the human voice), and synthesizers were all taken to new levels by Kraftwerk. Listing only a few examples, New Order’s Blue Monday, Blondie’s Heart of Glass, and Daft Punk’s Get Lucky all have capitalized on the sounds Kraftwerk has brought to life.

When the song Numbers began, the 3D generated digits came flying off the screen. The track Spacelab depicted a UFO landing at Red Rocks resulting in joyous cheers from the audience (sadly I think some of the footage was fabricated). Autobahn (one of their biggest hits) depicted a Volkswagen (of course) driving on the well known German highway structure. Hütter sang into the vocoder, “Wir fahren, fahren, fahren auf der Autobahn(translated – We drive, drive, drive on the Autobahn).

Model

During the song Model, Kraftwerk played clips of their 1978 video with elegant women in black and white walking runways (this was not in 3D disappointing many).

Kraftwerk

In the middle of the song Neon Nights, the screen behind the musicians was in danger of blowing over. A German non-robotic voice stated, “We have to go on a break because of the wind.” This was followed by some kind of joke about Mother Nature that I didn’t understand. After a few minutes, Kraftwerk came back to finish the show.

Songs about Robots, Tour de France, and a Pocket Calculator proceeded to get the 3D glasses wearing fans even more into the computer generated groove. During the final song appropriately named Music Non Stop, each musician left the stage one by one leaving Hütter to take the final bow.

See you at the next show. I’ll be the one in the futuristic suit telling a joke about Mother Nature that you won’t understand.

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