Ian Storck

KMFDM Doing it Again in Milwaukee

Music Scene Media
Mar 18, 2024
4 min read

The German masters of the Ultra Heavy Beat don’t seem to ever slow down, now celebrating 40 years since their debut, and hitting the road yet again to promote their 23rd album Let Go.

The Rave in Milwaukee always gives KMFDM a warm reception on their tours, and it’s no different for this one, as the venue was already packed before the opening act, Cyanotic. The industrial outfit, based out of Chicago, was a bit heavier than KMFDM, but was still able to pump up the crowd with the thumping beats and electronic sounds.

Singer Sean Payne’s aggressive vocals and stage presence helped to elevate the tracks, though I wished that the visuals of the group also reflected the industrial and futuristic themes. The group got the crowd jumping to the beats for a few of the heavier tracks, and to be honest it’s hard not to move to beats that heavy. I think Cyanotic would be a great addition to any electronic tour, especially one with a heavier, darker atmosphere.

With a KMFDM live show, you go into it knowing already what you’re going to get. Kapt'n K has his classic Taxi Driver getup, never removing those aviator sunglasses. Lucia Cifarelli has her leather catsuit and platform boots, going between her harsh vocals and soft melodic sound. Andy Selway keeps the ultra heavy beat moving from behind his drum kit, and Andee Blacksugar rips through the solos.

Contrasting with the opening act, KMFDM’s stage was bright and colorful, which fits well with their fast-paced and fun tracks. They’re fantastic at taking lyrics and themes of politics, rebellion and anger, and packaging them up into catchy electronic tunes. Anyone familiar with KMFDM knows that this has been their type of counter-culture punk vibe since the start, and it hasn’t changed with the release of their new album Let Go.

The new setlist, which pulls from the past 40 years of material, does add in a lot of tracks from Let Go to support that release. The title track “Let Go,” is played early on, and for good reason, as it’s easy to get the crowd moving to it with the catchy chorus. It’s one of my favorite KMFDM tracks in recent years, and I think that the songs chosen from Let Go are absolutely worth putting into a set that is jam-packed with hits from across the discography.

“Airhead” gives Cifarelli the lead vocal time, as well as “Touch,” which, while a softer track, shows a lot of range for both her vocals as well as the group’s sound in general. “Turn the Light On” is another highlight from Let Go, and the politically-themed song features Kapt'n giving vocal samples through a megaphone. Aside from coverage from the latest release, the set does cover almost all of KMFDM’s fan-favorite tracks, even weaving in support from their previous release. I’m glad that newer tracks such as “Hyena,” and “All 4 1” have found their place in the set as well.

If you’ve caught KMFDM on any of the recent tours, you know what to expect. There is nothing but entertainment, and I don’t think anyone who is a fan of KMFDM could leave a show like that disappointed, because there is certainly something for everyone on the 20+ song setlist.

KMFDM: Website / IG / Facebook / X

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