VNV Nation - Trees - 2/23/12
All photos by Catherine Downes
Thursday, February 23
A lanky blonde, clad in black pumps, fishnet stockings, satin booty shorts, elbow-length gloves and a red corset that didn't leave much to the imagination, stepped up to the bouncer guarding the front door of Trees last night. The young girl frowned when the bouncer pulled out his jumbo Sharpie to mark enormous black Xs on her hands. "Oh no!" she gasped, and removed her gloves, which she held in hand as she entered the packed venue.
A lot of people came out dressed to impress in fishnets, trench coats, platform boots and corsets. We even spotted a guy carrying around a fistful of his inebriated date's multicolor clip-in dreadlocks. Talk about an honest display of modern-day chivalry.
Electronic music purveyors VNV Nation, long based in Germany, came dressed head-to-toe in black. Frontman Ronan Harris dashed around the stage, invoking crowd participation. "Dallas, I need your hands," he wailed over the rumbling techno beats. The crowd raised theirs in unison, and Harris kicked off the night with "Chrome." "I'm still talking," he growled, punching his mic out to the crowd. "And you're not listening!"
"We're leaving the venue," Harris proclaimed a few songs into the set. "We're going to get religious, we're going to church. Let go. Forget your troubles. Leave your worries at the door." It was identical to how Lady Gaga opened her show at American Airlines last year, and it worked. For the next hour, fans stood fixated. Harris, along with his backing three-piece, made the night feel more intimate with the back-and-forth banter.
"For those who wish we hadn't made an album since '99, fuck you! For those who love every album, we love you!" Harris bellowed. The band played a mix of both old and new, but the high points came during the performance of older material.
Random note: A guy drove down from Tulsa to catch VNV Nation.
By the way: The new iPhone has better video capabilities than a lot of DSLR cameras. Should iPhones have to be put away after the third song like cameras are?