Live at The Fonda Theater
Los Angeles, CA
October 12th, 2017
Review and photos by Travis Baumann
The evolution of Combichrist has been a fun ride and one that does not seem to be letting up anytime soon. What started as a one man project pumping out noisy rhythm based industrial tracks has evolved into a full-fledged electro industrial hybrid which in recent years has even dipped it's fangs into the heavy and extreme metal worlds.
The brainchild of Norseman Andy LePlegua, Combichrist was birthed in 2003 and now, nearly fifteen years later, has seen global success for its token aggrotech sound both in terms of headlining shows but also in the number of world class bands and festivals they have toured and played with.
Combichrist shows are aggressive and moving, channeling the best of industrial and metal energy into a synergy with the audience. They started the set off with "Today I woke to a Rain of Blood" which got the audience flailing their bodies about.
They were the direct support for Belgian electro pioneers, Lords of Acid and had time for a pretty decent set list which included fan favorites such as the anthemic "Electrohead", "Blut Royale", "Shut Up and Swallow", "Throat Full of Glass", "Fuck That Shit", and "Get Your Body Beat".
Andy sang a heavier version of "This Shit Will Fuck You Up" from one of the band's earlier releases and they finished up the set with the awesome "What the Fuck is Wrong with You?" which had everyone singing along.
I caught part of their set at last year's Ozzfest out in the desert and for the metal community they amped up the guitars and had a thrashier sound. Tonight however, they retained their more electronic and industrial edges which was appropriate for the tour they were a part of. For the record, I like both sounds but my favorite songs are "Electrohead" and "What the Fuck is Wrong with You?" and I really like the more electro, aggrotech sound for those.
Andy is a charismatic front man who moved around the stage constantly. He had a cool road-warriorish outfit on but left the crazy contacts and grills off , which is fine by me. He spoke a bit between songs and said that they were all about fun and having a good time and that is what they wished for their fans and audience members as well.
The band consisted of Eric 13 on guitar, Brent Ashley on bass guitar and once more with the band, crazy man Joe Letz on drums.
Joe was particularly entertaining tonight as he dressed as some sort of mutant school girl with long blonde wig, a scary mask that had a permanent rictus grin with freakish braces, and a little dress to match. He played the part of petulant child to a tee, often kicking his drum kit apart in violent tantrums.
He required a baby-sitter roadie to constantly set his drums back up and refill his drum stick supply as he hurled them non-stop into the audience. From time to time he would take full bottles of water and pour them out all over the entire kit which created illuminated bursts spraying into the air as he pounded on the drums in the vivid stage lighting.
In all honesty, Combichrist was my favorite band of the night despite the entire lineup being amazing. Their energy and power were awesome to experience, and they also provide a very entertaining stage performance which entails a showmanship that many bands just can't muster to this level. I highly recommend seeing these guys live whenever you have a chance.
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