Live at The Fonda Theater
Los Angeles, CA
October 12th, 2017
Review and photos by Travis Baumann
En Esch is the famed German mulit-instrumentalist and vocalist most known for his work with KMFDM and Slick Idiot. After joining his comrade Raymond Watts, aka <PIG>, for two tours the enigmatic front man returns to our shores leading up his solo venture.
Having garnered an opening slot on the Lords of Acid North American tour, he was giving the audiences a good showing of some of his latest solo material but also a good dose of KMFDM favorites that he was instrumental in composing during his tenure with that project.
He opened the set with the awesome "Liebeslied" or "Love Song" from KMFDM's "Naive" album. The original version of this song contained some amazing samples from Carl Orff's "O Fortuna" that were not licensed so upon later releases it was altered. It was so cool to hear the original version with those parts intact after all these years live, so I was excited right from the start of his set.
Keeping it in the KMFDM realm and also in the German lyrics department, En Esch followed up with "Friede", which means "Peace" also from "Naive".
The band consisted of a live drummer who also sang male back up vocals, a guy on keyboards, and Devon Ann on female vocals. She also sang back up vocals for headliner Lords of Acid and had a great voice that complimented all of the material perfectly.
It was refreshing to have En Esch moving about and just singing opposed to him usually also playing guitar and being more stationary.
It was time for some of his solo material and they chose "Do Me" from the "Spänk!" release. En Esch has a penchant for both silly and sexual songs intermixed with his more serious and artistic side and this one definitely falls into the former.
They performed "Leid und Elend" which translates to "Sorrow and Misery" next which was from the KMFDM album called "Symbols" and was the last release that he was a part of for that project.
Going back to his solo material for one more song, they did "Live and Let Live" from the latest solo album, "Trash Chic". This song has a much funkier sound and mixes genres more than anything else on this set list entering into nearly country-western hooks.
Still to this date, KMFDM's biggest hit is "Juke Joint Jezebel" from the "Nihil" album and it was awesome to see live but the set closer, "Godlike" really got the audience moving and singing along.
En Esch went on early on a Thursday night to a sparse crowd but by the time his all too short of a set finished, the audience had arrived and were feeling it.
En Esch is a great performer and this was a really cool sampling of his talents but I would have loved to hear "Rule the Mob" or "Go Insane" from his earliest album in addition to all of these great songs. Hopefully he comes again with a longer set time in the near future.
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