Rammstein

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
23rd September 2022

It has been more than ten years since I originally saw Rammstein, an event which still ranks at or near the top of the greatest concerts I have experienced. Mind you, it has been more than two years since this event was originally scheduled to take place: it was supposed to happen in September 2020, before things went a bit pear-shaped. For both reasons, calling this “eagerly anticipated” is likely an understatement, and probably plays into why I didn’t feel like it quite lived up to expectations. Oh, it was still good: certainly worth the 750-mile round trip. But not quite the life-altering experience, redefining the entire concept of a live show, which was the 2012 event.

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Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

Paramount Theater, Denver
March 14th, 2022

It took a very long time before I got to see OMD live. I think I became aware of them in the autumn of 1980, when their first hit, Enola Gay, hit Radio 1. I was certainly a fan: Architecture and Morality was on very heavy rotation on my bedroom record-player, though they drifted off my radar after Paul Humphreys left the group in 1989. Their re-formation in the mid-2000’s was well off my radar, but a few years ago, I bumped into a documentary about the group on YouTube, which re-ignited my interest. In January 2019 – a mere thirty-nine years after first hearing them – I finally got to see OMD when they played Tucson, Arizona in support of an art exhibition about, of all things, dazzle camouflage.

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On Death

4th February. I’m not sure what I’m even doing here. I’m writing things down as much as a coping mechanism, as well as a record of my emotions. It’s unexplored territory, because this will be the first funeral I’ve ever attended. There have been deaths, of course: aunts and grandparents, cousins and uncles, but for one reason or another, they were always distant enough to matter only in the abstract. I’m not even a person who feels particular sadness at celebrities passing. Death has been an almost entirely abstract concept, up until three hours ago, when my sister Pat called and told me my mother passed away today.

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