There is no better argument for “youth” as social construction than Nitzer Ebb. The legendary group, currently touring as Douglas McCarthy, Bon Harris, and Jason Payne, performed with a vigor and gusto inimitable by acts half their age. Harris and Payne hammered together the rhythmic foundations and vibrant synth structures that commanded the audience’s total attention and pleasure. Meanwhile, McCarthy’s electrifying and unpretentious theatrics governed the crowd through Ebb’s unmistakable brand of entertainment fascism. The boys were invincible and graced the Echoplex with a level of professionalism and aural authority that is all too rare these days.
Opening for Ebb on this tour is Houston based Tense. Though relatively new carriers of the Industrial Music torch, Tense delivered a performance that was as true to its EBM roots as it was fresh and exciting. Frontman Robert Lane spewed poetic instructions from his virile vocal chords and intoxicating synthesized undulations. Mariana Saldana (whose role in the group is described via their myspace page as “live drums, inspiration…”) released an equally passionate barrage of heart crushing sounds from her electronic kit and supporting vocals.
A hearty and respectful round of applause is also due to the night’s opening act, Rainbow Arabia. Though seemingly out of place with their zouk zombie rhythm infused disco psychedelic electronica pop…(oh forget it, their sound is too complex to confine), the duo blessed the venue with palette cleansing incantations and put on a hell of a show for those who came early enough to witness.
Bravo to the night.