ANTWERP, Belgium — An “unplugged” performance by German electronic music titans Kraftwerk at Antwerp’s TRIX caused confusion after the band primarily stared down the audience without music for a good 60 minutes, sources confirmed.
“Obviously I thought an unplugged Kraftwerk show sounded like a weird idea to begin with, but I mean, it seemed like they would be kinda pushing their own artistic boundaries,” attendee Inge Kemmerer told us. “But then when it was time for them to come out, they set up their synths like they would have for a normal show, and then literally unplugged them. Then they just stood there, looking at us all intense. They somehow didn’t even blink the whole time. Had to look away a few times because the extreme eye contact was too intense. Still a great show though. I’d go again.”
Kraftwerk founder and frontman Ralf Hütter seemed glad to try something new.
“We had heard of these ‘unplugged shows’ for years, you know,” Hütter explained, maintaining his characteristic cool demeanor. “It confused us a bit at first, really. But the more we thought about it, the more we realized this was a great opportunity for artistic expression. Think of it this way: when we record, we are creating music without the element of live performance. So why shouldn’t we see what happens when we create the live performance without the music? And so we set this show up. We think it turned out excellently, in the end. A good experiment and a good show.”
The sound engineer Ben Smith from the show was unsure how to prepare for this one.
“Yeah, I’ve worked some weird fucking shows, but I feel like this was really something else,” Smith told us, brushing off the front of his Misfits shirt. “They insisted on having this full sound check, even though there was no sound. They kept yelling at me about the monitors, and I was like, you’re not using the fucking monitors! But I turned a couple knobs and they nodded and I guess it was all good. It was worse than the time I got hired for an all-instrumental set by Rockapella. Still though, it was really impressive how much intensity these guys were able to put out while doing nothing. Anyway, I got paid and nobody even noticed me walking off with like 500 feet of cable 20 minutes into the show, so I’m not gonna complain.”
In related news, the “dancing guy” from The Mighty Mighty Bosstones announced a solo unplugged performance at Red Rocks.