Everything and everyone we saw when Kraftwerk landed in Orlando | Orlando

German electronic music legends Kraftwerk landed – via flying saucer, their accompanying 3D projections suggested – at the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando to perform to a crowd of rabid heads (including David “Kraftwerk “Sanborn in Full Dress), both old and young on Wednesday night. The quartet, led by vocalist/keyboardist Ralf Hütter, strung tron-esque and remained largely stoic and still (except for making minor adjustments to the electronics hidden in the LED bleachers) throughout their set, but the music they created was vibrant and kinetic. Old favorites like “The Man-Machine”, “The Model”, “Tour de France”, “Pocket Calculator” and “Trans-Europe Express” sounded somehow timeless like classical music and absolutely new at the same time ( a paradox, but trust us).

Die-hard tinkerers dating back to their 1969 debut, the band have relentlessly tweaked old favorites, outfitting them with gigantic drum sets, wavy detours and industrial flourishes for a (more) modern era. And despite a harsh reputation, Kraftwerk’s playfulness really shone through on the night, whether it was incorporating Lake Eola and a map of Florida into their projections, 3D musical notes blasting out of a car stereo directly onto the audience. , taking control of house lights to add immersive flashes, or bringing out iconic Kraftwerk models dressed in red and black to “play” a song all to themselves. And as the quartet left the stage one by one after the physical body music of “Music Non Stop” – with Hütter the last to leave after a few final lines of keyboard – the audience roared in approval. machinery? No, it was all pumping blood, sweat and a beating heart. – Matthew Moyer

Elizabeth J. Harless