Ahoi Berlin! Alexx and the crew break the ice at the Columbia Club for a night of genial industrial metal and ballad rock.
Kreuzberg's Kato Club was too small to accommodate Eisbrecher's enthusiastic following, so the venue was changed to the Columbia Club near the soon-to-be-retired Templehof airport.
There was no sign of Eisbrecher retiring anytime soon, as they launched into a high-energy performance packed with songs from their new, third album ('Sünde' - Sin). The beat was heavier and more industrial than that of Alexx Wesselsky's previous group Megaherz, and more in style with the Neue Deutsche Härte manifesto. The pace was relieved with the occasional slower, ballad-style numbers, and neither had they forgotten their back catalogue, to the delight of the audience who happily sang along. The atmosphere in the Columbia Club was energy-charged, but with a convivial non-threatening mood; an event to bring your partner to and dance entwined to 'Ohne dich', rather than go with your mosh-pit buddies and a bottle of Thunderbird.
Frontman Alexx is certainly a natural showman and gives a consummate performance. He started the evening dressed in full military uniform - which was appropriate as the Columbia Club began life as a cinema for US military personnel - and gradually stripped off until by the end of the show he was bare-torsoed (though getting paunchy there Alexx. OK, I'm only jealous). Thankfully he didn't do a full Iggy Pop.
At the end of the show he even got the band up to take a group bow and bask in the applause. No roses were thrown onto stage as far as I could tell, but will we be seeing them perform at the Deutsche Oper next? Well, why not? Alexx has the rich vocal range and projection of a bass-baritone opera singer, and a stage presence which entertains and engages the audience. However, Wagner never produced anything so rhythmic and danceable as Eisbrecher have.
An uplifting evening which sent you off to the S-Bahn humming 'Kinder der Nacht' and certain that the Eisbrecher was still on course and breaking new boundaries of sound.
Words and photos ©copyright A.S.Gilmour 2008.