Laibach - 30th Anniversary
September 24th & 25th 2010
Delavski dom Trbovlje
Review and photos by D. Campbell
Laibach Live in Trbovlje
Laibach were celebrating their 30th anniversary with a four day event in Trbovlje, Slovenia and part of the programme was two concerts performing their current Laibach Revisited set. The four day event was mainly being held at the DDT with the Laibach Revisited concerts taking place in the cinema part of the complex. It was ideal with a large stage for the band and very comfortable seats with great views as you might have expected from a cinema/theatre hall. Unfortunately while it's an excellent venue, it's not ideal for those travelling from outside the small town of Trbovlje as the nearest serving train station was miles away.
On the first night the doors opened shortly after 7.45PM, entry was almost hidden behind the large canvases from Laibach's Red District exhibition. The tickets were in Slovene therefore a little tricky in finding the right seats however had it all worked out on the second night. It had been unusual for me to be watching a Laibach performance without having heard the album and even more unusual to be watching again for the second time ten months later still without the CD. However all going well the Laibach Revisited album should be out before I see them next time in December.
Right from the start the music was instantly familiar despite the length of time from the previous show that I saw in London back in 2009 though difficult to tell if there was any new developments with the tracks, would imagine the music had at least some subtle tweaks. My favourite was Drzava, it had the powerful hooks and dramatic musical twist from start to finish. Overall it was excellent music and a complete transformation of old classics. Although some of the tracks had been cold and brutal uncompromising music the new versions were much softer and more melodic. In my opinion they continued the same approach they had with the Volk album but there was always a lot of elements that did remind you of the original songs from the early eighties.
After seven tracks from the Revisited collection all of which had previously been heard last year in London the band moved seamlessly onto the same selection from Volk. After the last Volk track Türkiye, they switched over to the more up-tempo material which got the audience going, starting with Tanz Mit Laibach which on the second night brought a number of fans right out of their seats to dance near the front of the stage, many others got up onto their feet to dance at their seats. Had been expecting pretty much the exact same for both nights but somehow the second night had a better atmosphere and more energy, musically it was probably identical but the crowd was a little different, more boisterous and enthusiastic, the band onstage fed off that and responded. The only reason I can think might explain it is that the foreign fans were much more exuberant and noticeably concentrated toward the front on the second night, though a Slovene fan cheekily suggested that the foreign guests were simply a little more inebriated. However in the end it was quite noticeable in the way that the home fans were much more restrained and laidback, mainly responding with polite applauses, maybe it was just Trbovlje's way.
After Das Spiel Ist Aus the band left the stage but it wasn't long before they returned for the encore, when the music started up it was immediately clear that it was something new then it became quickly recognisable as Nova Akropola in the Laibach revisited style though they managed to retain much of its forceful power. It is a good addition to have for the Laibach Revisited album but hopefully there will be some more, Die Liebe comes to mind as the obvious choice. It was the only new track showcased in Trbovlje and they brought the concert to an end with God is God and shortly after they left the stage Heidschi Bumbeidschi by Heintje started up which was familiar to most Laibach fans from a small clip on the Ljubljana/Zagreb/Beograd album. Both nights were great shows and it was good to know at the end of the first night that the experience would be repeated the very next night and it won't be long before I'll see Laibach live again when they come to Glasgow in December.
Ausstellung Laibach Kunst 1980 - 2010
The set list:
Mi Kujemo Bodocnost,
Smrt za Smrt,
Krvava Gruda - Plodna Zemlja,
Ti, Ki Izziva,
Tanz Mit Laibach,
Alle Gegen Alle,
Du Bist Unser
Das Spiel Ist Aus
Nova Akropola, God is God