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Kraftwerk hat es geschafft! Kraftwerk, the Beatles and godfathers of modern synthesizer music, arrived last Saturday at the Elisabeth Center Antwerp (Koningin Elisabethzaal) with ‘The Catalogue 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8’ show. The brand new Queen Elizabeth Hall offers a wide range of concerts, musicals and other events. It’s located in the heart of Antwerp, adjacent to Antwerp Central Station. In 2014 the British-American magazine Mashable awarded ‘Antwerpen-Centraal’ the first place for the most beautiful railway station in the world.

‘The Catalogue 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8’, is a spectacular, maybe a little weird and retro, multimedia 3-D concert inspired by and touted as an art installation. Kraftwerk calls it “Gesamtkunstwerk” (total work of art). Their music may sound complex, electronic, or inaccessible at first sight. But they inspired a lot of people, musicians, rap artists and bands like David Bowie, Depeche Mode, New Order, Daft Punk and even Coldplay. Kraftwerk was the main reason why I started to build, play and buy synthesizers when I was a kid.

The audience received 3-D glasses with which to watch the projected performance, vintage video and film footage. During ‘Spacelab’, satellites and a flying saucer seemed to hover over our heads. The first encore song, ‘The Robots’, was an amazing moment in the show with Kraftwerk replaced by moving, lifelike mannequins dressed as their younger selves. It was a breathtaking, challenging, unique and yes, a very fun evening.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

While I was working on this post I heard the tragic news about a suicide bomber killing at least 22 innocent people, including children, in an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester UK. My thoughts are with all those who have been affected. 

27 responses

  1. I saw the news this morning about Manchester and yet again my heart aches for everyone……so senseless and terrible as these things always are. On a lighter note, the Elisabeth Center is a gorgeous building and the concert hall was a perfect venue for Kraftwerk and their “total experience” concert.

    Pam

    • After having and enjoying such a wonderful event a few days ago I felt so sad after hearing about the Manchester bombing…

    • Actually, although the band was formed in 1969 (!) they didn’t sounded out of date. Most of their work sounds very contemporary.
      After the Queen Elisabeth Hall was renovated, experts claim it’s one of the best sounding concert halls of Europe.

  2. Great looking architecture, looks like a wonderful venue and a really fun concert. I heard about the concert bombing yesterday afternoon on the radio while driving home, really sad.

      • To us it is completely incomprehensible, and if people like you and me get to the point that we believe we understand these tragic actions, we will have lost all sense of humanity.

  3. I second Angela’s ‘concert envy.’ That second photo is my favorite, yet the series does a good job of transporting us there! But wait – you didn’t photograph that flying saucer!!!!

    The bombing is one of many flags that illustrate how out of balance our world is today..The ones filled with hatred and little compassion can be seen as the canaries in our ailing world.

    • I tried to photograph the UFO but it’s was very difficult to focus the 3D image of the saucer… It was so funny; at the end of the video, after flying over Antwerp, the UFO landed in front of the Queen Elisabeth Hall.

  4. Thoughts and prayers are with England today.

    The Elisabeth Center Antwerp looks like a wonderful place to see concerts like that. You and Mr. Bowie have a wonderful day. Stay safe.

    • Hi Lavinia! The Elisabeth Center is so beautiful. It’s a perfect mix of old and modern architecture.

      Mr. Bowie sends his regards to everyone of the Salmon Brook Farms!

  5. Hello Herman and Mr. Bowie — Thanks for pointing me to this post! Really enjoyed the text and photos. I wondered whether the Queen Elizabeth hall and Antwerp Central were old or new architecture. Seems like new made to look old but with all the modern conveniences. Best of both worlds. The concert sounds fun and uplifting. Much needed in these times. Thanks for sharing the fun with us. And yes — next time — Mr. Bowie needs a ticket too!

    • Hi Alia! Glad you liked this post.
      Both buildings are old; Antwerp Central was build from 1899 and the Queen Elizabeth Hall was build in 1897. Recently, both buildings were completely renovated and there was a modern touch added. I love the combination of the old and modern influences.

      Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      • Ah – I thought the buildings looked very much like some I saw in downtown Madrid while traveling back to the US from Morocco. Madrid is not a bad place to take a forced layover.

    • Hi Charlotte! I’m sure you would love the Queen Elizabeth Hall to do your Opera, with full tech projections of course! It’s really a magnificent place for live performances.

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