VNV Nation had played another fabulous tour in North America, unlike many of the tour before were the focus had been classic hits like “Chrome”, this tour was the Empire/Automatic Tour. For those people who are not aware, this tour focused solely on songs from those albums. Ronan, who had made many jokes through out the night, had pointed this out and as a guide told the audience each and every song name so that no one felt as if they were not apart of the concert; because they had wanted to see more of their well known hits. However for many of the die-hard fans, hearing “Standing” or “Legion” was one of those moments of great happiness because they are songs that are not played to often. Although each album was not played in its full, the band had put the set list in a great order as to not only incorporate the key songs from each album but also allowed them to flow together seamless without it seeming choppy or like they were trying to compensate for the lack of popular hits.
I have seen now VNV Nation 3 times, and I must say that Ronan was by far more chatty and interactive in this venue rather than in the Mayan (Los Angeles). I enjoyed that he relentless pointed out fans that were using their camera with a flash on it or even telling fans that if they point their phones in front of other people’s face he will throw the phone. I agree with him, people live behind their phones to much as oppose to watching the show and allowing for Ronan’s vocals to immerse the audience and for that 2 hours, being apart of the music rather then apart of some piece of shit phone. It was nice that he was trying to take people out of the world for that short period of time, bringing them into his world where he made it a welcoming enviroment.
Ronan, as well as the band members put on a fantastic show. I know that he had said that the Vegas show did not go as well as he would have liked it too, but this show hopefully more than made up for the lack of energy from the audiences before. It seemed to me, that not only were the band very much into what they were playing, but the people in the audience were happy to be apart of the albums that were being played, even if they did not know the songs, Ronan did not leave them behind. Aside from the Goth girl hitting her fan in my sisters face, and mine the show was the best I have seen from them. Perhaps it was the smaller venue, the freedom of playing songs from albums that rarely get played, or what have you, but this was a show to have seen.
VNV Nation album "Resonance" which is the revisited versions of some of the best songs from their discography wouldn't say that it is a remix because the songs are played with the Babelsberg Film Orchestra. Yes Ronan has gone on to do something by far more amazing with his music, he has set it to an orchestra. It is in the realm of classic music rather then jazz or anything else. The fluidity of his composing reminds me of Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus however.
Not only is composed perfectly but the way that each song follows is that of a perfect VNV mixed play list. Some of them hearing in this format makes me realize what the song meant till I heard it in a raw format. For example “Beloved” although I have interviewed Harris about the song in the past, (interview be re transcribed) I never fully got it till I myself went through it. To have sounds like cellos and violins playing in the background only adds to the feelings of what it means to know that somethings can never be different.
Another song that I was delighted to hear was “Illusion”. This has always been one of my favorite songs and one of those that I have a personal attachment to. What I could not tell Harris at the time of our interview as how important this song was to me when I was 19 and my mother died. I would say this song single handling helped me get through such a hard time in my life and to hear it with a beautiful background only add to the lyrics and what is trying to be said through the song.
This is defiantly one of those album that need to be bought by any fan of VNV or any fan of actually music. As a jazz fan I was excited to hear something different coming from a band like this. I am not saying that this is at all a jazz record but I can appreciate the art that goes into such a sound as this because much like Paul McCartney recording “Yesterday” or Duke Ellington playing with his orchestra, the sounds are timeless and can only become an album that will be referred to as a great masterpiece of work for the years to come. If I could have written the review in less then five words it would have been this, it's just beautiful.