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Front 242:Galaxy Theatre, Santa Ana,

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Front 242
Galaxy Theatre, Santa Ana, CA—10/02/00

It would have been extremely easy and relatively painless for Front 242 to not make an effort and just reissue old standards for a cash-in show a la Blondie or Eurythmics. Hardcore from second number one, they wasted no time in proving that they are not ready for their write-up in "A Modern History of Industrial Music, Chapter One: "The Belgian Godfathers."

Before Nine Inch Nails and The Prodigy you had KMFDM, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, and Nitzer Ebb. But first you had Patrick Codenys, Daniel Bressanutti, and Jean-Luc De Meyer solidifying their trademark militaristic dance music with vicious sequencing by the early eighties. Their first albums sound primitive now, but theyíve revamped their avant garde classics with the edgy, urban sounds they helped to pioneer nearly twenty years ago.

They roared on to the onstage, looking like the Swedish toboggan team in their silver techno jackets and bleached hair, playing thundering remixed versions of songs that dizzied the welcoming crowd. This was beyond merely industrial dance—it was a militaristic disco experience. For a musical postcard reminiscent of the show, their live album Re-Boot 1998.

Their anthem "Headhunter" drove the crowd over the edge, stomping into a techno reverberation frenzy. ("You fucking headhunters!!!"). They were preaching to the converted on "Welcome to Paradise", a techno hallelujah for those whose life is going nowhere, while "Happiness" was pure joy.

Another highlight was "In rhythmus bleiben", one of those eerily goofy songs that you donít expect a prominently American crowd to shout along to-given that the last German song we sang along to was "99 Luftballons" by Nena. Maybe itís the rush of screaming "Bleiben". Though "Body to Body" is not a lyrical masterpiece ("Sex is good, sex is good. Body to body..."), Front 242ís seduction was all about rhythm.

Not that there were any doubts, but Front 242 proved they are still capable of a fiery, confrontational experience. They are our liquid sun.

  Anji Milanovic

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Front 242:Galaxy Theatre, Santa Ana,

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