Twenty fabled moments in Denver music: #17: Einsturzende Neubauten play '86 junkyard show
Your ticket to the show.
Even the show's tickets were unconventional. They were animal bones, dipped in black paint, with Einstürzende Neubauten's logo -- a stick-man type figure -- painted prominently in gold. Wax Trax owner Duane Davis helped put up money for the show, so he got the pick of the tickets. "I got the jawbone from something, with the teeth still on it," he says. Dave Wilkins got part of a spinal column.
Bargeld and company arrived in Denver just hours before the show to tour abandoned buildings where they could set up. As night fell, it was finally show time.
Barrels stacked on old refrigerators prop up the makeshift roof.
The band was running three-and-a-half hours late. When the act arrived, oil drums were set afire and the group came onstage -- a flatbed truck trailer with corrugated metal roofing held up by broken refrigerators as a roof -- and proceeded to beat the shit out of shopping carts, steel springs, wires and oil drums. This was accompanied by electric guitars, a bass and keyboard, and Bargeld's otherworldly shriek. The whole concert lasted less than an hour.
Einstürzende Neubauten's subsequent shows in Denver obviously weren't the same. How could they be? There are shows and there are performances. This one, which predated vastly more commercially successful industrial acts by years (Nine Inch Nails' Pretty Hate Machine was released in '89), falls squarely in the latter category.
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