Laibach in Helsinki

During last year, Laibach overlooked Helsinki and deprived us here of their concert, having gone to St Petersburg instead. On the bright side, it gave us hope that when they do come back (and soon!) it will be unforgettable.

So then when the concert was announced and the information came that this show won´t be like any other Laibach show before, most could not believe their eyes and ears. The newest record is the band´s own interpretation of Bach´s works, which sounds rather experimental on CD and without knowing which band this record belongs to, Laibach would be the last one the guess list.

So Tavastia was slowly filling in with Goths and cybers, vintage lovers and increasingly more uniforms, inspired by German WW2 attire. If only some of the visitors knew better that it wasn´t the uniforms they should be inspired by, but by 1700s Rococo fashion, as it was definitely more appropriate to the theme of the night.

The venue was getting fuller and anticipation grew, just how will it all be? The stage, prepared for the show, looked very different to band´s usual set up, but there were screens at the back. Otherwise there are some seating places for the band members, but no microphones or nothing for the singers. The information spread that the famous singer was not even on this tour, the information most rejected to accept.

As the concert begun, the audience was in awe… Experimental electronic music, with hints of classical parts, occasionally slipping into noise… Laibach?!!? Nooo, can´t be, this is something else… From the first minutes it only caused more confusion. At least for the first few songs, or better said, musical arrangements, most were trying to listen to it and figure out, but soon it became too strange and slightly confused cybers and Goths and metallers shifted to the bar, to enjoy the sounds along with some stronger beverages..

It was some very different kind of experience, which made it only more clear why this concert was planned for a venue with seated places, which of course Tavastia isn´t. After all, this was more like chamber music event and Laibach was only the name of the band, whose members have created this new music, but nothing more.

Throughout the performance it was not even obvious when the audience could clap, so a few random clappings here and there, creating only more this feeling of somehow absence. At one piece there were audience´s clapping and noise recorded as part of the track, a bit like that annoying laughter in American sitcoms, only this was Laibach… Most of the audience was simply confused.

According to Ivan, one of the band´s founding members, this was precisely the intention of this record. “This is something for you to think about, and wonder… It doesn´t have to be so obvious or only “Achtung” and industrial all the time”. Surely this mission was accomplished, and wondering we are, also about what will next Laibach show have in store.

Stalker thanks Gregor Musa for assisting our journalists.
Marina Sidyakina,

GastmitarbeiterInnen / guest contributions

Regular guest contributors e.g. Melanie Kircher, Tatjana Tattis Murschel, Grit Kabiersch, Marina Minkler, Jasmine Frey, Maria Levin, Elvira Visser, Nina Ratavaara, John Wisniewski