REVIEW (in motion): Brandt Brauer Frick @ Rickshaw Stop, SF 11/11/11


It wasn’t until I finally convinced my +1 to come with me to see Brandt Brauer Frick on Friday night that I got excited to see these guys. Sure, I’ve seen a few videos and spent a half-day with their music browsing the internet and other live videos, and I think their lasting image was the video “Bop,” a certain quirkiness, and a pretty obvious Kraftwerk feeling to their aesthetic that I often long to see in the new music coming out these days. But I wasn’t excited for some reason, but my friend got me into it, we rallied and I felt glad I made it out to see these “ensemble” cats bring us a little over an hour of kraut-techno to a nearly sold-out Rickshaw Stop.

The three setup behind a main table stage front, and between the three of them there’s a constant stream of trancy synths, lots of mixer knob turning, and a Brandt up front rocking the live e-drums. They’re dressed nice, but not too sharp. They mingled in the crowd before the show. They opened with “Bop.” They have a ridiciulously good time when they play the music they make.

And really, the part worth expanding on in this review is that point right there — bands that bring a solid live show to the stage are usually going to win me over in a second. I wasn’t fully formed on an opinion of this band and their live show blew me away. This is not “shock and awe” techno like dubstep that relies on heavy drops and overly programmed womps that make even a casual listener realize that it’s a computer doing all the work. This is old school stuff and they delivered a dance set without succumbing to anything but a droned-out flow between their album tracks, You Make Me Real.

It really came off quite well. I’ll definitely hang out with these guys next time they roll through the city. They’ve also inspired me a bit musically; the mad scientist style knob turning was something that kept my attention the whole time. I kept wondering “which knob is that?” or “can I hear what they’re actually changing?” which made it fun for me; maybe the other musicians in the audience were geeking out on that too. Here’s how it looked in action:

Finally, I haven’t seen any video surface yet but here’s a 15 minute clip from their show in LA the night before. It gives you a perfect idea of what a full show would look like…