On Thursday evening audience members at the Royal Albert Hall travelled to the future, or at least to what inhabitants of 1983 may once have imagined the future to resemble. Hard core fans, young and old, gathered to experience krautrockers Tangerine Dream, who were made famous in the '70s and '80s by their groundbreaking synth and trippy movie soundtracks, back on the stage again. The concert happened to fall on the 35th anniversary of their first performance at RAH as well as on the 40th anniversary of the release of their debut album, Electronic Meditation.
First things first, let's cover the bits that weren't so great. TD shows are typically celebrated for their use of the latest and greatest in lighting and special effects. The lighting for this event was simply okay and the 'special effects' consisted of light-up drumsticks, a battery powered light-up dress, and a screen featuring some of what appeared to be the best of the '90s greatest screensaver and fractal designs. In the day and age of Lady Gaga and Avatar, it felt a bit silly and proved to distract from rather than add to the performance.
Thankfully, the music was far superior to the attempted spectacle, and should have left any
geek fan grinning with delight. The show, which consisted of new and old music, began with four seated and masked cello players and the beautiful Linda Spa on piano. Percussionist Iris Camaa went mad on all sorts of drums and, surprisingly, never seemed out of breath. The second half was when things started to get intense with TD delving into newer and not quite so well known territory. It would have been difficult for anyone in attendance not to admit that founding member, Edgar Froese, has still got it. This was certainly one night in space to be remembered.