Moderat – Neptune Theatre – Seattle, WA 8/28/13

For those who missed it, this magazine recently reviewed Moderat’s new album, II. The too long; didn’t read version of that review is if you like electronic music, you should listen to the album.

Happily, this reviewer has now also had the opportunity to see them live, and the experience did not disappoint. The threesome, comprised of two parts Modeselektor and one part Apparat, put on a fantastic show to a full house at Seattle’s Neptune Theatre. Their show was a great bit of electronica, mixing dancehall style big beats with the smooth, sparse vocals of Sascha Ring (aka Apparat), accompanied by a relatively minimal but a very effective light show. The lights were projected on and through an X-shaped scrim, set up such that the three musicians were framed by two legs of the X and visuals projected through it, creating an impressive 3-D effect. Though simple, this effect was powerful throughout the show, and particularly impactful on songs such as the lead single off the new album, “Bad Kingdom,” whose video was made even better jumping 3-D through the scrim, as well as on “Versions.”

The show was comprised mainly of music from  II, and the compositions proved powerful in a live setting. The audience seemed equally happy regardless of the tune, though generally responded more to songs from II. Though fairly true to the entire recording, the songs carried an added urgency pumped through the speakers of the Neptune’s space. In particular, “Milk” built to a sonic peak akin to being surrounded, aurally as well as visually, within a cocoon of music. After the show, one could easily arrive at the agreement; Moderat is an act worth checking out, whether on your headphones or in a live setting.

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