On Monday, German electronic music vets Kraftwerk brought their “3-D Concert” to the Masonic Temple — the group’s first visit to Detroit in a decade. (As Rolling Stone recently pointed out, thanks to Electrifying Mojo, Kraftwerk is “almost a religion there”).
Like a low-budget Avatar, 3-D glasses were provided that brought eye-popping visuals to life, projected behind the four members of the group (including founding member Ralf Hütter), who stoically crafted music from podiums neatly arranged in a row.
Or did they? An encore performance saw the four members replaced with animatronic versions of themselves “performing” a pre-recorded “The Robots” — asking the question of where Kraftwerk the men end and Kraftwerk the machine begins.
Despite the movie theater-like presentation, the group’s pure electronic funk was too much for the raver set, who ditched their goggles to dance in the aisles.
Meanwhile, a packed MOCAD hosted the official afterparty, featuring DJ sets by Detroit’s early electronic music originators and friends of Kraftwerk: Kevin Saunderson, Juan Atkins, and Eddie Fowlkes. In fact, eventually members of Kraftwerk joined the Detroit DJs behind the boards.
According to a Facebook post by Dantiez Saunderson, “We got Kraftwerk on stage with the elevator for the after party and the place went off!”