Lady Mia Music
"One should strive to achieve, not sit in bitter regret."

~ motto of VNV "Victory Not Vengeance"
 

Mind Caviar, Vol. 3 Spring Issue, 2002


VNV Nation
Opening acts: HauJobb and Stromkern
Ground Zero, Minneapolis
Live Concert Review April 22, 2002

It was 8:30 p.m. when I arrived at Ground Zero in North East Minneapolis. The line was very long, with people wearing fetish wear, black clothing, and Goth attire. An assortment of them had spiked or painted hair, such as vivid blue and vibrant red stripes. Noses, eye brows, bellybuttons, lips, and tongues were pierced with silver studs, hoops, or beautiful gems.

VNV
Regardless of how rebellious or freaky everyone appeared, there was no violence or rude behavior. Each stood patiently and politely until the doors opened. The weather was so cold. My teeth chattered as I snuggled up close to my friend, Mary, standing near the end of the line.

The house was completely packed by nine. The Industrial Dance music artists, Stromkern opened the concert. In 1995, Ned Kirby moved from Madison, Wisconsin to Minneapolis where Stromkern was born. Soon thereafter a pair of compilation appearances and a demo cassette reached the ears of the German EBM scene. Stromkern kicked ass on stage, raising the energy levels, climaxing like slow foreplay as they performed. 

There was a short break before HauJobb, which is an EBM band from Germany, performed onstage. The trio began their musical endeavors in 1993 in Germany and continues to surge a mass amount of adrenaline to their fans throughout the world. I'm very grateful I had the chance to see and hear them perform live, after many months of dancing to their music at Ground Zero. HauJobb raised the crowd's energy even even higher, as if a man played a woman's body, causing her to climb higher to a euphoric peak. By the time they were finished, the crowd was voracious for more.

I could feel the intense buzz of energy within the club as each of us waited for VNV Nation to arrive on stage. This was the second time I've seen them perform. Torrid surges of electricity zapped my spirit when the band finally began. It felt as if my heart pitter-pattered a thousand beats per minute as I stood near the stage, totally immersed in the performance, captivated with awe. Ronan's lyrics reached out and stroked my soul, filling it with light where the darkness had once crept. Powerful, euphoric waves washed through the crowd like a tsunami. Climaxing energy moved through the crowd, leaving me thrilled and breathless. The past and the present collided, merging the modern with the classical. 

VNV stands for "Victory Not Vengeance." Their motto is, "one should strive to achieve, not sit in bitter regret." I agree completely and follow this philosophy to heart. VNV Nation was formed in 1990 in London, England by Ronan Harris. The band consists of two members, Ronan Harris (electronics, lyrics, vocals) and Mark Jackson (drums). Since then, they've been very successful, recording ten CD's, with some songs, albums, and singles making it to the top of the DAC (German Alternative Charts), such as "Empires," "Standing," and "Dark Angel." 

I grinned largely when I purchased VNV Nation's fourth CD, FuturePerfect, at the concert. I had purchased Empires, at their last concert at First Ave. Both of their CD's have been the source of my inspiration for the past several months. Whenever I do art work or a photo shoot I play their music, fervent songs such as "Beloved," "Fearless," "Kingdom," and "Standing," as well as "Dark Angel." I listen, permitting them to speak to a solace deep within. Ronan's lyrics touch me in a mystical way. When I hear them, I instantly know what his passion, pain, tears, joy, frustration, fears, and solitude are, connecting so deeply and intensely with his essence and powerful words. I wiped the tears from my eyes as I watched them perform, because their songs sounded so beautiful. 

For almost two years I've been a Ground Zero dancer. It's the music which keeps me mesmerized to that catwalk. Whenever I hear VNV's songs my heart swells, passion stirs, unconsciously guiding my feet, carrying me into another dimension. Their music creates beauty in my body's rhythm as I magically escape into a timeless, pain free zone. On so many nights, their music has been my savior, the light which has guided me out of dark times. Their salacious notes and mystifying lyrics move me beyond all boundaries, making me feel that I can conquer anything. 

Ronan Harris is not only a gifted musician; he is a prolific poet, one of the greatest in our time. Being a poet myself and studying other great poets from our past, I feel I have a bit of authority to say this. He's even gracious and humble on stage, touching the crowd's swarming hands as he passes by, dancing and singing. I, too, had the chance to touch his hands as he benevolently performed from the stage. 

When the concert was over, after many encores, I had the opportunity to speak with Ronan myself. I thanked him personally for the spectacular performance. I also told him what his music meant to me and how deeply I've been touched by his gift. Ronan's a very passionate man and told me that he writes for himself, alone. It's his salavation and his bliss in life. His lyrics come straight from his heart and he doesn't write his songs to please anyone else. They are an expression of art, philosophy, politics, mythology, symbolism, and fortitude. 

I went home completely satisfied that night, grinning so that my face ached when I reached home. I was reeling from the concert events and from speaking with Ronan Harris. Mmmmmm, thanks so much, Ground Zero, for hosting an incredible event. Thanks, Chuck, for placing me on the guest list and organizing a night I won't forget, and thank you Silent.net for all your time and hard work. Thank you HauJobb, Stromkern, and VNV Nation for your diabolic performances!

If you'd like to learn more about each band, check out their Web sites linked in the article above, or you may purchase their records at Metropolis Records.

Copyright © 2002 LadyMia. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy or post in whole or in part.


LadyMia our own Mia Jennings, has been a music reviewer for the Twin Cities Blues News for the past two years. She's written reviews for artists such as Sista Monica, Gladys Knight and The Pips, Shannon Curfman, Ross William Perry, Lonnie Knight, Sue Foley, and many others. She's also worked with DJ N.R.G. from the U.K. 

Mia has begun experimenting putting music to her own erotic poetry. LadyMia mixes sounds and music to erotic poetry and stories for Oceania at radioactivesex.com. If you have produced or recorded a CD which involves music that moves you spiritually and sexually, and you'd like LadyMia to review it for Mind Caviar, please send her an Email


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