Photos + Review: KMFDM @ Observatory North Park (San Diego, CA)

KMFDM delivered a fiery performance that turned pioneers into contemporary heroes.

Chant (Austin, TX) and KMFDM (Hamburg, Germany)
May 22, 2023
Observatory North Park in San Diego, CA

Tribal-Industrial band Chant opened for KMFDM but don’t be fooled by the term “opened for” as they were no openers. They took stage to an already packed venue of mesmerized fans that felt as excited to hear their music as that of the headliners.

Often times fans will slowly enter the floor of a venue toward the end of the opening band’s performance. However, in this case the room filled up way ahead of time. Fans rushed toward the stage to occupy the best spot in the venue and no one moved from the opening song to the very last song of the set. I see a lot of shows and this is no small accomplishment.

They delivered an amazing powerhouse of a set that grew in intensity alongside the excitement of the crowd. I had never heard anything from them before tonight. But to give you an idea of how amazing their set was, when I got home at the end of the night I turned on my phone and they were the first thing I searched. They played nine flawless songs and left me wanting more.

Chant were a great and unexpected surprise for me but they weren’t the only one. I was just as happily surprised by KMFDM’s agelessness. I can’t even tell you how many years have passed since I last caught them live. I think I was still living in San Francisco then, and somehow it felt like yesterday. They delivered a truly stellar performance. Sascha Konietzko‘s intensity is perfectly balanced by the powerful and yet sultry vocals of Lucia Cifarelli and Andy Salway’s relentless drumming roared throughout the set. Of course the magical dance of bass and guitars that marks their sound were spectacular.

Trying to label KMFDM as one of the founders of Industrial music is frankly too simplistic and almost too limiting. Founding member Konietzko never truly fit, nor felt the necessity to fit into any kind of mold -musically or otherwise.

KMFDM evolved quite a bit throughout the decades but somehow managed to maintain a fundamental core through all of their releases. I think this is how they created such a unique fan base that has truly grown alongside their music.

This close rapport was obvious from the moment they took stage. The band is touring in support of their latest release Hyena, but graced fans with a generous 19 song setlist that covered their amazing musical journey. Twenty-two albums released and they just seem to be better live than ever. Their material is just as musically innovative as their lyrics are hauntingly relevant. While I was ecstatic to be able to hear some of my favorite songs such as “Sun Of A Gun,” “Megalomaniac,” and of course, “A Drug Against War,” I found the true highlight of the show to be able to hear tracks from Hyena live for the first time. Hyena performed live was supreme and was received by fans as an instantaneous classic. “All 4 1,” the opening track on their latest album, literally roared though the venue and got everyone moving with the drum beats rattling the walls. Such an intense song set the bar high right from the start and it never let up. A personal highlight was hearing “Liquor Fish And Cigarettes.” I just love this song and I was stoked it made the cut for the evening.

KMFDM’s tour continues in Europe next. If you live on that side of the pond please make sure you check out any upcoming date near you. If you live on this side of the pond please follow them on social media and keep your fingers crossed hoping for a return. They are definitely a must see live band!


President God
Primetime Annihilation
Love, Sex & Revolution
Blood + Peace


All 4 1
Rebels in Kontrol
Black Hole
A Drug Against War
Son of a Gun
Oh My Goth
Liquor Fish & Cigarettes
Hau Ruck
Freak Flag

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