Young Gods

Live Sky Tour

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Part of the Gods' strong appeal -- their masterful ability to incorporate samples from all sources to create their songs, as well as their self-described "sound freak" tendencies in the studio -- would seem to preclude being equally as gripping live. The band has always consistently toured and performed, however, and one listen to this document of a 1992 tour date in Australia demonstrates that for all the technology, the Young Gods can still do the basic job of rocking the house and then some. While some of the picture-perfect edge in the studio versions is understandably lost live, what is most immediately striking is realizing how keyboardist Comet and drummer Use Hiestand function in perfect tandem in performance; your ear hears what sounds like a series of guitarists all playing at once, but it's all down to Comet conjuring it out of the computer, and it's worth a lifetime's collection of hair metal shredders and thrash brutalists -- all of the power and none of the crap. As for Franz Treichler, he's a powerful rock singer par excellence and doesn't hold back, and together the three simply slay the crowd. A crunching romp through "Envoye" fades spectrally into the string loop from "Chanson Rouge," "Jimmy" and "Skinflowers" rip right along, "Summer Eyes" works just as epically well live as on disc, and the Weill covers "September Song" and "Seerauber Jenny" make for a great closing one-two punch.

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