KRAFTWERK @ MOMA - Trans Europe Express


I guess it's appropriate, on Friday the 13th, to write about something really lucky that happened to me. In all honesty, my luck with purchasing tickets online to shows I really want to see is approximately... like 2%. If that. The last time that situation worked out in my favor was 5+ years ago when I scored a pair of tickets to see Beck at Hiro Ballroom and for some reason my jerk of a boyfriend at the time guilted me (I honestly don't remember why) into selling them. Worst.


Nevertheless, I am kind of an eternal optimist about these sorts of things but I certainly have low expectations about my prospects. So a few months ago when two of my coworkers mentioned that they were going to try to buy Kraftwerk tickets online for their very very hyped Retrospective series at the MOMA, I figured "why not try?" but was pretty much convinced I would come away empty handed. At noon that day I went on the system, put myself in the much maligned "queue" and figured I'd just see what happened.

Well, at first nothing happened. You are waiting in the queue. You are waiting in the queue. After about 10 minutes I had to go interview a potential candidate for a job and was away from my desk for about half an hour. During this time both of my coworkers gave up as did the majority of people it seemed who took to the internet to vent their understandable frustrations. By the time I got back to my desk it was 12:40ish and my queue was still spinning. Great. I left the window open anyways (optimism!) and was writing an email when suddenly the screen refreshed and I was in the system. Figuring it was a glitch, I still entered all of my information and after 2-3 full page crashes and reloads I suddenly found myself with two tickets to the third night of the Retrospective. Kraftwerk would be playing 8 of their classic albums - one album each night for 8 nights - and I would be seeing Trans Europe Express.

Last night it all went down, and honestly was one of the most amazing concert experiences I've ever had. The room we were in (the 2nd floor atrium) probably held about 450 people (that's how many tickets were sold) and there was still room to breathe. The show was also in 3D (with custom Kraftwerk 3D shades, obvs), which added a whole additional layer of coolness. And not only did they play Trans Europe in its entirety, but they also threw down a few of their classic hits including "The Robots" and "Autobahn" and the sound - for the MOMA especially - was completely crisp and fantastically clear. I actually read somewhere that MOMA overhauled their entire sound system to specifically accomodate Kraftwerk's technical specifications and it definitely was worth it. In the gift shop afterwards, where I picked up a t-shirt and the 3D book that accompanies these shows, a woman in the line behind us commented that her experience that evening was even better than seeing Kraftwerk in the 70s - technology has certainly improved since then and the 3d layer truly brought the show to life.

Here's a video that my friend Lawrence shot when he attended the first night: