Victory not Vengeance Dreamed 4361 days ago | | 800 words

Tuesday night I rounded out my 4-day weekend in Virginia Beach with a trip to the Norva to see VNV Nation perform. And perform they did! For that one evening I transcended this world into a place of thumpy beats, haunting melodies and stompy feel goodness.

As polar opposites to Nine Inch Nails, VNV is all positive and happy and I danced like a loon for nearly three hours. The opening act was And One, a German 3-piece though I swear the two flanking keyboardists/macbook operator’s hands did not move nearly enough to indicate they were playing anything on those keyboards.

The frontman was fantastic though, very fun and danced around in an Eddie Izzard meets John Cleese sort of way. He really gave me a strong Izzard vibe all the way around, and the puffy suit did much to further the image.

Some English language, some German language, it was very happy to listen to and I had a good time dancing along to the beats, since I don’t speak German and the English was lost on me through the beats.

Though they did play Personal Jesus which was interesting.

After a (thankfully) short intermission, where none of the stage was rearranged, VNV Nation came on.

I have to say, Ronan is a very funny guy. Very giggly and upbeat, made only more so by the Guiness and shots he and the band imbibed as the show went on, passed to them by appreciating fans.

My knowledge of the Nation (and my general Alzheimer’s like memory) doesn’t allow me to recall what songs were played, and in any sort of order. I do recall Beloved and Epicentre, two of my favorites. Testament, Nemesis (I think), Illusion and Descent were played from the new disc. Descent is a thoroughly haunting song, hitting me much in the same way NIN’s Hurt did when I first heard it live or Marilyn Manson’s Speed of Pain (the live version, from the Mechanical Animals tour).

It was unfortunate that during this song the mic started feeding back very badly which causes Ronan to stop and yell at the techs for a moment, before continuing. After that, the mic was fine for the rest of the night. Descent is quickly becoming my favorite track off the album.

The setup was minimal, three projectors going to drop-down screen behind them with minimal imagery going on behind the trio of musicians flanking Ronan. Just men and Macbooks.

Now time for some random observations.

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