Panzerballett | Live At Theatron Munich 2013
The music of Panzerballett is just about as conventional as the on-stage-headdress of its frontman Jan Zehrfeld is. What we are talking about here is a black helmet-like hat that has multiple cables coming out of its upper end, which makes the singer and guitarist look a bit like a head-banging robot penguin wearing dreadlocks on a stage.
It is quite frankly impossible to put into words how Panzerballett, a German composite term for a tank and ballet, pay musical honor to both the military vehicle as well as the delicate art of dance. Metal, Jazz, Funk, classical elements, rhythmical daredevilry, ingenuously witty jokes – you name it. It explodes and it smokes, sometimes it is deafeningly loud and then again it is subdued and quiet. There are sparks flying all over the place, the listener catches fire, burns ablaze and yet, when it’s all said and done, he finds himself feeling crestfallen in the best way possible facing the behemoth named “Live at Theatron Munich 2013.”
One gets an idea of the extent of insanity involved when taking a look at the setlist: next to various original songs like “Vulgar Display of Sauerkraut”, the new DVD, for instance, also contains interspersed elements of Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt-suite or “Some Skunk Funk” by the Brecker Brothers. In addition to that there are also more than unconventional versions of “(I’ve Had) The Time of my Life” from everybody’s favorite 80s flick Dirty Dancing as well as Germany’s Nicole’s Grand Prix-Schlager-anthem ”Ein bisschen Frieden.” For these two songs Panzerballett have brought Conny Kreitmeier on the stage as a guest performer. Not only is she a real heavyweight of the German live music scene but also a brilliant singer as well as exceptionally lovely.
This DVD was recorded in front of the backdrop of the beautiful scenery of Munich’s Olympic Park and what Panzerballett displays on it is a stunning artistic demonstration that, to be precise, only starts at a point where usually the end of virtuosity is reached. The band defines its very own rules and sticks to those in the most extreme way – without paying the slightest attention to conventionality. The guys themselves have established a perfectly fitting neologism for their artistic approach and the term is “Verkrassung”, which when put into English, means something like “extremeatization.” The mission, clearly, is to push the limits. Everything is supposed to be taken one notch further. That – and nothing less! – is the aim, as it is appropriate for these five southern German academically experienced professional musicians of international acclaim.
It is that geniality in terms of musical craftsmanship that, in stark contrast, also allows Panzerballett not to take itself all too seriously. That fact is proven by the selection of songs, titles as the already mentioned ode to the symbiosis of German food and Texan heavy metal-heroes or even several stage-announcements in between songs. Jan Zehrfeld (guitar, vocals), Joe Doblhofer (guitar), Alexander von Hagke (saxophone), Heiko Jung (bass) and Sebastian Lanser (drums) have nothing left to prove to anybody. Panzerballett’s members’ willingness to experimentation and pure pleasure are the heart of the band – what a great combination for music lovers, especially in live situations.
“We have no idea why we keep doing all this to you and ourselves.” That is one of Jan Zehrfeld’s ironic lines in a break between two songs. Jazz legend Randy Brecker, on the other hand, says: “Panzerballet is the first band I’ve heard that really leads music into the 21st century!” And the crux of the matter is: both statements speak the absolute truth.
Content: Concert “Live at Theatron Munich 2013” (filmed at 5th Aug 2013)
Bonus material: Concert Backstage Munich (26th Oct 2012), “Vulgar Display of Sauerkraut” (12th Oct 2012 Berlin), Interview Mattias IA Eklundh, Film “Panzerballett on US-Tour”
||Gentle Art Of Music
1. Mustafari Likes Di Carnival
2. Some Skunk Funk
4. Time Of My Life
5. Der Saxdiktator
6. Vulgar Display Of Sauerkraut
8. Friede, Freude, Fußball
9. Mustafari Likes Di Carnival
10. Giant Depf
12. Some Skunk Funk
13. Vulgar Display Of Sauerkraut