When a concert is to be held at a former Masonic Temple (where all of the restrooms have urinals, it was told), one has to wonder if there was a misprint on the ticket or, perhaps, on the advertisement.

When this is dispelled and one sees that not only was it not a misprint, but that the pioneers of electronic mischief themselves, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, are going to be the band on the bill, then the true "horror movie becomes reality" moment has arrived.

This seems only fitting for a band who owes their very existence to a movie that they had meant to make (and to some degree did, kind of) and for a band who is known by many as the band from The Crow (as the club is being shot up), the Cool World soundtrack, and even The Flintstones!

The eeriness was not to be left at the venue door's entrance, however.

Once within the structure, as Cleveland's infamous winter blew in a bit early, those in line were told by the floor staff that the heat was out and that they should, therefore, dance and move around a lot.


Then, upon entry into the almost foreboding hall where My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult were set to unleash their creative mixture of "industrial meets disco" rock music, Shannon, a member of the security staff, opened up when questioned about the Temple, informing Blasting News that the "building was built in 1921."

Furthermore, the whole building has over 102,000 square feet of usable space, there is a much bigger hall included, and there are even still pipes in the floor with their priceless pipe organ still within.

So, with the mood set, the lights low, and Shannon arranging a tour of the stunning architecture of this author, the atmosphere was readied for the one and only, 'Thrill Kill Kult.

A one-woman show

Those lucky enough to arrive during the end of soundcheck, which went off just a bit later than expected, got to see the transformation of a butterfly, so to speak.


One moment, there she was, in a normal black hoodie, standing afront her machines and keyboards, sound-checking, and joking that "we should start the show now since everyone is here," as roughly 25 milled around and the press took a few photos of her set up process.

Then, at showtime shortly thereafter, Kanga appeared in a white top that seemed to glow in the offset blue light, and her show began as if the performer on stage was not the same person who was adjusting her levels and asking for "more monitor" at all!

Kanga is a one-woman whirlwind, playing minor keyboard parts, triggering her music, manipulating the electronics, and still managing to remember the importance of stage presence and crowd interaction... not an easy assignment, but one that she understood very well.

Her voice was a bit lower in tonality than expected for her appearance, and with few effects on her vocal sound, it was very honest. Some backing tracks were used since it is only possible to sing one part at a time, but one would be quite hard-pressed to suggest that a single person could have possibly done much more than she did live.

Kanga was certainly not faking it.

Her music was both bass-heavy, and melodic, and when she belted out, "I am nothing" over and over again as if it were both a chant and a cry for help, it was clear why My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult chose this powerhouse to set the tone.

Time to play the tape

"Playing the tape," at an electronic show, is often used as a metaphor for bands utilizing DAT tapes and machines no longer in use, a way of saying, "Play the backing tracks."

However, when Adult hit the stage, "playing the tape" took on a very wooden, quite literal meaning in every way.

As half of the husband and wife duo, when Nicola Kuperus hit the stage, she did so armed with a roll of clear packing tape.

She promptly secured one end to the massive bass speakers which seemed to rumble the very foundation of the elder temple, and the other she gave to a fan who was 6'5'' if he was an inch (this same gentleman was used yet again when the band's singer ventured into the crowd as the "microphone wire holder" so that everyone could see her and so that no one would trip).

From there, as Adult's musician, Adam Lee Miller, began the musical chaos from behind his wall of keyboards, electronic drum pads, and a Moog controller of some sort (which he sometimes manipulated with a drumstick sliding on the device), the singer took a small microphone and stuck it to the middle of the tape which now reached across the entire stage.

From there, she pinched the tape between her fingers and actually played the tape by moving up and down the length of her creation. The sound was a cross between a violin and a terrified theremin, yet it was pretty much in key and quite dynamic. It was noisy but it was not noise, it was an actual instrument.

This wildly creative idea had everyone on their feet and from there onward, Adult owned the rapt attention of every concertgoer present.

To a much greater degree than Kanga, Adult used a number of vocal effects to achieve their driving sound that married a great number of electronic styles into one, but not to the degree that the artistry or depth of Kuperus's voice was lost, but rather, enhanced.

To make this happen, Adult used two different mics. Sometimes, they were both held in front of the singer, and at other points in the show, one was held further back from the other or not used at all.

Adult, like Kanga, did a very good job at playing as much live as can be accomplished by such a small number of people on stage.

Miller has his hands full: triggering, manipulating the output, playing keyboards, and drumming. At first, it seemed that the drums may have been just a bit staggered, but this was likely a monitor issue, and it was quickly resolved by the sound crew.

Kultish activity

After a pair of very capable opening bands, it was time for My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult to seek converts.

For those who may not be familiar with the band, founding members Buzz McCoy and Groovy Mann have been making their macabre blend of rock, industrial, techno, disco, and fifties-infused music since 1987. Along with bands like Ministry, Circle Of Dust, Skinny Puppy, and Front 242, if the 'Thrill Kill Kult had never existed, bands like Nine Inch Nails, Staic-X, and even modern dubstep and EDM would also not exist as it does today.

It is that cut and dry.

Taking the stage as a four-piece this time, the duo of founders were joined by bassist Mimi Star 44 (who has been accepted for quite some time after replacing the highly influential Charles Levi) and drummer Justin Thyme was nothing short of astounding.

Playing over loops is anything but easy for a drummer, yet even when the timing changes came into play, Justin Thyme was on point, accurate, and living up to his name. Using a mixture of live drums and pads (making his bass drum look as though it was missing at first glance), Thyme's performance should be an example of how to play electronic music in a live environment.

The Kult displayed many acts of musical prowess in similar forms during the whole show, as well, such as when McCoy (not actually a guitarist but a solid keyboardist) played the guitar tracks to the Cool World classic, Sex On Wheels. During this track, he not only played the guitar parts on a keyboard, but he did so with the same sound that is enjoyed on the single.

While this may sound simple enough, getting a keyboard to really sound like a guitar is harder than doing push-ups in a swimming pool!

This skill was also on display during The Crow classic, "After The Flesh." With no guitarist on tour, many people reasoned that the song was not going to be done, yet Buzz brought a version that lacked nothing from the original.

This was even accomplished in another single, the sing-songy "Glamour Is A Rocky Road", where the guitar sound is clean and purposefully twang-tingled, ala a Beach Boys song. Adding to the depth of this song and others was how the band covered for "Bomb Gang Girlz" not being there.

For those who may not know, when TKK began, it is often reported that both McCoy and Groovy talked their label out of more money for recording expenses by claiming that they needed to hire female singers.

In reality, those vocals were done, it is claimed, by the duo themselves who used effects to make them sound like women... and thus, the "Bomb Gang Girlz" were born (they later actually toured with girls and there was a real "Bomb Gang Girlz" act later on, it should be noted).

That said, while Mimi did sing on a number of songs, this gender-bending technology on the vocals was in use during the show via Buzz's mic, and this was also good to see. It is not often that such things are proven or disproven in such a way.

Whilst on the topic of Mimi, her style is a rare mix of aggressive, often heavy strokes while still grasping the ability to hold a groove worthy of George Clinton. Not only did she, once again, nail the heavy-funk of Charles Levi, but she also lacks nothing when it comes to her own original bass parts.

Always ready to greet a fan, even if they are looming by stage doors like a ghost long after the show has ended, Mimi Star 44 proves to be a highlight of any event that she is part of. The ailing Levi (now recovering) must be quite proud.

Some other vocal textures were created in a like manner during "Appolo 69" from their CD, "Thirteen Above The Night." It was promised that many of the older songs from the band were to be played on this outing and this was what took place, to the joy of many attending. Thrill Kill Kult often mixes (thankfully) both old and new songs from their career, never relying on just their biggest songs to carry them, but this show was a trip down memory lane.

Groovy Mann, infamously known for his partying ways that go far and beyond what has killed others, is reported to be sober these days, and this sobriety showed in a wonderous way.

His voice is a bit deeper and more brooding than some of the songs from yesteryear, yet it wasn't different enough to lose the edge in songs like "A Girl Doesn't Get Killed By Her Make Believe Lover ('Cuz it's Hot)" – yes, that IS the whole name of the classic – "This Is What The Devil Does," and "Burning Dirt."

The latter, known to Ministry fans as "Tonight We Murder," opened the show and worked very well to lay the foundation for the entire night.

Later, the crowd demanded an encore and it was to the pure delight of many that one of the songs chosen for their re-emergence was "Final Blindness." The techno powerhouse has no Groovy vocals in it and the chances of actually getting to hear it played seemed nil, at best.

When it began, the crowd was ecstatic over its inclusion.

As with songs like "Do You Fear For Your Child" and "A Daisy Chain For Satan," it was a very inspiring thing to hear the actual "techno" sounds which are not used nearly enough in today's music sounding so crisp and played totally live.

So, when Groovy all but wept out the words, "Here where I haven't seen that I've lost, here I will dream, why? Give me a drink now! I've gotten rid of my stinking brain!" both the emotion and music behind him were solid and true to the original.

Some of the songs that fans know best, they know via remixes and they may be a bit different than the single. So, when "...'Cuz It's Hot" sounded a bit deeper and darker, it proved to be both refreshing and nostalgic. It showed how the band has solid tracks that sound as good live as on CD.

After the 5- song encore which featured "Dope Doll Jungle" and others, having said virtually nothing aside from his lyrics (and unlike Adult who used every inch given to her, Groovy stayed mostly in his circle of monitors center-staged), Groovy thanked the crowd and the massive red curtain fell.

It was over, the Kult leader had preached his last words.

Still, the beat seemed to linger in the air just a bit longer than expected. Maybe it was all part of one's imagination or maybe, just maybe, it was all part of those waiting to tell others about My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult.