BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST TWELVE MONTHSKraftwerk at the Jackie Gleason TheaterIt's no secret that South Florida usually gets short shrift from major touring acts, but November was a grand exception. In an amazing turn of good luck, the granddaddy of electronic/synth acts, Kraftwerk, chose the Jackie Gleason Theater for one of only five extremely rare U.S. shows; the only one east of the Rockies. The preshow electricity was already palpable when competing man-machine uniformed clones arrived to take their seats, but it really took off when the lights dimmed to reveal the technology-happy gang from Düsseldorf. Although promoting its latest release, 2003's Tour de France Soundtracks, Kraftwerk also rewarded the audience with a hits-filled show that lasted well over two hours. The instruments now are laptops. The sound was magnificent, with no distortion noticeable. Though the music was loud enough to cause temporary hearing loss, you couldn't tell until it was quiet and somebody tried to speak to you. High-definition videos were projected behind the band, adding to the already hypnotic feel of the performance. There were even some robots onstage, but it was fairly evident from the expression on the band members' faces that they still take live performances seriously and enjoy them organically.
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