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Filtering in

21 Jun

Filter @ BatschkappThe first time I noticed Filter as a band was probably with the release of the SPAWN soundtrack in 1997. The first track on the album was Filter and the Crystal Method’s “Trip like I do”. At the time, I listened to that thing over and over until my ears bled.

I have since had Filter phases and have kept up with the band, buying the albums and so on. I also got into Army of Anyone, a band the vocalist Richard Patrick started with the DeLeo brothers from Stone Temple Pilots and current KORN drummer Ray Luzier. Through all this time, I had never seen Filter live. So when they announced their tour early this year, I took the chance.

The show took place at Batschkapp, probably Frankfurt’s most legendary rock club. It opened in 1976 and has since served as a stronghold for counter-culture – in other words: a place to see rock bands and meet fellow fans. If you’re under 25, the club nights are also worth checking out. I can remember having good times there.

Back to Filter, though. The show started with two support bands. Number One: Julien-K, a pleasant synth-pop surprise that would make any Depeche Mode fan’s heart skip a beat and shows off the electronic talent of Amir Derakh and Ryan Shuck, previously seen in bands such as Orgy, Dead by Sunrise with Chester Bennington from Linkin Park and Sexart, which is the band Jonathan Davis left to join KORN. (Writing this, it feels like i am reciting six degrees of rock.) Anyway, if you were ever into Orgy, you’ll also like Julien-K, I think. Now for Number Two: Nim Vind from Canada, advertised as “Vamp Rock”. To be honest, I wasn’t aware of this musical category and didn’t really know what to expect. What we got was something quite glam-to-hard-rocky and a vocalist – Nim Vind himself – that did resemble one of the Ramones more than anything out of Twilight. I have since found out that Nim Vind used to be in a band called Mr. Underhill, which supposedly was a big thing in the Death Pop underground. Finding out about all this now makes me wonder how I could have missed this entire genre. But I guess it proves that there always is a point to watching the support band.

And tonight, there definitely was a point to watching the main act, too. Inexplicably, I had categorized Filter as a “studio band” in my head – maybe as the first impression the made on me was mashed up with the electronic sounds of The Crystal Method and my synapses were too lazy to reconsider. Needless to say, I could not have been more wrong. What I got was a solid and authentic rock performance, an engaging set of band members and a total sense of community. Quite plainly, it was one of those uplifting shows that you wish you could see over and over again. That gives you an understanding of the people behind the music and therefore a different perspective on the music itself. Right now, I would have to say that Filter is a band you HAVE TO see live to really get it. So make sure you do if they ever come to your town.

Check out Julien-K here:
Check out Nim Vind here:
Check out Batschkapp for tickets here: (also in English)
Check out Filter here: