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KRAFTWERK — TOUR DE FRANCE AT DISNEY HALL

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Kraftwerk — Tour de France at Disney Hall

By Yann Perreau

In May 2024, Kraftwerk played a special album-by-album engagement at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. On the penultimate show of nine dates, the electronic music trailblazers performed one of their most iconic albums, Tour de France Soundtracks—the concert providing a vivid testament to the band’s lasting impact on their signature genre.

Established in the early 1970s by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider (who were influenced by Stockhausen and Düsseldorf’s Krautrock scene), Kraftwerk’s ability to integrate technology with sound has pointed the way for countless artists over the decades. Their 2003 album, Tour de France Soundtracks—a tribute to the world-renowned cycling race—is a sonic journey that blends rhythm, technology, and thematic elements into a mind-blowing experience.

Featuring captivating interplay between the band’s rhythmic precision and electronic cadence, the concert opened with “Prologue” and moved into the evening’s centerpiece suite, “Tour de France Étapes 1,2 and 3,” setting the tone for the evening with pulsating electronic beats and minimalist melodies. Accompanying the musical performance was a stunning visual display that elevated the concert to a multisensory experience. Utilizing the venue’s advanced projection technology, the concert’s sights ranged from geometric patterns to historical footage of the Tour de France. During “Vitamin,” vibrant animations of molecular structures danced across the screens, reflecting the song’s exploration of health and vitality.

The choice of Disney Hall, known for its exceptional acoustics, enhanced the performance by allowing every nuance of the music to be heard with clarity and resonance. As the final echoes of the show reverberated through the auditorium, it was clear that this performance honored both Kraftwerk’s legacy and the audience’s fidelity over the years.

 

 

Kraftwerk at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, May 2024. Photographs (4) by Farah Sosa on behalf of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.