Local Wire

Combichrist @ Nile Theater

Love it or hate it, but Andy LaPlegua of Combichrist is the closest thing that contemporary industrial music has to a bona fide rock star. While his promotional materials and highly publicized boozing and philandering have gone a long way to create and perpetuate this reputation, his band's music and accompanying stage show have always been a few steps behind in the evolution of the cyberpunk Axl Rose identity that LaPlegua has been working so carefully to cultivate. Until now. With the release of last year's Making Monsters, Combichrist finally completed a tough transition away from the supremely danceable but largely instrumental tracks that brought the band to prominence. After a couple of laughably inferior releases that saw Combichrist struggling to craft music for more conventional lyrics, the band succeeded in producing a somber album that deserves respect and will surely earn it live. LaPlegua's stage presence has no doubt been upgraded recently, as well. Fresh off a support stint on Rammstein's most recent fire-filled trek through America (including an epic sold-out comeback gig at Madison Square Garden), Combichrist is set to blow the roof off Nile Theater and hopefully legitimize their frontman's rock star image in the process.

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Daniel Raven