I finally got to see Kraftwerk at their first Seattle show in 10 years. They played the Paramount Theatre, an ornate, old theater in the heart of downtown. The place is very much like Radio City, with several balconies and a really pretty interior. Tickets went on sale after the Sasquatch music festival was cancelled. Those who had tickets to the festival were given first priority, then another presale happened via the Seattle Theatre Group's website, and a lot of tickets were snatched up that way.
A second, late show was added but cancelled a few days prior to the gig due to bad ticket sales. This disappointed quite a few people, who'd gotten bad seats for the early show but scored great ones for the second.
The day of the show was warm and sunny. Beforehand was kind of strange. Because of construction on the same block as the Paramount, security asked everyone to walk across the street (by a bus station) and line up there, and then walk back when doors opened, which we did. Once inside, a vendor was selling German beers and bratwursts. To t-shirts were available (Autobahn blue design and a Kraftwerk one) for $40 each, plus the laptop carrying case for $50. The crowd was varied, everyone from parents with small kids to almost-elderly first-generation fans. A handfull of gys were dressed in red shirts and skinny black ties! Each of us was handed the 3D glasses in what I understand to be tour-standard red-and-black "12345678" paper sleeves.
Some preshow music came on around 7:30 (anyone know what it was? It was hard to hear over the crowd noise), and the four computer-generated silhouettes were projected against the stage curtains. When the lights went down and the voice announcing the band came on, the audience went crazy. It was one of the most attentive crowds I've been in, but when each song ended people screamed and cheered like it was a Beatles concert. It was a terrific, celebratory vibe.
The setlist was pretty standard for the tour, from what I've read of the earlier gigs. At the end of "Spacelab" the U.F.O. landed in front of the Paramount, which had the "KRAFTWERK 3-D" marquee clearly visible. They must've taken the photo earlier in the day. One highlight came at the very end, when the band took their bows. Ralf was dripping with sweat - all four of them seemed to really feed off the crowd's energy - when raised one hand and he patted his heart with the other as if to say the show (and reception) really meant a lot to him.
I'm hoping they're back in another 10 years or less, and with some new songs!