Review and Photography by Marianne Brits-Strodl

There was no better place to be than Electric Ballroom, Camden on Saturday. Those lucky enough to have got a ticket caught IAMX on stage in support of the release of his latest LP, ‘Alive in New Light’, released earlier this month. What made this an extra special one, is that legendary tattoo artist, Kat von D would join him on stage. She makes an appearance on four tracks on the new album and this was the first time she would perform live music. Electro artist, IAMX began back in 2004 in London as a solo project by now LA based, Chris Corner, formerly of Sneaker Pimps.

IAMX with Kat von D at Electric Ballroom, London

The most colourful crowd of people dressed in leather, feathers, lace, sparkles, face paint and glitter greeted me at the iconic Camden alternative venue. This was going to be a good one. A lot of overexcited fans started shouting, “I. AM. X”, “I. AM. X” from the second they entered the venue.

There was no opening act and just after 8 pm the lights dimmed to pitch-black. IAMX opened with the powerful new single, ‘Alive in New Light’ and the crowd was instantly mesmerised by the petite, confident and beautiful creature that entered the dimly lit, atmospheric and smoke filled stage accompanied by his touring band, Jon Siren (drums), Janine Gezang (keys, bass, vox) and Sammi Doll (keys, vox). The show started with a lot of vigour and it continued throughout.

IAMX with Kat von D at Electric Ballroom, London

For alt-rock song, ‘I Come with Knives’, Corner put on his feathered headdress and the crowd erupted even more. Chris introduced Kat von D with a jiggle of glee and described her as as an incredible person and good friend. She came on stage and joined for ‘Stalker’, a seductive song about two lovers, perfectly portrayed by the two, which sent chills down my spine. Followed by ‘Stardust’, a masterpiece with layer upon layer of pure genius, showmanship and artistry. It starts with a monotone synth rhythm before the melody sets in, which is reminiscent of Depeche Mode’s ‘Personal Jesus’. The next song, ‘Exit’ had a hint of Bowie and a highlight of the night.

Other songs that stood out were ‘The Alternative’, strong, and bursting with energy; ‘Kiss + Swallow’ and the hauntingly beautiful piano ballad, ‘The Power and the Glory’ – one done with Kat von D.

Corner used 3 microphones, at times two at a time and made his way around the stage dancing, jumping and engaging with the rest of the band. Keys and bass guitarist, Janine Gezang complemented Chris’s energy and at times ruptured out bass riffs. The rest of the band was as tight as you can get.

IAMX with Kat von D at Electric Ballroom, London

The set alternated between powerful, more sombre ballads and energetic songs. Adding Kat von D to the show was a nice touch and treat, but Corner sure knows how to put on a show by himself. The set consisted of 15 tracks in total, which included two encores. The grand finale was ‘This Will Make You Love Again’ and ended the second encore.

This was a vocally immaculate, sexy, raw, graceful, powerful, visually stimulating and inspiring show. Die-hard fans that braved the icy London weather conditions were not disappointed.

IAMX with Kat von D at Electric Ballroom, London

Set list:

Alive in New Light / Break the Chain / I Come With Knives / Happiness / Stalker (Kat von D) / Stardust (Kat von D) / Exit / North Star / Body Politics / Spit it Out / Your Joy is My Low / Encore: The Alternative / Kiss + Swallow / The Power and the Glory (Kat von D) / Encore 2: This Will Make You Love Again

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