Tamara Igleheart

Aesthetic Perfection @ The Casbah – 09/06/2019

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Industrial pop outfit Aesthetic Perfection kicked off the North American leg of the Into The Black tour in sunny San Diego, CA at the Casbah on Friday, September 6th. The tour shares its name with their newest album that was released earlier this year on March 29th. The group embarked on the Into The Black World Tour soon after its release, hitting Europe and a even a couple of festivals, and they show no signs of slowing down!

This tour is something special. Not only does it follow the release of Aesthetic Perfection’s most ambitious work, it also features a new roster of musicians, and perfectly selected opening acts. Aesthetic Perfection frontman Daniel Graves has enlisted the support of Lazerpunk (all the way from Hungary), and UK’s Empathy Test for this run of shows throughout North America. Lazerpunk started his set by playing subtle electronic notes, and then when the bass dropped, the room exploded into a mass of energy. As the first act of the night, he did a great job of engaging his audience, and got a few people in the crowd to shake off the cobwebs and start to dance. As tough as this may be to believe given their enormous talent, this is Empathy Test’s first time playing in America! Despite this, they have a decent following of fans here, and several people in the audience could be heard singing along to the catchy tunes. One could assume with a large degree of certainty that this will not be their last journey here in the United States!

Aesthetic Perfection has gone through some changes recently. For the longest time, Graves was not planning to compose another album, but he did exactly that at the suggestion of his fans and Patreon supporters. Give the people what they want, right? Although a long and grueling process at times during its conception and creation, Into The Black can easily be considered some of Graves’ best work. He took the album and his own abilities to new heights, and his fans are loving it. Along with the new music, Aesthetic Perfection has stepped up their live show and VIP experience for this tour. Fans can purchase a VIP package and spend five minutes playing a fun game with each member of the band, just like a speed dating event! This is truly a unique take, and has been very successful in execution. Speaking of the band members, earlier this year, Graves announced that Elliott Berlin would be the permanent keyboard player (and he also boats his sweet guitar skills during the show!), and that Joe Letz (formerly of Combichrist) would be taking over on drums.

The show at the Casbah in San Diego was the first time Aesthetic Perfection played together in Southern California as this new incarnation of the group. The energy that emits from this trio while performing is unmatched and it feels as if they were always meant to end up here together. They opened up the set with “Golds & Gold,” a fan favorite from the new album, which features guitarwork by Richard Z. Kruspe of Rammstein on the original track. Elliott Berlin was masterful in his guitar playing for the live song, and it was the obvious selection to open the performance with. The band brought their own lighting equipment, and the stage was bright and beautifully lit. The crowd packed in as close as they could get to the stage, and sang along with every song they played. The set was filled with a great combination of new and older material, and the set flowed wonderfully. There were no awkward transition points, and the high-spirited atmosphere of the room was maintained from beginning to end, despite the humidity and high temperatures on the warm summer night. Joe Letz is an absolute Phenom behind the drum kit, and is a great addition to the band. Graves, as always, demonstrated his exceptional vocal talent, and his ability to be an entertaining frontman. Among other great songs in the set, the band played “Antibody,” “Wickedness,” and “Big Bad Wolf,” all of which are crowd favorites. Each show on this tour will be unique, as the band will be taking requests from the VIPs on what to add to the setlist!

The North American leg of the Into The Black World Tour has just begun, so there is still time to purchase tickets for an exciting and incredibly well-thought-out night of music! Also available on this run is a deluxe, 2-CD edition of Into The Black. It features the alternate tracks on the vinyl and cassette versions of the original release, as well as alternate cover artwork. This album is a must-have and a staple for any collection!

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