#948: ‘The Garden’ – Einstürzende Neubauten

It was early 2013, and I was visiting Melbourne from Adelaide for a concert festival. It was the All Tomorrow’s Parties’ I’ll Be Your Mirror’ festival, and I was immensely excited to be seeing Godspeed You! Black Emperor for the first time. I was so excited about the festival, that I didn’t even care who else was playing. However, at that time I was so flushed with concert-going funds that I decided to spend that two weeks in the city going to as many gigs as possible. This is how my experience with Einstürzende Neubauten begins.

This time of mine in Melbourne resulted in me seeing some pretty memorable concerts. Not only did I finally get to see Damian Cowell in person, but I was also able to finally witness both a Puscifer concert, and a Blink-182 concert. Oh, and of course, I got to see Godspeed You! Black Emperor, twice! But the initial reason for my going to Melbourne at this time was to go to the I’ll be Your Mirror Festival’. I wasn’t particularly aware of many of the bands playing, save for the big headliners, so I was a little apprehensive about going for the full weekend.

As it turned out, it was pretty amazing. In addition to seeing local acts such as The Drones, Crime & The City Solution, and The Beasts Of Bourbon, I was able to witness such amazing international acts as Pere Ubu, Swans, My Bloody Valentine, and Einstürzende Neubauten.

Prior to this festival, I’d never listened to Einstürzende Neubauten, but I was aware of them somewhat. I knew that their singer, Blixa Bargeld, had performed with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, and he was in fact one of the singers of the brilliant ‘The Weeping Song‘. But I wasn’t exactly too sure what to expect. Sadly, the poorly planned nature of this festival meant that I wouldn’t be able to witness the headlining acts full sets if I wanted to get back to the place I was staying, since the buses were so poorly planned. No problem, I thought. However, this meant I wasn’t able to witness the closing songs of My Bloody Valentine, or the majority of Einstürzende Neubauten’s set.

See, when Einstürzende Neubauten began to play they started with the track ‘The Garden’. I was utterly transfixed. This band was something like I had never seen. There was an ominous sense of menace to the music, and there was just something so other-worldly about what I was witnessing. The homemade instruments, the amazingly uncomfortable vocals of Blixa Bargeld, and the overall vibe of the spectacle was just intense. About three songs in, I knew that I was seeing something I would never forget. However, the bus schedule meant that I wouldn’t be able to see any more than these three songs since they were leaving earlier on that Sunday night.

Sadly, I left, but I had heard that the group were due to be playing at The Palace, a famous Melbourne venue I had been dying to see. This was to be perfect; a chance to see this new, amazing band I had discovered, and a way to see a show at this venue that I had heard about. The second I got back to where I was staying, I quickly went online to buy tickets, but they were sold out. I searched high and low on eBay, I posted on online forums, Facebook, and elsewhere looking for tickets, but to no avail.

I never got to see them again on that tour, and only months later, The Palace was sold, and closed, never to reopen. I still hold a great amount of bitterness in regards to this tale, but the one thing I was able to take away from this was ‘The Garden’. The one track I recalled them playing in their set, I looked it up online and listened to it for hours on end on my way home from Melbourne to Adelaide via bus. It was an experience, and the song is now forever seared into my brain, so all I can do now is sit back and hope against hope that Einstürzende Neubauten will decide to tour Australia once more, and hopefully their influence will force The Palace to once again open their doors.

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