For a time, Front Line Assembly would have ranked as one of my favorite bands. By 1996, that time was over. I convinced Chris to go with me to this show based on the fact that Die Krupps was playing and they had begun toying with guitars at this point. I was doing the "I'm more interested in the opening band" thing by telling myself and others that I was really going to see Numb instead of FLA.
Numb were pretty forgettable. Since I can't remember if Die Krupps even played, they obviously were too. The only Die Krupps I really liked was their split with Nitzer Ebb and even that was probably three tracks too long as a four track 12".
I knew at the time that this was going to be my last Front Line Assembly show. That was maybe a little bittersweet. Front Line was the second show I ever saw in Florida (recounted here) and opening fro Front Line was one of the handful of really cool opportunities I had in the GOG days. But by mid-1996, Front Line had clearly gone as far as they were going to go and they were starting to sound and feel stale. By the time of this gig, I had already lost interest in Hard Wired and while I was impressed with "Plasticity," I couldn't imagine them continuing to do anything that I would want to follow.
The Front Line set was actually pretty good this time around. They had a live drummer that added a lot of energy and they abandoned the film and video projections in favor of putting the band front and center. When I had seen them on the Caustic Grip tour, they were mostly tucked behind giant racks of keyboards and effects. But touring with Die Krupps, they had to up the live band ante a bit and they did an admirable job of it.
Still, going to this show was like a token way to close out a period of my life. That wasn't a bad thing, but it did drive home the fact that I'd never be that same person who got excited about seeing guys screaming about machines ever again.