Front Line Assembly - 01/31/1991

Front Line Assembly 1991

I was back at the Ritz a few weeks after the NIN/Die Warzau show for the second of what would be many shows at Tampa's premiere venue for the music I liked in the early 1990's. The few friends I had made at school hadn't been too keen on seeing Nine Inch Nails since they'd all seen the band less than a year before, but Front Line Assembly was one level deeper underground and so they were less jaded, so I had a ride and I didn't need to drag my dad along.

While I was a mopey, self-absorbed mess at this show, it marked the first time I'd seen a band use film loops over their set to create an ambiance and I found that pretty cool. Obviously this idea would wear off on me later on!

Front Line Assembly was touring for Caustic Grip at the time and I remember thinking that the dirt around the edges of the Front Line sound was far more appealing to me than the more polished Front 242, Nitzer Ebb, or even Nine Inch Nails for the simple reason that it still felt dangerously undiscovered. I don't think there were even 300 people at this show, so that feeling that FLA was still a fledging act was keenly accurate. I would see Front Line Assembly a few more times later on, but this first show before Nine Inch Nails broke the world of industrial music open to a larger audience was probably the best show they put on, even if it was murky, covered in parachute netting, and filled with long mixes of songs I'd never heard before.