VNV Nation @ The Fillmore Silver Spring – April 1st 2024
VNV Nation @ The Fillmore Silver Spring – April 1st 2024

Live Review: VNV Nation @ The Fillmore Silver Spring – April 1st 2024

VNV Nation, the brainchild of Irish musician Ronan Harris, hardly needs an introduction in the goth/industrial scene that they call home. The band (who fall primarily in the realm of synthpop/futurepop, for those not familiar) has been a club staple for more than two decades now. Last year they released their eleventh studio album, Electric Sun, which carries on the tradition of pulsing beats and driving synths, along with Harris’s distinctive voice, arguably one of the best singers in the synthpop genre today. On top of that, 2024 is a milestone for the group as it is the 25th anniversary of their third album Empires, the breakthrough record that brought them to the attention of the world.

The band’s first show in the Washington, DC area in quite a long time (a decade, if setlist.fm is to be believed, though they did play in nearby Baltimore in 2017) was originally scheduled to take place at the start of the first leg of their North American tour last fall, but “logistical problems” got in the way and the show (along with a handful of others) had to be postponed. Fortunately they were able to reschedule for only a short time later, and this past Monday they took the stage at the Fillmore Silver Spring to a crowded room of dedicated fans who danced, sang along, and showed their love for a band that many of them have been following for multiple decades now. Harris returned the sentiment, with a high-energy performance that had him prowling the entire stage with his microphone while his touring band backed him.

While the 21-song setlist drew most heavily from Electric Sun (with six of its twelve tracks represented), the set spanned the group’s entire career. Of course many of the biggest tracks – “Illusion,” “Darkangel,” “Standing,” “Chrome” – got played, but the band also dug deeper into the catalog, including “Solitary” from their second album Praise the Fallen, “The Farthest Star” from 2007’s Judgement, and “Nova” from 2011’s Automatic.

With such a strong audience response, we can hope that maybe it won’t be so long before VNV Nation returns again. In the meantime, though, if you live along the path of any of the remaining dates on the tour, you should definitely take this opportunity to see them.

Canadian post-punks TRAITRS, the duo of Sean-Patrick Nolan and Shawn Tucker, opened the night with a high-energy set that got the room moving early. While their more guitar-focused style is considerably different from that of VNV Nation, they complimented the headliner well. Their most recent (2021) album Horses in the Abattoir and EP The Sick, Tired and Ill were reissued together on a single release by Metropolis Records last fall.

PHOTOS © MATT CONDON

VNV Nation

TRAITRS

VNV Nation setlist

Before the Rain
Sentinel
Primary
The Farthest Star
When Is the Future?
Chrome
Artiface
Control
Standing
God of All
Invictus
Immersed
Resolution
Prophet
Wait

Illusion
The Game
Darkangel

Nova
Solitary
All Our Sins

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