David and Jacob went to Nashville together for an Edward Jones’ summer regional meeting. They took this opportunity to check out Vanderbilt University (right across the street from their hotel) and went to a Kraftwerk concert. Kraftwerk, formed in Düsseldorf in 1970 by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider, are a German band widely considered innovators and pioneers of electronic music. The band was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.
Below is David’s account of the event:
It was Friday evening in downtown Nashville in the heart of the honky tonks and raucous crowds. Country, blues and rock blasted from tiny bars. It was also Jacob’s first live ‘pop/electronic/rock’ concert.
I had suggested many musicians and groups coming through our area such as Billy Joel, Elton John, etc. for his first ever concert, but the only group he was interested in seeing was Kraftwerk. They were going to be playing at the Ryman Auditorium, considered the ‘birthplace’ and ‘temple’ of country western and bluegrass. We went to Mellow Mushroom pizza around the corner and ate while cover bands belted out classis rock and modern rock hits from the 80s and 90s.
Jacob hadn’t listened to Kraftwerk much and wasn’t sure what to expect from the concert. He had only heard ‘Autobahn’ – one of their biggest hits from the ’70s. I asked him if he was listening to any of their music prior to going to the concert, and he told me he was purposefully not listening so he could have the first experience with their music in person. To be honest, I think I was more excited about going than he was.
That changed almost the instant Kraftwerk took the stage. Four older German men in black jumpsuits with a grid of thin, white lines covering them took the stage. Immediately the lights and 3-D film kicked in. The sound quality of the space was fantastic and the first song they played live on their four keyboards pumped out of the speaker – ‘Numbers’ from their album ‘Computerworld’.
Jacob was entranced and a smile I have only seen a few times stretched across his face. He immediately started tapping his feet and moving slightly to the music. His mood was elevated and he was in the moment for the entire performance. Kraftwerk put on an engaging performance and the film married wonderfully to the music. Kraftwerk is now his favorite group and he has been listening to their music every day ever since the concert.
His wonder at the whole experience is exactly what I hoped for. Jacob enjoys music very much and it soothes him when he is stressed. I believe the experience helped him with his overall stress levels and it also gave him what I hope will be a very memorable first concert experience.