Sunday, Feb. 15, 2009

Die Kreuzen Members Reunite for Atomic Benefit

By Evan Rytlewski
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Members of 1980s hardcore boundary pushers Die Kreuzen reunited briefly last night for a surprise performance as part of a benefit concert for Atomic Records, the iconic independent record store which will close next month. With no introduction and little ceremony, playing two lesser-known songs from the group's later period (covers of Aerosmith and Wire songs) as well as a Cheap Trick cover, warming the stage for a scheduled, loud-as-ever performance from their '80s punk peers Couch Flambeau. Audience members in the Miramar Theatre's lobby or waiting in line for the bathroom could have easily missed the whole set.

The performance was among the highlights of the crowded, sold-out concert, which also featured reunion concerts from other ghosts of Milwaukee's past, including alterna-poppers The Lovelies, noise-rockers Sometime Sweet Susan (who hurled glorious, sludge-covered hooks at the crowd), psychedlia revivalists Liquid Pink and the recently reactivated industrial outfit Boy Dirt Car, another group featuring members of Die Kreuzen (singer Dan Kubinski and bassist Keith Brammer) that's also enshrined in history for their inclusion on 1986's seminal Sup Pop 100 compilation.

Update: Despite the initial buzz, this wasn't a complete or official Die Kreuzen reunion. Kubinski and Brammer were assisted by Frogs bassist Damian Strigens on guitar (filling in for Brian Egenes, who now lives in Austin) and Sometime Sweet Susan drummer Dan Hanke (in place of Erik Tunison, who lives in Amsterdam).

The setlist:

1. Seasons of Wither (Aerosmith cover, from Die Kreuzen's "Gone Away" EP and the Badger-A-Go-Go compilation)
2. Pink Flag (Wire cover, from Die Kreuzen's "Pink Flag/Land of Teason" 7-inch and "Gone Away" EP)
3. He's a Whore (Cheap Trick cover)

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