IAMX: Bowery Ballroom

NEW YORK, NY—Chris Corner, frontman of IAMX and member of Sneaker Pimps, knows exactly how to entertain a crowd. His third album, Kingdom Of Welcome Addiction, came out alongside a small tour he and his traveling band set out on. With only a few stateside dates, NYC not surprisingly made the list.

I had thought he would warrant a larger venue as the Bowery Ballroom is a lot smaller than I thought it would be. However, after the show, I was quite glad that he performed at such an intimate spot. The music was better experienced feeling as though it was one big party, rather than in a larger venue where you could feel a little lost.

IAMX is side project of Corner’s and poses an alternative to who he is in his art. It is similar to Sneaker Pimps, running in the same electronica genre, but manages to be darker and even on the industrial side of the music spectrum. There’s also this cabaret touch that I was curious to see play out on stage.

A lone female violinist took the stage and played “Missile” by IAMX to an anxious crowd who definitely appreciated her playing, but wanted Corner and company to come out. On a darkened stage, Corner and fellow musicians opened up with “Bring Me Back A Dog.” It was heavier than the album version and completely set the tone for the night.

Most of the songs, especially older tracks, were done a little differently during the set. His accompanying band, made up of guitarist Dean Rosenzweig, drummer Tom Marsh and keyboardist Janine Gezang, enhanced the electronic elements that Corner controls off to the back of the stage. While he says it is all just him on the albums, the added musicians make for a stunning live show.

The music ran into each other nicely with very little space for Corner to make small talk. His keyboardist stole the spotlight a few times with a pained look that was actually her “intense” face. This was less noticeable when you focused your attention on the slightly extravagant outfit of Corner—with feathered hat and ruffled belt to match.

The cabaret came out in the band’s wardrobe, larger than life personas and a screen with projected surreal images on it behind them. It was just the way in which Corner carried himself through the whole set, being shy and quiet on tracks like “Secret Friend” and then being overdramatic and passionate with “I Am Terrified” and the final song, “President.”

It was an odd choice for the last song, being somewhat on a somber tone, whereas most of the set was jovial and made the crowd move with that hipster-type chilled sway. The show as a whole was exciting to watch and pulled you in with awe. I hadn’t been to a show in a while that completely captivated me like Corner and crew did that I was almost ready to make the journey out to Chicago, their next stop, to experience it again.