This past very hot Saturday, I ventured over to Mile High Harley Davidson in Aurora, Colorado for their third annual Ink and Iron Fest. Along with the tattoo artists and plenty of Harley’s that lined the street and parking area’s, there was live music to enjoy. Returning for the second time was the L.A. based duo, KrashKarma or as they have been called, The Sonny and Cher from Hell! Ralf Dietel plays an ESP E-II Stream that he’s modified so he can play guitar and bass at the same time which brings a full and unique sound to their music. On ddrum Dios drum kit is Niki Skistimas, with her unique style of playing while sitting or standing on top of her base drum, rounds out the sound of KrashKrama. They both share vocals and harmonicas.
Starting their set, Niki with a drum strapped on and Ralf following with a megaphone, marched out through the crowd calling out to everyone that the show was about to begin and what a high energy show it was going to be. Returning to the stage the duo broke into their first song, ‘Paint the Devil’ from their 2015 album of the same name. It was a hot day and the stage was set up in a parking area which added to the heat. Add to that the altitude at which they were playing, didn’t stop Ralf and Niki from pouring out their energy through their music. Though many in the crowd stayed in the shade and under some of the outdoor awnings. When KrashKrama started their next song, ‘Wake Them Up’ from their 2018 album MORPH, a few people moved to the front of the stage and started moving about to the music.
As the duo moved through their set of songs Ralf would jump off a box that was on stage and Niki would be up and down as she played the drums. They would pause every 2 or 3 songs to catch their breath and drink water and also to chat with the crowd. At one point Niki stepped out in front of the stage with a spray bottle of water and was spraying down the folks in front of the stage. When Niki picked up her very large hammer, the duo broke into the song, ‘Girl With A Hammer.’ The video came out in January of this year. Niki would pound on a cymbal with the hammer during the song keeping the energy level on tilt. As their set was winding down, there were still a few fans moving to the music though a little slower then when they started. Finishing their set, from their 2010 album, Straight to the Blood, was the song, ‘Tears of Gasoline’.
From the stage catching their breath,wiping off the sweat, and drinking water the duo headed to their merch table and hung out with their fans, signing autographs and doing selfies. Many people came up to them and said it was their first time seeing them and saying how much fun they were. Another photographer that was there, came up to me very excited asking if I had see them before, I said yes a couple of times, I had cover their shows before. He said to to me, I’ve never heard of them, where have I been, they are awesome!
With all that has been going on in the world these past few months, Ralf and Niki both told me how excited they were to get out and play, stating it had been months since they last played a live show. This was their only show. They drove to Colorado from L.A., did the show and headed back home. When shows and tours get going again, this is one show to witness. KrashKarma is a high energy, fun show that you will enjoy.
I want to thank Ralf and Niki for coming to Colorado again and allowing me to cover their show, it’s always a treat for me.
Paint the Devil
Wake Them Up
Footsteps of Lemming
Girl with a Hammer
The One Who knocks
Ratamahatta (Sepultura cover)
Tears of Gasoline
I have been dabbling in photography since I was a kid. Box cameras, instamatics, then 35mm film cameras. In the late 70’s I went to a concert and took pictures, no one cared at first. That came to end in 1980. When the first digital cameras came out, I got more interested and serious about photography. For years I did nothing but landscape and even started selling my work with some success. In May of 2014, I walked into a small concert venue and asked about photographing a band that was going to play there. Little did I know then how my life was about to change. My 2 passions, music and photography turned into a wonderful journey. 7+ years later, I have meet artists from all over the world, photographed bands from over 20 different countries. I am living the dream of being a concert photographer. To this day, when I step in front of the stage to cover a show, I still get as excited as a 5 year old on Christmas morning!