Anyone who has seen a concert by German siblings Astrid and Otto Rot (the alter egos of Australian non-siblings Clare Bartholomew and Daniel Tobias) will already know what to expect from Die Roten Punkte's latest appearance at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, their first since 2010: rocking out and squabbling in equal measure.
Eurosmash! continues the fictional narrative of Astrid and Otto's rock career, with the pair finding themselves facing the classic musician's dilemma of art versus commerce. For all that they accomplished on their last album, Kunst Rock (Art Rock), the band needs to crank out some hits to pay the bills, so their newest tracks (such as show opener "Do You Speak Dance?") show a lot more of an electronica influence, and Astrid is quick to shoot down Otto's effort to include a socially conscious song on the new record.
The Pyramid Cabaret serves as a much more fitting venue than the Manitoba Theatre Centre Mainstage did four years ago, since its existence as an actual Winnipeg music venue feeds into that Spinal Tap sense that the fictional band is working its way more and more into our reality. Any Die Roten Punkte show has the appealing combination of a hilarious play and a legitimately great concert, so performing in anything less than a real rock bar pales in comparison.
Die Roten Punkte demonstrates how an audience can be fully immersed in the world created by a performance without needing a traditional story structure, and this brother and sister from Berlin continue to reflect the rock and roll badasses inside all of us.